When a team completes a poor and underachieving season, many emotions are felt. For some teams, it is the frustration that they have yet again hit rock bottom. For others, it is disappointment after creating such high expectations and hopes. Sports offers them a lifeline: an asset that, when used to its’ full potential, can alter the course of a franchise. For the Flyers, it is the 11th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Now the ball is in Philly’s court. With a week remaining before the event, three options are in play for this wild card.
Firstly, there is the option of selecting an incoming player at 11. Darnell Nurse, whose uncle happens to be Philadelphia great Donovan McNabb, is a possible candidate for the 11th pick. Nurse is a hard-nosed defensman who could bring a physicality back to the blue line. Nurse’s aggressive style fits the mold of a typical Philadelphia player.
Jaromir Jagr recorded 19 crucial goals for the 2012 Flyers. His loss stifled the Flyers in 2013. Now, a familiar name looks to be up for grabs, if the Flyers so choose to strike. His addition would place Jagr’s memory to rest.
Recent reports have picked up regarding a possible trade for Anaheim Ducks’ forward Bobby Ryan. Ryan has been a name regularly linked to Philly, and Paul Holmgren may finally make his move. The asking price? Top defensman Braydon Coburn and the 11th overall pick. Ryan has scored over 30 goals in each of the last four full seasons, and recorded 30 points in the shortened 2013 league year.
Of course, the prospect of Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier awaits. The previous asking price was forward Matt Read. However, it may have risen with competition from the Leafs and Wild. Conventional wisdom would argue that the trade may now require the 11th overall pick, though that is unlikely considering the Kings are in “win now” mode.
Ultimately, production trumps potential in any industry. Philadelphia must exercise its’ assets and complete the deal for forward Bobby Ryan. A Flyers powerplay of Giroux, Ryan, and Voracek would wreak havoc on an opposing penalty kill. Ryan’s addition would take pressure off of Claude Giroux, as well as Scott Hartnell. With this trade, Philadelphia would become one of the top three scoring units in the NHL. They would even be able to rival Pittsburgh’s Crosby-Malkin-Dupuis-Morrow group with Giroux, Ryan, Hartnell, and Voracek.
As the draft approaches, the bidding price for Jonathan Bernier will inflate. The prospect of adding another unproven talent bores fans. In truth, it does not serve the purpose: to improve and get back to the playoffs. The only logical maneuver is to pry scorer Bobby Ryan away from Anaheim, and bolster the Flyers’ scoring attack. Paul Holmgren must act quickly, as time is slipping away.