The Philadelphia Flyers are heading toward the July 1 free agency mark with some holes left to fill on their roster. Two of them include adding a veteran backup goaltender and solidifying one more defensive spot.
It's fair to say that Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette employs a high-pressure system. That style necessitates the need for a contingent of quick defenseman who are able to play effectively at both ends of the ice.
'Bob' is entering the final season of his contract and will be making $1.75 million. His fit in Columbus should be better than it was in Philadelphia. It was apparent that Bobrovsky wasn't considered part of the Flyers future plans as soon as Ilya Bryzgalov was signed to a long-term deal last summer.
The Flyers are likely seeking a mature backup who is not looking to supplant anyone and who can hopefully help to mentor their number 1 man.
The blue line
Apparently general manager Paul Holmgren decided that the Toronto Maple Leafs offered the best available return for James van Riemsdyk.
There is no doubt that defenseman Luke Schenn has upside potential. It's great to obtain a young blue line guy who already has four seasons of National Hockey League experience and a $3.6 million cap hit that stays in place through the 2015-16 season.
Playing for a higher caliber club like the Flyers should help Schenn's career to bloom and joining his brother Brayden Schenn will aid in his personal development. Any concerns about the toughness of Philadelphia's hockey town affecting his ability to perform wilt when considering the reality that is the iced palace in Toronto.
Schenn is a positive addition to a blue line group that currently includes: Kimmo Timonen, Nicklas Grossmann, Braydon Coburn, Andrej Meszaros, Marc-Andre Bourdon (pending restricted free agent), Erik Gustafsson and Andreas Lilja. I have left out Chris Pronger due to his ongoing concussion issues.
Matt Carle is a pending unrestricted free agent. As to whether he returns is an interesting open question.
If he doesn't re-sign, a veteran defender would seem almost certain to be acquired. If he does re-sign, the amount of his new salary could trigger the trade of one of his colleagues who isn't named Timonen, Grossmann, Bourdon, Gustafsson, Lilja or Pronger.
The Flyers may have this issue resolved as early as next week.
Sean O'Brien is based in the Philadelphia region. He has written professionally for over two decades and is currently a Featured Contributor for Yahoo! You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and also read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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