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Flyers Make Minor Moves- Trade Coming?

2013_bruins_flyersThe Philadelphia Flyers announced this afternoon that they have made two minor moves in the organization.

Defenseman Erik Gustafsson has been loaned to the Adirondack Phantoms while forward Matt Ford has been traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for “future considerations.”

Now that Andrej Meszaros has returned from injury, the Flyers have eight healthy defensemen on the roster. You could argue that Gustafsson is worth keeping at the NHL level, but he was a healthy scratch in Sunday night’s win against the Buffalo Sabres.

Head coach Peter Laviolette has spoken well of “Gus” since he’s been back with the Flyers, but he also has no reservations about using Bruno Gervais in the line-up regularly.

Gustafsson will get more playing time with the Phantoms while opening up a roster spot for the Flyers. Working on his game some more at the AHL level can’t hurt.

Ford, meanwhile, was a player that many had expected would receive a training camp invite last September after he was acquired from the Hershey Bears. Ford, traded for defenseman Kevin Marshall, was the best Phantoms forward down the stretch, notching 19 goals and 31 points in the final 31 games of the season.

Unfortunately, training camp obviously started a little *late*, and Ford was in Phantoms’ coach Terry Murray’s doghouse after just three games playing on the top line with Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn.

Ford has been coping with some injuries, certainly, but I can’t help but blame Murray for his handling at the AHL level. Ford scored 55 goals over the last two seasons, but has just earned 4 goals this season through half of the amount of games he usually plays. It’s difficult to gain back a scoring touch when the coach either scratches you regularly or gives you limited minutes on the fourth line.

But I digress. The timing of the trade suggests the Flyers are looking to open another contract spot, having freed up one already when Tom Sestito was claimed off waivers (seriously, can they not get anything for these guys?).

I have no idea who would be coming or going, but I would be surprised if Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren didn’t make at least one major move before the April 3rd trade deadline.

UPDATE: Flyers’ “inside reporter” Anthony San Filippo reported via twitter, “Just been told that Gustafsson’s inconsistent play was the reason for sending him down and nothing is pending trade wise for the Flyers.”

So enjoy more Bruno Gervais! on Facebook

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Posted by on Mar 12 2013. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News, NHL. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Comments for “Flyers Make Minor Moves- Trade Coming?”

  1. ask Anthony San Filippo about Sean Couturier’s inconsistent play for a reason to send him down to the Phantoms also?
    The Flyers made a good move adding Gagne, it removed Couturier from PP now maybe they can add another talent to get Briere off the 2nd PP too.

  2. Yeah. That’s what we need – more Bruno. That is just brutal.

    I’ve been calling for Lavi’s head because his track record is one with immediate success, and then a deep dropoff not long after that initial success. I think players must burn out on his scheme (immature children like Carter and Richards burn out faster) and that sows the seeds of each of his team’s ultimate downfall. This is his 3rd team and the 3rd playout of the pattern – I doubt it’s coincidence.

    But this organization seems to have hit a wall now, too. So many decisions that just make no sense to me. Here’s just a few:

    * Why go into a season with Rinaldo, Sestito, AND Shelley?
    * Why would you go out and get a career minus-77 player like Gervais when you have Gustafsson? (I asked that before Gustafsson’s injury…)
    * Why did it take so many years to finally figure out that Andreas Nodl can’t friggin play?!?!
    * What justification is there to bring back, even to just the minors, a coach who put up the worst coaching performance in the history of the Stanley Cup Finals (and who was fired afterward for it)?!? Is there seriously NO OTHER coaches on the planet who could do better for the Phantoms???

    I don’t have the stomach to go on. But the little faith I’ve had in Holmgren doing some good work on the trade and free agent front is gone. Gagne or not, we seem to have slim pickens as far as minor league prospects is concerned and this team, for all the ‘blockbuster’ type of deals that it initially seemed to ‘win,’ flat-out stinks! They’re terrible. I put a lot on the coach, but I have to believe these moves aren’t helping either.

  3. Timm00-

    1) With Shelley, Rinaldo and Sestito… Rinaldo is the player they’ve liked the most of the group. Sestito was an RFA last season, so he was a cheap player to retain as a fourth liner. Signing Shelley for 3 years was clearly a mistake.

    2) Good question. The organization overreacted a bit about not having a right-shooting defensemen after the 2012 playoffs, so Gervais was a response to that. I don’t *mind* the signing except for the fact that it’s a two-year contract. They learned nothing from Andreas Lilja’s contract.

    3) I still like Nodl… who is now in the AHL.

    • Josh,

      Nodl is where he belongs. He’s just not an NHL player. I’m not even sure if he’s up to the scale of your rec league!

      But re: number 2 and number 4 (which you didn’t comment on), I think there is a clear pattern of poor judgment. Maybe they should drop the organizational job requirement that you must be a former Flyer to take on any role?

  4. “Maybe they should drop the organizational job requirement that you must be a former Flyer to take on any role?”

    That applies to both management and the actual roster, these days

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