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05-22-2013, 12:45 PM
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For the moment – and to say I'm bipolar in the off-season when it comes to trades and team direction would be about 17 poles short – I'm thinking a lot about previous mention of Read to Nashville for Blum. It's a low-level deal that keeps the Flyers' principal young talent intact and brings in a player who has a high ceiling as a PMD.

I think Read for Blum is in the neighbourhood of fair, with a bit of an advantage to Nashville. Read is a UFA after next season, and I foresee (like many others) that he will be looking for / deserve a big pay raise. Blum is an RFA right now on a $650,000 salary, and can be resigned to a reasonable salary for the next few years.

There are 3 options available to address defense:
  • Overpay (trading assets and/or salary) an established defenseman, if you can strike a deal, that is
  • Draft a prospective #1-2 Dman and be patient while he develops
  • Land a player who is on the cusp of breaking out

Holmgren took a mighty swing for the fences at #1 last off-season and we know how that worked out. I think that was probably the team's best shot at a legitimate #1 defender. Obviously, Blum would hopefully be in the third category, and keeping the 11th pick will arguably increase the odds of getting #2 done as well.

Doing this deal would give the team 3 very good (on paper) pairings, without a single one standing out as the true top D line:
Blum – Coburn
Timonen – Schenn
Gustafsson – Grossmann

The two biggest variables are Blum and Gus; whoever plays better sees more ice time.

This scenario also obviously entails moving Meszaros.

Of course, we all know how this would work out: Nashville trades Blum for Read, then – in a revenge move and to the applause of the hockey universe – offer-sheets Blum. Holmgren turns the tables by letting Blum return to Nashville and happily accepting the multiple draft picks for him, thereby building a dynasty franchise within 3-4 years.

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