Latest Flyers, Panthers and Maple Leafs Rumors – September 11, 2013.

The addition of Daniel Cleary could force the Flyers to dump salary before the start of the season, the Panthers extend a training camp invitation to Tim Thomas, and an update on Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren could get creative to free up cap space.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren could get creative to free up cap space.

PHILLY.COM/CSNPHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli reports the Flyers haven’t officially announced agreeing to terms with free agent forward Daniel Cleary on a three-year, $8.25 million contract, insisting they’re bringing him to training camp on a tryout basis before signing off on his contract. That’s because the Flyers are currently $2 million over the salary cap and have to clear cap space before they can officially announce his signing.

They’re expected to place Chris Pronger and Marc-Andre Bourdon, but the Flyers must carry the duo “on the opening day salary cap before receiving their combined $5.5 million cushion on Day Two.” That’s stoked speculation defenseman Andrej Meszaros ($4 million) could be dealt.The move means the Flyers won’t be inviting Simon Gagne to training camp.

Tim Panaccio meanwhile cited a Flyers sources suggesting they could demote Sean Couturier and/or Brayden Schenn to their AHL affiliate for a couple of days and then recall them. Couturier and Schenn are on two-way contracts and are exempt from waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Few NHL GMs dance so close to the line with the salary cap as the Flyers’ Paul Holmgren. If he can’t dump salary via trade, expect Couturier and/or Schenn to be short-term demotions to make the Flyers cap compliant until Pronger and Bourdon are placed on LTIR, then they’ll be recalled.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov noted a report by TSN’s Bob McKenzie claiming the Florida Panthers have extended a professional tryout offer (PTO) to UFA goalie Tim Thomas. The Panthers haven’t confirmed this and Fialkov is awaiting word from Thomas’ agent. Fialkov also speculates the NY Islanders and Vancouver Canucks might be interested, but noted Thomas prefers to be a starting goalie.

SI.COM: Allan Muir wonders if former NY Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro could get a call from the Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hopefully we’ll have clarification on the Panthers reported invite to Thomas later today. The only team I could see Thomas having a shot as a starter is with the Calgary Flames, but there’s no indication the Flames are interested in him. Otherwise, if he wants to play, he could be forced to accept a backup role.

THE SPORTING NEWS: Sean Gentille notes the Toronto Maple Leafs, having re-signed Nazem Kadri last night, will turn their focus on re-signing defenseman Cody Franson. TSN’s Darren Dreger believes Franson will get a one-year deal for around $2 million. Gentille noted that means the Leafs wouldn’t necessarily have to clear cap space, but they’ll have to if they intend on signing training camp invitee Mason Raymond.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gentille recently suggested the Leafs could clear cap space by trading winger Nikolai Kulemin. They could also demote one of their lower-salaried player and, as Gentille noted, carry a 22-man roster entering the season.


  1. Kadri got a fair deal. Nothing to talk about there.

    Chris Pronger and Marc-Andre Bourdon on LTIR, they can send Gervais to AHL he makes under 900K. Not to mentoin Schenn and Couturier moves I mentioned 3 month ago.
    Flyers do not have to trade Meszaros for some 3rd round pick. 3rd round pick ain’t going to do nothing for the Flyers. If Meszaros is healthy he can play decent D.

    I still think signing Cleary to 3 years 2.75 a year is way too much.

    • Looks like you may not have to worry about Cleary after all.

    • Now cross your fingers Gill dosent get some ridiculous deal 😉

  2. Toronto has a plan, and it’s not to throw money around. Good signing, Kadri has two years to prove that he is worth the money he wants!

    • Not throw money around? Tell that to bozak and clarkson!

      • Just wondering if people thought Bozak was going to play for free? Look around the league at guys who make around 4 mill (Ladd, Booth, Fisher, Hudler, Jones…) Bozak its pretty comparable. There are some bargains in that group with Oshie and Pavelski etc but really 4 mill for a second line center who plays pk pp takes every important face off… (worst case 3rd line center on some teams) is not that bad. Bozak at 4.2 mill will be a fairly decent value in the next couple years if the cap rises the way its predicted to.

  3. The Flyers missed the boat on potentially the best option for goal tending in Tim Thomas ..hes a #1 and they have 2 back ups right now ( IMO) and then sign an OLDER player Cleary for almost $3 million when Tim Thomas is out there and they really need a pure # 1 top tier Goalie in the line up ….big over sight by Philly …this would have been exactly what they neede for the next 2 years with the core team they have right now.

    Tim Thomas on the right team will be a wild card getting a team that is very good and a contender to the place they need to be to be really good and a pure contender ….mark my words this guy will open eyes in his return and re claim his title …hes just that good….. on the right team can make a run for the cup as the # 1!!

    With the cap crunch for both Philly and Leafs …there has to be trades in place over the summer that are just waiting to come to fruition with injuries and movement to create room …The leafs can really open up space by moving Phaneuf which they should do and add a piece along with him to sweeten the deal to make it so, I don’t see them resigning him anyways its just a matter of which team can fit him in and if they are a willing partner !…. IMO

    • The problem with Thomas is him as a person. He disrespected the tradition of going to the white house after the Bruins won the cup.

      He is also outspoken and what he said in his last year in Boston really drove a wedge between him and the lockeroom/ management.

      After the Breezy experiment the last 2 years, the last thing the Flyers needed was a distraction by the goalie, both on and off the ice.

      I’ll take the chance on Mason/ Razor thank you.

    • I’m a Habs fan, and am already nervous about the comments being made about their efforts to sign Subban (Bergevin: “It takes two to tango” = Subban’s not negotiating at the moment)

      Wouldn’t surprise me if, after the last contract negotiations, Subban might consider signing elsewhere. Not a fact, or even a rumour – just a possibility.

      But if I were the Leafs, I would watch that situation VERY closely. Subban’s salary next year would come in relative close to Phaneuf’s salary this year. If Subban’s negotiations stall during the season, then don’t trade Phaneuf for salary. Trade him for picks / prospects and see if you can sign the hometown boy, Subban, in the off-season.

      LOTS of hockey between now & then, but I could at least reasonably see things unfolding that way.

  4. A little high paying for Kadri in my book, I was hoping the bridge would be closer to $2.5M but hey, it works.
    I don’t like the idea of trading Kulemin, his 2-way game is great!
    Raymond is an interesting try-out option, but he’s not going to get any serious $ anywhere.

    • Agreed, he did receive a tad to much but at least its not a gross over-payment. I also wish people would quit trying to get rid of Kulemin. He could be more useful via scoring more often but his D is very good. Raymond wont make the team IMO. D’Amigo is going to out shine him in the pre-season. Raymond is a decent player but his injury history has scared off most teams and he doesn’t have that gritty edge Carlyle likes his third and fourth liners to have.
      I have a very strong feeling that Holmgren might be standing on a very thin tight rope. If his team plays anywhere near like it did last year or it doesn’t make great strides towards improvement he is a goner. He has screwed up just way to many times. I know Snider seems to be patient and loyal to his hires but he will not stand by and watch his team flounder much more.
      Nitro, just what do you think the flyers would get for Meszaros? A third rounder might be all they could get and if it is they should take it. Yes he might be worth more, but not much and it would solve a big problem.
      I personally don’t care much for Tim Thomas, but if he can regain his form he would definately help a team needing to get over the hump. Hockey is a business and the idea is to win the cup which brings in huge bucks. If a team can overlook his self serving then he will fit in as a team mate. I don’t agree with some of his attitude but at least he isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in which he is thankfully allowed to do.

      • I hope you’re right about D’amigo, we’ve been waiting long enough for him to develop from his briliance in the US junior team.
        Holmgren is as good as gone if Philly misses the playoffs again, no doubt about that.
        I don’t really see anyone wanting Meszaros at $4M/season with his injury history.
        As for Tim Thomas, well I kind of agree with his political views so it’s hard for me to slag on the guy. (Hockey’s not that important in the US, remember the “Yzerman’ debaucle?) He competes @ 100% intensity. If Calgary was smart they’d pick him up pronto…

  5. Its pretty simple kadri came in at expected around 3. Both smith and holzer are starting in the ahl. If know one will take liles you put him on waivers and clear 900 of his salary. That should be plenty to resign franson to the 2 mill and posiibly fit raymond in. You do not trade kulimen from a position of weakness (leafs cap situation) as teams will not give you enough for a good two way forward

  6. maybe morgan rielly impresses then we trade franson and liles as salery dump for a guy like cammi? from cal dosent fit in long term lilse has good season they trade him at deadline for a decent pick? franson is good but we have 3 of that type of dmen

    • Franson is the only good RH shot we have on D, he isn’t going anywhere. Id trade Gardiner before him, although I see them as a pairing with Fraser/Ranger as third. I think Holzer is gonna end up in Edm. Kulie won’t get traded unless a solid offer is on the table and/or gets outshined by Raymond. Or a team takes Liles, an experienced PMD who unfortunately just isn’t a fit on this team

  7. I am actually still hoping they can get rid of Liles somehow. It would have made sense to buy him out but for some reason Nonis balked at that idea.

    • Carolina just lost Pitkanen for the entire year with an heal injury. Do I smell a trade between Toronto and Carolina? Liles would fit the bill for a pp guy and offensive d-man. Get it done Nonis.

      • If Franson dont sign soon I could see it being him going, Liles would be my choice to go of course, but it would be pretty hard to say no to Franson for Victor Rask (If something along those lines was offered) now that the Canes drafted Lindholme.

    • There should be some sort of luxury tax so teams can go over the cap- but really make it onerous on the teams that do go over.

  8. Kadri has 2 yrs to prove he is worth the big bucks he demanded.

    Wake up Jared Cowen… you need Camp. You have basically played 1 full NHL season.. and if you did demand 5.5M (as Bob Mac reported you did) then you are a fool. You have basically missed 2 of the last 4 seasons due to injuries… time to get with the program. Sign a bridge contract like Kadri did… Subban did… and get your ass to camp.

    My condolences to Bryan Murray on the death of his mom…

    Now hockey is back. Time for Sens fans, Habs fans & Leaf fans to get back to hating each other.

  9. Just curious. When did Toronto move to the USA? I thought there was “Canadian Corner” to discuss all the Canadian teams? LOL

    • Evidently discussion of Canadian teams is not limited to the Canadian corner. Gotta be prepared to cross boundaries and put an end to segregation.

      • Ya thats the Leafs, the Rosa Parks of the NHL, :-p

        • All right, that made me laugh.

    • All true Canadians are embarrassed by that team with the leaf on their jersey.