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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Flyers Get Gauthier 

The Flyers made a couple of moves before the NHL's 3 p.m. trade deadline. Defenseman Denis Gauthier was acquired from Phoenix for winger Josh Gratton and a pair of second-round picks. And right wing Niko Dimitrakos is on his way from San Jose, to provide some depth, for a third-round pick. Those rumors about Mark Recchi returning? He was traded to Carolina. ESPN's Trade Tracker says of Gauthier: "former first-round pick ... set to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end ... never exactly lived up to his pre-NHL billing ... force along the blue line. At 6-foot-3, 224 pounds and a heavy hitter, Gauthier fits the Flyer prototype." Flyers GM Bob Clarke was true to his word, expressed in an Inquirer story about yesterday's cutting of Turner Stevenson to clear cap room: "You hope you can patch a couple holes with draft picks."

Earlier roundup of Flyers rumors:
Update: Flyers have waived Turner Stevenson today to clear cap space. "The Flyers are not looking for a home run deal," adds The Inquirer's Tim Panacchio. "They don't have the depth to make such a move unless they get quality youth in return, such as Florida center Olli Jokinen."

Hockey's trade deadline is 3 p.m. tomorrow, and deals will be tough to do, Flyers GM Bob Clarke tells The Inquirer. The article drops another name: Florida's Olli Jokinen, but the price would be high, and "I don't want to be trading my young players," says Clarke. The only names Clarke mentions are which Flyers should be returning from injuries. So far, the strongest speculation among the media is that Mark Recchi could be coming back. WIP's Al Morganti said Tuesday morning he wouldn't do the deal if it means giving up center R.J. Umberger, whom Pittsburgh wants. "I think there's a better than 50-50 chance they get Recchi by the end of the week," said WIP's Glen Macnow Monday night. Hinting at having inside info, he named other possible targets: Derek Morris, Geoff Sanderson or Mike Johnson of Phoenix, and Wes Walz of Minnesota. He also speculated about Brian Leetch making sense for the Flyers, if Boston's willing to deal him. Generally, he said, the Flyers are looking for veterans whose contracts are almost up, and who could be gotten for minor-leaguers, draft picks or role players. More players who might fit, according to the Courier-Post: N.Y. Islanders' Mark Parrish, Shawn Bates and Brad Lukowich; St. Louis' Dallas Drake and Eric Weinrich; Phoenix's Mike Ricci; Edmonton's Michael Peca; and Buffalo's Jay McKee. What about Vancouver forward / sucker-puncher Todd Bertuzzi? "It ain't gonna happen," says Flyers GM Bob Clarke.

Last night, a Macnow guest named Ecklund, who hosts a hockey rumor blog, said a possible longshot was getting Phoenix winger Shane Doan, who'll be a free agent at the end of the season, but the Flyers would have to give up a good young player like Mike Richards or Jeff Carter. Ecklund added that several teams are after Morris, so he could be tough to get. Flyers players themselves scoff at the guessing games.

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