With rumors of a possible three way deal floating around that would see the Flyers deal away Joni Pitkanen and receive Raffi Torres, supposedly to clear up cap room to sign a UFA center like Scott Gomez or Daniel Briere to a massive free agent contract, I needed to blog and just get this much off my chest after a couple days of contemplation.
I still am not a fan of getting JUST Torres for Pitkanen, nor do I like the rumored return of Mike Commodore and Nic Wallin. Nothing against any of those players, all of whom would be good to excellent fits in the Flyers system. I just don't think trading Pitkanen for them is a good idea.
However, I'd like to see the Flyers really consider a plan B. They are NOT going to be real Stanley Cup contender just by adding Gomez or Briere to their current rosters. As such, why not try to add a guy like Mike Comrie, Brendan Morrison or Todd White AND a Michal Handzus or Wayne Primeau?
They need both a playmaker to work with Simon Gagne and a defensive guy who can be a consistent face-off winner. They also don't necessarily need the guys they add to be six year contracts, either.
Jeff Carter has first line offensive abilities, I just am not sure if he'll be better at a wing or center because he seemed to have some issues in his own end when playing first line minutes at center last season.
Mike Richards is a battler, who has the temperament and talent to play anywhere from the second line to shut down defensive guy down the line. Right now he's a very good PK guy and solid third liner center that works his tail off an manages hit or miss numbers for his sweat.
Also on hand is a wildcard like Ryan Potulny. Potulny has a nose for the puck and seems to end up with the puck in excellent spots. He's also smart as a playmaker. But he's very, very raw as a defensive player.
Simply adding a pair of stop gap centermen could keep enough cash free to re-sign Carter and Richards and keep Potulny's development on track, and not be roadblocks when when the kids are ready to step in a play in the NHL full time, or can step gracefully aside for new UFAs if the kids are not ready.