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Trade coming for Flyers?

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — John Davidson said it best.

The president of the Blue Jackets, one of three NHL teams below the Flyers in the standings, phoned owner John P. McConnell earlier this week to let him know there wouldn't be any rash moves coming.

"When you're not winning, people want you to sacrifice things to put on a Band-Aid," Davidson told Rogers Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman. "This is a full-fledged open wound, a Band-Aid doesn't help."

Ron Hextall must know the feeling. His Flyers aren't decimated by injury like the Blue Jackets, a team actually set for the future.

Hextall knows there is no Band-Aid that exists to fix the Flyers right now.

They thought they found one in 2012 when they signed Shea Weber to a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet. That didn't pan out.

They thought they could patch up the roster with big-money additions like VInny Lecavalier, Mark Streit and Andrew MacDonald. They haven't worked out so well.

As fans, and maybe even players, wait the other shoe to drop during the normally-impatient Flyers' 1-7-2 slip and slide through the standings, it might be time to start thinking one isn't coming.

Undoubtedly, there are a few vulture GMs in the NHL circling around the Flyers right now, hoping to pick at the carcass. There are a few other GMs, particularly in Edmonton, Dallas, Arizona and maybe even San Jose, who are unhappy with their rosters and would like to swap uglies.

Hextall has admitted he's been actively trying to make the Flyers better via trade since October, though nothing has materialized that wouldn't involve moving a piece he is planning to build around.

If you're one of those rivals phoning Hextall this week, who are you looking to add?

Chances are, you're calling about Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds and probably Scott Laughton. With the way things have gone over the last two weeks, add the Flyers' first round pick to that list.

But how many have been burning down the phone lines to acquire Lecavalier, R.J. Umberger, Nick Grossmann, Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn, or even Matt Read? If that were the case, those players would be playing elsewhere already.

Instead, as Friedman reported, trade talks with Hextall have gone more like:

Hextall: "Oh, you want that player? How about taking Umberger, in addition to what we want."

Half of the NHL's 30 teams entered yesterday either over the salary cap (in real dollars) or within $2 million of the limit. Space is scare. All of those players Hextall would like to move have term remaining on their deals, some (like Lecavalier, Read and Umberger) significant.

Plus, with the declining Canadian dollar wreaking havoc on projections for next year's salary cap, teams are even more wary of acquiring salary, especially to take on a bad contract as a way to get a deal done. There is a real possibility that next year's salary cap does not increase for the first time since it was put in place in 2005.

There has been a little buzz, so far. Out on the West Coast this week, two teams (Dallas and Tampa Bay) had the same scout travel from San Jose to Anaheim on back-to-back nights (a tall order with flooding out in California this week) to see the Flyers.

In fact, it was Tampa Bay's assistant GM and director of pro personnel, Pat Verbeek, who made it to both games. Dallas pro scout Doug Overton, who previously worked for the Flyers under Bob Clarke, was the other. The Stars have had a presence at almost every Flyers home game this season, too, including a few Phantoms games.

It's hard to decipher what that all means, since the Flyers make it out West but once a year.

For now, there has been some smoke, but no fire. It would take moving a piece Hextall covets to clear cap space and truly begin navigating in the right direction right now.

That doesn't sound like a Band-Aid that Hextall carries in his First Aid kit.

On Twitter: @frank_seravalli