After a miserable 2013 campaign, a complete overhaul was expected for the Flyers this off season.
Instead, two key contracts were cut and replaced by three new players, leaving much of the same team to prepare for the 2013-14 season.
General manager Paul Holmgren said a few times during last season that he didn't plan on blowing up the team this off season. He kept his promise.
Now with the acquisitions of defenseman Mark Streit, goalie Ray Emery and center Vincent Lecavalier, the Flyers managed to cheapen their roster and replace Ilya Bryzgalov and Danny Briere effectively, allowing them to keep a healthier version of the same team from last season.
Holmgren is happy with the roster he has now going forward. And with that, chairman Ed Snider is "excited" for the 2013-14 season to start.
The man who once wore a #4 on his sweater will have to add a zero, as the retired Barry Ashbee holds permanent claim to that number.
Though Vincent Lecavalier will have to add a zero to his jersey, leading him to don a #40 jersey with the Flyers, Philadelphia did not get a zero as they landed the top free agent of the offseason. After inking a five-year, $22.5 million contract to play for the Flyers, the 33-year-old Lecavalier will bring the perfect combination of scoring and a veteran presence to a young Flyers team seeking a direction.
“I’m really excited," Lecavalier said. "Obviously everything came pretty quickly. I was part of an organization for 14 years so it was a tough few days. But after I talked to [head coach Peter Laviolette] and [general manager Paul Holmgren], I really liked what they have to say and where the organization is going. So that made my decision a lot easier.”
Lecavalier was bought-out by the Tampa Bay Lightning, a shock to the NHL. His buyout of $30 million over 14 years broke an NHL record that Ilya Bryzgalov held for only a few hours.
The Flyers have officially extended the contract of their captain, Claude Giroux.
Reported by ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, Giroux has been extended to an 8-year, $66.2 million deal. The deal carries an AAV of $8.275 million until 2022-23 (starts during the 2014-15 season).
“I’m very excited," Giroux said in a conference call. "I’ve been able to play with the organization for five years… it’s been unbelievable, the fans are always expecting great things. So just to be a part of that, it’s a really great feeling.”
Giroux also added that there is some pressure with an 8-year deal, the largest for a Flyers captain. But he is excited for the new challenge of being the face of the organization.
Philadelphia Flyers' General Manager Paul Holmgren released a statement today confirming that they will use one of their two compliance buyouts on forward Danny Briere, ending his tenure with the team after six seasons.
The team will have to pay Briere $833,333 for the next four years as per the compliance buyout rules in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement. His cap hit of $6.5 million will not count against the salary cap this season.
"This was a very difficult decision to make as Danny has been a very good player for us over the past six years," Holmgren said in his statement. Holmgren informed Briere a week ago that he would be bought out, the forward said in a press conference today.
On Tuesday, the rumor mill concerning the Philadelphia Flyers blew up.
Not only was it confirmed by ESPN's Pierre LeBrun that forward Danny Briere would be bought out, but conflicting reports about goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov's security with the team surfaced, as well as trade rumors involving Anaheim's Bobby Ryan and Los Angeles' Jonathan Bernier also came to the forefront.
Talk about a crazy day.
All of this coming on the heels of a reported deal struck with the New York Islanders to acquire their former captain Mark Streit. Streit signed a bloated four year pact worth a grand total of $22 million. Following that deal, it signaled change. There is writing on the wall...but for whom?
If, for example, both Briere and Bryzgalov are bought out, that unlocks about $12 million in cap space. The Flyers are currently above the new cap ceiling of $64 million by $7 million. These moves would not afford a ton of room, but it would at least be something.
In sports, the phrase "injuries are part of the game" is used quite often. However, the popular phrase took on a whole new meaning for the Philadelphia Flyers during the shortened 2012-2013 regular season.
To put things into perspective, the Flyers lost 264 man games to injury or illness.
Some things were known heading into the season such the fact that defenseman Chris Pronger wouldn't see any action as he recovers from a concussion. The Flyers didn't have quite as much depth at the forward position as they did the season prior.
(Scott Hartnell. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
According to a source close to The Fourth Period, the Flyers are planning on using one of their two amnesty buyouts on veteran forward Danny Briere.
Briere, 35, is expected to make $6.5 million the next two seasons. With the salary cap dropping nearly $10 million for the 2013-14 season, the buyout will free up some much needed money as the Flyers attempt to get under the cap and prepare their team for next season.
If Briere is bought out, he will be owed $3.33 million over the next four seasons.
It's over, done, final. The Flyers season concludes tonight in Ottawa where they take on a playoff-bound Senators team looking to add to their point totals and climb in the playoff seeding. The Flyers will look to force Ottawa into a bad playoff match-up and finish the season on a four-game winning streak and above .500.