By. Kevin K
Last year the Flyers acquired winger Kris Versteeg close to the trade deadline; a trade in which I believe hurt the team. Versteeg came in at a time when the Flyers were "flying high" and playing very well together, ready to make a Playoff run. Their momentum seemed to diminish over the last few months of the season with Versteeg on the team.
This year is a lot different from last. Right now the Flyers are slumping (and it is a good time to slump, as long as they are playing well again come Playoff time). They needed to make a move to make this team better while helping their momentum. Enter two trades. In a period of two days, the Flyers made their defense and team all-in-all, better. On Thursday , they acquired Nicklas Grossman, who is not known for his offense, but will get in front of the puck and hit people. Exactly what the Flyers need lately as teams seem to have found holes in the Flyers defense. Grossman is the man that is here to fill in those holes.
Another player to fill in those holes is Pavel Kubina, a player in which the Flyers traded for on Saturday night after a loss to the Penguins. Kubina brings strong play to a weak defense and will be a great player, both offensively and defensively for the Flyers.
Our friend, Dan MacNeal at CrimeSpreeHockey makes a great point in his recent blog, "What Eventual Cup Champions did at the Deadline".
"Really only one of the trades made by eventual champions (since 2006) was a big name (Kaberle), and he wasn’t even a major contributor in the playoffs. Don’t count out teams who make a big splash (Nash, Semin) but the teams who have won in the past have just added spare parts at the deadline."
You can read about all those trades over at CrimeSpreeHockey.com
It also had me thinking of the moves that helped the Flyers make the Stanley Cup a few years ago. There was no big trade deadline acquisition that helped them get there; however, there were waiver deals in Michael Leighton and Ville Leino that made the difference.
Grossman and Kubina are there to add depth to the Flyers roster and elevate them to the next level. These two trades may be the key to the Flyers postseason success.