Holmgren might stand pat at NHL trade deadline

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said the team is unlikely to make any major moves before the trade deadline.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said the team is unlikely to make any major moves before the trade deadline. (Matt Slocum / Associated Press)
Posted: March 05, 2014

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren continued to work the phones Monday, looking for ways to improve his surging team before Wednesday's 3 p.m. trade deadline.

That said, Holmgren is happy with the team he has assembled. The Flyers have gone 31-17-6 since their franchise-worst 1-7 start and are on their best roll of the season.

They overcame a 4-2 third-period deficit Sunday in Washington and jolted the Capitals in overtime, 5-4, to register their sixth win in the last seven games. The win pushed them ahead of the New York Rangers and into second place in the Metropolitan Division.

So while Holmgren is trying to make upgrades, he isn't in desperation mode. Far from it.

"I like our team and would not be disappointed if we were to stand pat," he said on Monday.

The Flyers' defense is their biggest concern. It lacks speed and has not done a good job clearing bodies in front of goalie Steve Mason.

Winnipeg's Dustin Byfuglien, a 6-foot-5, 265-pounder, is among the defensemen who may be moved by the deadline. Other defensemen who are available include Buffalo's Christian Ehrhoff and Tyler Myers, the Islanders' Andrew MacDonald, Dallas' Trevor Daley, and Ottawa's Chris Phillips.

The Flyers' old flame, Nashville's Shea Weber, is not expected to be moved, but it is worth noting that if the lowly Predators were to deal him, they would likely do it before his $14 million deal - including a $13 million signing bonus - kicks in for next season.

Defenseman Andrej Meszaros, who can become a free agent in July, is among the Flyers drawing interest, and Holmgren must decide whether to deal him or keep the veteran for the stretch run.

On Wednesday, the Flyers and Capitals will complete their home-and-home series, this time at the Wells Fargo Center.

"It was a great game. Emotional. Lots of scrums," said winger Jake Voracek, who scored a late power-play goal and set up Claude Giroux's game-tying tally with 1 minute, 5 seconds left in regulation. "Kind of like a playoff game, and we have to be ready Wednesday again."

Washington will be without Dmitry Orlov. The NHL suspended the defenseman Monday for two games for boarding Brayden Schenn in Sunday's game. Orlov scored two goals Sunday.

Breakaways

Goalie Cal Heeter, who served as Steve Mason's backup during the last two games, was returned to the Adirondack Phantoms. Ray Emery has recovered from a lower-body injury and can play when needed, Holmgren said.


scarchidi@phillynews.com

@BroadStBull

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