CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio thinks all the Bobby Ryan talk is a waste of time. If GM Paul Holmgren really wants to improve his team, he should go out and get a defenseman, not another high-scoring forward.
They don’t need 35 more goals as much as they need 35 less on the back end. Ryan (plus-1 this season) is not on par with other two-way defensive-conscious forwards such as Mike Richards, Claude Giroux or Sean Couturier. He won’t save them 35 goals.
Yeah, they’re centers and Ryan is not, but the point is: the Flyers still have a gaping hole on the blue line and Ryan isn’t going to fill it.
And if the cost of obtaining Ryan is to further weaken the blue line – Ducks GM Bob Murray reportedly wants defensive help – then such a trade makes even less sense.
Not that Holmgren hasn’t tried to address his blue line. He pushed hard to get Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, only to fall short in each attempt.
Writes Panaccio: “That Holmgren tried so hard to get the best two defensemen out there is an acknowledgement by management that Chris Pronger will never play again in Philadelphia.”
Holmgren would vehemently disagree there (at least publicly.) And he did acquire Luke Schenn in a trade with Toronto for James van Riemsdyk.
Besides, even if Holmgren does still want to add another defenseman, his options are limited. The free-agent pool is dry, save for the likes of Michal Rozsival, Pavel Kubina, Scott Hannan, Jaroslav Spacek and Carlo Colaiacovo.
Jay Bouwmeester could possibly be pried out of Calgary, but not for free.
Related: Pronger’s health represents other big question for Flyers’ D
All week leading up to July 1, we’ll be profiling unrestricted free agents and speculating where they might end up.
Joe Corvo (D)
2011-12 cap hit: $2.25 million
The skinny: All right so your favorite team missed out on Ryan Suter and Matt Carle. Maybe they even missed out on Pavel Kubina or Sheldon Souray and you need a blue liner who can carry the puck and give you a big shot, know this: There’s always Joe Corvo.
Corvo can get you points, that’s never usually a problem. Having him play solid defensively is more his bugaboo. He saw his minutes cut late last season in Boston and was ultimately a healthy scratch in the playoffs in favor of Mike Mottau. Ouch. Still, if your team had hopes of landing Dennis Wideman before Calgary ponied up a king’s ransom, maybe Corvo is who your GM is hoping he’ll land. If that’s the case, however, maybe it’s already time to worry about how your team will do next season.
All week leading up to Sunday, July 1, we’ll be profiling unrestricted free agents and speculating where they might end up.
Pavel Kubina (D)
2011-12 cap hit: $3.85 million
Considering Philadelphia repeatedly made him a healthy scratch during the playoffs, it’s tough to imagine GM Paul Holmgren bringing him back. Maybe Kubina’s right-handed shot gives him an outside chance, but that’s about it.
Kubina’s served two tours of duty with the Tampa Bay Lightning (who traded him to Philly), so perhaps GM Steve Yzerman gives him another look. As flawed as the big 35-year-old defenseman might be, he has size, a hard shot and the Bolts need as much defensive help as they can get.
Another reasonable suitor is Calgary. If the Flames were willing to give a similarly (but less useful) flawed specimen such as Anton Babchuk a try, Kubina might just make sense.
(And maybe the Carolina Hurricanes should be placed on that dart board because of their previous interest in Babchuk, too.)
All this said, it’s tough to imagine a hot market for Kubina, but it’s almost as tough to imagine his NHL days being over — unless the KHL comes calling.
More UFA spotlights