With the NHL trade deadline just 6-weeks away, it seems one Western Conference team is starting to do their due diligence. Something that could lead to a potential deal with the Philadelphia Flyers.
According to Inside AHL’s Tony Androckitis, the Nashville Predators have made an unexpected & unorthodox stop in Lehigh Valley.
Here's the latest on what I'm hearing/seeing regarding a certain Swedish defenseman. https://t.co/ebjd4QG0Ol
— Tony Androckitis (@TonyAndrock) February 28, 2021
As Tony mentioned in his report, the one name that the Flyers have interest in is Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm.
Ekholm, 6’4″ 215lbs, is a left-handed defenseman from Sweden. What Ekholm would bring to Philadelphia is what the Flyers have been missing with Matt Niskanen not in the lineup. A big minute eating defenseman to pair with Ivan Provorov.
But, the biggest thing Ekholm would bring is reliability.
Ekholm would bring the ability for head coach Alain Vigneault to have a go-to defense unit on a nightly basis. Something that Vigneault can’t seem to find with his defensemen now.
However, Mattias Ekholm isn’t the only name the Flyers have asked about.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the Flyers have also asked about the availability of Dante Fabbro.
Fabbro, 6’1″ 193lbs, is a right-handed defenseman from Canada. What Fabbro would bring to Philadelphia is a similar aspect to Ekholm. Just younger, on the right side (something the Flyers need), & his best hockey still ahead of him.
Why the Flyers would be interested in Fabbro is two reasons. GM Chuck Fletcher’s history watching Fabbro at Boston University & his possible protection from the expansion draft.
When in Minnesota, Chuck Fletcher spent a lot of time watching Boston University hockey. Mainly because of Wild prospect Jordan Greenway, who played 3-seasons with Fabbro at Boston University. Fletcher’s familiarity with Fabbro’s game could be one of the reasons the Flyers have asked about his availability.
The other is Fabbro’s potential protection from the expansion draft if his NHL status is appealed & accepted. Which may give Fletcher more comfort in meeting the already big asking price it would take to acquire Mattias Ekholm. Who is not protected & would add to the Flyers logjam at defense for next years expansion draft.
But, for now, it seems the Flyers & Predators are at least doing their due diligence to set up a potential deal down the road as the trade deadline gets closer.
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