Philadelphia Flyers Offseason: Facing a Dilemma


Philadelphia Flyers Offseason: Facing a Dilemma

Almost the entire Philadelphia Flyers roster is on contract for at least one more season. Unfortunately, this group of players failed miserably in their attempt to produce a winning 2014-2015 season, and make the playoffs. Ron Hextall is clearly changing the culture in Philadelphia, and doing what he can turn this franchise back into one of the NHL’s elite. However, this task is going to be quite difficult to accomplish by the start of next season unless Hextall is able to work some serious magic this summer.

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The Philadelphia Flyers are giving it their best effort when it comes to becoming younger and smarter with their money. Although this is a great mentality to have, one cannot ignore the plethora of bad contracts on this roster that eat up a large portion of the salary cap. We all know the situation with Vincent Lecavalier; he has pretty much played like garbage since joining Philly, and is due $10.5M over the next three seasons. If he were the only player with that fell into this category, the Flyers would be okay. Unfortunately, he is not. Andrew MacDonald is on the payroll until 2020 and is making way more money than he deserves. In addition, the Flyers still have to pay R.J. Umberger $9M over the next two season to play on the fourth line.

Feb 5, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) and Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald (47) during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Islanders defeated the Flyers, 3-2 in a shootout.Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously the ideal solution is to trade these guys away; but it will be almost impossible to do so. In the NHL, giving away humongous long-term deals to players has become a thing of the past. There is no way another team is going to willingly pursue another team’s mistakes.

Luckily there are some members of the orange and black that are viewed as tradable assets. It is popular opinion that both Nicklas Grossmann and Luke Schenn will be dealt either before or on draft day. This will help shed some roster and cap space; but it will not be anything too significant. If Hextall can trade away both players, he would essentially free up $6.85M. However, it is highly unlikely that the Flyers would get anything of much immediate value in return.

The Flyers have done a great job acquiring young prospects that may one-day blossom into stars in the NHL. Unlike some other sports, this blossoming does not usually happen right away in hockey. Prospects normally need at least one to two seasons of development before they are even ready to play in the pros.

Like many others, I truly believe in what Ron Hextall is doing and think that the Flyers will become Stanley Cup contenders in the somewhat near future. With that being said, he is going to need to make some serious moves in order for the Flyers to be better next season than they were in 2014-2015. If this does not happen, we could be unfortunately looking at another rough year in Philadelphia.

Next: Flyers Should Look to Acquire Lucic

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