UPDATE- ESPN’s Pierre Lebrun is reporting that P.K. Subban and his agent Don Meehan met face to face with Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin Friday. Lebrun is of the opinion that Bergevin’s best contract offer covered no more than three years. Subban is reportedly looking for something in the neighbourhood of six years. The Subban family is meeting with Meehan this weekend to discuss the offer. The two sides are expected to meet again on Monday.
This version of a story that has been floating around in one form or the other since August, originated in Toronto from the twitter account of Josh Rimer and was given traction by being repeated on the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Web Site phillie.com.
Josh Rimer’s NHL contact list will never be confused with that of Bob McKenzie of TSN or ESPN’s Pierre Lebrun, but given a chance to examine the Flyers situation you have to give the rumour at least a second reading.
The Flyers are four games into the short season with a 1-3-0 record. They’ve been outscored 12-5 . If the Flyers don’t do something to repair their broken defence, their playoff hopes may be over by mid-February.
Here’s the situation with the team that made the Stanley Cup final two years ago. A concussion has ended Chris Pronger’s career. Matt Carle has jumped to Tampa and Andrei Meszaros is out long term, 37 year old Andreas Lilja was sent to the minors last week only to be recalled when Meszaros went out. In addition there are the issues that always seem to float around goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
The Flyers under GM Paul Holmgren have always been pro-active and in the summer they tried and failed to land Ryan Suter, who wound up signing with Minnesota and then Nashville matched a 14-year, $110 million Flyers offer sheet for Shea Weber. If he was willing to go tot those extremes in a failed effort to get those two, why wouldn’t he be prepared to make an offer, one way or the other, for Subban? There are two ways of course; the Flyers could present him with an offer sheet, which the Canadiens can, and would, quickly match, or they can come upwith an attractive trade.
And since we’re this far down the rumour trail, what would be an attractive trade? I’d take Claude Giroux, even with his large salary, for Subban in a minute. Centre Sean Couturier has one more year left in his entry level contract at 1.3 million. There are some skating issues but he’s 6’4″, a former QMJHL MVP and consensus says he’s going to a very good player for a long time.
So, we’ve give you some reasons why the trade rumour has some credibility. On the other side, trading Subban to a conference opponent may come back to bite the team badly and teams like Los Angeles, Edmonton and Anaheim, to name three, need help out west.
There has been absolutely no talk, except by the pundits, that either Marc Bergevin or Subban is even remotely interested in putting Subban on the block.
Oh. And for the record the Flyers top six defensemen right now are: 37 year old Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossman, Marc-Andre Bourdon and Bruno Gervais. Now you see the desperate situation in which Paul Holmgren finds himself.