Monday, April 1, 2013

Talbot's injury likely has Holmgren of mind to deal

Now diagnosed with a leg fracture as feared last night, Max Talbot indeed is finished for the season, and that means Paul Holmgren likely will be active before the 3 p.m. trade deadline Wednesday.
There are multiple reports today from Canada and here that the Flyers have had informal talks about San Jose power forward Ryane Clowe. He'd be a nice fit as a physical left wing, but Clowe seems to have forgotten how to score.
At 30, he's a pending unrestricted free agent, but one with a slipping resume. Clowe opened eyes by scoring 24 goals and 62 points in 75 games two seasons ago. But last season he scored 17 gaols and 45 points in 76 games, and through 28 games this season has yet to score a goal but has garnered 11 assists.
The theory is Clowe has only recently began to get healthy, but then, the Sharks are trying to sell him. According to, their director of pro scouting was in Philadelphia Saturday to catch the Flyers-Bruins game, then flew to Montreal to catch that night's Canadiens-Rangers game.
Other than the fact that John Ferguson Jr. wants to collect frequent traveler miles, you can figure a mini-bidding war for a guy with no goals is shaping up.
Yet a newspaper report in Saint John's, Newfoundland, from which Clowe hails, says their boy will likely be dealt to the Flyers today. Hmmm.
In addition to the Flyers, the Bruins, Habs and Rangers all have interest in Clowe. For the Flyers, then, you'd think that would mean they might consider parting with the guy everyone wants, Sean Couturier.
He's another player having a lousy year. But Couturier is 20 and showed enough during the stretch run and in the playoffs last season to confirm a very bright future.
Giving him up for just Clowe wouldn't make sense. Adding a high draft pick into the mix might.
The Flyers are also believed to be flirting again with the idea of trading for Jaromir Jagr, though there are some people in the organization that think that would literally be a step back. However, the Talbot injury and Danny Briere's ongoing concussion problem changes the landscape here now.
Either way, Holmgren is probably in a position to change his thinking. In an interview early Saturday, he all but cast aside the notion of being a buyer ahead of the trade deadline. But Holmgren did acknowledge that opinion could change with a couple of quick wins.
The Flyers promptly beat the Bruins Saturday and Capitals in spectacular fashion Sunday night, got some help along the way, and were suddenly two points out of a playoff spot.
If Holmgren has changed his mind, however, it's obvious that defense has to be his No. 1 priority. Talbot and Briere may be out, maybe both for the balance of the regular season. But the Flyers are also missing three regular defensemen, with Nick Grossmann day to day (but he has been for a while), Braydon Coburn out for at least another few weeks with a separated shoulder and Andrej Meszaros (shoulder) facing season ending surgery Tuesday.
The Flyers have long favored Jay Bouwmeester, who has been around forever even though he's all of 29. He has one more year left on his deal for Calgary at a relatively enormous $6.25 million cap hit, but the Flyers are visible in all trade rumors associated with Bouwmeester, along with Detroit and Ottawa.


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