Do not expect the Flyers to make any major moves before the March 5 trade deadline.
That’s what general manager Paul Holmgren said during a news conference Monday after the Flyers practiced in Voorhees.
“I like our team,” said Holmgren, giving his customary refrain. “I like the way we were playing when the Olympic break started. Right now, if there’s something we can do that can help our team a little bit down the stretch, we would probably look at doing it _ as long as it doesn’t disrupt what we have stockpiled.”
“I don’t,” Holmgren added, when asked if he expected to make a major move.
The Flyers (30-23-6), who return to action Thursday against visiting San Jose, have won four straight to move into third place _ a playoff spot _ in the competitive Metropolitan Division.
The perception is that the Flyers need to improve their defense to make a serious playoff run.
Holmgren disagreed, saying he was happy with the defense’s play.
“I know it’s not a sexy defense. I mean, is there a Bobby Orr out there that we can get? Probably not,” he said.
Added Holmgren: “I think our defense has played pretty well as a group. Could we improve it? I don’t know.”
The list of defensemen reportedly on the trade block includes Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien, the Rangers’ Dan Girardi, Florida’s Tom Gilbert, and the Islanders’ Andrew MacDonald.
Among forwards that are available: Ales Hemsky, Mike Cammalleri, Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, Ryan Callahan, Martin Erat, and Sam Gagner.
Coach Craig Berube said he liked the team that is assembled.
“If you make the playoffs, you have the opportunity to win the Cup,” he said.
Do the Flyers have enough pieces to win their first Cup since 1975?
“We have a good team; we like our core,” captain Claude Giroux said. “Forward, defense and goalie, we have a lot of depth, and guys care and want to win. So anything is possible. The year we went to the Cup (Finals), we were eighth seed (actually, seventh seed in 2010), so you just get into a rhythm and play game by game, but you don’t think of the big picture. Just play games and have fun and that’s how it starts.”
Breakaways. With a full roster _ except for Kimmo Timonen, who helped Finland win an Olympic bronze medal and is expected to report Tuesday_ the Flyers said it was easier to get into a flow at practice Monday…..Berube: “My message this week, coming out of the break, is ‘Be a real good defensive hockey team.’ I really believe that is how you win.”…Flyers goalie prospect Anthony Stolarz, who had 55 stitches after cutting the back of his calf on a skate Jan. 17, has returned to practice for the London Knights in the OHL….Like Flyers founder Ed Snider, Holmgren is against NHL players going to the 2018 Olympics in South Korea and disrupting the season….Goalie Steve Mason, who went to the Bahamas with some childhood friends during the Olympic break, said the players are antsy and excited to return to action....The Flyers will work in the weight room but will not be on the ice Tuesday.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.