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Philadelphia Flyers trade rumors: Good defensemen please inquire within

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The Flyers are one of the surprises of the East, sticking in the playoff picture in spite of a slow start to the year.


After a shockingly bad start to the season, the Flyers are in a fight for a playoff spot most didn't think would be there for them.

Ever since Chris Pronger was forced out of the game due to concussion symptoms, the Flyers have been in a mad scramble to keep goals out of their net, either with big mistakes like signing Ilya Bryzgalov, or by acquiring every defenseman they can find.

Mark Streit was the big signing in the summer for Philly, and while he hasn't been bad, he hasn't exactly solidified its defensive core either. A major part of the problem for the Flyers has been misidentifying talent on defense, which led to the trade for, and extension of, Nicklas Grossmann, trading James van Riemsdyk for Luke Schenn, letting Matt Carle walk in free agency, among other moves.

In need of transition

The poor pro scouting on defense leaves the Flyers still in search of a defenseman to help Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn shoulder the load.

Timonen is still an excellent defenseman at 38 years old, but when he's forced to take the extreme tough minutes, it wears on him and his offensive production has begun to slip. Mark Streit helps out there a bit, but at 36 years old the Flyers are going to need a long-term solution for their transition game, and prospects like Shayne Gostisbehere, Samuel Morin and Robert Hagg are still a few years away.

The search continues

There are some propagating such lofty names as Shea Weber, who the Flyers would surely love to have (obviously!), but the cost would be incredible, which makes it not very unrealistic.

The more reasonable solution for the Flyers could be Buffalo's Christian Ehrhoff, who is on a very long but reasonably priced deal, and was recently asked to submit his list of teams that he wouldn't be willing to be traded to. Ehrhoff would still be expensive, possibly as expensive as Brayden Schenn, but the Flyers can afford to part with forwards, especially one of their many natural centermen to improve their defense.

Another name that has come up with regard to the Flyers is Dustin Byfuglien of the Jets. However, as much as certain members of the Winnipeg media would like him to be on the block, it doesn't look like the Jets want to trade him.

Other pieces in play

The Boston Bruins are rumored to be interested in Andrej Meszaros, who the Flyers want to move out anyway. What they want in return for Meszaros other than the cap space to make a bigger move is anyone's guess.