In wake of Meszaros injury, Flyers defense might turn to kiddie corps

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In a conference call following news of Andrej Meszaros’ torn Achilles tendon, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren wouldn’t say if he’d explore the trade or free agent route to find a replacement blueliner.

He did say the club would look from within — and possibly rely on its youth.

“We’ve got a lot of young kids that we like,” Holmgren said. “Marc-Andre Bourdon played a lot of games for us last year. Erik Gustafsson played a fair amount. Brandon Manning got his feet wet, so we do have some kids that we like.”

Bourdon, 22, appeared in 45 games in his first NHL season, scoring 4G-3A-7PTS while averaging over 16 minutes a night. He only appeared in one of Philly’s playoff games, though.

Gustafsson, 23, was less of a factor in the regular season (30GP: 1G-4A-5PTS) but made his mark in the postseason, scoring two points in seven contests while averaging over 17 minutes of ice time.

Manning, 22, played in four games for Philly last year, spending almost all his time in AHL Adirondack.

Holmgren was further pressed on questions about trades and free agency, but wouldn’t bite.

Instead, here’s CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio on possible acquisitions:

Now the question becomes, will the Flyers go the free agent route or try to pull off a trade for a major upgrade, such as targeting Dan Boyle in San Jose.

Still left on the free agent market are Michal Rozsival, who would be an expensive upgrade, but so would a trade for Boyle, who is not a free agent.

Other free agents are Carlo Colaiacovo, Chris Campoli and Jaroslav Spacek.

Of note, the Flyers could have nearly $9 million in cap space freed up if both Meszaros and Chris Pronger open the season on long term injured reserve.