Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
With the free-agency period starting Tuesday, new Flyers general manager Ron Hextall will not be able to make a big splash unless he unloads some salary.
Hextall is caught between a rock and a hard cap. As a result, do not expect the Flyers to be big players in free agency.
For the time being, the Flyers are about $236,000 over the salary-cap maximum of $69 million - and they still need to sign another defenseman or forward, and a backup goalie.
So unless they are able to deal Vinny Lecavalier - who is expected to land elsewhere after he picks up a $2 million bonus on Tuesday - or another high-priced veteran such as Braydon Coburn, the Flyers have no cap flexibility.
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
With so much attention focused on Lecavalier, the Flyers' better option to clear cap space is staring them in the face. Newly reacquired forward R.J. Umberger is second only to Giroux in salary-cap hit among forwards.
Umberger is a prime buyout candidate.
The Flyers do not have any compliance buyouts remaining (executed on Ilya Bryzgalov and Danny Briere in 2013), but they can still use a "regular-course" buyout.
It would cost them $9 million in cash over the next three seasons to buy out Umberger. His current $4.6 million salary-cap hit would become $1.6 million for the next 3 years, then $1.5 million for the next 3 years after that. It's an immediate cap savings of $3 million.
With that Canadian television deal kicking in, the salary cap is expected to rocket to $75 million in 2015-16. Meaning that $1.6 million in dead space due to Umberger would be an increasingly smaller drop in the bucket each year the cap grows, which it will with continuously record-setting revenues.
So, why would the Flyers buy out Umberger after just trading for him? He's a lot cheaper to buy out than Scott Hartnell, who had 2 years more left on his deal. That's a savings of $10 million in cash for a team that is now internally pulling on the purse strings. The fourth-round pick in last week's trade would just be a bonus.
more on the Flyers' cap issues...
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
The move will make the Flyers worse in 2014-15. The 32-year-old Hartnell, once the top-line running mate for Claude Giroux, could fill the same role for franchise center Ryan Johansen. If ex-Bruin Nathan Horton gets healthy, the three strongmen could join forces to create a mammoth No. 1 line for the Blue Jackets.
“I think he plays exactly the way we want the Blue Jackets to play,” Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a news conference following the trade. “He’s hard to play against. When you talk about him as an opponent — you talk to a lot of different sources around the league, people that I know and people he’s been associated with — they all say the same thing: You hate to play against him, but you’d love to have him on your team. That’s the way we feel about him. He was a tough opponent. Somebody you always noticed and somebody you hated from the press box, but you always thought you’d like to have him on your team.”
When power forwards such as Hartnell are in their groove, they are game-changers. They strike fear in defensemen who panic about black eyes and broken noses when they retreat for a puck. Their brawn allows their team to cycle the puck low, tire opponents, and rack up scoring chances. They make their linemates braver.
There is a reason Milan Lucic scored a $6 million annual payday when his previous contract expired. It’s the same reason Horton, Lucic’s former partner in crime, landed a seven-year, $37.1 million blockbuster last summer. And it’s the same reason David Clarkson swiped a seven-year, $36.75 million bonanza from the Maple Leafs.
It’s a case of supply and demand. There are very few players who can skate, score, hit, and fight. There are even fewer who can fulfill those tasks as the odometer reaches higher numbers.
read on plus other hockey topics...
The Philadelphia Flyers are ramping up their efforts to find a suitor for centre Vincent Lecavalier.
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported Thursday that Lecavalier's agent Kent Hughes has permission to speak to other teams regarding a trade for his client. Dreger adds that making a deal will be tough for the Flyers in the days leading up to July 1, as Lecavalier is owed a $2 million bonus on that date.
Dreger reported earlier this month that Lecavalier was in play in the trade market, though he has a no-move clause in his contract.
The only way I see him moving is if the Flyers pick-up some of his salary...
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets traded disgruntled winger R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round draft pick to Philadelphia yesterday for Scott Hartnell. There is nothing small about this deal.
It was done within the Metropolitan Division, which took a lot of nerve on the part of Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and his Flyers counterpart, Ron Hextall. It involved former first-round picks with recognizable names and healthy contracts. This was big-boy stuff.
Kekalainen deserves high marks.
First off, he found a buyer for Umberger, which was no small feat.
Umberger had asked to be traded. Everyone knew it. If a buyer could not be found, there was a very real possibility that Umberger would have to be bought out — which is both expensive and counterproductive. Buyouts are bad business.
via the Philadelphia Flyers,
The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a multi-year contract extension with center Brayden Schenn, according to general manager Ron Hextall.
Per team policy, no financial terms were disclosed.
Below, watch Flyers GM Ron Hextall discuss the trade...
Columbus press release below...
from the Philadelphia Flyers,
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed 5-10, 194-lb D Kimmo Timonen to a one-year contract extension, according to general manager Ron Hextall.
Timonen, 39 (3/18/1975), will return for his eighth season with the Flyers. He was acquired from the Nashville Predators along with Scott Hartnell in exchange for Nashville’s first-round pick in the 2007 Entry Draft (previously acquired, Nashville selected Jonathon Blum) on June 18, 2007.
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.
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