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Meszaros ‘not thinking about’ trade speculation

Sep 23, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT

New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros says he doesn’t pay attention to the trade rumors that include his name.

“Sometimes you hear stuff and sometimes you don’t,” Meszaros said, per “I don’t care about that. It’s what the media are saying. It’s not official.

“Until they trade you or do what they need to do, it’s out of my hands. I just have to play my game and it’s up to the staff after that. I’m not thinking about it. I love being here. What happens, happens.”

But with just a year remaining on his contract before he can become an unrestricted free agent, combined with the glut of players on Philly’s blue line — including young Erik Gustafsson —’s Tim Panaccio argues that “something has to give” before the season starts.

It’s hard to believe the Flyers would keep Gustafsson on the roster as a seventh defenseman knowing the 23-year-old has to play. He can’t sit. And his talent for moving the puck makes it almost mandatory he plays.

They won’t trade him. That would be crazy at this point — which raises an interesting scenario. Could what we are seeing right now be nothing more than the Flyers “showcasing” Meszaros and trying to prove he is healthy to other clubs, so that they can soon move him via trade?

That makes the most sense.

Of course, even if the Flyers did explore a Meszaros trade, it may be a challenge to get good value in return. With a cap hit of $4 million, Meszaros would be tough to fit on many NHL rosters.

  1. narfmoo12 - Sep 23, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Move Grossmann… Keep Meszaros because it’s a contract year and you know he’s capable of playing like he did in 2010-2011 when he was our top defenseman. Then next year both Grossmann and Meszaros are off the books, with Gustafsson and Laursden ready to replace them.

    • bowman20 - Sep 23, 2013 at 7:12 PM

      Mez cant seem to stay healthy. Id be afraid to dump Gross who is a beast and somewhat consistent over someone who is awesome, but only when hes healthy for 1/3 of the season. Double edged sword.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 23, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      No way… I don’t get this sentiment amongst some Flyers fans who want to move Grossmann over Meszaros. Grossmann is far better defensively, which is what this team needs right now. Mez was horrendous in the few games he played last season (yes, he was playing hurt) and he wasn’t much better the year before. He’s been a shell of himself. If they can find a taker for Meszaros’ $4million cap hit, even if they have to retain a few hundred K, then I say do it. It will clear a spot for Gus and give them breathing room with the cap. Plus, without Mez they have the perfect mix of offensively oriented defensemen (Timonen, Streit, Gus) and prominently defensive guys (Grossmann, Schenn, Coburn).

      Grossmann and Schenn are their only legitimate crease-clearers. And both will be among the league leaders in blocked shots and hits. I’ll admit that Mez has looked much better this preseason, but that’s why it’s the perfect time to trade him … before he gets hurt again.

      • narfmoo12 - Sep 23, 2013 at 10:07 PM

        Grossmann played 59, 74, 30 games the last three seasons. Not exactly a picture of health, especially with a concussion history. Meszaros got hurt at the end of 2011-12 and never got fully healthy for last year. He also played 81 or 82 games in 5 of the 6 seasons before that. In 2010-11 he played 81 games and was +30. I’d take the guy who I know is great when he is healthy over the guy who has bad knees and a concussion history.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:20 AM

        Grossmann is injury-prone as well but the thing about Mez is that he’s played timid hockey the past two seasons, which has led to more injuries. He’s clearly concerned about reinjuring himself which prevents him from coming anywhere close to the form he showed when he won the Barry Ashbee Trophy. And he’s also two years removed from that +30 showing. Grossmann is never going to come anywhere close to the offensive production of Mez, but he’s been far more consistent in his play since his arrival in Philly. You know what he’s going to give you on a nightly basis… a solid 15-18 minutes of defensively sound hockey. The same cannot be said for Mez at this point in his recovery. And, like I said above, with Grossmann you can balance out each pairing with an offensive and defensive defender.

        From a purely hockey standpoint it makes far more sense to hang on to Grossmann. Not to mention Mez is more expensive and is in the final year of his deal, and probably won’t be re-signed anyway. Also, I wouldn’t call Mez “great”, even when he’s healthy. He’s a solid #4, maybe 3, but not for the better part of the last season and a half.

      • narfmoo12 - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:10 AM

        People have short memories. In 2010-2011, Meszaros was the best defenseman on the team 8-24-32 and was +30 in 81 games. Then in 2011-12 he was 7-18-25 and +6 in 62 games. He got hurt at the end of the season and then was never healthy last year. He wasn’t playing timid, he just never was fully healthy. Wouldn’t you rather have a puck-moving defenseman on the plus side in a contract year over a slow injury-prone defenseman with knee problems and multiple concussions? Also, how can you call a player who beat out Pronger and Timonen for the Barry Ashbee Trophy a #4 defenseman?

      • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        He was playing extremely timidly bc of the injuries. He was clearly worried about aggravating his achilles injury, and it ended up leading to a shoulder injury, which was then re-aggravated when he attempted another comeback. Even Jim Jackson and Keith Jones pointed this out. Some of it was bad luck, some of it was attributed to his worrisome psyche.

        As for having a puck-moving defenseman over a “slow, injury-prone one”… the answer is no, bc Mez is just as injury-prone as Grossmann. And bc of that he’s not close to the player he was two years ago. Meanwhile, despite having knee and concussion issues, Grossmann’s level of play has not dropped off. Mez has let the fear of injury impact his performance, Grossmann has not. Also, the development of Gustafsson and the arrival of Streit has made Meszaros’ skill set, arguably, unnecessary. This team, with two (somewhat) unproven netminders, needs defensively responsible blueliners. And Grossmann is clearly superior in that area. He is a punishing hitter and he makes players think twice about going near the crease. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  2. DonkeyStick - Sep 23, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    But when you comment on being traded, aren’t you thinking about trade rumors?

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 23, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      I would assume he was asked.

  3. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 23, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    I like the way Mesz plays. The problem with him is that he hasn’t shown he can stay healthy. I feel people underestimate Gus’ ability (I liken him to a ‘poor man’s’ version of Timonen) and hockey I.Q. I think the only way Mesz gets traded if a team is desperate for blueline help.

  4. herc883 - Sep 23, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Keep them all because they will be falling like flies in a month.

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