Philadelphia in desperate need of help on the back-end
With multiple rumors surrounding the Philadelphia Flyers reportedly ready to make a big pitch for Jay Bouwmeester from Calgary, General Manager Paul Holmgren really needs to make a move.
It has just been reported that Flyers defenseman Andreas Lilja, will miss a big amount of time after having hip surgery. The news was first reported by Linus Ahlin of Helsinborgs Dagblad's.
The 37-year old reportedly just had hip surgery recently and is expected to miss the next 4 months before making a full recovery.
Born in Helsingborg, Sweden, Lilja joins a list of Chris Pronger & Andrej Meszaros as Flyers defenseman who will be missing a long period of time before rejoining the team.
Chris Pronger is out indefinitely due to post-concussion syndrom. Meszaros tore his right Achilles tendon while playing overseas, and now Andreas Lilja is out 4 months after hip surgery.
The already stressed out Paul Holmgren now has a big amount of pressure on his shoulders to make a move... A big move. With the rumors already surrounding the franchise and Jay Bouwmeester, Holmgren will now need to do all he can to get either Bouwmeester, or another solid defender who can log big minutes.
With no big time defenders left via free agency, Holmgren has no other choice but to search for a defender via the trade route.
The only two defenseman reportedly on the block that would improve the Flyers in a big way, is Jay Bouwmeester (as I have already mentioned) & Keith Yandle.
Flames GM Jay Feaster is in no rush to trade the 28-year old's $6,680,000 cap hit for he feels there is no need to trade Bouwmeester even though with the current CBA expiring September 15th, the salary cap could be much lower than what it is right now ($70,200,000).
Yandle on the other hand, is very unlikely to be moved. The only way Don Maloney even thinks about trading the 25-year old All-Star, is if Shane Doan decides to sign elsewhere instead of remain in Phoenix (note, multiple reports suggesting that Doan is close to agreeing upon a 4-year contract extension with the Coyotes). That's not to mention that with their huge run in the playoffs, the Coyotes are in no hurry to start rebuilding the franchise from scratch despite already losing Ray Whitney and Daymond Langkow via free agency.
So with Bouwmeester and Yandle not desperately being shopped by their respective clubs, the Flyers will need to give up more than what the market value is for either defender.
With the CBA expiring September 15th and the promise from Gary Bettman that their will be yet another lock-out (3rd lock-out under Gary Bettman as the commissioner if it happens) if a new CBA is not agreed upon by then, the Flyers do have some time to consider their options until they make a move. They will look at all possible replacements and go over them. Whomever they feel is the best player to replace the likes of Pronger, Meszaros and Lilja, they will surely give their GM a call.
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