Jaromir Jagr signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Stars while the Philadelphia Flyers were busy waiting on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to make a decision about their next teams. The safety blanket has been ripped away from the Flyers, but they should have seen it coming. When free agency opened, approximately twenty teams inquired about Jagr. Still, few suspected the Stars would be able to steal the forward away with a 4.5 million dollar deal. Market value for forwards appears sky-high as Parise waits on a 100-million-dollar contract. The Philadelphia Flyers will miss the top-six depth Jagr brought and will be hard-pressed to replace his 54 points. The roster is deep, but is it dynamic enough?
James Van Riemsdyk was dealt to Toronto for a bottom-pairing defenseman, Jagr walked, and suddenly the Philadelphia Flyers offense seems less imposing. It appears they will need to depend on their youth and development moving forward. With a shaky defense and unstable goaltender, the Philadelphia Flyers could be rebuilding rather than reloading, particularly with the free agents that could become available next season should they fail to make a splash this year. We could be looking at a very mediocre Philadelphia team this season with cap space for next year or a deadline deal.
It seems unlikely that the Flyers would have offered Jagr a halfway-comparable contract, but offensive weapons are starting to disappear from the free agent market and Philadelphia remains idle. Additionally, players like Rick Nash and Bobby Ryan are rumored to have increasingly high prices. If and when the Flyers lose out on the Zach Parise sweepstakes, they may be unable to fill offensive voids left by the type of scorers that have characterized the franchise’s recent success.
It looks like the Philadelphia Flyers need to make a trade.