Image c/o Amy Irvin
Let’s cut to the chase. Evander Kane will not be a Winnipeg Jet for much longer and the Flyers have been interested in Kane for a while.
But he’s a cancer! Or, maybe he’s just a good young player who is unhappy in his current situation and cannot wait for a new opportunity to prove himself.
Either is possible and no team will know for sure how situations will play in the future but GMs will certainly be interested — and that means that, no matter how much Kane’s value has dropped in theory, the demand will drive the price back up.
Considering the Flyers interest in Kane, they must have interest in rounding out the top line and Kane’s numbers would certainly benefit from playing alongside Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek. And who could be unhappy about that?
So, what would it take to make this work? The Jets want a player who can help them right now and the Flyers need to shed salary.
The core of a trade that could work on paper might start with two players who were drafted back-to-back.
Kane and Brayden Schenn were drafted fourth and fifth respectively in 2009 and are roughly the same size, age and weight. Through 361 games, Kane has averaged roughly .61 PPG while Schenn is around .48 PPG through 244 games.
This would not be enough to get a trade done for either team, though, as the Jets would want more in return and the Flyers would need to clear a ton more room in salary.
While the Schenn brothers are blindly thrown into trades together for little reason whatsoever, this might be an instance where it makes sense to package Luke with Brayden. The Flyers have a logjam at defense and trading both ($6.1 million) for Kane ($5.25 million) would clear up $850k of cap space and also cuts out two players who are up for contract renewals after the 2016 season alongside some key players like Voracek who will be due big contracts.
The Flyers are in cap hell and the fall of the Canadian dollar only makes matters worse. It’s amazing how Paul Holmgren whistled with his jacked slung over his shoulder as he slowly backed out of the building he left burning. Ron Hextall has no easy task ahead of him. His main objectives need to be to clear out salary and accumulate draft picks. Let’s look at where players fall.
The Trade Deadline Group
If Timonen makes it back into the game, there’s little reason to believe he will remain in Philadelphia. He wants to retire with his skates on but it’s hard to believe he wants to do that on a team that will not make the playoffs. Timonen has a reasonable salary and is a perfect veteran complement to any contender.
As others have pointed out, Coburn is undervalued in Philly. He has been the beneficiary of elite partners like Timonen and Chris Pronger but has held his own without them. The problem is, he is in his prime on a team that is far from it. Suitors will definitely be calling about Coburn at the deadline.
Streit is 11th among defensemen in points and seventh in assists while leading the Flyers d-men in time on ice.
With only one year left on his contract, Grossmann is the prototypical trade deadline candidate for a playoff team that needs a little extra depth.
Oliveoilio has been an under-appreciated and misused defenseman in Philadelphia and any scouts who have seen him play enough will think they have a chance to steal a diamond in the rough from Philadelphia. Personally, I think the Flyers should keep him but if they can get something for nothing, I would be OK with that as well.
The previously mentioned Schenn brothers can also be included in this group.
The Fingers Crossed Group
Wait, what? Emery blooooooows. Sure, he’s rocking a .887 SV% and his lateral movement is not what it once was. However, if you look back as recently as two years ago, Emery’s time in Chicago shows that he can be an effective backup on a team with a strong defense. Some GM might go out on a limb and acquire Emery for a low round draft pick.
Vincent Lecavalier and RJ Umberger
Both Lecavalier and Umberger fall under the realm of declining veterans who have bad contracts and started the season off rough but rebounded. There might be some teams out there that would take a chance on one of them but both have negative value and it might cost something just to move them.
The Don’t Be Stupid Group
Read has had a down year but his speed is improving and he’s finding his groove again. The Flyers need to keep affordable players with upside. So, why the hell does his name keep popping up in rumors? Don’t be stupid, Flyers.
Michael Del Zotto
Del Zotto is neither as good nor as bad as fans have made him out to be but, again, he is a reasonably paid young player who still has yet to come into his own. He’s only 24! Give him some time, people. Yeesh.
With a strong stretch run, Cooter could flirt with the 20 goal and 40 point mark, all while being used in ridiculously tough defensive situations and shutting down some of the league’s most elite superstars. Oh, and he’s only 22. Every team is probably calling about him — and there’s a good reason for that. It’s because he’s awesome.