There’s Not Even A Football Season To Look Forward To

Yet.  That will get resolved one way or another.

As for the Flyers, they have a few things to resolve, again…

The goalies.  Again.  I’m not sold that Sergei Bobrovsky is a long term answer.  It’s really telling that this team had zero shutouts all season.  Zero.  They couldn’t even stumble into one.  Edmonton had 4 and they’re horrible.  So I look at that, I look at the fact that Bob’s puckhandling is so bad that Kimmo Timonen had to take it to the press, and most importantly I look at Bob’s confidence was so shaken at the end of the season that they started Michael Leighton over him in the playoffs… and I’m completely uninspired by Bob.  I get that he’s only 22 and doesn’t speak very good English.  But if he’s the real deal, that shouldn’t matter, right?  You wake up with the ability to put it all behind you and start the next game or you don’t.  And it looks like Bob doesn’t have that.  They could go out and get Ilya Bryzgalov or Tomas Vokoun in free agency but…

The salary cap is an issue.  Again.  Paul Holmgren has done a wonderful job of putting together a perennial Cup contending group of skaters.  But he’s done so at the expense of getting a proper goalie and having any flexibility with the cap.  Ville Leino is probably gone, which I can live with, and Nicolay Zherdev is certainly gone, which is good.  But all of their salary cap space will be eaten up by Claude Giroux’s new contract that starts next year.  So let’s say they sign Vokoun or Bryzgalov… where’s the money to re-sign Daniel Carcillo?  Where’s the money to either re-sign Sean O’Donnell (which I’m not in favor of, he did a nice job coming in and holding things down but he lost his legs as the season wore on) or some other 6th/7th defenseman?  Where’s the money to fill out the forwards?

Under contract for next year:

Fowards (9): Richards, Carter, Giroux, Briere, van Riemsdyk, Hartnell, Versteeg, Betts, Shelley.

Defense (6): Pronger, Timonen, Coburn, Carle, Meszaros, Bartulis.

Goalie: Bobrovksy.

For a total of $56.2 million, according to capgeek.com.  There’s still the RFAs (2010-11 cap hit in parenthesis):

Carcillo ($1M), Nodl ($850k), Powe ($725k), Syvret ($600).  Let’s assume they’re all back for modest raises of roughly $100k each.  Now you’re looking at total of $59.8 million.  If the salary cap goes up $3 million like it did last year, they’re still going to need to shed $2-3 million to afford a proper goalie.  Which logically means getting rid of Matt Carle.  But wait a minute, there’s no reason to think that will happen.  They like Carle, and even if they wanted to move him, who is going to take him for just picks?  Any trading away of Carle is going to get a roster player in return, so you’re not going to save his entire cap space.  Hartnell?  If that’s what it takes to land a true #1, okay, but he’s got a No Trade Clause, so easier said than done.  A lot of hoops have to get jumped through to get either FA goalie, and unfortunately I don’t see it happening.  My guess is they re-sign Boucher or bring in someone really uninspiring like Peter Budaj, Alex Auld or Mathieu Garon.

I hope I’m pleasantly surprised.

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