The Philadelphia Flyers offseason has become almost as stressful as watching our beloved orange and black fight through the playoffs. From the Mike Richards and Jeff Carter trades two years ago to the Shea Weber restricted free agent offer sheet last summer, the offseason is no time off for the diehards. Some moves are good and some are bad but the big guys upstairs are always committed to putting a winner on the ice. Based on past tendencies, current contract situations, rumors and hope (worked for Andy Dufrane) there are certain moves we can expect and may want to see happen this summer. To make the offseason a little more fun and bearable, I have created a Paul Holmgren Bingo card. Each time one of the moves on the card is made, you mark the block. Any five consecutive blocks marked, up down or diagonally will give you Bingo and will ensure that you have had a pretty exciting summer. The requirements for the spaces are explained below. Enjoy your Flyers offseason!
Use Compliance Buyout: Each team gets the opportunity to use compliance buyouts without having any cap penalties levied in future years. Every NHL team gets two buyouts thus there are two of these spaces on the card. We know one is going to buyout Danny Briere’s contract and the other may or may not be used.
Present Offer to RFA: The Flyers would need to present an offer sheet to a restricted free agent. In this situation, Player A is a restricted free agent, the Flyers make a qualifying offer, Player A can sign or decline, if Player A signs, the team that owns the right to Player A can match or let him go. The Flyers could make a run at a goalie or a defenseman using the RFA route. This not a guarantee but an interesting block to keep an eye on over the next few weeks.
Sign or Trade Matt Read: Matt Read is going to be an unrestricted free agent after next season and there is a good chance the Flyers are not going to have the ability to keep him due to the new cap number. This offseason could see other players moved to free up some money to sign Read or he could be traded for depth at another position. It would be surprising if nothing is done with Read by the start of training camp.
Make A Bad FA Signing: Holmgren is good for at least one of these every year. It could be something as simple as signing a 35 year old defenseman to a four year/$21 mil contract with annual cap hit of $5.25mil per season. So keep your eyes open.
Re-sign Existing Player: This should be simple enough, all Holmgren has to do this summer is extend a contract offer to an existing player or a restricted free agent or unrestricted free agent who was on the team last year . Some good candidates are Claude Giroux, who contract is up next season, Erik Gustafsson who is a RFA, Matt Read who was explained above and Simon Gagne who is a good candidate to return to the team next season.
Draft F In The 1st Round: This is as close to a lock as we get, considering the teams draft history and the depth in the draft and need for a homegrown defenseman. The Flyers have had eight first round picks in the last ten years and seven(Richards, Carter, Steve Downie, Giroux, JVR, Sean Couturier, Scott Laughton) were forwards. The front office usually does not draft to need in the first round, it’s not their way.
Trade 1st Round Draft Pick- The Flyers have traded away three first round picks in the last ten years, with two of them going to Anaheim in the Chris Pronger trade. This is always a possibility and the team is apparently already considering moving the first rounder this year, 11th pick in the draft, to Anaheim for Bobby Ryan. With a deep draft, this pick could hold a lot of value which would make it more likely the team will move it for a player that can help them now.
Sign Or Trade Couts: Couturier is a RFA next season and the Flyers could see fit to make a move with him this offseason. It is more likely that if anything is done, he would be traded. Couturier’s name has been brought up in several trade rumors over the last year and he could be a key piece to a mega-deal if that is the route the Flyers are looking to go this offseason.
Former Player Wins The Cup: This happens every year, as there are former Flyers names engraved all over that glorious cup. This will happen this season as both the Bruins (Jaromir Jagr, Dennis Seidenberg) and Blackhawks( Patrick Sharp,Michael Handzus) have former Flyers on their squad. It won’t be nearly as devastating or vomit inducing as watching Richards and Carter win the cup, so hooray. Just mark the block.
Trade Braydon Coburn: There is a chance the Flyers could move defenseman Braydon Coburn this offseason, especially with the money they have offered to Mark Streit. It wouldn’t make any sense to further deplete the defense by trading for a forward from Anaheim who resembles the forward they traded to Toronto last offseason. When things stop making sense, there is a good chance the Flyers will make it happen. Keep an eye on this block.
Draft A D In The 1st Round: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! If you need this block, you lose. The Flyers don’t draft defenseman in the first round, even if it is a glaring need and has been for years. Despite my many advisory emails to Holmgren, I don’t see anything changing with this draft.
Re-sign Simon Gagne: An all-time fan favorite played well last year and is willing to come back for less than his market value. There is a very real chance Gagne is back with the Flyers next season. Keep an eye on this block.
Extend Giroux Contract: Giroux is up for a contract extension and it would be smart for Holmgren to get it done this offseason. Make the superstar happy so all he has to worry about is winning the cup. Hopefully this is lock.
Make FA Signing: The team just needs to sign any free agent. We had bingo blocks to fill and this block been helpful in doing just that, so if the Streit deal becomes final, mark it up!
Bizzaro Statement: This happens when management states one thing and then the direct opposite thing happens. For example, if Holmgren tells Ilya Bryzgalov’s agent that he will not be amnestied and then the contract is in fact bought out, mark the block. If you don’t think this is possible, Jeff Carter’s agent about his possibility of being traded from Philly.
Trade For Bobby Ryan: Until Bobby Ryan is Flyer, there is always going to be talk of Bobby Ryan becoming a Flyer. A Ryan trade could give you several blocks on the board so be sure to pay attention to this rumor.
Sign Or Trade Brayden Schenn: Brayden Schenn, who is in the same boat as Couturier with a looming RFA status after next season, could be signed long term or moved in an offseason trade. If there is any action this offseason, the trade seems more likely. There is lots of young talent on the roster and Holmgren has to figure out what to do with it going forward.
Trade a 2nd Round Draft Pick: This is always possible with the dealing the Flyers attempt to do in the offseason. They could also lose the pick if an offer sheet is accepted by a RFA, maybe involving a back-up goalie in Los Angeles, and that would count. If they somehow lose the pick, mark it up.
Acquire Goalie: If they buyout Bryzgalov then this will happen and if they don’t buyout Bryzgalov this will be a wasted square. There is good chance you will be able to mark this block.
Trade a Defenseman: We have a block dedicated to Coburn specifically being moved, but there is also a chance that Andrej Meszaros, Nicklas Grossmann or god willing Bruno Gervais may get moved. If that happens, mark the block.
Trade 3rd Round Draft Pick: It would take a mega deal, but there is always the chance the Flyers move picks in this incredibly deep draft to get help immediately.
Make Trade: Pretty simple, if they make a trade, mark the block.
Draft Seth Jones: In Shawshank, Red told Andy that hope is dangerous thing and can drive a man insane. This block is pure hope.
|Use Compliance Buyout||Present offer to RFA||Sign or trade Matt Read||Make bad FA signing||Re-sign existing player|
|Draft F in the 1st Round||Trade 1st rd draft pick||Sign or trade Couts||Former player wins cup||Trade Braydon Coburn|
|Draft D in the 1st round||Re-sign Simon Gagne||Holmgren Bingo||Extend Giroux contract||Make FA signing|
|Bizzaro Statement||Trade for Bobby Ryan||Sign or trade B Schenn||Trade 2nd rd draft pick||Acquire goalie|
|Trade a Defenseman||Trade 3rd rd draft pick||Make Trade||Draft Seth Jones||Use Compliance Buyout|