It's always slow early on during trade deadline day, and that's when the TSN and Sportsnet panels -- tasked with discussing the day's moves from about 8 a.m. til 5 p.m., start to get a little loose with what they say.
So maybe that's what was happening around 9:30 this morning when the panel on Sportsnet -- which is also being shown on NHL Network today, FYI -- started discussing the Flyers goaltending situation.
The Flyers may be interested in "moving one of their goaltenders" before the deadline today, according to the Sportsnet panel.— OrangeAndBlackPack (@Official_OandBP) February 29, 2016
The Flyers have been so tight-lipped this deadline that I'd be shocked if there was anything backing this up. Of course they may be interested, considering they have two solid goalies. It's smart speculation to say they may be interested. But to know for sure would be surprising to me because Hextall isn't letting much of anything slip these days.
Now, on the merits ... I'd be against trading either Michal Neuvirth or Steve Mason right now because, well, it's nice to finally have strong goaltending in this town. Let it play itself out, or just be happy with it and don't feel like you need to make a move.
Mason almost certainly won't be traded just because the Flyers have a commitment to him, and because he's had stronger numbers over the whole of the last few seasons than Neuvirth. Yes, Neuvy has better numbers so far this year, but he's been more inconsistent over the last several years, as evidenced by the fact that he signed a contract as a backup here last summer. If you trade Mason, the risk is that the Neuvirth reverts to the average-to-below-average starting goalie form he had before he came here.
The only real reason to trade Mason and keep Neuvirth is money, since Mason makes $4.1 million and Neuvirth makes $1.625 million. Not sure you make that kind of call based on contract, especially since you don't need the cap space.
Trading Neuvirth is more interesting to think about. Yes, he's been very good all year and the Flyers are still trying to make the postseason here. He's on a good contract and a team might look at that .928 save percentage he's put up this year and make a strong offer for him.
That's probably the only way I'd trade a goalie at this deadline: if I were blown away with a deal. I doubt that will happen, because there typically isn't a very strong market for goaltenders at the deadline. (If you're a contender, you probably have strong goaltending already.) I think Ron Hextall and the Flyers should be content to keep their solid goaltending situation for the rest of the season and let it play out naturally.
Good goaltending is a commodity that we, more than any other fanbase, should hold onto dearly.