With the Metropolitan Division being as tight as it is (five points separate third place from last place), decisions on whether the teams in that bottleneck will buy or sell are still likely a couple of weeks away. Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post suggests that if the Flyers were to be buyers, they will be more likely going after depth players such as a bottom-six forward or a third pairing defender that can kill penalties instead of pursuing the more prominent players available.
That approach would make sense considering how patient Philly GM Ron Hextall has been about building the team slowly but steadily. They certainly have a surplus of young talent to deal from if they want to but since the Flyers aren’t really a single player or two away from becoming top-flight contenders, they’re arguably better off waiting a little longer before making that bigger splash.
Elsewhere around the league:
- Bobby Ryan’s hand troubles have surfaced yet again. The Senators winger has been ruled out for the weekend with a hand injury and head coach Guy Boucher told reporters, including Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch, that he is doubtful to play next week as well. This is Ryan’s fourth different hand injury already this season and his eighth since 2014-15. When he has been healthy, the veteran has been relatively productive with 20 points (7-13-20) in 39 games so far this season.
- Although he has played a sparing role since rejoining the Oilers, defenseman Brandon Davidson is worthy of keeping around beyond this season, argues David Staples of the Edmonton Journal. The 26-year-old is owed a qualifying offer of $1.55MM this offseason and with Edmonton expected to be a cap-spending team with center Connor McDavid’s new $12.5MM per year kicking in, that qualifying offer amount may be too much of a luxury for a role player.
- The Department of Player Safety announced (Twitter link) that Capitals winger T.J. Oshie has been fined $5K for a cross-check against Penguins defenseman Kris Letang last night. The fine is the maximum allowable in the CBA.