Philadelphia Flyers Trade Rumors: Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn?

October 28th, 2013 by Mike Pantaleone | Filed under Flyers, General, Hockey.

The Philadelphia Flyers have finally managed back to back wins for the first time it what feels like forever. While it seems like the Flyers have begun to turn this ship around, they’ll need to do a lot more than “play a full 60 minutes” if they want to be taken seriously.

Any way you look at it, the Flyers will have to make a trade or two. There won’t be anymore changes in management (barring epic failure) for the rest of the season, and the only thing left that they can do at this point is shake things up again with the roster. While I’m not always anxious to trade players just for the sake of making a deal, something has to give.

In order for the Flyers to make the type of deal they’d like to make, they’ll have no choice but to trade one of their two “untouchable” players. In this case, I’m referring to Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn.

The most recent rumor has the Flyers linked to Dustin Byfuglien, and for good reason. They are desperate for puck moving defenseman and Byfuglien is one of the best in the league. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a big body, something Philly loves in their defenseman. The Flyers have had interest in him since the 2010 Finals. Much like I have been repeating for over a year, now even Eklund of HockeyBuzz.com is suggesting the Flyers may finally be willing to move pieces once thought “untouchable”.

There has been much debate among fans on who they’d rather see get traded in any potential deal. Some fans point out Schenn’s willingness to hit and make sound decisions with the puck as reason enough to keep him. Others argue that Couturier’s solid defensive play against opponent’s top lines as something that should not be ignored.

I’ve taken it just a step further in this article and provided a bit of statistical analysis to compare the two players and allow you to form your own opinion. I have left out this seasons statistics, as we are still early in the season. I used Wikipedia for all the stats.

Since 2010-11, both Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier have played a similar amount of games for the Flyers.

Schenn: 101 games played

Couturier: 123 games played

Sean Couturier obviously has a few more games under his belt – 22 games to be exact – but keep in mind that he was also used as more of a defensive player against opponent’s top lines.

Now, let’s take a look at something simple, like goals and assists.

Schenn: 20 goals, 24 assists – 44 points

Couturier: 17 goals, 25 assists – 42 points

Yes, Couturier has a bit of an advantage because of more games played – but playing in defensive situations and putting up shockingly similar numbers cannot be ignored. Schenn has been surrounded by scoring talent and has failed to capitalize. Couturier has been surrounded (for the most part) by PK type guys.

Now, let me take this opportunity to bring up something that has been a problem for the Flyers for far too long – taking bad penalties.

Schenn: 58 total PIMs

Couturier: 24 total PIMs

Very telling, if you ask me. Schenn has more than double the amount of PIMs in 22 less games played. That’s brutal, and you’d better believe it cost the Flyers some goals – and most likely some games as well.

Sure, Brayden Schenn can hit. I didn’t bother looking up the statistics for hits, because I’m sure Schenn has tons more than Couturier. But do the Flyers really need more players that can hit? Isn’t that what guys like Hartnell, Simmonds, and Rosehill are here for? And yes, I also agree that Schenn has good vision with and without the puck. But again, is that what the Flyers need? More “play-makers”?

The statistics just get scarier from there, folks. I didn’t bother posting CORSI and Fenwick statistics, as they are much more advanced and harder for people to understand. But if you have some time to look up the numbers, I highly suggest you do so. Let’s just say, the stats don’t do Schenn any favors.

The Flyers need someone who can put the puck in the back of the net consistently every night. They also need a top-pairing defenseman who can prevent a goal or two single-handedly every night. They won’t get either one of them until they trade one of Schenn or Couturier.

Now let me ask you again. Who would you rather trade?

 

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