First there was Ryan Suter then Matt Carle followed by Shea Weber and now add Andrej Meszaros to the list of defenseman the Flyers won’t have on opening night.
Yesterday Meszaros had surgery to repair a torn right achilles tendon suffered while training in Slovakia. He is listed as out indefinitely meaning the Flyers will have to find a replacement for the 26 year old blueliner.
At this point in the off-season, though, just who is available? The names being thrown around today aren’t exactly Barry Ashbee trophy winners as Meszaros was in 2010-2011. Enter into UFA now and you’ll be sifting through a group guys named Jaroslav Spacek, Carlo Colaiacovo, Cam Barker, Chris Campoli, and a bunch of other guys not named Chris Pronger or Shea Weber.
Colaiacovo might be the Flyers best option if they decide to go the route of free agency. He’s still relatively young (29) and can replace some of Meszaros point scoring. His best season offensively came in 2009-2010 when he posted 7 goals and 32 points. Colaiacovo’s cap hit last year with St. Louis was 2.1 million which is now affordable for the Flyers with Meszaros and Pronger likely headed for LTIR.
Other routes the Flyers can take are that of a trade or go after another RFA. Through trade you may be able to land Calgary defenseman Jay Bouwmeester who is being shopped, out of San Jose, Dan Boyle and Douglas Murray’s names have also been thrown around in potential trades. But any trade would likely cost the Flyers a top 6 forward and after losing Jaromir Jagr and James Van Riemsdyk GM Paul Holmgren may be weary of dealing another forward.
Going the way of signing a restricted free agent is also an option but pickens are slim. Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban would be nice addition to the Flyers blue line but Montreal would likely match any deal Holmgren sends his way. While I personally don’t see this as the way the Flyers ultimately go, you just can’t rule it out not after the mega offer to Shea Weber.
The one thing Holmgren can’t afford to do is overpay for a free agent or make a trade in panic but since the injury happened last week and there hasn’t been movement I wouldn’t anticipate any type of panic move.
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