With the announcement that Philadelphia Flyers starting goaltender BrianElliot is out for five to six weeks, should the Flyers buy a goalie as the trade deadline approaches? And should that goalie be CraigAnderson?
It is no secret that the Ottawa Senators are poised to be sellers at the trade deadline. They’ve been the subject of many NHL trade rumors. While the Sens don’t have any realistic hope of making the playoffs, they do have is a pretty solid goaltender in Craig Anderson. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Flyers are third in the jam-packed Metropolitan Division.
What they don’t have right now is a solid goalie, due to the injury to Brian Elliott. Michael Neuvirth can be brilliant, as he was coming in cold to a shootout in Phoenix and in allowing only one goal to the Vegas Golden Knights. He can also let in extremely soft goals, as evidenced in the Flyers shoot out loss to the Devils.
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Youngster Alex Lyon, despite having a wicked mask and a solid pedigree, has struggled with the big club. It has been obvious that while he has a bright future, he needs time to grow into the NHL. Anthony Stolarz, the other Flyers minor league option, is still in rehab mode.
There are two questions to be answered. First, can the Flyers depend on Neuvirth Secondly, what would the Senators want in exchange for Craig Anderson? The Sens goalie took his team deep into the playoffs last year, losing in seven games to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Penguins, so the Flyers will need to give up something.
As much as I like Neuvirth, I don’t think he is dependable enough to take the Flyers to the playoffs. If the Flyers were locked into a playoff spot, I might feel differently, but the Metropolitan Division is entirely too close to call. The Flyers have found a ton of scoring depth, but a solid goalie is an absolute necessity if they are going to make the playoffs.
What would I give up? The Flyers have an almost shameful wealth of young defensemen. While Sam Morin, Provorov, and Ghost are off limits, I wouldn’t be averse to a Travis Sanheim for Anderson deal. His contract is similar to Neuvirth and Elliott, allowing Lyon and phenom Carter Hart a little time to mature, yet not making a huge commitment that would bottleneck them in the minors.
While I was never a big fan of the mortgage the future to win now school of thought that past Flyers GMs lived by, this is a trade that can afford to be made. Make the call, Hexy.