Monday, February 14, 2011

Flyers Add Versteeg

2011 Season2011Remaining
To Philadelphia
PositionAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Kris VersteegForward2453142135$3.1 million1Same
To Ottawa
PositionAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
2011 1st Round Draft Pick
2011 3rd Round Draft Pick

The Philadelphia Flyers upped the ante with a deal to acquire Kris Versteeg from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday afternoon. The Flyers paid a hefty price to get a previous Cup-winning depth forward in Versteeg by handing Toronto their 1st and 3rd round picks in the 2011 draft. The Leafs, who are joining their fellow provincial cousin as a seller this year, get the 1st round pick they so desperately needed, since their 2011 1st round pick belongs to the Bruins.

Versteeg was a key component to the Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory last Summer, playing some valuable minutes for the team, in a lot of facets of the team strategy.  The Flyers are already a very deep team both up front and on defense, with somewhat of an unproven goaltending tandem.  If either the Flyers or Blackhawks proved anything last year, defensive depth in front of the goaltending will lessen the burden on their backstops and make it much easier to win at the team game.

Versteeg did manage to pick up a good number of points for the Leafs in the 2011 season, but he really didn't pan out in the way that the Leafs brass were hoping, trying to mould him into a top-six forward, giving him somewhat of a promotion from his role with the Blackhawks.  Now, Versteeg will likely revert back into more of a checking role, but with better two-way players around him, the new addition may be able to find a few more points as well.

With another year still left on his deal, there will be even more time for Versteeg to develop into a key forward for the Flyers, especially if the team can make another long run into the playoffs.

The Leafs goal to rebuild and develop players has to start with draft picks and maybe some collegiate free agents, so getting a 1st round pick in this deal was key.  With the Senators picking up a 1st round pick from the Predators for Mike Fisher, the market price for a two-way forward rocketed up and was now worth a 1st round pick, perfect for the Leafs game plan.

Salary CapAdding Kris Versteeg is a bit of a lump to take on for the Philadelphia Flyers, but according to's daily calculator for the team, this was about the best they could with the space they had left. With a tiny little bit of LTIR space giving a pillow to rest their heads on, the Flyers should come away just fine out of this deal. The LTIR discounts in place give the Flyers that extra little bit of breathing room to fit Versteeg under the cap for the rest of the season.

The Leafs have successfully cleared out a little bit more space, both for the rest of this season and added some flexibility for the Summer and the 2012 season.  The annual $3.1 million that Versteeg is set to make next season can then be used on a player that may have a more positive impact on the team.

ImplicationsWell, in the draft, Monday has become a bit of a swing day at the top of the standings. Allan S. has learned that his key pick-up in the second waiver draft decided that the comeback wasn't going to work and Kristy and Don have now seen Versteeg go from an offensively challenged Leafs team to a great two-way scoring team in Philly.  The improvement in teams could see a bit better of a run from the draft's tandem.  Going into Monday's action, Kristy and Don sit in 3rd place, 4 points out of 1st, 1 point out of 2nd and 31 points up on 4th.

Just when you thought the Flyers looked pretty good already, they were able to snag a great player like Versteeg and make their side even deeper.  With injury problems in Pittsburgh, growing pains to a new system in Washington and Boston without a great deal of depth or finesse, the Flyers have to be strong favourites of being the Eastern Conference representation in the Cup Finals this year.  I would be expecting them to have a strong showing in the playoff pool this year as well.

No comments: