Updates on the Flyers and Penguins – May 29, 2011.

The latest speculation on possible moves by the Philadelphia Flyers, while two pending UFA forwards won’t be re-signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

COURIERPOST ONLINE: Chuck Gormley reports Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren hopes he can add to his roster without subtracting key players this summer. The Flyers currently have 18 players under contract for just under $59 million, meaning they’ll gain around $3 million in cap space if as expected the cap ceiling for next season increases to $62 million. Holmgren’s challenge will be to retain his core while adding a proven goalie either via free agency (a pool which includes Ilya Bryzgalov, Tomas Vokoun, Dwayne Roloson and Evgeni Nabokov) or trade, where Miikka Kiprusoff, Niklas Backstrom, or Jonathan Quick could be on the Flyers radar. Holmgren has indicated he’d like to retain forward Jeff Carter, who’s been the subject of trade speculation. Gormley believes Holmgren will have to cut salary from the bottom of his roster. If he places Ian Laperriere on LTIR next season and keeps Michael Leighton and defenseman Matt Walker in the minors, that would free up an additional $4.4 million. Holmgren intends to send qualifying offers to RFAs Dan Carcillo, Darroll Powe and Andreas Nodl, but Gormley suggested Carcillo could become the odd man out. Gormley also reports Holmgren would prefer to retain pending UFA forward Ville Leino, but Leino is seeking $3.5 million per season, while the Flyers would prefer to sign him for $2.5 million. If Leino departs and they replace him with promising Matt Read, they would have about $1.5 million in available cap space before tinkering with their defense. Gormley assumes if Holmgren retains his core forwards (minus Leino and Carcillo), he could turn to moving a defenseman, perhaps Matt Carle and his one-year, $3.4 million salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nabokov won’t be a free agent, as the Islanders intend to “toll” his contract toward next season, with the intent of shopping him in the off-season. His one-year, $570K salary would be much more affordable, without the need of having to dump around $5 million to free up cap space for a more expensive goalie. Forget about Kiprusoff and Backstrom, they’re not available, and I don’t believe the Kings are in a big hurry to move Quick. If Leino is seeking $3.5 million per season, Holmgren will let him walk, as that asking price is far too much. Burying Leighton and Walker in the minors and putting Laperriere on LTIR will also work, as well as shopping Carle. Carter won’t be shopped, and even if he were his expensive, lengthy deal would be very difficult to move, especially with only one season remaining in the current CBA. Looks like Holmgren has several options, with trading Carter the least likely.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Shelly Anderson reports Penguins GM Ray Shero said pending UFA forwards Alex Kovalev and Mike Comrie won’t be re-signed, indicating the 30-year-old Comrie could be “leaning toward retirement”. Shero wouldn’t rule out re-signing any of his other UFAs, a list which includes Max Talbot, Pascal Dupuis, Michael Rupp, Craig Adams, Arron Asham, Eric Goddard, Chris Conner and Nick Johnson. Talks with Adams are ongoing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg. No surprise Comrie and Kovalev won’t be back, and I would be very surprised if they’re playing in the NHL next season.

15 Comments

  1. i think teams will go into the 3’s to get Leino (seems like an Isles kind of player?); maybe Detroit will want him back.
    You are only allowed to have a 24 man roster in the off-season, so “burying” a guy in the minors is a get out of jail free card, but you only get the one, unless you are signing FAs in late october. So I would guess they don’t go with cheap guys like Leighton, whom they should actually buyout (leaving a cap hit of 483k). Matt Carle hasn’t played his way into Souray and Redden territory, so i’m guessing a generous trade is a more likely option.
    – I don’t see why they’d re-sign Carcillo, but then, I don’t see why they ever did. This joker was on their top line last year……Richards couldn’t figure out why his line couldn’t pop. But this is Philly, probably the lamest team in the league in terms of identity, so i can’t guess what they’ll do.
    -Nodl is worth being patient with.
    -maybe they will also ditch useless Shelley and not re-sign Powe, and put the assets towards a better penalty killer.
    – I do not expect Holmgren to make moves that I agree with though.

  2. Powe is one of the better PK guys in the league…he’ll be resigned. I do agree that Carcillo can go…he’s uncontrollable…and that’s a quality not very desirable by coaches..it’s too bad really as he does have some talent. I expect Carle to be dangled as trade bait to free up cap space for a goalie as they do have a lot of good young D waiting for a shot. Carle doesn’t make very many mistakes in the defensive zone, so he may be of interest for teams with issues in their own end. If Leino wants 3+ I can’t see how the Flyers can make that work…unfortunately he may walk…too bad as he’s a “team first” player and also plays as well without the puck as he does with it…but as with Carle he’s not very physical. I believe that Nodl will be a very good player in this league, he’s a hard worker and can be counted on to play in both ends of the rink and isn’t afraid to muck in the corners and along the boards…I can see him being on Richie’s line for years to come and contributing 20 goals annually. These rumors regarding Kipper are ludicrous!!! Backstrom maybe…but not realistic and why on earth would Lombardi move Quick? He’s playing fantabulis hockey, has a cap hit of 1.8 million for the next two years and, IMO, Bernier isn’t ready yet.

  3. One could make the argument that Powe and Betts are the most underrated PK tandem in the NHL. Probably worth keeping both of them around, though Betts still has a season or two left on his contract. Carle seems like a fairly typical run-of-the-mill “Western Conference” defenseman: pretty good when his team has the puck, but staggeringly mediocre otherwise.

    As an aside, I feel we shouldn’t count any UFA’s as UFA’s just yet; the reality is their contracts are good until July 1.

  4. I’m a Ranger fan and I wish we had Betts back. By far one of the best penalty killers in the league.

  5. I like Comrie as a third line player; he just doesn’t seem to be getting any luck.

  6. I agree with that. I’ve always had a soft spot for Comrie and he clearly showed the talent in the pre-season and chemistry with Malkin. Given that he was hampered with injuries this year, its unfortunate that it was a waste for him and even more so for the Pens who I thought had the sleeper candidate of the year when they signed him.

  7. @tuxedoTshirt… you are a douch! i seriously dont think you even watch hockey! “Philly, probably the lamest team in the league in terms of identity”… wow. how bout this for an identity fast, mean, Skillfull. you want an idenity just watch Mike Richards play and that is our identity. watch Carcillo beat someones teeth in and thats it! Watch Hartnell Stare down all of buffalo! you are a joke and if your an Ilse fan i can see why your so bitter! all we did is beat you guys 20 strait time!

  8. Tristan….i love your fire. No I am not an Isles fan. Yes I am making fun of Philly type players (no Richards does not have any finesse) and Philly type fans because you value thuggery and intimidation. You were all so proud last year when Richards broke Krejci’s wrist with a dirty hit. Just like Schmautz. Senile Bobby Clarke still won’t admit that they played dirty against the soviets. I guess you could say they attract a certain type. “Just watch Richards “the torpedo”, that is our identity”…..I know you douche! The dirtiest hitter and least exciting player. You sure know how to pick’em.

  9. Yeah Tristan! You sure didn’t prove me right: “How’s this for identity? Carcillo beatin’ someone down”……..mmhmm. “Yeah how bout Richards ending someone’s career?” “Yeah how bout Dave Schultz throwing elbows”…..”Yeah that’s our team”…..Goalie’s got tanks and fighter jets on his helmet, kind of awesome in a 12 year old way. Nice Goalies by the way.

  10. @ tuxedoTshirt .. at least take the time to do some research before putting your foot in your mouth; “You were all so proud last year when Richards broke Krejci’s wrist with a dirty hit” .. that was not a dirty hit .. it was clean and Krecji actually got an assist as the Bruins scored … nice goal too. See the evidence here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4L2xWdogVo

  11. Well i got my bitch pants on today, for sure, so allow me some bombast; I remember the hit. It’s not technically dirty, but trying to injure guys with big hits is dirty (and he obviously was) – see Giroux on Bergeron this year. Tell me he wasn’t trying to do a Richards. You want to watch an up and coming version of this dick, check Patrice Cormier.

  12. Hmmmm, so players should be allowed to deliver hits…but not hard ones? Does the NFL employ this mindset as well? No they don’t, when you hit someone, you hit them as hard as you can. When a catcher blocks the plate in MLB, is the player attempting to cross the plate and score supposed to just stop because the plate is blocked? No, he goes as hard into the catcher as possible. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there aren’t dirty hits in hockey and Mike Richards has been known to throw his fair share of them…see the hit on David Booth…that was a hit with intent to injure IMO. That hit on Krecji was just a solid, monster hit…that’s all…it was shoulder to torso (no head shot)…nice, clean, hard hit!

    This has really gotten off topic…so I think I’ll stop here. If you’d like to discuss this further please feel free to join the Fans Speak Out forum…that’s what it’s there for :)

  13. First, head hits are dirty, but I think players are putting themselves at risk with how they play. Example: Turning back to another player in the corner. Second, as a hockey concussion victim myself, I must agree with the fight to end head hits, but at some point the players have to decide to show better respect towards eachother. And three, dear “Poultsy”….please leave your “IMO’s” and smily faces to your own page, and focus on hockey. Also, note that hockey is far faster then football and baseball players freakquently pull cheap shots that become a bigger focus then the game itself, so they have no validity.(may have spelt that wrong….I guess I think hockey more then I spell! Please note the lack of smiling face….) Cheers!

  14. Yeah yeah yeah…….we’re all on the same page. Splitting hairs is silly……..but some guys are just dirty hitters. And some fans love them for it.

  15. @ Jeb … First, I 100% agree that players must stop putting themselves in vulnerable positions, such as turning their backs to players when along the boards. Secondly, “please leave your “IMO’s” and smily faces to your own page, and focus on hockey” ? The Fans Speak Out forum belongs to Lyle … and if you don’t like internet acronyms such as “IMO”, and smiley faces … we don’t really care.