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NHL Trade Talk

Should Flyers Trade for Blue Jackets’ David Jiricek?

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David Jiricek is frustrated with his role in the Columbus Blue Jackets organization. (Photo: AP)

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Jiricek made his way into NHL trade talks, unsurprisingly, thanks to his somewhat incendiary comments about his role in the organization. That got me thinking: should the Philadelphia Flyers trade for Jiricek?

The Flyers have already shown a willingness to target young, relatively unproven players on the basis that their coaching and their culture will develop the players. Trading Cutter Gauthier for Jamie Drysdale is a prime example of that. And, speaking of Drysdale, the Flyers don’t have many long-term right-shot defensemen in their prospect pool at the moment.

Oliver Bonk is obviously one, but Sean Walker is a pending free agent and Rasmus Ristolainen is not getting any younger. Philadelphia could address that in the draft, but they also have a severe lack of young centers and left wingers that needs fixing.

The Flyers already have a line of communication established with Jarmo Kekalainen and the Blue Jackets, dating back to the summertime Ivan Provorov trade.

The question is, could the Flyers trade for Jiricek? If so, what is the cost? I’ve long been a subscriber of the ‘everybody has a price’ philosophy, but the price is one that the Flyers likely aren’t willing to pay. Jiricek was a sixth-overall pick just two years ago, so Columbus will need to replace him on top of acquiring assets that actually make the trade worth doing.

To state the obvious, if the price is palatable for Danny Briere and Co., they must trade for Jiricek. Having him and Drysdale man the right side of your defense for the next decade is an irresistible opportunity.

The Flyers do have two first-round picks this year, and two second-round picks next year. That’s a good place to start, as the Blue Jackets will require at least two of those picks in return. As for Philadelphia, they need to move defensemen to facilitate this. The Flyers already have eight defensemen on the roster with Drysdale, and Marc Staal isn’t even playing.

They can’t afford to carry nine defensemen. Fortunately, several teams are interested in Flyers rearguards with the NHL trade deadline fast approaching.

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