Inside the Flyers: Some possible trade targets to upgrade the Flyers offense

Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry is a power-play force, but he's likely to be in great demand. JEFF CHIU / Associated Press
Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry is a power-play force, but he's likely to be in great demand. JEFF CHIU / Associated Press
Posted: February 04, 2013

Is it too early for the Flyers to start targeting players who would upgrade their sad-sack offense?

In a normal 82-game season, probably.

In a lockout-shortened 48-game season, no.

The Flyers have played only nine games, but that accounts for almost 20 percent of the abbreviated season.

Heading into Saturday night's game against Carolina, the Flyers had two goals or fewer in seven of their first eight games. They had a total of seven in their six losses.

Several unrestricted free agents this summer will draw the Flyers' attention, but those same players may be available in trades before then. The Flyers might want to make a deal for one of them with the hope that the player would like Philadelphia and sign with the club after the season - and not just be a rental for a few months.

The Flyers would likely move some draft picks, and that wouldn't sting as much if the player they acquired ended up being here for several years.

Many NHL teams are searching for offense, including the Flyers, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Washington Capitals, and Nashville Predators. They should hope that the potential free agents (read: midseason trade bait) play for teams that fall out of playoff contention and are made available.

The Flyers, who could become sellers themselves if they don't start improving, have a little more than $1.5 million in cap space. But that number can grow significantly if Chris Pronger ($4.9 million cap hit) and Matt Walker ($1.7 million) are placed on the long-term injured list.

Here are some of the unrestricted free-agent forwards who could appeal to the Flyers in a deal, one that would ease the pain of losing winger Wayne Simmonds (out indefinitely with a concussion) and Scott Hartnell, who could miss another five weeks:

Corey Perry, Anaheim. Get in line. Perry is one of the game's best wingers and a power-play force. He (or teammate Bobby Ryan, a Cherry Hill native) is just the type of sniper the Flyers need.

Brenden Morrow, Dallas. The 34-year-old left winger is coming off a down season and is viewed more as a stopgap than a long-term solution. He is supposedly available, and there are also whispers that if Dallas falls out of contention, another winger might be on the block - a guy named Jaromir Jagr.

Michael Ryder, Dallas. The soon-to-be-33-year-old winger is coming off a career season (35 goals) but could soon be on the trading block.

Stephen Weiss, Florida. The topline center has said he wants to end his career with the Panthers, but if Florida keeps struggling and can't afford to pay him, the 29-year-old might be available.

Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim. Coming off a season in which the center managed just 11 goals, Getzlaf would give the Flyers some much-needed size (6-foot-4, 217 pounds) up the middle.

Alexander Semin, Carolina. Semin has a reputation for playing carelessly, but there's nothing wrong with the offensive part of his game.

David Clarkson, New Jersey. He's coming off a career year (30 goals) and he has the toughness that makes him a natural for the Flyers' management. But would the Devils trade him to a division rival?

Jarome Iginla, Calgary. Yes, he's 35, but the highly respected winger is coming off a 32-goal season and is showing no signs of slowing down.


Contact Sam Carchidi at scarchidi@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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