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Daily Times beat writer Anthony J. SanFilippo takes you inside the locker rooms of the Philadelphia Flyers and the rest of the NHL.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NIK'S LIMO HEADED SOUTH?

So, I spent much of my evening sitting at my dining room table talking on the phone for far too long to NHL people about varying topics.

Anybody got a life they can trade me before Monday's deadline?

Anyway here's the latest:

At least three NHL teams are considering putting in a claim for Nik Zherdev - if they haven't already - and the one with the best chance of getting him? How about the Atlanta Thrashers?

It makes sense. The Thrashers have plummeted off the cliff and need to try to save their chance at a playoff berth, but would like to do so with spending extravagantly.

Zherdev is owed $440,000 the rest of the season (roughly) and becomes unrestricted after the season.

He'll immediately be viewed as a top six forward on the Thrashers and would certainly get up for the three remaining games the Thrash have with the Flyers. It makes a lot of sense.

If not Atlanta, another name I heard was Nashville... who is getting ready to make a serious push out West, and could be a dark horse with some added offense to its already stellar defensive team.

Mike Fisher was the first step, could Zherdev be the second?

Another league source told me that Zherdev would not return to Russia, as that season is nearly over, and that he won't go to the AHL - which suggests to me that a claim is coming.

We'll see how that turns out tomorrow.

As for Oskars Bartulis - a Flyers source confirmed for me tonight that Bartulis' shoulder injury is bad enough to require surgery and it will cost him the rest of the season.

Bad break for Bart, but if nothing else it all but guarantees the Flyers will be on the hunt for a seventh defenseman for the playoff push.

But I also think they want another forward.

When we were in Florida last week, Paul Holmgren was spotted having a lengthy chat with Dale Tallon, the GM of the Panthers.

So many people are speculating that this has to do with goalie Tomas Vokoun. The Flyers have been linked to him before, but I don't see the need for such a big money contract for a goalie.

If nothing else, the Flyers proved last season you don't need a big ticket goalie to reach the Cup Finals. I think they stand pat with Bobrovsky and Boucher.

But don't be surprised if Homer and Tallon weren't chatting about Cory Stillman.

The veteran winger is unrestricted after the season and is likely to be moved to a contender. Stillman would be reunited with Peter Laviolette who was his coach in 2005-06 in Carolina and they won a Stanley Cup.

He'd be another fine addition to the lineup.

His salary is pretty hefty, but the Flyers can get creative. Take away Zherdev and Bartulis' contracts and they could add Stillman without losing anyone else.

If they want to go Stillman and a defenseman, they could probably make it work by losing one salary from the current roster - Dan Carcillo and Andreas Nodl make the most sense mathematically.

Again, this is pure speculation. I have no knowledge of this being a legitimate possibility.

However, it's worth thinking about as a lot of pieces to my puzzle certainly make sense.

Let me know what you think.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mike McNamara said...

I get the feeling that removing Z is part of something Holmgren already has in the works. I imagine some sort of announcement coming during tomorrow nights game regarding a trade.

February 23, 2011 at 11:49 PM 
Blogger Ryan said...

I hate that Z is gone, I just don't like the way he was treated by the team, but oh well...we move on.

I think we need to snag up a quality winger, and I don't know that we NEED another d-man. I understand the probabilty of Carcillo being moved, but I'd prefer to see Shelley gone. Sorry, I'm an anti-goon-dite. Look at our record (especially last playoffs) with Carcillo in vs. out. He adds....something.

February 24, 2011 at 8:55 AM 

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