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03-23-2006, 05:20 PM
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Redden-Pitkanen or especially Chara-Pitkanen would be flat out scary, but I just don't see it happening. Let's look at the cap situation right now and who they have signed through next season.

You need to add a least D-man and up front you could easily see Nedved and Primeau gone from the team next season. I also didn't include Stevenson because I expect he'll be gone. Let's see what it looks like:

Gagne-Forsberg-Knuble (11.2 mil first line)
Kapanen-Carter-Umberger (3.3 mil if Kapanen returns, if not you add a UFA)
Handzus-Richards-Primeau(6.4 mil third line)
Dimitrakos-UFA-Radivojevic (1.1 + UFA, probably a physical presence)

That's 22 mil + UFA

Pitkanen-Rathje (6 mil)
Hatcher-UFA (3.5+ UFA)
Rathje-Gauthier (5.6 mil)

That's 15.1 + UFA on D

Niittymaki (.5, is he signed next season? if not, raise that to 1 mil)
Esche (1 mil)

Just 2 mil in net, though I think they move Esche and bring in a vet backup around the same price.

That's a total of 38.6 mil tied up in next season, 40.7 if Nedved is in that lineup, 35.2 mil if Neither Primeau nor Nedved is in that lineup. I think the salary cap will be around 45 mil, so that would certainly leave the room to bring in a big time UFA to play on D or as a possible top 6 forward in place of Kapanen. I think that most of the team is set right now and they will bring in a big time defenseman to fill out that top 6 whether it's Johnsson, Redden, Chara, Jovo, or someone else.

So it comes down to quite a few things. Are they going to bring Nedved back or find a way to deal him/release him? Is Primeau going to come back or call it quits? Would you rather bring in a top 6 foward and a 3 million dollar defenseman or a 6 million dollar defenseman. I like the flexibility the Flyers will have going forward and I think you can expect a significant increase in the production from the rookies moving into next season, I think it's looking good. Also, as it is right now, I don't really like the chance of many/any youngsters making this squad next season, but we could see another influx of youth the year after that as Ruzicka/Potulny/Picard/Downie could all be ready by that time.

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