Monday, June 29, 2009
I simply did not see this coming, all we've heard about this whole time is Bouwmeester this, Bouwmeester that, when in fact, ADGM Bob Murray had in fact planned on moving Pronger, and his one year under contract, regardless of the Neidermeyer situation. His team was at a crossroads and they decided to go younger, quicker, and less elbowy. But the Flyers, I didn't think they were at a crossroads as much as poised to make a difference. Now...I'm not so sure.
The Flyers have 2 young guys that have already made the jump into stardom in Richards and Carter, and another who had his coming out party (the good kind) at the end of last year in Claude Giroux. The Flyers have veteran leadership, guys like Gagne who commands respect and Briere, who's been there before, not to mention Kimmo Timonen. To me, that team the Flyers had was one goaltender away from making the next stride into the elite echelon of NHL squads. That's one goaltender, not one scoundrel with flippant elbows.
Now? They have 1 year. They mortgaged everything for a shot next year. Well, maybe not everything, and you certainly can't say the Flyers aren't a better team now than they were pre-draft. Yet the price tag was enormous (Lupul's price tag was enormous too). A pair of first rounders, a conditional 3rd, and the promising Luca Sbisa.
It remains to be seen how far the cap may drop in the upcoming years (it's going up $100K this season due to revenues prior to economic collapse) and at that point is when the cheap low end contracts become utterly important. Next season, the Flyers will have invested $39.2 million in just 7 players (Briere, Gagne, Richards, Carter, Timonen, Pronger, Hartnell). Then you'll start to see guys like Giroux and Coburn getting their raises. To say they'll have cap issues is an understatement, no matter how sly Holmgren and co. have proven to be manipulating the CBA up to this point.
With having the young stars on Philly locked up long term already, I simply assumed they'd wait for that goalie (they didn't) and then make their move for the cup. It seems Holmgren has been told to win now and they're going to go for it, I fear though, it's 2 years too soon.
So I know there's Flyers people around here. Were you of the opinion that the Flyers are ready now? Will you miss those 2 1st rounders (assuming that those picks will be in the 20-25 range) or are you not afraid of the cap? You think the Flyers + Pronger makes the Atlantic Division the top of of the crop? Or just perhaps the Atlantic Division the most penalized in the league? Hey, let's chat.