As the NHL deadline ends today at 3pm , many questions surround the direction of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Will the team trade for a possible playoff run? Does general manager Paul Holmgren have a trick up his sleeve? Or do the Flyers simply ride out the season?
Currently, the team is flooded with injuries on both sides of the puck, while maintaining a bloated payroll. According to Capgeek, the Flyers have the highest spent payroll in the league and have hit capacity. Not a great recipe for making moves.
To make matters worse, next season Philly will have only $2.2 million of cap space—barring potential buyouts of Danny Briere or Ilya Bryzgalov.
Aside from the financial issues, the Flyers do not have many movable players on their roster. Danny Briere, who consistently is rumored to be moving, not only is injured but outspokenly admitted to enforce his non-movement clause to stay in Philadelphia. Max Talbot, who potentially turned heads with his recent play and playoff experience, is also likely done for the season.
Scratch them both off the list.
Matt Read is the only other Flyer possibly drawing interest from teams around the league. His gutsy return from an upper-body injury and consistent positive play could make him an attractive player. Unfortunately, his salary would not free up much cap room for next season and the Flyers will most likely want to hold on to their young forward.
Last, the Flyers are currently six points behind the New York Islanders for the eighth-playoff spot with only thirteen games remaining. It will take some brilliant play and a stroke of luck for Philadelphia to sneak into the postseason. Therefore, acquiring a rental player in exchange for a slim chance at the playoffs would not make sense this late in the abbreviated season.
Philadelphia will now have to live or die with the current roster and possibly call up prospects to be evaluated at the professional level.