Hints at who stays and who goes for the Flyers

Will Flyers reconsider Mike Richards' captaincy next season?
Will Flyers reconsider Mike Richards' captaincy next season? (YONG KIM / Staff photographer)
Posted: May 09, 2011

IT WAS THE BEST regular season of any Stanley Cup runner-up since the 2000 Dallas Stars.

The second season ended, with a bitter empty-net exclamation point, on Friday night in Boston with utter disappointment.

Less than 3 days after the fact, the sun still rises in the East.

The golf clubs will be dusted off for a long summer. The Flyers players will start to scatter across the globe today after exit meetings take place, with weddings and births and other normal day-to-day lives to be lived.

The focus has already turned to next season.

This much, though, is certain: This Flyers team, as it is now assembled, will never be together again in its entirety. The same is true even for championship teams.

But it's especially true for a team with such high expectations that fell so short.

Sure, as the Flyers clean out their lockers today at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, we will hear all about the injuries and bumps and bruises that may have gotten in the way of advancing past the second round. Or at least winning a game in the second round. With this team, though, there was a fundamental mental flaw that prevented a talented bunch from putting itself in a better position to succeed.

That's one of the reasons general manager Paul Holmgren will sit back, starting today, to carefully examine the way this team is built, piece by piece.

Here's an offseason cheat sheet to put the roster in perspective:

(The NHL salary cap is expected to rise approximately $3 million from $59.4 million to $62.5 million. An official announcement will be made after the Stanley Cup finals.)

FORWARDS

Danny Briere

Age: 33

Key stat: 34 goals, 34 assists

2011-12 Salary: $7 million

Years remaining: 4

2011-12 Cap hit: $6.5 million

Comment: Briere is one of the go-to players, making his salary money well spent in the playoffs.

Mike Richards

Age: 26

Key stat: 66 points

2011-12 Salary: $6.6 million

Years remaining: 9

2011-12 Cap hit: $5.75 million

Comment: After more leadership questions in the playoffs, would the Flyers consider sitting down with Richards to discuss his role as team captain?

Jeff Carter

Age: 26

Key stat: 36 goals

2011-12 Salary: $6 million

Years remaining: 11

2011-12 Cap hit: $5.273 million

Comment: Carter has always been durable in the regular season throughout his career, but has faded in both production and in the lineup with injuries in the playoffs. If the Flyers were interested in moving the pure goal scorer, no fewer than 20 teams would be interested.

Scott Hartnell

Age: 29

Key stat: 4 game-winning goals

2011-12 Salary: $3.7 million

Years remaining: 2

2011-12 Cap hit: $4.2 million

Comment: Hartnell was very quiet for the Flyers in the playoffs after putting together a solid regular season. He would be hard to move with his salary.

Kris Versteeg

Age: 24

Key stat: 46 points

2011-12 Salary: $3.083 million

Years remaining: 1

2011-12 Cap hit: $3.083 million

Comment: The Flyers were just 11-9-7 since acquiring Versteeg from Toronto on Valentine's Day.

Nik Zherdev

Age: 26

Key stat: 16 goals in 707 minutes played

2010-11 Salary: $2 million

Years remaining: Unrestricted free agent

Comment: No player in the last 10 NHL seasons has produced like Zherdev did in such limited minutes with no power-play time. He was a healthy scratch 24 times.

James van Riemsdyk

Age: 22

Key stat: 7 playoff goals

2011-12 Salary: $875,000

Years remaining: 1

2011-12 Cap hit: $875,000

Comment: JVR will need to live up to his playoff reputation in order to cash in next summer as a restricted free agent.

Jody Shelley

Age: 35

Key stat: 127 penalty minutes

2011-12 Salary: $1.2 million

Years remaining: 2

2011-12 Cap hit: $1.1 million

Comment: Shelley was a positive influence in the Flyers' locker room and added spunk to the team in the regular season when called upon.

Dan Carcillo

Age: 26

Key stat: 4 goals, 2 assists

2010-11 Salary: $1.075 million

Years remaining: Restricted free agent

Comment: Carcillo is one of the Flyers' few restricted free agents. They will have to figure out how they fit on both the roster and on the salary cap.

Andreas Nodl

Age: 24

Key stat: 11 goals, 11 assists

2010-11 Salary: $850,000

Years remaining: Restricted free agent

Comment: Nodl will be back with the Flyers next season. He reportedly suffered a concussion in the first round against Buffalo.

Claude Giroux

Age: 23

Key stat: 76 points

2011-12 Salary: $2.75 million

Years remaining: 3

2011-12 Cap hit: $3.75 million

Comment: The Flyers' leading scorer during the regular season inked a 3-year extension last November.

Ville Leino

Age: 27

Key stat: 53 points

2010-11 Salary: $800,000

Years remaining: Unrestricted free agent

Comment: The Flyers wanted to re-sign Leino during the season but did not have the tagging space in the salary cap to do so. He would require a deal somewhere between $2-3 million this summer to stay here.

Darroll Powe

Age: 25

Key stat: 17 points

2010-11 Salary: $725,000

Years remaining: Restricted free agent

Comment: Powe was a competent penalty killer and energy-line player that is well worth his relatively paltry salary to stay with the team.

Blair Betts

Age: 31

Key stat: 12 points

2011-12 Salary: $700,000

Years remaining: 1

2011-12 Cap hit: $700,000

Comment: Betts is the Flyers' top penalty killer and a quiet teammate but willing to do the dirty work to be successful.

Ian Laperriere

Age: 37

Key stat: 0 games played

2011-12 Salary: $1 million

Years remaining: 1

2011-12 Cap hit: $1.167 million

Comment: For all intents and purposes, Laperriere is retired with his postconcussion symptoms. But the Flyers will need to convince the league again that he is still trying to make a comeback.

DEFENSE

Kimmo Timonen

Age: 36

Key stat: 37 points

2011-12 Salary: $5 million

Years remaining: 2

2011-12 Cap hit: $6.33 million

Comment: Timonen did not have his best playoff run as a Flyer and is believed to be suffering from a lower-back injury that did not keep him out of the lineup.

Chris Pronger

Age: 36

Key stat: 40 games missed

2011-12 Salary: $7.6 million

Years remaining: 6

2011-12 Cap hit: $4.921 million

Comment: It's fair to start to wonder whether Pronger's 36-year-old body, with 17 years of NHL wear and tear on it, can remain healthy for an entire season given his injury woes this year.

Andrej Meszaros

Age: 25

Key stat: Plus-30

2011-12 Salary: $4 million

Years remaining: 3

2011-12 Cap hit: $4 million

Comment: Meszaros received the Flyers' Barry Ashbee Memorial Trophy for best defenseman this season.

Matt Carle

Age: 26

Key stat: Plus-30

2011-12 Salary: $3.8 million

Years remaining: 1

2011-12 Cap hit: $3.438 million

Comment: Carle was statistically one of the Flyers' most underrated defensemen.

Braydon Coburn

Age: 26

Key stat: 16 points

2011-12 Salary: $3.4 million

Years remaining: 1

2011-12 Cap hit: $3.2 million

Comment: This will be the final year of Coburn's 2-year extension that was reached on July 1 last summer.

Sean O'Donnell

Age: 39

Key stat: 18 points

2010-11 Salary: $1 million

Years remaining: Unrestricted free agent

Comment: O'Donnell picked up some big minutes this season on the blue line, especially with the injury troubles, but it is not known whether he would like to continue playing or whether the Flyers would be interested.

Oskars Bartulis

Age: 24

Key stat: 13 games played

2011-12 Salary: $600,000

Years remaining: 2

2011-12 Cap hit: $600,000

Comment: Bartulis rehabbed after shoulder surgery and was ready to play during the playoffs but was skipped over in favor of Danny Syvret.

Nick Boynton

Age: 32

Key stat: 51 games played

2010-11 Salary: $500,000

Years remaining: Unrestricted free agent

Comment: Boynton, a February waiver wire pickup, left the team during the playoffs to take care of family issues.

Danny Syvret

Age: 25

Key stat: 10 playoff games played

2010-11 Salary: $600,000

Years remaining: Unrestricted free agent

Comment: Syvret played a limited role in the playoffs but the Flyers were clearly interested in reacquiring him last November when he left to sign a 1-year deal with Anaheim.

GOALIES

Sergei Bobrovsky

Age: 22

Key stat: 28 wins

2011-12 Salary: $900,000

Years remaining: 2

2011-12 Cap hit: $900,000

Comment: Bobrovsky will be back, it's just not known whether he will be the starting goaltender or the backup when the season starts in October.

Michael Leighton

Age: 29

Key stat: 1 playoff start

2011-12 Salary: $1.6 million

Years remaining: 1

2011-12 Cap hit: $1.55 million

Comment: Leighton has 1 year left on a 2-year deal signed last summer but we're not sure whether the Flyers would be interested in stocking him in Adirondack again next season. He was reportedly suffering from the same lower-back injury that forced surgery last October.

Brian Boucher

Age: 34

Key stat: 2.42 goals-against average

2010-11 Salary: $925,000

Years remaining: Unrestricted free agent

Comment: Boucher would love to be back in Philadelphia. If the cool-as-a-cucumber veteran isn't able to land a backup job here, he will certainly garner interest around the league.

Johan Backlund

Age: 29

2011-12 Salary: $800,000

Years remaining: 1

2011-12 Cap hit: $800,000

Comment: Backlund makes the list because this year, the final year of his deal, flips to a one-way NHL contract that would make the Flyers pay attention to the Swedish goaltender.

Send e-mail to

seravaf@phillynews.com.

For more news and analysis, read Frank Seravalli's blog, Frequent Flyers, at www.philly.com/frequentflyers.

Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DNFlyers.

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