Should Philly Trade for a Defenseman Before the Start of the Season?
Well I was wrong about Nashville not being able to match Philly’s offer sheet to Weber. It’s been reported that Andrej Meszaros is done for the majority of the season with an Achilles tear. It is a blow to a defensive corps that does not look nearly as intimidating from the Stanley Cup final team. No Pronger, Carle to TB, aging Timonen… Now this seems to be quite worrisome to many people who are expecting Philly to make a splash before the start of the season. I don’t feel that Philly really has to worry that quickly, they have already given up one of their younger players in James Van Riemsdyk to acquire Luke Schenn. Schenn should benefit from starting fresh start away from the fickle Maple Leaf fans.
They say Defence win championships and I agree that you absolutely need it to get the Cup, however I don’t feel that you need amazing defence to get to the playoffs. Especially after you have a look at Philly’s offense, they can outscore most teams in a goal fest. Philly’s defence is alright and should be able to hold down the fort for many of the games this season. One cause for concern is that they have a terribly streaky goaltender (Bryzgalov) with a backup veteran in Leighton. It is difficult to predict how the goaltending will shape up; Bobrovsky took care of the load for a stretch in the middle of last season.
If Philly was prepared to unload their next 4 first round picks for Weber, they will be ready to deal draft picks this season and should be able to acquire a defenseman as teams fall out of the playoff picture. A couple of years ago, Montreal was able to acquire Wizniewski for a second round draft pick from the Islanders. Also Meszaros should be back at some point in the season.
It is for these reasons that I feel that Philly does not need to address their defence dilemma ASAP but rather see how the team and especially goaltending perform through the start of the season and address the need accordingly.