The Philadelphia Flyers have had a rough offseason with some important blows to their roster. First, it was reported that star forward Sen Couturier re-aggravated his knee injury during the summer, and now there appears to be another significant absence in the lineup.
Tom Dougherty of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports the six-week absence of defenseman Andrew MacDonald, who suffered a lower-body injury, opens the door to make potential moves on the Flyers' roster.
First, if the future is the way to go, Dougherty believes this gives a a promising young blue liner the chance to crack the roster for the start of the season. While Dougherty believes Philippe Myers seems the likely candidate, he points out that Flyers development coach Kjell Samuelsson expressed doubt back in July that Myers would be ready for the NHL this season, and this could change a few things for the young prospect moving forward.
And let's not forget that another young defender is on the sidelines with an injury: Samuel Morin is expected out until February with a knee injury. The Flyers could look at T.J. Brennan, Reece Willcox and Mark Friedman for added depth on the back end.
But what if Flyers general manager Ron Hextall looks to the trade market instead, and brings in a veteran rearguard on a one-year contract as an insurance policy.. While Hextall is expected to take a closer look at his roster and options during training camp, fans shouldn't rule a trade out of the way just yet.
As for options on the free agent market, let's just say the pool of available blue liners is pretty scarce. Kevin Bieksa, Johnny Oduya and Paul Martin remain the most notable still available, and there is nothing really encouraging there... Depending on what takes place in different training camps across the league, the Flyers could also sign a blueliner currently on a professional tryout agreement with another clubs, such as Jason Garrison, Brandon Davidson or Dennis Seidenberg...
Like the aforementioned options appear less enticing that moving around a few things on the trade market, this alternative might not be necessary. With MacDonald expected to be ready at the end of October, it might not be too late to move forward with their defensive crew now of Ivan Provorov, Shayne Gostisbehere, Radko Gudas, Travis Sanheim, Robert Hagg and Christian Folin.