Flyers Make Minor Moves- Trade Coming?BREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News, NHL Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
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!
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