Chicago and Philly: The Morning After

Now that the dust has settled on this year’s Stanley Cup Finals and the 2009-2010 season has officially ended, the two combatants for the highest prize in the sport have a lot of work to do before the next season gets underway.

Before training camps crank open their doors in the fall, the Blackhawks and Flyers will have a lot of roster changes to undergo. Commish Gary Bettman has stated that the salary cap will “increase slightly” for the start of the 2010-2011 NHL season. The current cap is $56.8 million.

Looking at the roster for the Blackhawks, they currently sit with 14 under contract players for a combined payroll of $57.6 million. The Flyers have 16 players under contract for next season adding up to a total of $48.6 million.

These numbers become more meaningful when one considers what’s to be done about them. The Flyers have a lot more roster holes to fill, potentially, and will have to figure out a goaltending situation in Philly if they intend to repeat their successes of the past year. Riding the wave of momentum is a short-term prospect, in my opinion.

The Blackhawks have a more complete roster and do have more options. They can start by ditching the $5.625 million cost of goalie Cristobal Huet, for instance, by dumping him down to the minor leagues. They’ll have to deal some of their key players, almost immediately, to fit in any more of their roster before training camp. Word around the campfire is that Kris Versteeg will be one of the key guys to go on the move.

The Blackhawks have a few key unrestricted free agents, too, including John Madden, Adam Burish, Nick Boynton, and Kim Johnsson. RFAs include Andrew Ladd, Ben Eager, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jordan Hendry, and goalie Antti Niemi. The Hawks will want to sign a considerable group of these players, making the cap situation all the more urgent.

The Flyers, meanwhile, also have a few key UFAs. Consider the fact that Ray Emery, Lukas Krajicek, Arron Asham, and Michael Leighton are all UFAs and you’ve got some decisions to make if you’re in charge of the club. RFAs for Philly include Braydon Coburn, Daniel Carcillo, Ryan Parent, and Darrell Powe.

Chicago has a few difficult spots on their roster that may be hard to dump off on anyone save for Glen Sather. Looking at Huet’s contract is tough, considering the whopping salary he’s getting for being a glorified backup goalie. As he’s playing currently, Huet would be tough to peg as a starter on any NHL team and nobody will pay that kind of bank for a backup.

Brian Campbell’s a difficult guy to move, too, and his $7,142,875 is the top salary on the club in the Windy City. Finishing 29th in defensive scoring and still rating one of the biggest salaries for his position in the NHL, Campbell’s in tough for Chicago management and will probably remain a Blackhawk for the season.

The Flyers’ first order of business will be to figure out what to do with Leighton, I think. I’m not sure that Ray Emery has much of a chance at remaining with the club or any club, even with a pretty hot start, and I’m sure he’s out of the picture. Boucher will play backup again, most likely, leaving the top spot wide open to possibilities. It’s the most pressing question in Philly right now.

So how will this play out over the summer months? It’s anybody’s guess, of course. We’ll be following all the action right here, so make sure you’ve bookmarked us for the best in hockey news and analysis. And keep your eyes fixed here for more cool prizes, too.

Posted by Jordan Richardson.

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4 thoughts on “Chicago and Philly: The Morning After

  1. luckily for the flyers and the hawks they won’t be alone in their money issues
    I think the league has teams in big trouble especially if they don’t have a god farm system.
    As for Chicago ya they have to lose someone plus Campbell and Huet will taking 14 million combined.
    Shows this Tallon character wasn’t bullet proof, Still Kane, their big 4 Toews, Kane, Keith, and Seabrook are in tact. Not many teams can say they have two f the top forwards and D man on their team.
    As for Philly Well I do not think Leighton is the guy. He buckled under pressure and I would hate to see philly sign and see a repeat.
    Philly has an abundance valuable assets 5 quality Centers and I think they can let go of Carter, he will bring in many good things.
    Also, As I mentioned I think gagne could go as well seeing how the team is pretty deep
    Montreal would love to get Simon
    I hope Philly resigns Asham and even Carcillo,
    They still need that sandpaper also Braydon Coburn he has to be locked up!
    Can’t wait to see what all the teams will do
    Game On


  2. I think maybe the flyers could dump salaries trade Gagne to Phoenix for Keith Yandle
    Then Jeff Carter to Atalanta for Evander Kane Both Atlanta and Phoenix have plenty of cap space
    This would give the Flyers room to resign Asham, Coburn, Powe & Carcillo and then they could pick up free agents Like Dan Hamhuis & Marty Turco.
    Yes I am an armchair GM and I am having some fun pretnding I have the answer
    But why not these moves make sense well considering both Gagne and Carter will be free agents the following seasons.
    And It clears up cap space, and also the Flyers are way to packed at center.


  3. All good possibilities, I think. I do think the Flyers could bear to deal off either Gagne or Carter, although I’m not sure I’d go with both. With Richards going like he is, you could move Carter and not really miss him. But on the other hand, you’ve got to like the possibilities of Carter/Richards. If anyone, I’d move Simon Gagne. I know the Habs would be happy to have him.


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