Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bill Clement at MSNBC,
The Flyers have a new look that’s come about through some key summer moves aimed at transforming the worst team in the NHL into a playoff contender next season.
The most miserable 82 regular-season games in the franchise’s 40-year history could be followed by the Flyers getting into the 16-team Stanley Cup tournament next spring.
Philly may have some tough stretches next season, but with the additions general manager Paul Holmgren has made the team should be really competitive in most games.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Based on the tornado of hype that’s been rolling through the Philadelphia area the last couple weeks, one presumes the Philadelphia Flyers have been pre-approved to hoist the Stanley Cup next spring.
Hate to bear bleak news, but for as well as GM Paul Holmgren has done in quickly rebuilding the franchise from the Corey Haim-like depths it sunk to this past season, the Flyers still have a ways to go before they can be deemed a genuine championship contender.
from Philly Burbs,
Completing a whirlwind of action in roster realignment yesterday, the Flyers managed to land free-agent center Daniel Briere, late of the Buffalo Sabres, with an eight-year, $52 million contract that will pay a whopping $10 million next season.
Just a few months removed from finishing dead last in the NHL for the first time in franchise history, the Flyers have now secured arguably the top defenseman — Kimmo Timonen (in a June 18 trade) — and the most heralded forward on the open market.
There wasn’t confetti and champagne at the Skate Zone last night but there were plenty of smiles.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting a deal might almost be in place between the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers.
As noted by Spector:
TSN’S Bob McKenzie reports the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers may be close to a trade that would send Joffrey Lupul and Jason Smith to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Joni Pitkanen and Geoff Sanderson.
Update 6:47pm ET
TSN now confirming they’re certain that Oilers’ captain Jason Smith has been traded to the Flyers. More info to follow.
Update 7:17pm ET
The Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers have made a four-player trade. The Oilers have moved their captain, defencemen Jason Smith and forward Joffrey Lupul for defenceman Joni Pitkanen, forward Geoff Sanderson and a third-round draft pick in 2009.
Sportsnet.ca has learned that the Philadelphia Flyers have signed Daniel Briere.
more from TSN...
Sources tell TSN that Daniel Briere is in the process of finalizing an eight-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers between $6 million and $7 million per year.
Updated from TSN, 3:52pm ET: Contract is for 8 years, $52 million
Updated 5:56pm ET:
From Lets Go Sabres,
“They’re an organization that’s willing to do whatever it needs to win every year,” Briere told TSN of Canada. “There were teams that were offering more than Philadelphia did per year.
“I wanted to be with a team that was committed to winning and going in the right direction.”
from the Philly News,
“Oh my God, the pressure, the pressure,” Holmgren said, keeping the subject of what the Flyers will do this weekend as light as possible. It’s only the linchpin to the upcoming season, after all.
“We’re going to be aggressive,” he said. “We’ll be on the phone.”...
Another player whose future is uncertain is defenseman Joni Pitkanen. The Flyers have opted to take him to arbitration, but are quietly making him available in a trade.
Holmgren said there haven’t been offers and added that rumors of a deal among Edmonton, Carolina and the Flyers are not accurate.
“I really don’t know where that is coming from,” he said. “There is absolutely nothing to that one.”
from the Philly News,
Even after using $10.5 million in cap space against this year with the moves he made last week to land Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell from the Nashville Predators, Holmgren said Saturday the Flyers still have enough money to spend in the bidding for the top three centers available: Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, and Daniel Briere.
“We have room to do things,” he said. “And we have room to be creative. We’ll see what happens starting July 1.”...
Beyond what they have to spend, the Flyers will be looking to reduce salary either through contract buyouts or trades. One player being speculated about is 23-year-old defenseman Joni Pitkanen.
Holmgren said that interest in Pitkanen was minimal despite reports to the contrary.
“There has been very little talk about him in the last few days,” Holmgren said. “There’s been more speculation about him by [agent] Larry Kelly and the media. Lots of teams ask about our players, but I’m not sure [Pitkanen] is the one they ask the most about.”
From Wes Goldstein at CBS Sports,
Think of what the Philadelphia Flyers did this week as getting in on the ground floor of a hot IPO.
With cap room and draft picks to spare after the worst season in franchise history, the Flyers were able to parlay their situation into a major trade, getting two desirable pending free agents and then signing them to long-term contracts before they hit what is expected to be a busy open market.
from the AP via Fox Sports,
Timonen and forward Scott Hartnell agreed to give up an opportunity at securing a free-agent contract windfall to accept a trade from Nashville to Philadelphia, hoping to play a part in transforming the Flyers from the worst team in the National Hockey League to a playoff contender next season.
“I really feel we’re a playoff team,” Timonen said on Tuesday. “If we can add a couple more players, a first-line center, maybe some experience, we’re going to be even better.”
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
One team, the Flyers: boldly fixed on the future, determined by the dint of strong ownership and a big bag of cash to reclaim its long-standing place among the NHL elite.
The other, the Predators: adrift in a sea of uncertainty, needing desperately to appeal to fans in Nashville, but instead driving them away because of an ownership vacuum, a vacuum that saw the team trade away the signing rights to top free agents Kimmo Timonen, the team’s best player and captain, and emerging two-way forward Scott Hartnell to the Flyers.
That’ll have them busting down the doors at the Nashville Arena.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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