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06-20-2010, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill_Meltzer View Post
I wasn't advocating that the Flyers make that particular move, just noting that Thomas is one of several possibilities apparently in play.

Gagne certainly is still valuable and contributes defensively even when he isn't scoring. But, to play devil's advocate, he's a year away from being a UFA (and, no, he won't take a pay cut just to be a career Flyer), injury prone and has had down years in two of the last three seasons. He made a courageous and effective comeback in the playoffs this year, but also faded in the Final.
I don't think anyone would go ahead an proclaim that Gagne is the same winger that scored 88 goals in two seasons.

I am however curious as to where his explosion went. At the beginning of 2008-09, the year after returning from a concussion, he practically went on a point-rampage. He was pacing among the league leaders for the first few months and then sort of disappeared.

Well, there's no doubt he's getting advanced in age, but I think, if he'd re-sign in Philadelphia for a moderate discount, the organization would be more than happy to let him retire here.

There are other factors that play into that though, not the least include Giroux, Carter, and Leino coming up for new contracts that same offseason.

Originally Posted by Bill_Meltzer View Post
Again, to play devil's advocate, Thomas may be 36, but he's a year removed from winning the Vezina and it wasn't like he was horrible this past season -- Rask was just better. In a win-now scenario, Thomas would arguably be a better option than any of the free agent goalies in the market.
I honestly don't believe we are in a win-now scenario. I believe we are trying our best to keep our team a continuous contender for the championship long-term. I don't believe in windows in hockey if your team can draft well. The Flyers have, and despite what people may believe about trading all of our draft picks, the reason that the Flyers are in the position they're in is because they've moved those draft picks and players for talent. Not necessarily all of that talent was older either. The Flyers are still a very young team, and Giroux, along with vanRiemsdyk, are a big part of keeping them as legitimate contenders long-term.

We are going to have to replenish our prospect pool soon. Innovative in-season scouting, like the season Holmgren put together this year, will not work every year.

That said, you have to believe that Gagne is on the way out next year, unfortunate as it is, because it's very unlikely Briere is moved. It will probably come down to one or the other.

So let's play devil's advocate and you move Gagne for Thomas. You, in essence, lock up Gagne's salary on this team at the let's say $3m (leaving the $2m off that would have been spent on a goalie anyway) both on an aging Tim Thomas on a 35+ contract. He won the Vezina behind a very strong team, and the Flyers are a strong team who can help him succeed.

Even so, you put an inherent risk on your other assets. The goal, in theory, would be to let Gagne walk so you can promote Giroux or JVR and eventually give them more ice time to go along with their new contracts. You give that cap space to Thomas, and there suddenly is no more room to give those players their post-ELC deals. If they breakout sooner than expected, the Flyers could be in a ton of trouble. It may not Giroux or JVR who go, but someone on top of Gagne will feel it.

Once you start taking pieces off a team that thrives on depth to keep itself competitive, you start putting more pressure on the goalie. The reason the Flyers were able to succeed with the lesser talents of Boucher and Leighton was because they had a deep enough roster to take pressure off of their goaltending. Without that safety net in place, you're asking an aging Thomas, who has never been strong behind teams with thinner rosters, to carry you.

I think putting yourself into that situation is ultimately a bad idea.

Originally Posted by Bill_Meltzer View Post
No, I don't like his huge cap hit or the length of his contract -- and, ultimately, I think it should also scare off the Flyers. But to say Thomas doesn't have a certain intrigue as a possibility to a club that was awfully close to the Cup with Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher as the goalies, is inaccurate.
I agree that there's intrigue, but I don't consider Thomas even a top 15 goalie despite his numbers and his Vezina. I don't think he is any better necessarily than Turco or even Mason who can be had on the open market for much cheaper contracts that I don't believe would hold a 35+ risk either.

Last edited by CS: 06-20-2010 at 07:46 PM.
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