More trades could be on the way for Flyers

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke is no stranger to big trades at the trade deadline, and he certainly found a willing partner in the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday as the Flyers acquired forward Kris Versteeg in exchange for a first-round and third-round draft pick in this year’s NHL entry draft. But with just under two weeks still left to play before the trade deadline hits, the Flyers may have only just begun revealing their master plan.

The decision to bring in Versteeg does several things for the Flyers. First, it provides the Flyers with a ton of offensive depth – something they certainly weren’t lacking beforehand. The Flyers are one of the most potent teams in the NHL, averaging 3.29 goals per game, and Versteeg’s prowess make them even more dangerous offensively. Versteeg already has two consecutive 20-goal campaigns under his belt and with 14 goals tallied so far this season he could certainly be on his way to a third.

In addition, Versteeg also has solid playoff experience and a Stanley Cup ring as well. In fact, Versteeg was a part of the Chicago Blackhawks team that defeated the Flyers in the Stanley Cup Finals last season. While he’s only 24-years-old, Versteeg’s experience will be hugely beneficial to the Flyers as they look to get back to the Finals and win the Stanley Cup this season.

Perhaps most importantly, however, Versteeg gives the Flyers options. By adding a proven scorer to the roster, the Flyers have made other players expandable. Two names that have already popped up in the rumor mill are James van Riemsdyk and Nikolay Zherdev. Both players have underperformed this season and failed to live up to their expectations. In fact, their combined point total is less than ten points more than Versteeg’s personal point total.

Rumors have also swirled that the Flyers would like to make an upgrade in goal. Or could the team opt to bolster their blue line at the expense of a proven netminder? Either way, the team now has expandable assets available to sell off in order to bring in more key components should they choose to. Could van Riemsdyk and Zherdev become part of a package that brings in those key components? With 13 days left until the trade deadline, all the Flyers may have done is simply set the stage for more to come.

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