The NHL trade deadline has been very, very quiet from a Flyers perspective. Last year was the same, too -- the Flyers only made two moves, sending Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen to a pair of future Stanley Cup Final teams in exchange for draft picks.
We expect much of the same from Hextall at this deadline. We think he will likely strip the boat of its spare parts, selling off non-essential pieces for whatever he can get. So when TSN's Darren Dreger goes on the radio and says he wouldn't be surprised if the Flyers were active at the deadline, what does he mean?
Dreger: #Flyers very quiet. Hextall difficult to get info from. "I wouldn't be surprised if Philadelphia is one of the more active teams."— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) February 25, 2016
Does he mean he thinks that Hextall will sell off basically everything? Evgeny Medvedev, Ryan White, Radko Gudas, Sam Gagner, Mark Streit, etc.. Whatever, whoever. Strip it down, call up some kids from Lehigh Valley, and ditch the season. It's a sellers market and the Flyers can probably do pretty well here at this deadline, assuming they want to torpedo their playoff chances.
Or does Dreger not know anything? He's pretty plugged in generally speaking, but even he is admitting there that Hextall's Flyers are a difficult team to get information from. Maybe he's relying on old stereotypes to say that he expects the Flyers to be busy, because before Hextall the Flyers were always busy at the deadline.
I guess the answer is that we don't really know. Here's Hextall speaking with CSN on Wednesday:
"We're not going to add. ... We feel like we have depth, quite honestly ... I feel like we have a couple guys up in Lehigh Valley that can help us, so we feel that we have enough depth right now to make it through the year.
Brief aside: "make it through the year" doesn't sound like he's thinking this year is going to end in a playoff run, does it?
... If someone goes down, we got good fillers for them. We're going to hold. If something comes up that we can make ourselves better for the future, we'll at least look at it."
"It's tough because there's a lot of teams in the position we're in," Hextall said of the market, "where we're out but close enough. So it's hard decisions. ... You always weigh where you're at and the upside of what you can bring back, so if you're going to sacrifice a little bit for now, you want more for the future.
"They're hard decisions. There's things you've got to go through, think long and hard about because we want to make sure we give our team every opportunity to make the playoffs."
Five more days.