Day 1 NHL Free Agency Grades: Philadelphia Flyers
Only a short time ago the Philadelphia Flyers core was led by Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Now, on July 2nd, the Flyers have transformed into an entirely different team.
The transformation of the Flyers roster doesn’t appear to be over. They are still working on signing RFA free agent Wayne Simmonds and the whispers of trades haven’t gone away.
I won’t be grading the Flyers on their off season, for now we’re going to focus on the moves made yesterday.
2010-11 Flyers Lost Yesterday:
Ville Leino – Signed with Buffalo Sabres
Brian Boucher – Signed with Carolina Hurricanes
Sean O’Donnell – Signed with Chicago Blackhawks
Dan Carcillo – Signed with Chicago Blackhawks
Kris Versteeg – Traded to Florida Panthers
Flyers Additions Yesterday:
Overall Grade from Day 1 of Free Agency: B-
The grade for the Flyers continued to rise as the day progressed; meanwhile the rest of the NHL spent “foolish” money. Once the Flyers signed Jaromir Jagr to a 1-year deal worth $3.3 million dollars, the initial reaction from Flyers nation wasn’t a good one. The move still isn’t a popular one with Flyers fans, but in the end it was the smart move for the Philadelphia Flyers. As the rest of the NHL spent millions on long-term contracts the Flyers filled a scoring need at a relatively cheap price, on a very low risk one-year contract.
The signing of Andreas Lilja is simply for defensive depth, and at his age his money can be dumped to the AHL at no consequence to the Flyers.
The Flyers added Maxime Talbot on a steal of a deal, 5-years worth $9 million dollars. A solid move for a team that needed to add a little more grit, a positive upgrade from the Jody Shelley’s and Dan Carcillo’s of the world.
The Flyers off season tinkering doesn’t appear to be over. They are still working on signing RFA Wayne Simmonds, acquired from the Los Angeles Kings in the Mike Richards deal. Also, the possibilities of trades are still there.
The moves have shocked Flyers nation, and doom and gloom has reigned supreme. However, the Flyers are being extremely smart in the way they are handling their money. Many say the Flyers are rebuilding, I’d like to think they’ve just moved in a different direction. They believe they had gotten as far as they could with the core led by Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. They have replaced their long-term contracts with the likes of Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier. The team can now be built around Claude Giroux and James Van Reimsdyk. It’s a new direction for the Flyers, one that’s happened practically overnight, but it doesn’t mean the Flyers won’t compete. On the contrary, the Flyers have positioned themselves to compete now and in the future. Also, they’ve done this without signing the best available free agents to long, expensive contracts.
The Flyers have abandoned all the patch work and used their resources to start from scratch without guarantying a backwards slide.