Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Last Straw in Philly?

1) Word from the city of Brotherly love this morning indicates that Flyer's management has finally conceded that this current group of players are NOT going to be able to turn this season around. What has been painfully obvious for most other hockey observers since late October is now without a doubt crystal clear to all within this once proud organization.

2) What is not certain as of this writing is how much of a change in personnel will GM Paul Holmgren make as the deadline approaches. As one of the few teams with zero chance of making the playoffs he will be sure to get plenty of inquiries about many of his players. Already rumored to be on the block, defender Joni Pitkanen. The talk has been Joni going to Edmonton.

3) Holmgren's dilemma is that the players teams may want most are the ones that could be part of a future resurgence. Players such as Pitkanen, Carter, Umberger would be coveted by others. The players Holmgren would certainly be fine with trading: Hatcher, Sanderson, etc. are either over paid or injured

4) The wild cards in this are Simone Gagne and Peter Forsberg. If healthy(when is he?) Peter can be a dominant player that would be a huge boost to a playoff bound team. He's poised to become a UFA after the season, and may not return to North America after this season, so it may be a no brainer to move the Swedish star IF he's healthy.

5) Gagne is in the first year of a 5 year deal that will pay 5.25 annually. He has missed his line mate Forsberg and his numbers have fallen considerably. The down side to acquiring Gagne is his huge contract. It would be difficult for most teams to fit it in without trading away some salary. However that hasn't stopped several GM's from inquiring into his availability. We hear Holmgren has the green light to trade Gagne IF he can get a decent package of picks and young talent in return.It should be an interesting 6-8 weeks in Philly. As always, we will relate any new rumors as they occur. Keep it here for the latest!

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