Flyers' chances to re-sign Gagne

Posted: July 12, 2013

PAUL HOLMGREN said on Tuesday that even if the Flyers don't make any roster changes for the rest of the summer, he likes his team.

Does that mean the Flyers are done making moves?

Free agent Simon Gagne told the Daily News yesterday that Holmgren is still in close contact with his agent, Quebec-based Bob Sauve. Gagne said he has received offers from other teams but would like to do anything he can to remain with the Flyers.

Last week, wrapping up a flurry of activity, Holmgren said he wasn't sure what could be accomplished with Gagne.

"It's pretty difficult to say right now," Holmgren said. "We don't have a lot of cap space."

When you look at CapGeek.com, Holmgren is right in the sense that the Flyers are one of only two teams in the NHL to currently exceed the league's $64.3 million upper limit. But the minus-$2.053 million figure is rather misleading.

The Flyers are technically under the salary cap.

For one, teams are allowed to exceed the $64.3 million cap by 10 percent in the summer, meaning the Flyers could spend up to $70.73 million.

Next, that figure includes 24 players, when a maximum of 23 are permitted on the roster at any given time. It also includes Chris Pronger's $4.91 million cap hit, which will be moved to the long-term injury list since Pronger is not healthy enough to play.

The only caveat with Pronger's long-term injury exception is that he must be on the salary cap for the first day of the 186-day season.

Right now, the Flyers do not even need to get creative to re-sign Gagne and keep him in the fold. Gagne, 33, was one of the Flyers' top producers over the final few weeks of the season. He has stated numerous times that he would be willing to accept a below-market deal to stay with the Flyers.

Signing Gagne before clearing space would reduce Holmgren's leverage on the trade market. It's still abundantly clear that the Flyers are spending too much money on defense. They have $29.3 million committed to nine defensemen on one-way (NHL only) deals for next season, after Erik Gustafsson's $1 million pact signed on Tuesday.

Marc-Andre Bourdon ($612,000) likely will start the season in the AHL, if he's healthy. Bruno Gervais ($825,000) is another option to be sent down. That leaves the Flyers with $27.86 million and seven defensemen. Still too much.

One option, as has been discussed at length, would be to move valuable commodity Braydon Coburn ($4.5 million). It's something Holmgren clearly isn't keen on doing, since there have been multiple offers to do so.

St. Louis didn't want to move 25-year-old forward David Perron ($3.8 million) yesterday, but dealt him to Edmonton for Magnus Paajarvi to free up much-needed space. Many believe the Blues could have gotten more for Perron if teams didn't already know St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong was being forced to make a move to try and re-sign restricted free agent blue liner Alex Pietrangelo.

Holmgren could well be in the same situation with Coburn. Don't be surprised if a trade pops out of the blue.

Another option, besides Coburn, would be if Andrej Meszaros ($4 million) is not healthy enough to play, and he can be moved to the long-term injury list with Pronger. Meszaros, 27, still isn't cleared to play yet after an April shoulder surgery. Remember, though, that the player needs to sign off on any injury and Meszaros will be playing in a contract year.

Will Gagne be back with the Flyers next season? Sounds likely, given that he hasn't signed with another team yet. We don't know what Holmgren is working on or what he has promised Gagne's group.

The Flyers could sign Gagne today and try to figure out how to squeeze it in later. But it's a lot easier, and likely more beneficial, to wait.

Lauridsen back

The Flyers yesterday agreed to a 2-year contract extension with restricted free agent defenseman Oliver Lauridsen. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the first year of the contract is a two-way, NHL and AHL deal.

Lauridsen, 24, played 15 games for the Flyers last season. The 6-6 defender averaged more than 15 minutes per game and was one of the Flyers' few bright spots to close out the season. He all but surely will start the season with the Phantoms.

Over/under

Online gambling house Bovada.lv released totals for NHL players who have signed with new teams. Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier was listed with an over/under of 53.5 points and 20.5 goals for the upcoming season.

Lecavalier, 33, hasn't broken 53.5 points in a season since posting 54 in 2010-11. He finished with 49 in 2011-12, the NHL's last full season, but only played 64 games.

Meanwhile, in Montreal, Danny Briere was targeted for a total of 39.5 points with the Canadiens. He signed a 2-year, $8 million deal with Montreal on July 4.

DN Members Only : Draft choice Robert Hagg is ready to get to work.


On Twitter: @DNFlyers

Blog: ph.ly/FrequentFlyers

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|