Daily Rumour Analysis: They Named Names
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Another day, another Flyers’ rumour. With Philadelphia news all over the place (Spector, NHL Hotstove, The Morning Papers) its tough to avoid it these days. Instead of fighting it, I have decided to comment. Hold your applause, please.
The most significant rumour comes from Habs Inside Out, which suggests a Plekanec, Gill and Halak for Carter and Boucher deal. To me, this actually makes some sense. Despite the fact that I think Philadelphia should hold on to Carter, he may be the guy that has to fall on his sword in order to right the ship in the Keystone State.
The Flyers are also desperately searching for a backup. With Ray Emery still out for a while, the Broad Street Boys are back to the old days of a revolving door between the pipes. Coupled with the fact that they can’t score, the Flyers are in a world of trouble unless they solidify the situation. Losing Brian Boucher won’t hurt if they can Halak back, and the Flyers would go forward with a pretty decent tandem of Halak and Emery.
On the Montreal side of the ledger, Tomas Plekanec is leading the team in scoring and up for a big raise this summer. A reliable replacement center for the possibly departed Jeff Carter, Plekanec is a less physical player but is a great passer who would likely be able to help the Flyers power-play.
The Flyers would also get Hal Gill, who is a solid bottom pairing guy with size and a mean streak. He is familiar with the division and would make the Flyers tough to play against, and remove some of the burden on Chris Pronger in the physicality department.
Jaroslav Halak wants to be a starter and he would be thrust into that role in Philadelphia. He would be counted to be the guy for the Flyers, so he had better be ready for the pressure, and unless the Flyers find their scoring touch, he will have his work cut out for him. A RFA this summer, he would also be playing for a contract.
Money wise, the Philadelphia Flyers components look like this. Jeff Carter has a cap hit of $5 million and is signed til the end of 2010-11. Brian Boucher has the same term, but at a friendly $925 K. The Canadiens’ situation looks like this. Tomas Plekanec is a pending UFA and is currently making $2.75 million, which will likely climb into the $4 million range next year. Hal Gill is at $2.25 million and Halak is sitting at $800 K.
The numbers are basically a saw-off, but the Flyers would be left trying to sign Plekanec and Halak to new deals and both would need raises. Philly has some space available but also have to decide if they are going to sign Ray Emery and have a few RFA’s to sign. The good news is that Mike Rathje comes off the books, as does Randy Jones. If the cap is indeed going up slightly, they should be able to afford both players, if they want to keep them.
The Canadiens, in addition to getting some size, also get a little cost certainty. Carter and Boucher are both signed for an extra year beyond this one, and the team would not have to worry about the Plekanec deal or a new one for Halak. This would allow them to concentrate on signing their few RFA’s and decide on UFA’s like Marc-Andre Bergeron.
For my money, I can actually see this one happening. It fulfills a few needs for each team. Montreal gets size and skill (best player?), rids itself of a goalie controversy and frees up some time to work on deals for secondary players. Philadelphia shakes up the team without a serious downgrade up front, gets a dynamite passer, shores up the goaltending and adds a little size in the back. Hal Gill might be a little much for deal, but because Carter is likely the best player here and the Canadiens key part is a UFA, his inclusion is likely necessary.
Lets hear your thoughts in the comments.
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