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Old 11-21-2006, 10:09 PM   #480
SoCalBronco
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From Eklund...

Liles, Liles Crocodile, Hitch, Budaj, and the Forsberg Speculation

Today @ 2:16 PM ET | Comments (123)

According to several sources last night and this morning the Avs are entertaining offers for John-Michael Liles. Liles, who did score a big goal last night, has fallen off a bit this season and whenever a solid young d-man (see Seabrook) falls off, the rumor mill is opened for business.

The Rangers (e2), Canucks (e2), Oilers (e3), and Flyers (e3) are said to be part of this one with one source claiming that he had heard through a source out west that the Flyers and Avs came "as close as you can come" to completing a trade. Apparently that trade fell through in the last 48 hours, but the door isn’t shut. And I have also heard that Pete Budaj could be included should that trade escalate.

Talking to a source this morning, (not in the Flyers organization) I was told, "There is a growing rumor around the league that the Flyers are holding out on a big deal that would bring a new starting goalie to Philly. We have seen what Emery has meant to the Sens turn around, and in Philly the feeling may be, 'We can't trade all the players, we can't change the coach or GM, so the only major move to fix the personality may be to change the goalie."


Watching the Flyers as much as I do, I really felt for a long time that goaltending wasn't the problem. However, recently I will not say the goalies are playing poorly, but I will say they aren't making the key saves. The momentum saves aren't happening. You don't always need a goalie to stand on his head for 60 minutes, but you do need a goalie to make the save on a two on one right after you have scored a goal to bring it within 1.

From what I hear the chances that Hitch is behind the Blue Jackets bench in Philadelphia on Friday isn’t impossible, but I wouldn’t call it at all likely. The Jackets are being extremely thorough in this process, and walking all possible candidates through the process. Andy Murray is going through that currently. There is also word that a third candidate may be brought in as well, Kevin Dineen. A source told me he believed there to be five names on the list, but not all five may get interviewed. I have also heard another candidate may have been talk to in preparation.

The other thing that needs to happen before a coach can take the helm is a contract needs to be negotiated. What that means is that Hitch, if chosen, could probably happen a bit quicker since he is currently under a contract that needs to be honored. The Jackets would either negotiate some sort of settlement with the Flyers or take on that contract. Likely the latter I would think.

There continue to be rumors that The Flyers may deal Peter Forrsberg to San Jose or Colorado in the near future . Although I would never say never, I really don't see it happening in the near future for several reasons. First off, Forsberg is really suffering as he tries to get used to these new skates. His body language in the room last night showed tons of frustration. He also sat out practice today with a legitimate lower back injury that he suffered on a hit thrown by Orpik. I think right now the chances would be better that Peter would just sit out and try to get better and then decide whether he will continue his career than it is likely that another team would give something substantial for him in a deal. Quite simply, Peter is the reason that Flyers fans come out right now. If they do deal him, it would have to be for another reason to come out, and if you're the Sharks or Avs that would be a very big gamble right now.

The Flyers want him around. They love him in this organization. They want him to get to get better and re-sign.

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=3770
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