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05-11-2013, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
We have Timonen right now.

We have Gustafsson right now.

Neither are #1 defense but...

You go hard after Streit in the offseason.

You continue to develop Gostisbehere.

And you draft a defenseman high in this draft and next year.

Also, I'm not saying that Gus is going to be a #1 defenseman, but I really think his ability to carry minutes is going to be solid through his prime. Some people around here underestimate him substantially. He's not Timonen, but I have him penciled into our top 4 starting next year.

If you see the Flyers follow the model I just demonstrated, they will have no problems with their defense for years to come.
I dunno, I think you are taking a lot for granted least some of those younger players won't pan out, meanwhile, the veterans are hobbled and/or questionable. Yes, Gus has looked good (and bad) at times, but he's yet to prove he's a full time top 4 guy...while I agree in drafting a d man or two or three to bolster the org'l depth there, they aren't going to help the team now or perhaps not even in a year or two from now. So this leaves the Flyers current D in serious doubt.

Timonen - aging, lost a step or two and breaking down - comign off season ending injury (broken bone) -- gone/retired in a year.

Coburn - Out of his depth and his game this season and coming off season ending injury. Which Coburn will show up next season?

Grossmann - Concussion issues- 'nuff said

Meszaros - Will be held together by duct tape - who knows if he can play and at what level..

Gus - Looked ok as a fill in in the top 4 but not ready to assume that role..not something to be depended on.

Gervais - Can move the puck a little but sucks at defensive coverage... needs to be limited, #7 reserve type guy.

Lauridsen - shows promise as a big physical defensive defenseman but a long way from being a regular.

If the team wants to be competitive next season and the season after that, they'd be well advised to get some top-4 D help...and they're going to need another after that, to replace Timonen. While most don't want to trade young assets with value unless it is for that alpha dog, "#1" defenseman, that trade may only come about once every few years or so, if at all. So, it's wait for something that may never come, whatever the consequences of that may be, or swing a trade to bring in one or two established, top four, puck carrying, offensively productive defensemen to complement the more defensively leaning crew we have (Grossman, Schenn, Coburn). There is a premium put on the top point producers, regardless of their defensive game..thus it will likely take a Couturier + or a Schenn + deal to make it happen. That's why I say, I would be willing to deal one of them, straight up, for top 4 offensive D men that are possibly available, such as Yandle, Bufyglien, Edler, or someone on that kind of have to give to get, and this would be trading away a player whose value lies largely in his yet unfulfilled potential while bringing in a guy who is a proven top 4 D man in his prime who can produce 40-50+ points. Now, the exact target, I don't know...I named a few guys rumors swirl around... who knows who is actually available...regardless, I think these are the types of trades the team is more likely to pull off, while they continue to separately pursue a deal of that elusive Weber, Pietrangelo, Doughty, Chara type (i.e, deal that probably doesn't exist).

I also want to say that Couturier seems a touch overrated to me. I mean, I like him, and think he'll be a decent player, but his much ballyhooed "defensive abilites" took some breaks this season. I love his stuff against Malkin, but didn't see that kind of play with any frequency, but I did see a lot of gaffes at both ends of the ice. He, along with the rest of the team took a step back this year. He's so young, so you have to expect some growing pains, so my point is not to say that he's a bust or won't become a good player in the future, but rather to say that his play right now, is mediocre by NHL standards, and until there is progress sufficient enough to change that, his value will reside in the realm of hope and potential rather than actual performance. I think many people are letting their hopes and adulation for the player get ahead of the reality of where he's at and how that might factor in, in terms of his status as a potential trading chip.

Personally, I favor holding onto both Coots and Schenn as I think their value will go up substantially in the next few years as they develop their game in the NHL, but there's always the chance that this won't happen, and that the good-will they still have from being relatively recent top 10 draft picks will give way to a different reality, one of players who have yet to prove it in the NHL, thus making their value in trade decrease. That's why I am ok with the idea of trading a piece like one of them for the needed D if that opportunity presents trade a piece that is a largely unknown quantity for one that has a substantial proven value has a good risk/reward profile, imo. But hey, if a deal for such players can be made without moving the kids, say, centered around Hartnell and/or perhaps Coburn, or some prospects, that's great...we'll just have to see what Homer does.

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