Some Great Players Are Available, and The Flyers Likely Won’t Have Any of Them
For the team, unlike the Flyers, that has cap space, free agency is a cornucopia of players and possibilities. There is no need that can’t be met, no dream that can’t be realized, and all for just a little money. Sure it is not all roses, there are some Black Friday moments, that in the mania of getting new stuff you over pay, sometimes by a lot.
Other times dreams become nightmares, when that puck moving defenseman suddenly can’t take two steps without falling, or that franchise goalie has some kind of mental break down and turns into an astrophysicist philosopher.
But even with the down side, it still feels better to be able to play than to sit longingly on the sideline. For teams like the Flyers that find themselves low on players under contract and cap space, the free agency period turns into a barren wasteland of disappointment and envy. Like a dieting fat man in a Ghirardelli Chocolate store, there is so much to want, but nothing, absolutely nothing, you can get.
The Flyers are on a diet brought on by last year’s free agent splurge on Kevin Hayes. Don’t get the wrong impression, Hayes was totally worth it. Free agent signings seldom work out as well as the team hopes, especially big signings like Hayes. Hayes being on the team and contributing as he has is a treat. Enjoy it! Because there are a lot of names that we almost certainly won’t be getting this year.
Pietrangelo is an absolute stud and was the Blues Captain, guiding them to a Stanley Cup. The right-handed shot does it all for his team. Free agents are a crap shoot, but my guess Pietrangelo will be worth what ever he gets. With only just over seven million in cap space the Blues will have to jettison some players in order to re-sign their captain. Alex made 7.5 million last year, and I expect he will command at least that much. As a comparison, Matt Niskanen is slated to make 5.75 million this year.
I was pretty happy when the Devils sent Hall to Arizona. I think I have mild PTSD from his game on 2/13/2018, a 5-4 Devils victory where he menaced the Flyers from start to finish. I still get cold shivers thinking about that game. Hall had a down year, scoring only 16 goals. He made six million dollars last season. Arizona is at the cap and will probably sit this one out. I expect some team will pay Hall more than 7 million dollars, and for at least four years. It makes me happy that Fletcher is sitting this one out.
I used to think that Holtby was on par with Carey Price, as one of the top netminders in the league. I have since reconsidered as Holtby’s play has diminished over the years. He may be a capable goalie who got hot for one great playoff run. But teams need goaltending. How dangerous would the Islanders be with Holtby instead of Varlamov? A team with space will be willing to pay 7 million a year for Holtby.
Other players the Flyers won’t be enjoying include Mike Hoffman, Torey Krug, Evgenii Dadonov, Tyler Toffoli or Alex Galchenyuk. In fact, with the restricted free agents and cap situation as it stands now, re-signing Tyler Pitlick and Brian Elliott are not sure bets for the Flyers. But take heart, Kevin Hayes is ours for the next half decade.