1) Holmgren is attempting to sicken Brière out of town (his NTC stands in the way) and so this is a mid-term plan to keep the center position like this: Richards, Carter, Giroux (which probably look optimal in Holmgren's eyes). But fighting the context like this (Carter doesn't have an NTC, Brière and Gagné and Timonen do, and in good veterans, they will probably prefer to stay with a winning team) is just plain weird. It might work. But gambling on sickening out of town elite players is just wrong. Flyer's flexibility would enable them to trade Carter for elite prospect wingers + thus optimizing their whole salary structure for the future. But what an error in evaluation the Meszaros trade was! Oh! and i don't mean Yserman's error of evaluation.
2) They are posturing. Gagné might even be playing along. They are really after dealing Carter but are now in the pre-sale business of maxing out his value. Signaling that Gagné is on the trade block invite the impressions that Carter wants to be retained badly, thus raising the price for it's acquisition. I suspect Gagné could be renewed on a Bonus-based otherwise-very-friendly cap hit for a few more years after this year. Gagné is easily one of the most talented guy on the roster: one of ther strongest two-way guy in the league and oh, a 40 goal scorer too … but i can see why the Flyers might have forgotten this.
Anyway the Zherdev + Meszaros acquisitions don't really make any kind of sense on their own, and they almost have to be followed by something. Wether that something is Gagné or Carter remains to be seen, but i just don't see how they will be able to keep Giroux down the road if they retain Brière, Carter and Richards. THIS is the problem facing the flyers and it's why trading Gagné (one year of cap release, lesser value and logjam at center) instead of Carter (many years of cap release, greater value, center position: dominant and settled).]]>