For the most part, the Philadelphia Flyers had a “quiet” off-season. The team made some nice additions, but when July 2014 rolls around expect some noise from Broad Street.
Let’s be honest here, the signing of Lecavalier was a headline move, but it did not have the same flavor as the Parise/Suter fiasco.
This past year’s free agency class stunk. Not a single unrestricted free agent in this year’s crop, with the exception of Lecavalier, could make a significant impact their teams. Next year, however, is a different story. As the 2014 UFA class stands, star players such as Jay Bouwmeester, Henrik Lundqvist and Phil Kessel have not received extensions from their respective teams. Those are only a few of the big names that could hit the open market.
Obviously, this class will dwindle before next July, but there are several big names on here who could make a large impact. The most intriguing name – personally – on this list is King Henrik. Lundqvist is one of the top five goaltenders in the league. He has single handedly kept the New York Rangers from falling into the abyss of the Eastern Conference. Now before you jump down my throat saying the Rangers will never let him go, I agree with you. If I were the GM, I would do everything in my power to kept Lundqvist in the Big Apple, but Lundqvist may not feel the same.
Before signing the rest of his career over to the Blueshirts, Lundqvist may want to know the direction Alain Vigneault (name pronunciation) plans to take the Rangers. This includes style of play, in-game strategy and what players will be brought in to better the team. Lundqvist has every right to demand this. He is the face of the franchise and it will be he who will bring the Rangers back to the Stanley Cup.
But if negotiations should sour and Lundqvist becomes a free agent, almost every team will be calling no. 30 asking for his services. Of course the Flyers will be too if Steve Mason and Ray Emery do not prove themselves next season. I believe Lundqvist is a long shot to leave New York, but in the chance he does, expect Ed Snider and Co. to be interested.