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Three Years in a Row for the Flyers?

Whether a team finishes last in their conference or makes it to the Stanley Cup Finals, moves are bound to be made during the offseason. In this salary cap world it’s almost expected that the complexion of every team will change from season to season. Of course teams try to build around a core of players, but you can’t always keep everyone together. For the Philadelphia Flyers, they may be the Eastern Conference Champions, but you can guarantee that their roster next season will look pretty different from what it looked like in the 2010 playoffs.

Not only do the Flyers have a list of both restricted and unrestricted free agents that they have to figure what to do with, but there are some other players being rumored to get traded away before their contracts end.

With the 2010 NHL Draft fast approaching, that brings up a good question: Will this draft be the third year in a row that the Flyers make a significant trade during the first round? In 2008, the Flyers traded fan favorite RJ Umberger to the Columbus Blue Jackets. And no one will soon forget the trade at the 2009 draft for future hall of famer Chris Pronger. But will the Flyers do it again? 

We aren’t deep into the offseason at all and names like Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne are already floating around in trade rumors. These are players that at times in the season would be called out by some frustrated fans. But usually they are two players that are greatly loved and a huge part of the Flyers core.

It’s hard to believe that Jeff Carter has played 5 seasons with the Flyers already. It feels like just yesterday when he was a rookie. In his 5 seasons fans have gotten to see just how talented Carter is. He isn’t a physical player, and he will be the first guy to tell you that. What Carter is known for is his sweet wrist shot and his fast skating abilities. He easily has one of the best wrist shots in the NHL, and he came in second in the fastest skater competition in the All Star Game in 2009. In the 08-09 season Carter finished second in the league in goals only behind Alexander Ovechkin. It’s clear that Carter is a player that any team would love to have and a player that does a lot for the Flyers.

Simon Gagne has been here for 10 years. He was also drafted by the Flyers and has always said that he wants to spend his whole career with this organization. It’s hard to picture Simon playing anywhere else. In one whole decade he has only been a Philadelphia Flyer. Gagne is also known for his great wrist shot. Even though he is usually one of the top scorers on the team, his offensive abilities aren’t all that he is valued for. Gagne plays outstanding defensively and is a great penalty killer. He is one of the guys that does the little things that matter but go unnoticed. Gagne is another player that any team would welcome with open arms. He’s a proven veteran and a talented guy.

It’s hard to believe that guys with those types of resumes would be part of trade talks, but they have been. Even though it’s hard to picture either of them slipping on a sweater than isn’t orange and black, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it happen. We all know just how close Jeff Carter came to being traded a few years ago. And Simon Gagne has been in trade rumors for a couple of seasons now. Both players have a year left on their contracts, so the Flyers might be looking to get something for them instead of losing them to free agency next summer.

As a Flyers fan I can only cringe at the thought of hearing “We have a trade to announce.” at the draft later this month. In 2008 it was a heart breaking announcement, in 2009 it was exciting, but will it happen again in 2010? Time will only tell. Until then, the trade rumors will keep growing. The thought of trading either of these guy is unsettling, but if it gets the Flyers closer to winning the Stanley Cup (How much closer can you get than 2 wins away?), then it might not be such a bad thing.

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