Well here we are…July 2nd…the 2013 Draft complete…and three days away from the Free Agent Signing Period. Ok, so let’s look at what the Flyers have done thus far in the weeks leading up to this very exciting moment for all fans of the NHL. First of all…The Flyers traded for Mark Streit’s rights from the Islanders. Streit is a 36 Year old veteran defenseman that brings the total package. Yes, he is 36 but he still had a lot of Hockey left and they signed him to a five year deal. I am happy with this move despite the fact that Streit is 36.
The second wave of transactions was the Compliance Buy-Outs on Daniel Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov. Briere’s Buy-Out was expected and frees up over 5 million dollars in Cap Space. Briere has been nothing less than a Blessing for this team and have us a lot of good memories, especially in the Playoffs. Briere has 105 Points in 100 Games in the Playoffs making him a postseason stud. Danny…you will be dearly missed 😞. Then we have Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov was supposed to finally be the answer to the Flyers Goaltending Nightmares. He was coming off Five stellar seasons for the Phoenix Coyotes and he was a top-tier goalie. However, for whatever reasons, Bryzgalov’s two year stint in Philly can only be described as drama central. Yes, I do blame the Flyers for giving him such a long term contract with the fact that he was switching conferences. But the past is the past and buy-gones will be buy-gones. Good Luck Bryz but good riddance.
Ok, this brings us to Sunday and the 2013 Entry Draft. The Flyers drafted 4 Defenseman, 1 Goalie, and 2 Forwards. I give this draft a C. However, I do believe their first two picks Sam Morin and Robert Haag, both Defenseman will be important assets a few years down the line. Morin is almost 6’7″ and is compared to Chris Pronger, but he has a lot yet to learn. Haag is more of an Offensive Defenseman and was actually a steal at the 41st pick as he was rated the 22nd best player in draft. They also added a goalie Marsden who has tremendous talent and will be playing at Boston University next season.
With the Draft over, now we get to the fun part. The Free Agent frenzy begins on Friday July 5th at Noon when teams can have at it with all of the unrestricted free agents. They have until then to resign their own free agents. And any players that have had compliance buy-outs can be signed now. Ok…so with that I am providing my wish list that I believe will make the Flyers better and improve their chances of winning a Cup.
First of all, I would make priority Number 1 to sign Vinny Lecavlier today. Levavlier’s contract was bought out so he is available now. There are at least five teams that are rumored to have interest in Vinny and the Flyers are the favorites at this point. If I am Holmgren, I am not messing around here. I go hard after this player and give him a nice contract…I mean don’t overpay but make sure you get him into the fold. Lecavlier is a 10 time 25 Goal Scorer and a 1 Time 50 Goal Scorer. At 32, he is still a Number 2 Center and he can bring an excellent presence up the ice. He also has won a Cup so he could really be a great role model and mentor for Claude Giroux who is still growing.
So…Priority Number 2 for me is a Goaltender. With the announcement of Tim Thomas making his return to the NHL…he would be an absolute perfect fit with this team. I would sign him to a two year deal with incentives. And believe me, after sitting out a season he has a lot to prove. He brings a two time Vezina resume as well as a Stanley Cup Ring. He would be perfect to play ahead of Steve Mason, who at 24 could still be the goalie of the future. Tim Thomas is definitely my number 1 Priority behind Vinny.
There has been speculation that Brayden Coburn has received a lot of trade interest. I hate to lose one of our best defenseman but with the Streit signing there is depth and A Coburn trade with give a 3.5 Million dollar cushion towards Vinny and Tim. Maybe you get a third line winger to mix in.
Simone Gagne is interested in coming back so if I am the Flyers, make this happen. Gagne is not the player he once was…however…he is a veteran with heart that has been a part of this team for most of his career. Gagne would be an excellent Third Line Player. The Flyers also need to lock up Louridsen and Manning, their two defenseman of the Future.
Ok…so here is my Wild Card. The Flyers should go after Jaromir Jagr again. We saw how he played when he was paired with Claude Giroux. Jagr still has a lot in the tank and would be an excellent veteran on this team. And then don’t forget…the Flyers need to lock up Giroux and Schenn and Voracek. I am not the Flyers GM, but if I was this is my wish list and then I feel that this team would be built for a Cup Run.