Hextall: ‘There’s not a lot out there’ to bolster depleted Flyers defense

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Flyers GM Ron Hextall is in a tough spot. With Andrew MacDonald and Braydon Coburn each out approximately four weeks, his already-missing-Kimmo-Timonen defense is down to five healthy NHL blue-liners. And that includes the likes of Luke Schenn and Michael Del Zotto, two once-promising players who’ve fallen on hard times since those once-promising times. The former is minus-8 after seven games, the latter minus-5.

So, what can Hextall do? Sign a guy? Trade for a guy?

“There’s not a lot out there,” he said, per CSN Philly. “And then the guys that are out there, you worry if they haven’t played, what kind of shape they’re in and stuff. We’ve got to do our research here and come up with the best solution we can.”

Unfortunately for the Flyers, a surplus of NHL d-men isn’t something that many teams can boast. And for those teams that can, it’s not something they particularly want to change, given how quickly that surplus can morph into a deficit during the course of an NHL season. (See also: the Boston Bruins)

“It’s kind of funny,” Hextall said. “Last year, we signed an extra defenseman just in case we had guys hurt, and we didn’t have anybody hurt and we carried eight defensemen all year. Now we don’t, and this happened.”