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Category Archives: Flyers News

Flyers Splashes in FA Signings, Gagne Trade Rumors, Zherdev Signing?

Since last week when I wrote about possible free-agent scenarios, I did not expect what the Flyers have right now. The Flyers acquired young defenseman Andrej Meszaros from the Lightning for a 2nd round pick in 2012, and signed free agent veteran defenseman Sean O’Donnell who just finished a season with the Los Angeles Kings. They also signed veteran gritty forward Jody Shelley to a three-year deal, while being able to re-sign Coburn.

So that was the first day of free agency, and I loved the fact that we got O’Donnell and Meszaros. From this standpoint, they will be playing on the third pairing and are a HUGE upgrade over the likes of Parent/Krajicek/Bartulis. Even if Coburn drops down to that pair and Meszaros moves up, it just made our defense one of the best in the league. The only problem with this signing is Meszaros’ $4 million cap hit per year which may be a tough pill to swallow for some, considering that is more than both Coburn and Carle’s. Then there was the Shelley signing…
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Leighton Re-signed; What’s Going to Happen at Midnight?!

Today Michael Leighton was re-signed on the eve of NHL free agency. He received a two-year deal, totaling $3.1 million dollars. His cap hit will minimal, but it’s definitely a raise over his abysmal salary last year. Many Flyers fans are shaking their heads in disgust, yet some are happy with the news. That being said, Holmgren is not done. They still have plans to sign another defenseman or goaltender between midnight tonight and tomorrow night. I expect them to further another offer to Nabokov and Hamhuis just in case they change their mind, but I also expect them to go further. Anton Volchenkov has been a name floating around for the past week or so, and I would not be surprised if the Flyers could get him. He’d be a great 3rd pairing guy and a penalty killer if Lavvy felt the need to. His price would not be too high, either. Goalies on the list include the likes of former Flyguys Biron and Nitty, and other names such as Mason and Turco. I for one do not really have an idea of what exactly is going to happen. I’d love to have Nabokov for a season or two with Leighton as the back-up and Boosh being waived or as the third goalie. I don’t expect that, so I’d be happy with another goalie fighting with Leighton for that number one spot… Nitty or Mason please. NOT TURCO.

Tonight you will probably see Aaron Asham walk and not be re-signed, which is sad because I really like Asham. However, he’s going to want a raise and deservedly so, and the Flyers do not have enough wiggle room since they’re already trying to sign Coburn, Carcillo
and Powe to their RFA tenders. Krajicek is without a doubt gone, I should not even have to write that.

So tomorrow will be the big day, but I expect to hear some happenings early this morning after midnight. Last year we signed Lappy and Boosh and Emery around this time, but I’m not sure if we will be signing that many this year.

 
 

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Draft Weekend Recap

So a lot has changed since I last posted. We were all excited about the idea of Dan Hamhuis being signed soon, and yet he has left. We traded him to Pittsburgh for a seventh round pick because of his worries about not getting enough playing time. Yes, you read that right. With a team that boasts Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen as their top two defensemen, I guess Hamhuis thought he would only be a third pairing guy. What happens if he outplays Carle or Coburn in training camp? What happens if one goes down to injury? Hamhuis is basically being selfish and not reveling in the fact that he could play for a competitive team in a competitive city and do just that; compete, for a starting job. I don’t believe he will sign with Pittsburgh either, so we will probably see him test the market on July 1st.

There were also plenty of Evgeni Nabokov rumors circling the web, but they have slowed down a lot since it was clear that Nabokov would want more money than the Flyers could give at this point. This leaves a lot of room for possible deals to be made, but it closes the window as free-agency starts in a few days and the Flyers do not have many bargaining chips as they had only had picks in rounds 3-7 this past weekend.

Speaking of the draft, the Flyers drafted some young talent to add to their pool and hopefully develop into future NHL players. You can view that here. I don’t know anything about these guys, but that really is how hockey drafts work. Gotta hope some of those forwards pan out to add to our forward depth which is starting to get thinner in our system as guys get older.

Johnathan Matsumoto was also traded this weekend for a 7th round pick, which makes sense as he was a guy looking for an opportunity at the NHL level but couldn’t with the likes of Briere, Richards, and Carter on the team.

Will anything else happen between now and July 1st? Probably nothing big. I expect Coburn to be re-signed at the very least, but I won’t put signing a free agent goalie or defenseman out of the question come FA day.

 
 

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Flyers Open Season in Pittsburgh; Who’s Leaving?

The Flyers full schedule was released today and the beginning jumps at you since we will be hoping to christen the new Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh with the same way the Mellon Arena went out; with a big loss. I like opening on the road, and it worked well for us this past season as we got off to a good start. This team will have a lot of expectations yet again this year, but this will be more than last year’s “on-paper” expectations. They were two wins away from a Cup with a good core group of young forwards and some veteran defensemen anchoring the blue line. The odds for the Flyers to win the Cup last year are probably increased in the world of sports betting, but not every Flyer from this year will be returning.

Krajicek, Asham, and (finally) Mike Rathje will be UFA’s on the Flyers who you will probably see gone. Krajicek will definitely not return to the Flyers, as I don’t see a scenario where we would sign him when we have some young guys looking to fill the 6th defensive spot. Rathje is injured and won’t earn anymore money finally, and Asham will probably be sent packing. I actually like Asham a lot too, he’s a good player who was a solid winger on that 3rd line this year and I think he will do well wherever he goes, I just hope we can find a way to sign him.

Carcillo, Coburn, and Syvret are the 3 main RFA’s that have not been signed yet, and I expect Carcillo and Syvret to get some nice 2-3 year deals. Coburn, however, has apparently garnered some interest to other teams, but the Flyers fully expect to sign him and keep him in their defensive rotations if they can afford it. If he is to be traded, or anyone else for that matter, expect it to be done this weekend when the 2010 NHL Draft will be taking place. The Flyers are actively pursuing a goaltender, and I’m just hoping that Tim Thomas rumors are just that, because I don’t want a 33-year old goalie to solve our problems.

Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell are the two biggest names being thrown around at the moment, especially because of their big cap hits and the need to sign Hamhuis ASAP. Carter has a $5 million cap hit and does not have a NTC, which Hartnell does. I know the Flyers don’t want to necessarily move Carter, but I think it is the most logical choice. If you can get a top-tier defenseman, winger, or goalie out of it, go for it. Even if the return from Carter is something another team wants and we get involved in a multiple-team trade, I don’t care. Richie, Giroux, and Briere are your top 3 centerman. Even if Carter was a third line center, are you going to pay him that much to do that? If we weren’t so cramped for cap space, I’d love to keep our favorite regular season scorer (see what I did there?).

Hartnell would help out a lot of teams who need a physical presence, but he’d have to agree to the trade. I don’t think he wants to go anywhere, and who could blame him? You were one of the better players in your team’s run to the Cup (last few rounds anyway), and you know they are poised to do it again. Finding someone to take him will also be tough considering the money he makes.

Who would you want to see come to the Flyers? Trade for a goalie? Sign another good scoring winger with the free agents out there? Tim Thomas? Corey Schneider? Recchi? Selanne? Guerin? Kariya? Whitney? Fedotenko?

 
 

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One Piece Added: Dan Hamhuis to the Defensive Corps

This afternoon the Flyers reported that they acquired the rights to Nashville defenseman Dan Hamhuis. Hamhuis should not be a name that is new to you if you followed trade rumors at the trade deadline this season. He was one of the main players the Flyers were looking for along with Florida goalie Thomas Vokoun. However, Nashville, like back in March, will not be able to re-sign Hamhuis when he hits free-agency July 1st, so the Flyers gave them their former first-round pick Ryan Parent for the rights to Hamhuis and a conditional 2011 NHL Draft Pick.

This is great news for Flyers fans, who I think will find Hamhuis a lot more welcoming than Ryan Parent’s play the past two seasons. Our top-four defenseman are already some of the better in the league between Pronger, Timonen, Carle, and Coburn. The question is now, for how much do we sign this Hamhuis guy and where will he fit? He can throw his body around, and is reliable in pretty much any situation. I haven’t watched a lot of him obviously, but from what I’ve seen and heard there is nothing but good things about this guy. The best part? He’s 27 and is still coming into his own. Sounds like a great move by Homer and Co.

Braydon Coburn is the only defenseman out of our top four that I can see going if we were to dump salary in order to sign Hamhuis. Maybe get a team to pay his tender since he’s a RFA. However, I believe Coburn could be a strong 3rd pairing guy and make our defensive depth great, so maybe a forward would be better. You have to think we still might make moves for a goalie soon, and I’m expecting a blockbuster trade before or at the NHL draft, depending on how free agency goes. Jeff Carter or Hartnell would be obvious trades to make to clear cap space and get something good in return, but Hartnell would need to waive his NTC and a lot of teams will be asking for VanRiemsdyk or Giroux. There’s no way we part with Giroux, but it wouldn’t be so shocking if JVR was sent packing for something big, would it?

We’ll have more soon.

 
 

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Last Piece of the Thrashers

If the Flyers want to make up for their 3 losses to the Thrashers this season, now would be the time to do it. With their position in 5th place being anything but a lock at this point, they need to put some wins together. I missed the first half of last night’s game but from what I’ve heard I can piece together a picture in my mind from previous losses. They came out flat and Boucher didn’t settle down fast enough. If this team wants to win they better come out a little more confident and a little more desperate. We cannot be complacent with hanging on to 5th place because then we will lose it. Play hard to move up in the standings and it will do a few things for you:
1. You keep distance from those below you.
2. There’s still a shot at grabbing home-ice.
3. You tune-up your game and get the ball rolling going into the first round of the play-offs.

I don’t know what else to say. This team needs to pick it up or we won’t go anywhere in the playoffs. We have a big week ahead of us but they have to take care of business tonight first.

 

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Flyers Face a HUGE Challenge

I’m sorry for the lack of updates, I just finished my spring break and classes are starting to push for the final stretch of the semester; much like the NHL season for the playoffs. We saw the Flyers win in stellar dramatic fashion on Saturday against the Hawks, and then come out flat against the Rangers. They battled back against the Predators to lose in a shootout (surprise, surprise) and then find out they lost Michael Leighton… and now they’re in 7th place. Michael Leighton suffered a severe sprained ankle in Nashville on Tuesday night, and is expected to miss 8-10 weeks which is AWESOME for us Flyers fans. Our two No. 1 goalies going down in the same year and at the worst times. Brian Boucher is going to have to light some retro 2000 playoffs fire and hope he can help this downtrodden Flyers team get themselves in good position for the playoffs. People have been speculating that Robert Esche might return to the Flyers, but he would not be eligible for the playoffs at this point if he were to be picked up. Jeremy Duchesne will dress as Boosh’s backup since Backlund is still a bit sore from a lower body injury. It’s going to be a bump road to the playoffs and to the Cup with Leighton being out.

We have the Stars tonight and then to Atlanta on Saturday for a home-and-home which resumes on Sunday in Philly. All we need to do is win tonight and hope the Senators lose and we move past them in the standings and we still would have a game in hand over them. They better be ready to score some goals and help out our goalie who hasn’t looked great since the beginning of the season…

New Forward

Flyers signed a new forward, Ben Holstrom that will start at the beginning of next season. Not too sure about this signing and I’m not sure where he will play.

 

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