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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sources: Flyers Listening to Columbus About Nash

What price for Rick Nash? Whatever it is, it should be too much for the Flyers. Do they need a Rick Nash? Do they need another scoring winger? Is Nash going to fix the problems on defense? Or in net? Or on the penalty kill? No. And those are the issues that Flyers were dealing with this past week.

Why is it that every time a major player is up for grabs at the trade deadline, people throw the Flyers' names in it?
Is it because the Flyers are notorious for overspending? Or pulling out every stop to win? Maybe.
And maybe because most players leaving a city like Columbus, would donate body organs for the right to play in Philadelphia.
Still, that doesn’t make it a “right fit.”
Yet, sources continue to tell that the Flyers are listening to Columbus, which had two scouts at Saturday’s game and neither were here to look at the Penguins.
One of those “scouts” was general manager Scott Howson, who again met with Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. The other was Craig Patrick, ex-Penguins’ GM.
As for the asking price for a player of  Nash’s caliber? Probably Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn.
But … it may be something else. It may be James van Riemsdyk, another player, plus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Or a high draft pick besides a player.
The Flyers don’t want to move Couturier or Schenn, but if I’m Howson, I want both those players.
Said one club source, “rumors, just rumors,” adding that what the Flyers desire most is more defensive help but … a larger deal “that makes sense” is not out of the question.
Which is why general manager Paul Holmgren hedged on Thursday night when asked whether it was “unlikely” he’d make a major trade deadline move. His response was he would NOT use that word. Instead, he paused and replied, “probably not.”
Now here’s the other rub. Unless the Flyers can get a legit No. 1 impact defenseman, it makes no sense whatsoever for them to waste their assets – young players and picks – on a rental player this season.
Nicklas Grossman cost them picks, but with 50 players under contract now, the next trade would require a player moving a current roster player out.
The Flyers remain a Stanley Cup contender, but they are a couple notches below the Rangers and Bruins in the East. Goaltending is the major difference there.
There is the thought that if the Flyers move Bobrovsky to Columbus, they can then go after a proven veteran goalie of lesser dollar value to backup Ilya Bryzgalov in the event Bryz still doesn’t have his act together come the playoffs.
Right now, given the Flyers unsettled goaltending,  they are – at best – the third best team in the Eastern Conference – maybe the fourth.
Nothing a Rick Nash would bring would elevate the Flyers to No. 1.
Yet, it could happen.

E-mail Tim Panaccio at

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