Training camp started with the Flyers having a solid top 4 in place: Timonen, Coburn, Jones, and Parent. Yet things changed quickly when both Parent and Jones where lost to injuries for several months. This forced the team to elevate Luca Sbisa from a prospect to the second pairing on defense. Obviously this isn't good. Timonen and Coburn are top pairing material and Sbisa and Vaananen have looked better than expected, but the third pairing is in disarray. Kukkonen, Eminger, and now Alberts must now patrol the teams third pairng. Not suprisingly this pairing has led to several costly defensive mistakes. Since these three don't add anything to the offense they have to be sparkling defenders, something they have never proven to be in their respective careers. Kukkonen had been a healthy scratch towards the end of the year for the Flyers last year. Ditto for Eminger when he was with the Caps. And if Alberts was deemed expendable this early in the season obviously Boston didn't see him as having much value. What is this team going to do when either Vaananen and/or Sbisa hit a slump? And certainly Sbisa will stay with this team past the 9 game limit because there is no way the team will be able to let Kukkonen, Alberts and Eminger play everyday. So what is the team to do until Parent and Jones make it back?
Well there is no way Homer can just sit back and wait for Parent and Jones. That would mean the Flyers would be down in the standings and the team would also have to wait for the injured d-men to regain their form. Going more than a couple weeks with this group could cost the Flyers at least a few spots in the standings come season's end let alone a playoff spot. So this means Homer has to make some moves and acquire at least one second pairing or better d-man to help Coburn and Timonen out. This means the FLyers will definitely have to give up some forward depth, which isn't so terrible because Andres Nodl and Claude Giroux are biding their time with the Phantoms waiting for their chance with the big club.
In a dream situation Homer would call Florida which has some defensive depth and a make an offer for Bouwmeester who wants out of Florida. Sadly that is unlikely as Florida will want a killing for Jay. Homer could also call Carolina who has some extra NHL quality d-men. Hopefully Homer will get a younger defenseman who can be resigned to add to the nice group the team has set for the future. The only certainty is that the Flyers will undoubtedly have to over pay for which ever d-man the team acquires because every GM knows that the Flyers are desperate right now.