Wednesday, January 30, 2008

State of Flyer Nation

Coming down to the deadline, the Flyers are an interesting specimen of a team. Thanks to the marvels of "average salary cap hit," they have managed to smooth over the current long-term, front-loaded deals with a long-term average-type deal that looks better against the CBA. Still, the Flyers are damned with existing red numbers that they are obligated to pay against the cap or else this team would have some real room to play with. Instead, Keith Primeau (retired) still has nearly $3.2 million against the cap to be paid out this season and they have yet another million to payout on a buyout and a waiver deal, so in essence, the whole she-bang of it all is that the Flyers have roughly $638,000 in cap room to deal with. Apparently, the Flyers have been selected to be on the Peter Forsberg (Wes) shortlist, if there actually is one, and then all sorts of stress would ensue, as management would have to squeeze some more room by dealing a lacky away.

I thought I would include their current roster, just in case you were curious and you could mull over (if you are a Flyers fan) who could go and who could stay. Especially if the Forsberg sweepstakes actually heat up.

Daniel BriereMike RichardsMike Knuble
Simon GagneJeff CarterScottie Upshall
Scott HartnellR.J. UmbergerSami Kapanen
Riley CoteJim DowdSteve Downie
Joffrey LupulJesse Boulerice
Kimmo TimonenBraydon Coburn
Randy JonesJim Vandermeer
Derian HatcherJason Smith
Lasse Kukkonen
Martin Biron
Antero Niittymaki

With Joffrey Lupul (Don) sitting on the shelf with a concussion, the Flyers are replacing his $2.5 million salary with a much lower $0.475 million of Jesse Boulerice (non-pool) for the time being. That's a big help to the bottom line and depending on how long Lupul is out, that missing salary could open some more space for someone a little bit bigger.

The real downside to the Flyers situation is that the assets that they could more or less part with would be assets that are not highly sought after, like Sami Kapanen (non-pool) who is worth $1.25 million this year.

The big rumour sitting out on the wire sees Jeff Carter (Box 19) being available in a deal, which would open up the centre position and lessen the burden of negotiating his restricted free agent deal out of his entry level contract. Carter would garner much attention around the league, but he would have to leave to either empty a gap to be filled in by Forsberg or be in a deal that would see Mats Sundin (John P.) head to Philly.

No matter what the Flyers want to do to improve their product on the ice, they will have to move an asset or two in the process to free up the space. It's going to be a regular occurance in the salaray cap age.

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