Updates on the Flyers and Avalanche – May 9, 2011

More speculation on potential off-season moves for the Philadelphia Flyers, and evaluations of Colorado Avalanche free agents Milan Hejduk and Ryan Stoa.

PHILLYBURBS.COM: Wayne Fish reported Sunday the Flyers quick playoff elimination at the hands of the Boston Bruins raises many questions heading into the off-season. Does the goaltending strategy have to be changed? Is the defense getting a little long in the tooth (Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger are 36, Sean O’Donnell 39)? Were Kris Versteeg and Nik Zherdev the right forwards to replace Simon Gagne? Is this the right mix of players to execute Peter Laviolette’s system? Fish also reported backup goalie Brian Boucher is an unrestricted free agent,  Sergei Bobrovsky will likely remain in the mix, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the Flyers attempted to move Michael Leighton, who still has another season remaining on his contract.  The Flyers will also try to re-sign Ville Leino, and will probably be in the market for another scorer, as Zherdev – a UFA – probably won’t be back.

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Phil Sheridan reiterated his belief goaltending must be a priority for GM Paul Holmgren to address this summer.

PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS: Frank Seravalli looked at the Flyers roster and offered up his opinion of which players will remain and which could move on. He believes if the Flyers were to shop Jeff Carter there would be twenty teams interested, believes Scott Hartnell’s salary would make him hard to move, noted Zherdev was scratched 24 times this season, will have to figure out where RFA Dan Carcillo fits both under the salary cap and on the roster, believes Andreas Nodl will return next season, it might cost between $2-$3 million per season to retain Leino, Ian Laperriere is all but retired due to post-concussion symptoms but management would have to convince the league he’s still attempting a comeback in order to clear his salary from their books next season,  it’s unknown if 39-year-old Sean O’Donnell wants to return or if the Flyers are interested, Bobrovsky will be back, it remains to be seen what happens with Leighton, while Boucher would love to return with the Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky certainly will return, but the Flyers need to bring in an experienced starter for a year or two to take some pressure off “Bob” and aid in his development. Boucher probably won’t be re-signed, and Leighton could be shopped or waived in the off-season, or demoted next season. Given their limited cap space they’ll have to move salary if they hope to bring in an experienced starter, re-sign Leino and have enough left to fill out the rest of their roster. Trading for Evgeni Nabokov ($570K salary) makes the most sense cap-wise, but it remains to be seen if they go that route. Moving a player like Carter might help land a quality goalie, but that big contract might scare off some suitors, and we don’t know if that’s even an option Holmgren and company are willing to consider. Zherdev isn’t returning, and I wouldn’t fully rule out the possibility of Versteeg being shopped. Holmgren has proven a master at icing a competitive team with minimal cap space, but this summer could prove his toughest challenge yet.

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater has been rating the 2010-11 Colorado Avalanche roster, determining which free agents could return and which could be cut loose. Dater believes it would be worthwhile for the Avalanche to re-sign veteran winger Milan Hejduk to a one-year deal, but wondered if young forward Ryan Stoa would be re-signed after a disappointing performance in limited play this season with the Avs. Dater also predicted RFA forward David Jones could get a two-year, $4 million extension. He also suggested next season could be a make-or-break one for Brandon Yip, and feels it’s time to part ways with backup goalie Peter Budaj.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with Dater’s assessments. Hejduk would certainly be worthwhile to bring back for another season and he sounded receptive to that prospect. They definitely need to upgrade in goal and with Brian Elliott on the roster he could take over the backup role should they as expected seek a new starting goaltender.


  1. The future of the Flyers is very bright with young players like JVR, Giroux, Richards, Carter, Meszaros, Coburn, Bob, etc…
    Holmgren needs to acquire an established, veteran tender to win right now! The window of opportunity is closing rapidly on his “win now” acquisitions of players like Timonen and Pronger. Those two players were not brought in to win later…they’re brought in to win now. Holmgren has proven himself extremely crafty in the past and I expect him to do whatever is necessary to acquire the netminder this team so desperately needs. That being said, if all else fails, I wouldn’t be surprised if he offers a contract to JS Giguere, similar to the deals he offered to both Turco and Nabby last summer.

  2. Giguere has really struggled since backstopping the Ducks to the 2007 Cup. I wouldn’t rule it out but I’d put him down the priority list. Nabokov might be a better option as he’d certainly be more affordable in the short-term, whilst allowing Bobrovsky time to develop into a quality starter.

  3. This shows the risks of puting so much money into a handful of players. Your options are very limited if it doesn’t work out. Giving these no move contracts away like candy is foolish. I think if you have a huge contract that is longer than 5 years you should’nt be allowed to have a no move also. Really you are putting a gun to the head of a team. All the risk is on the team. Imagine going for a job interview and telling the boss, this is what i want to be paid and I also want you to guarantee me five years salary even if I’m really bad at my job. Unless of course you are looking for a government job.
    Teams like the Canucks are like Philadelphia, these teams are built to win now. Thier buget is maxed out and there is no room to bring in another star player. It seems these GM’s work on the premise that the cap will just keep going up every year so its OK. If the cap dropped 5 mill one year that would be interesting as you would see all these big spenders trying to drop salary and actually manage the team.

  4. Is this post from 2004 or 2011? I doubt this off season will be different from any other. I am hopeful, but you have to be realistic with the Flyers.

  5. Vanlee I agree, any lengthly contract should not have a nmc/ntc. A contract over 5 years basically acts like one anyways in most cases, but if the player is struggling and there is an off chance a gm can pull the trigger to move such player out, a contract stipulation should not stop that. I hope this amung other rules (10 year contracts) gets changed in the next cba. I love being an armchair gm, but there seems to be a lack of impactfull movement as far as trades go in today’s NHL.

  6. The only people musing about Carter being traded are the morons who don’t know about capgeek. 20 teams interested? Yeah. What a competitor. Not at all lazy now, probably be a freight train in 10 years.

  7. Brian Elliott is also an RFA and I doubt he is back.

    You also don’t give up on a 24 yr old in Ryan Stoa. These young players need time to develop.

    He’s played about 40 games in pieces of 2 seasons… you don’t give up on that. I’m sure some NHL teams would trade for him.

  8. Like it or not… I’m a fan of the Devils and watched Lou sign very questionable contracts (Malakhov, McGillis, Zubrus, Rolston, and Tallinder); it annoyed me that he handcuffed himself with those contracts, but it takes two to tango. Don’t sign em long, and if you don’t want to sign an NMC or an NTC, you don’t or you shorten the term. “You want a 7 year deal, you can have an NM/TC the first two years and then all bets are off”. This ain’t about trust; hockey is a business.

    If someone becomes a liability to my team, I’d have to be able to trade them or ship them to the minors in the best interests of the organization, sad as it is. Plus, if you’re a successful management team, that should already make the players respect the organization to begin with, so you don’t need to lure free agents in with promises that will hurt to keep.

  9. MHD I agree. I had to sit through the John Fergeon years handing out ntc’s to mccabe, sundin (he actually deserved it though) kubina and kaberle. All the while stating “if I didn’t give them one, somebody else would” the internal competition to land FA’s can’t be stopped on it’s own. Bettman needs to step up for the new cba and fix this. There should be a max number of years a player can have a ntc (say the first two years) or abolish it all together (unlikely)

  10. Sorry I got your name wrong MJR, must have been my phone auto correcting.

  11. Flyers need goalie help bad. I could see Homer shipping Versteeg and Zherdev to PHX for Bryzgalov before the deadline in a sign-and-trade deal. Carter won’t be going anywhere he has been the teams leading scorer for the past 3 years and was hurt badly in the last 2 playoffs. The core of the team is bright but the goalie situation needs to be fixed. Just a thought LA has a too many good goalies situation. Homer could jump on that by shipping out Versteeg and Zherdev because is Zherdev got his act together he would fit in well in LA as they are looking for scoring depth. Another Carter solution is to move him strictly to a pure winger. a line of him and JVR centered by Giroux could be absolutley lethal for years to come. Richards needs scoring help on his line. He sorely missed Gagne this year by being stuck with Carcillo, Nodl, Zherdev and Versteeg for the year. Versteeg was useless in Philly and should be shown the door for a goalie, Zherdev was scratched for 24 games and was non-existent inside his own blueline, Nodl has no offense and Carcillo isn’t a first line player plain and simple

  12. we have people we can move carle,useless versteeg let our ufa’s walk ship ot a prospect and versteeg for a goalie what about carter to nashville for weber may have to sweeten the pot a bit but nash needs scoring

  13. Alex, why would Phx or LA want to do a sign and trade? First off, that never happens, only in the NBA. Second, you just basically said they both played terrible, so why would either team want them?


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