Daniel Briere and the Philadelphia Flyers have the opportunity to do something crazy if the Vancouver Canucks are willing to dance. At the time of this writing, the Canucks are actually over (!!!) the salary cap by $668,750. The Canucks want to compete, but their roster is extremely hamstrung by two really bad contracts; possibly the two worst in the NHL.
This sounds like a mighty favor to ask of the Flyers, and it is. But, the Flyers can find themselves in a position to grab another game-changer in addition to whoever they draft at seventh overall. This would also mean the Flyers have five total first-round picks between the 2023 and 2024 drafts. Tyler Myers only has one year left at $6 million, but Oliver Ekman-Larsson has four at $7.26 million. If the Flyers are willing to suck it up and suffer through two years of “OEL”, a buyout in 2025 really isn’t too harsh, especially if the most significant Flyers players on the NHL roster at that time are on their entry-level contracts.
For the Canucks, this deal essentially confirms a commitment to trying to compete with the core of their roster as it is. Carter Hart will provide them with a real tandem alongside Thatcher Demko, and Kevin Hayes will help fill out their bottom-six. They would then also have some wiggle room to pursue free agents, such as Damon Severson or Ryan Graves, who are both miles better than Myers and Ekman-Larsson.
Whatever happens, there’s never too much of a risk in being bold. For Daniel Briere, this roster represents a serious challenge for a first-time GM, but there are plenty of outlets worth exploring. Like all things business, it’s eat-or-be-eaten.