The gunslinger strikes again. In typical Paul Holmgren style, the Flyers acquired defender Danny Syvret from the Oilers for center Ryan Potulny. Hockey is business and this trade was about each team believing that they traded-up to what they think could potentially pay off most for them in the future.
From a Flyers perspective, it was just a matter of time before we traded Potulny. Pots is a very average depth center, a call-up in case of injuries kinda guy, which was OK for us the last few seasons to have a guy like that around, but Pot's time here has obviously passed. Flyers have better players in the system to fill his spot on the bench.
Scounting reports on Syvret are lukewarm; as an innconsistant and hesitant puck moving d-man wih good size and speed. Sure the kid has potential, but he has only played 26 NHL games with less than sparkling results and a -11 NHL performance and a whopping 1 assist to date in the big league.
Syvret's 07-08 AHL numbers arent any better at 63gp / 2g / 18a / 20p / -4 / 43pim. To me, Syvret sounds like another Lars Jonson, aka Phantom 4 life. I hope I'm wrong!
So, why were there several offers from other teams on the table for this guy? And why did the Flyers put Ryan Potulny on the table to get Syvret ? The answer is that Syvret's upside is that he is young and has plenty of time to develop his skills in the AHL as a puck moving d-man which is critical to any NHL teams success. Solely for this fact, this trade is a gamble worth taking for the Flyers.
But could we have gotten more than just a "project" for Ryan Potulny? Lets take a step back and examine one interesting trade from the past season....
I'm going to make a very general comparison, based on: how these 2 guys fit into the Flyers lineup last season...(they didnt) : Potulny is to the forward position as Picard was to the D position. Bottom line is that we got Vinny Prospal for Picard + 2nd rounder !! I know Tampa wanted to shed Vinny's salary and had personality issues with him.. but... so what, teams make trades for many different reasons... point being, given the circumstances, anything can happen!
Back to Syvret.....I dont pretend to know much about the current Oilers beyond their stats and the plethora of recent trades with the Flyers. That said, it appears to me that Edmonton already have a zillion players listed as centers who played all season. Why didnt we try to grab a solid 4th line center from them in a package deal? Everyone is aware that the Flyers still need to hash out our 4th line center dilemma since Jimmy Dowd isnt expected to return for whatever reason.
Teams will be shopping like crazy this year ... Expect some big headlines from the likes of.. Leafs, Sharks, Sens, Rags, Nucks, Oliers and Kings just to name a few.
So which players do the Flyers have left as a commodity to trade with that arent already penciled in to next seasons lineup?
Thoresen , Ruszica , Tolpeko, Guenin, Gauthier .. is that it ?
The first four are definitly trade bait...with their half-mill contracts. Goat is a hard sell at 2.1mill. Guenin will prob not be traded as he is being groomed.
Would it have been better to hold out Potulny for a better deal in a package? Pots had a hot AHL season and playoffs which I'm sure made his worth higher.
IMO .. This is a curious pickup for Edmonton as well, as they are already overloaded with players listed as natural centers (Penner, Horcoff, Gagner, Cogliano, Nillson, Reasoner, Brodz, Stoll) including the up and coming robbie schremp.
Could the Flyers have picked up that elusive 4th line center in a package deal from Edmonton instead of another Phantoms D-man ? or did we get as much as Pots could bring in?
and on that note...why is Jimmy Dowd not returning ? he had a helluva season for us in that role. Homer's got something up his sleeve I can sense it!
Bottom line... a potentially inconsequential trade which is boils down to a gamble for both teams without much risk factor.