First the Philadelphia Flyers acquired defenseman Nicklas Grossman from Dallas. Then the club added defenseman Pavel Kubina from Tampa Bay.
Now is Philly going to do something really big, like land Columbus power forward Rick Nash? Or will the Flyers focus on getting better in goal, given Ilya Bryzgalov’s startling failure?
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren met with Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson and they likely discussed more than the weather. Expect Holmgren to be one of the key players as the NHL trade deadline nears.
The two trades bolstered the Philadelphia defense at a cost of a second-round pick in 2012, a second-round pick in 2012 or 2013, a third-round pick in 2013, a fourth-round pick in 2013 and minor league center Jon Kalinski.
Grossman and Kubina both arrive with expiring contracts; they will be become unrestricted free agents after the season.
The moves strengthen the injury-depleted Flyers for the stretch run. Grossman should add sturdy defense and Kubina will add some offensive skill – although his days of scoring 40 per season appear gone.
Might these deals become a precursor to something bigger, like a Nash deal or a goaltender upgrade? The Flyers firmed up their near-term roster without subtracting a key player or spending a first-round draft pick.
Help up front may not be necessary, now that Philly is healthier. The Flyers should become stronger offensively by returning Daniel Briere (concussion), Jaromir Jagr (groin strain) and James van Riemsdyk (concussion) to active duty.
Briere hasn't been productive since his return from the injured list, but a reunion with a healthy Jagr could change all that.