Trade Looming in Philly

Clarke had a few comments for the Philly Inquirere today regarding future moves and big named players who may be available:
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Philadelphia Inquirer – Jan 22, 2003
http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/sports/hockey/nhl/philadelphia_flyers/5002402.htm

Flyers general manager Bob Clarke admitted yesterday that he has begun working the phone lines to upgrade the position of right wing now that Justin Williams will miss the remainder of the season.

“With both him and [John] LeClair out, we’re short a player,” Clarke said. “We might be fine rotating players, but we need to look for somebody.”

Clarke would like to use some of the 18 draft picks he has this summer in a deal to land a mid-range forward. Would he use his No. 1 pick he got from Phoenix?

“You’d trade that pick if a player you want is available,” Clarke replied. “We about have to use our picks because we don’t have anyone we can take off the roster.”

One problem facing the Flyers in a trade scenario is that because they are shorthanded, they are dealing from a weak position. For them, the best trade option would be to utilize the draft arsensal they have stockpiled (18 picks in 2003) and a lesser player or two off their current roster.

Two names that reportedly have been on the market recently, Buffalo’s Miroslav Satan and Pittsburgh’s Alexei Kovalev, are players unlikely to be dealt just for draft choices.

Unlike last year’s, the 2003 draft class is expected to be rich with solid prospects, and the Flyers have two first-round picks to trade.

“We almost have to [trade with picks],” Clarke said. “Because we don’t have anybody we can take off our team right now. And we’re not going to trade [defense prospects Joni Pitkanen or Jeff Woywitka].

“It doesn’t seem like very many teams have players they want to trade, unless they are trying to unload salary,” Clarke said. “We’ve talked to a few teams already to see. You’re not going to get a top six or seven forward; anybody who has them keeps their own.

“We’d all like to be good enough GMs to say we need another right winger and I’ll go out and get one. The player we’d be looking for, if teams have got one they don’t want to trade him, not for a draft pick. I’d like to be able to go out and get what we want. But every team in the league would like to do that.”

Asked about Miroslav Satan in Buffalo, Clarke said there was no indication that Satan was available. Phoenix is unhappy with $7 million-a-year Tony Amonte; the price for him would be high. Alexei Kovalev is available in Pittsburgh, but he is a one-way offensive player who won’t play defense, and the price would be high for his $4.6 million salary.
“We’re not interested in him,” Clarke said. “You’re not going to get a top six or seven forward.”
Clarke said the only top players available are those with big salaries that clubs are looking to dump.

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Well, can we take Clarke at his word that he isn’t looking ot move anyone off of the roster??? In this case I think we can. The Flyers are truly short a player and, if they do make a trade that involves players rather than picks, they would ideally have to make a 1 for 2 deal so that they have more players coming in than going out.

I think the Flyers will look to move their picks in order to gain a solid 2nd or 3rd line forward. I don’t think that they are looking at Kovalev or Amonte. They are looking at players more in the range of Isbister – someone who can step into a responsible role with the team and who has proven NHL ability. If they wanted young players they have plenty in their own system. The only problem being – who can be had for draft picks. I wouldn’t even mind seeing a package of Primeau-donna, Recchi or Desjardone and a combination of draft picks sent out for a couple of solid players in return.

Of course, when dealing with Clarkie the only thing that we truly know is that we know nothing at all. It is going to be very interesting to see how Clarkie handles this one.

Confucious say “man who go to bed with itchy butt wake up with stinky finger!”