It was a sad day in the Greenblatt household when the Flyers traded James van Riemsdyk. For one, JvR was my guy. Also, my brother had just purchased a JvR Winter Classic jersey (for the record, he has a penchant of purchasing jerseys and finding said player traded or released within two years of the purchase).
But it was more than just the loss of that once-promising Jersey native that made my household sad; it was knowing the uber-talented van Riemsdyk will become a top-six forward for another team. It was knowing that another young player signed to a long-term deal has been traded away within a year of signing his deal (Mike Richards being the lone exception).
So the trade of JvR got me thinking: what free agent would take a chance on Philadelphia without having a no-movement clause in his contract? I certainly wouldn’t. But alas, this is still Philadelphia. This is still a premier hockey town. Philly will continue to attract premiere free agents.
And with that, I present my wish list for the Philadelphia Flyer’s 2012-2013 free agency period.
If you’ve listened to our podcast, or read any other articles, then you know that I want Zach Parise, badly. But Parise will not be coming to Philadelphia. Rather than signing him to the roster, I went in a different direction.
As you can see, Jaromir Jagr is no longer a Flyer. He may have enjoyed his time here and he may have wanted to come back, but in the end, money talks. Instead, the Flyers re-signed the other Czech, Jakub Voracek (because as Jagr said, “hockey is not fun without a Czech in the line up). Voracek I have penciled in to make $3 million on average. To replace Jagr, I signed Phoenix forward Shane Doan. Doan brings grit, toughness, leadership, and scoring ability. All in all, Doan is a Laviolette type of player. More so, Doan is a Philadelphia type of player. Doan will get a bump in salary to around 5 million average annually.
Defensively, I made it nice and simple: Matt Carle. Yup, he’s staying, like it or not (I like it). Carle will not make more than Coburn, so I penciled him in for the same salary of 4.5 million. In net, our old friend Martin Biron returns for the nice average of one million annually.
After the signings and putting Chris Pronger on the long-term injury reserve, it leaves the Flyers with 2.8 million in salary cap space – a rare occurrence heading into the season. With all that extra money, just imagine what the Flyers could do at the trade deadline…
So my friends, if I were Paul Holmgren, those are the moves I would make. But I am not Holmgren, so I am anxiously waiting July 1 with bated breath.