Bad news for the Predators could mean good news for the Flyers.
Nashville announced on Monday afternoon presumed first line center Mike Fisher ruptured his Achilles’ tendon and is expected to miss 4-to-6 months rehabbing the injury. Predators’ general manager David Poile released a statement, “Predators forward and alternate captain Mike Fisher sustained a ruptured Achilles tendon during a training session and underwent successful surgery on Thursday, July 3. We expect Mike to make a full recovery in four-to-six months, and look forward to his return to the ice.”
Now why exactly is this good news for the Flyers? I’ll explain.
Nashville was already thin at the center position, despite signing veteran Olli Jokinen last week before the Fisher injury. Now that Fisher is out hurt, an already thin group got even thinner.
If there is any position in which the Flyers can afford to trade a couple guys, it’s at center. They have too many centers as it is and have not been quiet in their desire to unload center Vinny Lecavalier. The Flyers were reportedly in trade talks with Nashville regarding Lecavalier last week, prior to Fisher going down.
It was widely assumed Nashville had the leverage in trade talks given the Flyers had few other suitors and didn’t want to get stuck paying Lecavalier’s $4.5 million cap hit for the next four seasons. The tables have appeared to have turned. As trade rumors quieted down over the last week, it was revealed the Flyers don’t need to move Lecavalier to become cap compliant.
That’s huge for Philadelphia.
Couple that discovery with Fisher’s injury and the Flyers might be holding a bit of leverage if trade talks do start to heart back up.
If the Predators are not comfortable with replacing Fisher from within, they certainly know one team willing to part with an offensive center who put up 20 goals last season despite injuries.