Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has been working the phones furiously in the last few days, but, in the end, he came up empty in trade talks.
That’s a good thing, he said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.
The Flyers didn’t make any deals when the trade deadline ended at 3 p.m., and Holmgren insisted he wasn’t disappointed.
When you consider that the Flyers have won five straight and are 18-7-1 since Dec. 23, there’s some merit to Holmgren’s claim.
That said, there’s no denying that defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh, Washington and Buffalo _ three of the Flyers’ main rivals in the Eastern Conference _ improved themselves with deals. That could make the Flyers' challenge even tougher.
“We looked around for a few things to see if anything made sense, and nothing came up that did, so we’re marching forward,” Holmgren said.
Hamstrung by not having first- or second-round June draft picks that they could trade, the Flyers were idle bystanders.
They had shown interest in Atlanta winger Colby Armstrong, Columbus forward Raffi Torres and Nashville defenseman Dan Hamhuis, among others.
The price for the players they wanted, Holmgren said, was too steep.
“We like our team and like the chemistry of our team more than anything else,” Holmgren said.
The Flyers looked around at the goalies that were available, but didn’t feel any were an upgrade over Michael Leighton, who is 13-3-1 with a 2.18 goals-against average and .926 save percentage since being claimed off re-entry waivers from Carolina on Dec. 15.
“He’s been playing very confidently since he’s been in the net, and I see no reason for that to change,” Holmgren said.
Holmgren later said that “we made out big deal last June when we added Chris Pronger.”
Funny thing is, the waiver-wire move for Leighton may turn out to be just as important.