The Pros & Cons of Trading Now or Later; A Paul Holmgren Story >
 
 


It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world. This NHL season is drawing closer and closer to the trade deadline, and just like any other year, there are rumors floating around like the souls of purgatory. Ex-Flyer Jeff Carter is reported to be "unhappy" in Columbus and is apparently up for grabs. That's not surprising. 


The New Jersey Devils insist their young captain Zach Parise is not for sale, yet with their money problems, you'll have to take the franchise's words with a grain of salt. 


The Stars could possibly be interested in dealing their captain Brenden Morrow if it can "help them get better over the long-term."


Toronto's GM Brian Burke is always looking to make a deal and get his franchise to the post-season for the first time in almost a decade. Defenseman Luke Schenn and forward Mikhail Grabovski have come up in conversation.


Nashville's Ryan Suter has expressed his disinterest in signing an extension prior to the season ending in effort to eliminate distraction. As we know, that could consider him off the block. But captain Shea Weber's name continues to circle the rumor-mill like a turd that won't flush. 


Gleason (D) in Carolina signed his 4yr, $16-Million extension a couple days ago. Before then the 29yr old blue liner was in Philadelphia's sights. But now? Well, who knows. 



There are plenty of teams in need out there. Our Flyers being one of them. It's no secret we're in need of a defensive defenseman, and with the depth we have at the forward position combined with extra Draft picks we've acquired over the summer months, we have the bait to make a deal. 


So why haven't we yet? It's not about the buyers, it's about who are the sellers right NOW?


Take what Nashville GM David Poile said, for example:


"What I want now versus what I can later are two different things because of the parity you have in the NHL."



Down the road when the deadline is staring everyone in the face, teams will have a better idea whether they're playoff contenders or not. This will determine which mode the franchise will be in; Buyers or Sellers. 


The Ottawa Senators had a fire sale by the cutoff last 2010-11 season. There wasn't a prayer they'd make a run at a playoff spot, so they cut their losses and began making deals in preparation for the future. Or, in other words, they entered into the beginning phase of rebuilding. 


Teams like Nashville dialed them up, who snatched Mike "Blue Eyes" Fischer. The Preds were very much buyers and were looking to strengthen their offensive attack heading into April's post-season series. 


Our Flyers are more-or-less in the same boat as Nashville, only we're looking to strengthen our blue line. But the problem is we're not looking at other NHL clubs out there who've given up all hope on a playoff berth, so the "desperation" factor isn't there. Trading away just a mid-round Draft pick or two for a serviceable defenseman doesn't seem achievable at a time such as now. Even though we're only 26-days away from the deadline. 


The reason our management is waiting to make a deal (that is...if they're even planning on it) is because we're looking to add, not subtract. The closer the deadline comes, the more desperate the sellers become and the less Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has to give up. 


Because, inevitably, we're going to have to give SOMETHING up. Ya gotta give to receive, but the magic lies at HOW MUCH you're giving up to receive. 


That's the positive of waiting out the seller. 



Obviously the negative of waiting till closer to the deadline is once a player has been acquired via trade, he has less time to get acclimated with his teammates and develop chemistry. Of course this isn't always the case, but it certainly has a chance of happening, right?


And to the Club in buyer-mode, time is not something they can afford. Especially when the deal(s) was made in effort to keep momentum rolling past the 82nd game of the season. 


So, to backtrack, waiting till you get closer to the deadline (for the most part) means you'll give up less to gain more. But you're still gambling with a limited margin of time that follows.


What about the Clubs that make their deals weeks and/or months before the deadline? See Montreal and Calgary. 



The Canadiens sent Mike Cammalleri packing back to Calgary earlier in the month of January. The Flames swapped Rene Bourque in this deal. Calgary's GM Jay Feaster put it this way:


"If we're not solidly in a playoff position or if we think there are too many teams to jump over we're not going to be in a buyer's mode. We're not in a playoff position right now and we still need to win to get there, so that's why you do it now. Let's go get Cammy and get that spark we need. We can get hot and put ourselves in a spot."


Basically he's telling us that a man-for-man deal like this may not have existed had he waited. Acquiring Cammalleri's services in January is a move made by management in hopes he's the player they need to get over a hump that's challenged them at that time.  



There's always risk. Always. That's why it's a competitive league on AND off the ice. It's all about timing and what you can afford to give up. 


The Flyers are still looking (hopefully). Though a handful of guys they had their hopes on have seemed to be taken off the shelves, who knows what will become available over the next two and a half weeks? What's obvious is that Philly desperately needs defensive help. And not because what they have now couldn't win them a Stanley Cup. I'm actually not even referencing that to make my point at all. 


You don't want your Timonens, Coburns, Carles and Meszaroseseseses...es........es to be tired come the final quarter of the regular schedule. Testing their durability now may lead to physical exhaustion and being worn down when the team SHOULD be at their best. 


So Homer will continue to pick up his phone and dial a number of general managers around the NHL. If not to make a deal right then and there, at least to test the market. Find out which of these Clubs are leaning toward the buying or selling status. 


No reason to worry and fret, Paul's got it handled. 



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