Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Philly to Unload?

The Flyers got a little bit greedy this summer. So much so, that they might have to shave off some salary before they go to camp in September. The Flyers signed Daniel Briere to a huge front-loaded contract and Kimmo Timonen got the same sort of treatment after being acquired from Nashville. As my calculations stand, the Flyers are sitting at a top-heavy $52.9 million payroll. The cap is supposed to be $50.3 milllion. I mean, c'mon, this isn't even close. The allowable salary level for any NHL team in the offseason right now is $55.3 million (10% above season level) for housekeeping reasons. The 20 players shown below are worth roughly $52.9 million and there are still a couple players sitting on the books who will have to be compensated, so this job gets even harder for the Flyers.

Mike KnubleDaniel BriereSimon Gagne
Scott HartnellJeff CarterMike Richards
Sami KapanenR.J. UmbergerJoffrey Lupul
Stefan RuzickaScottie Upshall
Ben Eager
Kimmo TimonenRandy Jones
Jason SmithLasse Kukkonen
Derian HatcherDenis Gauthier
Martin Biron
Antero Niitymaki

It doesn't take long to see where all the money went when you look at this roster. I mean, only Randy Jones and Lasse Kukkonen of the six defensemen are earning less than $2 million this season. Technically, Jason Smith is too... but it's $1.976 million... so forgive me if I round up.

The questions remain... who goes? I can only imagine how difficult it is going to be for a team to offload some of this salary, especially since Jason Smith and potentially Randy Jones are going to be the only two going to Unrestricted Free Agency next season. Derian Hatcher and Denis Gauthier still have 2 full seasons left on their contract and you would think that they would be great rental players... if their contract status was a little more flexible. There could be a few teams that could use some slower skating, hardly offensive defensemen. Take Columbus, for instance, they could compliment Adam Foote with Derian Hatcher. A team like the Coyotes might have to take them, just to get their salary past the basement level. Both of them. Washington could also do the same thing... they're struggling for salary.

It's hard to even gauge how well the team and/or individuals are going to do pool-wise on the Flyers, because you have no idea who's really staying or who's really going.

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