As the Kings and the Rangers wrap up the 2013-2014-hockey season by duking it out in Stanley Cup Final, the other 30 teams are trying to make the most of their offseason.
We have seen the Flyers make some moves by promoting former GM Paul Holmgren to team president and promoting Ron Hextall to the GM position. However, they have been pretty low-key on roster moves only having signed French forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. The reason for the Flyer’s hesitancy to modify their roster is due to their limited cap space, which is set at 6.5 million. The blame for the low cap rests with former GM, Paul Holmgren. Holmgren can be credited with over priced contracts and buyouts to players such as Vincent Lecavalier, Ilya Bryzgalov, and Daniel Briere.
While the Flyers have a really tight cap, the areas of concern are a wing, defensemen, and backup goalie. The Flyers have some players who I would like to re-sign that are set to become free agents.
Re-signing Adam Hall is a must, he was one of the best Flyers faceoff men and helped a lot on the penalty kill. I would like to see Jason Akeson resigned as well. Akeson brings youth and showed signs of how he helped the team during his little time on the roster. The biggest free agent the Flyers need to keep is Brayden Schenn. Schenn posted career highs this year with 20 goals and 21 assists and while playing all 82 games this season.
I believe the 2014-2015 Flyer’s team will have a couple of new faces, but it will relatively be the same team as last season. I do not think we are going to see Ron Hextall send shockwaves through the NHL by making big trades. The Flyers have to get their cap under control. This may happen if the speculation surrounding Vincent Lecavalier is true. It is rumored that Lecavalier will be available via trade. I believe the Flyers will be able to keep Brayden Schenn and seal a deal done with him. The only way I can see Schenn leaving is if he was packaged for a proven forward. If Lecavalier is traded for only draft picks , the cap space to find another defensemen in free agency would be available. The Flyers could also trade Lecavalier for a defensemen. As far as roster moves go, Scott Laughton, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Robert Hagg might have a chance to see some action as members of the Flyers roster this year. Who knows?
Here are some defensemen that are available through free agency that the Flyers might target and are within the Flyer’s cap
Matt Niskanen 27- cap hit was 2.3 million with the Pittsburg Penguins. Niskanen registered 10 goals and 36 assists with the Penguins this season.
Nikita Nikitin 27- cap hit was 2.15 million with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Nikitin only had 2 goals and 13 assists this season. His best season was 2011-2012 where he posted 7 goals and 25 assists.