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Philadelphia Flyers trade rumors, trade deadline outlook

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

Nobody ever really knows what these guys are capable of. (Getty Images)
Nobody ever really knows what these guys are capable of. (Getty Images)

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With the 2013 NHL trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET April 3, Eye on Hockey will examine whether each team is a buyer or seller at the deadline, and who teams should look to sell or receive.

Buyers or sellers

Honestly, who really knows with the Philadelphia Flyers?

With Paul Holmgren, nothing is off limits or out of the question, and if there is a general manager in the league who isn't afraid to do something bold, it's him. He's like the new Mike Milbury (only better at the job) who seems to want to make as many blockbuster trades as he can. They're probably not going to the playoffs this season, but would it still be a shock to anybody to see them do something to add a player before the deadline?

Rumors

There's been a lot of them, with many of them focusing on defense.

San Jose's Dan Boyle was a name that recently came into play, as well as Phoenix's Keith Yandle, who always seems to be on the trading block, and Calgary's Jay Bouwmeester. Danny Briere's name was brought up a couple of months ago but he's not only out with a concussion, he made it clear he can't see himself playing for anybody other than the Flyers (he also has a no-trade clause).

Potential Targets

If I had to pick the three biggest areas of need in Philadelphia, they would be 1) defense, 2) defense, and 3) defense.

And if you want to make that list go four deep you can add defense to it.

The Flyers have had no trouble over the years drafting and developing forwards (or acquiring them via trade) but they've been the exact opposite when it comes to the blue line. With Chris Pronger out and likely not coming back, there's a massive hole in the Philadelphia defense and there don't seem to be any quick fixes coming in the pipeline.

Kimmo Timonen is still good and coming back next season, but he's not getting any younger. They traded for Luke Schenn during the offseason with the hope that he would become the shutdown defenseman everybody always imagined he would, but they paid a steep price to get him (James van Riemsdyk) and it's a trade that hasn't really worked out in Philadelphia's favor.

If the Coyotes ever decide to really make Yandle available (and now that Oliver Ekman-Larsson is signed long-term, maybe they will) there probably isn't another team in the league that could use him more than Philadephia, but he would not be cheap to acquire.

Goaltending depth could also be bolstered. The Ilya Bryzgalov experiment hasn't worked out, and making matters worse is the fact the Flyers have nobody behind him after trading Sergei Bobrosvky to Columbus over the summer.

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