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No surprises: Flyers looking to add defensemen at trade deadline

Feb 13, 2012, 11:14 AM EDT

Paul Holmgren AP

The Flyers aren’t going to make excuses for their poor defensive play of late. They’re without Chris Pronger the rest of the year and they’ve been rolling with more than a few rookies on the blue line to make up for other injuries and poor play.

To put it simply, the Flyers could use some help on defense and with the trade deadline coming up, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is on the prowl. As Holmgren tells Tim Panaccio of, however, finding what will help the Flyers go deep in the playoffs won’t be easy.

“Everybody is looking for defensemen,” Holmgren said. “Even the teams that have it try to load it up this time of year with defensemen.”

Who’s out there to try and grab? Panaccio mentions Montreal’s Hal Gill and Dallas’ Nicklas Grossman as possible targets. Gill has a winning pedigree after being a key part of the Penguins’ defense in their 2009 Stanley Cup run. Grossman is just 27-years-old and plays a sound defensive game.

The Flyers’ recent struggles may be altering how things will set up for the future, but if Philly thinks that young guys like Erik Gustafsson and Marc-Andre Bourdon are the missing links to a Stanley Cup, it might be another disappointing year in Philadelphia.

  1. spiffy53 - Feb 13, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Their defense has been terrible lately. coburn is totally lost out there. bourdon is not ready. timmonen is looking old and the goaltenders can’t stop anything.

  2. skezskoz - Feb 13, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Flyers would be wise to sit tight, they are too young to make a run this year and would be foolish to trade away any assets for what will probably be a second pairing guy at best. Stand pat, hold onto their young talent and see what happens. They aren’t a cup contender this year and adding Hal Gill won’t change that. This should be a rebuilding year.

    • dsd3 - Feb 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      I love how people are giving up on the season based on one bad stretch. Ridiculous. Obviously they shouldn’t make any rash decisions, but why would you not try and make a run this year? They are a good team, recent history aside.

  3. icelovinbrotha215 - Feb 13, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    They need to address their defensive scheme. Everyone wanted to blame Bryz for the team’s defensive woes. Well they have continued with Bob in net. People need to start questioning Coach Lavi’s systems he has set up for the FlyBoys. You watch their games and they always seem to be chasing the puck. Players out of position. Blown coverages. You can’t blame either goalie for these glaring problems. And there is enough talent on this team to be sound defensively. No one (in the media that is) isn’t calling out Coach Lavi. He has done a great job with getting the Flyers to score goals but has seemed to ignore the defensive part of hockey. I highly doubt bring in an defenseman will change the Flyers’ ability to keep pucks out of their own net.

  4. yettyskills - Feb 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    LOL @ “a bit porous”

    Yes just a tad

    Fact it’s not so much the defensemen as it is the forwards not finishing checks and not playing solid team D. When you dress 1-2 talentless AHLers are go along with Jody Shelley, and then have to find ice-time for young players like Schenn, Read and Couturier, you are going to have defensive problems. It’s just the way it is, it will get better in Philly.

  5. zabagar - Feb 13, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    I agree with mostly everybody else. As a team they’re not good enough defensively. Way too many turnovers and unattended opposing players. Adding 1 solid veteran D is nice but ultimately isn’t going to fix their problem.
    They have a lot of rookies and young guys too. Scoring is great but come playoffs, defense and goaltending get you deep
    Into the later rounds. One or two new faces won’t make enough difference. Goaltending is ok but not pulling out extra wins.
    Look at the other goalies in the division – Thomas, Lundqvist, Fleury, Miller. I don’t think Flyers goaltending is at that level.
    Maybe the coach does need to tweak his system. It’d be nice to be surprised by them but they don’t have a cup team this year.

  6. jagrbomb18 - Feb 14, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    I agree with zkezkoz 110%! This isn’t the flyers year…don’t do anything crazy to break up this teams offense. Wait for summer when they D they are looking to trade for become free agents. I don’t understand why JVR is in rumors he’s only 22 and they just signed him for 7 years… Grossman I think would be a solid pickup maybe for a draft pick

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