Heading into this summer, the Philadelphia Flyers are going to be among the more interesting teams to watch. While they won’t be making the earth shattering transactions that they did last summer, they’ll still be busy, or at least rumored to be.
It’s evident where the Flyers need to upgrade. They can put the puck in the net with the best of the league and, though Ilya Bryzgalov was inconsistent, he showed flashes that demonstrated why the Flyers signed him to that absurd contract. Where this team needs to improve is on defense.
Though it’s not a lot, the Flyers do have a bit of money to play around with this summer to put towards upgrading the blue line. With a couple of big names available, and an obvious willingness from the front office to get creative, the future of Matt Carle in Philly is a bit up in the air.
By most accounts, the Flyers would like to bring Carle back, provided it’s not at a big increase from the nearly $3.5 million he made last season.
Carle has been a steady presence on the Philadelphia blue line for the past few years, with his decent size and ability to contribute on offense. He’s reached at least 35 points in each of the past three seasons, and notched 12 points on the power play last year. He also blocked 164 shots.
Though there are some names to be had on the free agent market, it’s not exactly rich in depth. That could lead to someone overpaying for talent like Carle, something that he, and the Flyers, are likely aware of. Which is why I don’t think he’ll be returning to Philly this summer.
The Flyers are still going to try and re-sign Carle, but he could end up commanding in the neighborhood of $5 million. He might be worth that, but the Flyers might not be willing to get creative and throw that money at him. You can bet there will be other teams that are lining up to pay him more than the Flyers would/could.
I could be wrong. There is mutual interest in reaching a deal. But considering what the market could get him in terms of money, and the number of teams that may be willing to shell out the dough, it doesn’t seem too likely that Matt Carle will be back with the Flyers next season.