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Will the Flyers Trade Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn for a Defenseman?

Jun 10, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT


The NHL offseason sure is long when the Flyers don’t make the playoffs. It’s been more than seven weeks since the Orange & Black last skated, and we’ve still got roughly three to go until the draft or free agency arrives. Just imagine if there was no lockout and the regular season actually ended on time.

We’ll be taking closer looks at the Flyers’ options as those days approach, but according to at least one hockey insider, business might pick up sooner than that. TSN’s Bob McKenzie floated the idea on Sunday that general manager Paul Holmgren could be a busy man this summer as Pro Hockey Talk deftly summarized.

That the franchise will be looking to make some sort of splash during the offseason barely qualifies as news, as such is typically the case around here. Specifically McKenzie mentioned two potential moves to expect from Philly’s front office, one of which would be particularly bold – not like, say, buying out Ilya Bryzgalov’s contract as one of his suggestions entailed.

McKenzie is not alone in his thought process. The Bullies’ biggest problems for much of last season were on the back end, where the club was ravaged by injuries and hurt by suspect play by select veterans. Even with the emergence of a few quality young players – Luke Schenn, Erik Gustafsson, and Oliver Lauridsen – you would have a difficult time convincing another person this area is anything other than a glaring weakness. There really are only two questions left to ask.

First of all, is a true number one defenseman available? That is always the unknown as they can be among the most coveted players in the league, and not all of the names that have been tossed out there are definitively ones.

The big name at the moment is Phoenix’s Keith Yandle, who Holmgren reportedly tried to deal for last offseason up until the trade deadline. Broad Street Hockey takes a more in-depth look at the possibility of a Yandle deal, but a soon-to-be-27-year-old who’s been to two All-Star games and is signed through 2016 is going to be tough to pry away, even from (perhaps especially from) a franchise with ownership issues such as the Coyotes.

Which leads us right into question two: what would the Flyers have to package to land Yandle or another D-man of his caliber? Obviously the two biggest bargaining chips are Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn, a pair of young talents who could develop into stars, and either is likely only going to start a conversation. What else will such a package entail?

It’s easier to judge the merits of any deal after it’s done, but hypothetically speaking would you be willing to give up Couturier or Schenn plus more for Keith Yandle or another top defenseman if you were the GM?

As I’ve written before, I am partial to riding out the current youth movement, thus giving guys like Lauridsen and Gustafsson opportunities to sink or swim, and L. Schenn a chance to be the workhorse, as long as it means holding on to talents like Couturier and B. Schenn. Then again, I can’t deny what a boost it would be for the Flyers to add a stabilizing piece to the defense, and Yandle’s youth and contract situation make him an enticing add.

On the off chance Homer isn’t busy making moves this summer, he’ll be working plenty of hours merely weighing the seeming myriad of options in front of him.

  1. BenE. - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    GM Don Maloney reportedly told hockey mag The Fourth Period that he will trade Yandle if he gets a package that includes a young star, so if the Flyers put Scooter (also a Phoenix native) on the table, I don’t think it will be too difficult to pry Yandle away.

    Be forewarned though, Yandle is extremely soft in his own end. He is purely a puck-mover. However, if he was paired with Luke Schenn, I think he’d be a great fit. Pairing him with Schenn also creates a great lefty/righty pairing.

    Then we can look forward to Scooter winning a Cup with another team several years from now. ;)

  2. Jay D - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    god can we please try an let our young defenders develop!

  3. dialectician - Jun 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Undoubtedly, the Flyers will trade away a talented young player for garbage in return.

    • BenE. - Jun 10, 2013 at 11:45 PM

      No this rumor involves Keith Yandle

  4. Matt M - Jun 10, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Seriously, if the Flyers trade Couturier I’ll just give up.

  5. JB - Jun 10, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Keep the kids and see how they turn out.

  6. Mike - Jun 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM

  7. brandonphilly - Jun 11, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    I would trade Brayden Schenn for Yandle. Scooter is untouchable in my book unless it’s for Shea Weber 1-for-1

  8. ryan thompson - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    couterier for weber 1-for1? that’s hysterical


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