As the NHL trade deadline approaches, speculation will be rampant over which Flyers roster player or prospect will find himself tied to a rocket, and launched somewhere in the vicinity of the Western Conference.
Before it comes to that, can we pause for a moment to consider what is actually a matter of public record?
The genesis of the recent surge in trade chatter surrounding Philadelphia stems from the team's reported interest in acquiring Jamie Langenbrunner last week from the New Jersey Devils.
According to Mark Everson of the New York Post, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello turned down a better offer from the Philadelphia Flyers, reportedly "a firm second-rounder, and perhaps a fourth (round draft selection)," before shipping the veteran winger to the Dallas Stars for a 2011 conditional third-round draft choice.
With that in mind, two things are worth noting:
- The offers of a second-round draft choice by the Flyers and Dallas' offer of a conditional third-round draft choice for Langenbrunner may have established the current market value for an experienced playoff veteran.
- The Flyers offered picks. Not players. Not prospects.
When considering the Flyers have no second-round selection in 2011 (sent to Phoenix with Scottie Upshall in exchange for Daniel Carcillo) or 2012 second-round selection (traded to Tampa Bay for Andrej Meszaros), it is likely Flyers GM Paul Holmgren intended to send Philadelphia's 2013 second-round draft pick to the Devils in exchange for Jamie Langenbrunner.
If you're familiar with Philadelphia's drafting tendencies over the last decade, the Flyers' offer of their second-round selection should come as no surprise, as the team has not placed much importance in identifying talent in the second round in recent years.
In fact, the club has made exactly four second-round selections since 1999, with all four occurring in just two drafts: the 2006 and 2007 NHL entry drafts.
In 2006, the Flyers stockpiled second-round picks for what they must have identified as a deep draft class, as they selected Andreas Nodl (No. 39 overall), Mike Ratchuk (No. 42 overall) and Denis Bodrev (No. 55 overall).
In 2007, the Flyers selected Kevin Marshall in the second round (no. 41 overall).
Initially, the Flyers had no 2007 second-round draft selection (previously sent to Buffalo for Martin Biron), forcing Philadelphia to trade their 2008 second and third-round selections to the Capitals to obtain Washington's 2007 selection in order to draft Marshall.
Since 1999, the Flyers have traded all but one of their second-round draft picks (2006) away to other teams in exchange roster players that can help the team immediately.
So with that in mind, why is the recent conversation dominated by speculation of what Flyers players or prospects are on their way out of town in advance of the NHL trade deadline?
Will James Van Riemsdyk, Nikolay Zherdev and Dan Carcillo still be paying Philadelphia wage taxes come Mar. 1?
But if I've learned anything observing the Flyers' trading tendencies over the last decade, all signs indicate that 2013 second-round draft selection is as good as gone, with a veteran winger as the likely return.
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