The Philadelphia Flyers are making a strong case to take part in the upcoming postseason, sitting in the third place of the Metropolitan division with 66 points. However, luck was not on their side when starting netminder Brian Elliott aggravated an abdominal injury. The netminder underwent abdominal surgery on Tuesday and will be out five to six weeks, general manager Ron Hextall said.
This hurdle may change the Flyers' approach to the upcoming trade deadline as Hextall could end up scouring the market for help in between the pipes. Michael Neuvirth is already exhausted and backup Alex Lyon, who was recalled Sunday morning, didn't make the strongest impression in his first two games. But a true fact: the market is quite scarce.
However, according to Dave Isaac of the Courier Post, a solution might be waiting for the Flyers in Toronto. Isaac believes Hextall could look to the Maple Leafs for help, as a deal almost took place with his targeted player last summer.
"Back in the summer I thought there was a chance the Flyers might go for Calvin Pickard, who was pretty good for Colorado last season and who Hextall picked when he was the general manager of Team Canada in the World Championships," Isaac writes.
"That would be my top choice because A. he's cheap at a $1 million cap hit, B. the Toronto Maple Leafs have depth with Frederik Andersen, Curtis McElhinney and Garret Sparks, who played 17 games for them two years ago and C. he has NHL experience and put up very good numbers in the AHL this season."
The Flyers could be a good trade partner with the Leafs, who are looking for a change on the blue line. If the Flyers want Pickard the Leafs could try to acquire one of their young defensemen or a decent prospect on the back end.
Earlier this week however, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported the Flyers and Buffalo Sabres have been scouting each other, which got Isaac to wonder if Philadelphia could be tempted to make a move for goalie Robin Lehner.
But seeing that Lehner has been one of the very few positive aspects of the Sabres' lost season, many expect Buffalo to hold on to him before the start of free agency.
The better match might be in Toronto after all.