July 04 2014 10:18PM
A year ago, the Edmonton Oilers were trying to find bold and fans were discussing their free-agent haul. The Oilers had an interesting draft and an active free agent period, but there was a sense more was required.
Are there clues tonight available that indicate the next move for Edmonton?
Entering free agency at the end of last month, the Flyers were in a world of (cap) hurt.
- Flyers GM Ron Hextall: "Yeah, it affects every team that’s close [to the limit]. It affects us for sure. We’ve got to find a way to get below it. It was a little lower than we thought and hoped."
That article (by Tim Panaccio) suggests the Flyers may be having a hard time attracting free agents:
- Panaccio: some agents are leery about the Flyers' “plan” because they now have a dubious track record of signing players to long-term deals and then either buying them out or trading them a few years into the deal.
For the Oilers, this represents an even more attractive situation than the Blues one year ago. Oh, and the Flyers had no compliance buyouts available (as per the article).
Another Panaccio article details two trades (with Florida and Nashville) for Vincent Lecavalier in recent days, both of which fell apart.
This is a pretty good story, folks. Now, there are 30 teams in the league, surely there's a solution somewhere???
Hmmm. The plot thickens.
THE OILERS TRADE FOR VINCENT?
The window for compliance buyouts closed on June 30th.
A team trading for Lecavalier would have to use a normal buyout on him, and that's an option for Edmonton. They would require a sweetener and of course there's probably a larger deal attached in order to get the ball rolling.
The Flyers have a nice group of centers, led by Claude Giroux (despite this week's news he's not going anywhere), Sean Couturier (we can dream but he's a distant bell), Brayden Schenn (recently signed and maybe that's a tell) and Adam Hall (defensive center, 38% of his faceoffs were taken while the Flyers were shorthanded).
Giroux is an amazing player, one of the league's best. Couturier is a young center with good possession numbers and solid offense. He's a gem. Schenn? Well he scored 20 goals this season, but the Sledgehammer doesn't love him.
The sledgehammer shows that (among centers) Schenn played softer minutes and received a zone start push (along with Vincent and Giroux). Long story short, he was placed in a position to succeed, and he scored 20 goals, but was that enough?
Schenn's possession stats are not strong for 2013-14. He played a lot with Lecavalier, and they weren't good together, Schenn was better apart. He played quite a bit with Simmonds, who was superior away from Schenn.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
There's an opportunity here, and Philadelphia is badly in need of some help. Edmonton, as was the case a year ago, is in a position to ease the Flyers cap pain and help themselves.
The problem? The answer is Sean Couturier, not Brayden Schenn. I can't see Philadelphia trading their young two-way center no matter the pressure.