The Philadelphia Flyers entered July 1st searching for three players:
[ ] 1 Top 6/Top 9 Winger
[ ] 1 Defender
[X]A backup goaltender.
As you have read already, only one of the three was achieved. Michael Leighton, the man who lead the Flyers to the 2010 Finals, was signed as the presumed backup to Ilya Bryzgalov at a small price tag of $900k. This deal was announced right at noon and was the only deal of the day for the team.
However, the Flyers have been reported to offer $100MM+ contracts to both of the big free agents, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Nick Kypreos is reporting the team sent out offers of 12 years at 80+ million to both players.
The Flyers certainly cannot offer the most money out of any team on the market, and if they do sign one of these players they may have to make a trade to stay around the cap. Don't forget the team still has to resign Voracek, Harry Z, Sestito, and Bourdon. Yes the salary cap is $70.2 million, and they can work with a summer cap of $77.2 million, but they will have to make trades, and LTIR allowance on Pronger's contract will not to take effect until the season begins. Of course a few players currently against the cap like Matt Walker, possibly Jody Shelley will be waived. However, with the new CBA expected to lower the cap, even if there is no penalty this year, they will have to get under the cap eventually.
All of this being said, the Flyers can manage by replacing Jagr's point production (54 Pts in 73 Games), as JVR who was shipped off last weekend for Luke Schenn only managed 24 Pts in the 43 games he played in 2011-12. The Flyers are among the top scoring teams in the league. Signing Zach Parise would give Claude Giroux an elite-caliber winger for the rest of his career. With the need to resign Voracek though, the Flyers would probably have to trade another forward if they were to land Parise.
On the defensive side, the Flyers have 6 defenders locked up for next season, but Andreas Lilja is not very reliable. However Erik Gustafsson is waiting in the wings, and the Flyers will resign Marc-Andre Bourdon at some point. There is plenty of depth right now. However, Kimmo Timonen's $6.33 MM/yr contract expires next year. This may be his last season as he will be 38 at the end of next season. He seems more and more beat up and was visibly playing through pain during the playoffs. While he has been the top defender in Pronger's absence, time is approaching the Flyers to pass that torch on to someone else. Ryan Suter would be a great fit for this role. His leadership and current experience as the #2 defender under Weber in Nashville has obviously proven his capabilities, as he, like Parise, is garnering offers from numerous teams.
Given the considerable depth at both forward and defense, signing either/both Suter/Parise would put the Flyers over the top. Sure they would have to shed salary but they would be bringing in elite talent to a deep roster and the Flyers could afford to move SOME pieces.
However, it really doesn't seem likely the Flyers will sign either player. Suter has been reported time and time again as saying he would rather play West. I'm not sure if there is any truth to that, but given that teams like Minnesota and Detroit are making big noise for him while the Penguins are reported to have not made an offer for him yet. As for Parise, after hearing that he had no interest in going to the Cup contending/division rival Rangers; who are not only as deep as the Flyers up front and on D but with a better goaltender, but could also offer up more money, just makes me believe what guys like Eklund are writing, that he wants to be the go-to guy, which he certainly would be if he stayed in Jersey or went to Minnesota.
Given the likely notion neither will sign with the Flyers tomorrow, the team must act quick with Plan B: resign Matt Carle and Jaromir Jagr. Both players were essential to the team last year and would certainly be so this year. Suter and Carle are the top defenders on the market still. Jaromir Jagr is a good, fairly secure option and at age 40 can still put up 54 points, and would only be a short term contract. Resigning Carle would cement 6 sure-fire defenders for the upcoming season.
The Flyers can resign their guys to totally plug the depth for one year, and then come July 1st, 2013, go for a new crop of big name players. Shea Weber seems likely to only sign a one-year deal this year and could hit the market, at a price higher than what Suter will get. Other defensive possibilities may be Tobias Enstrom, Ryan Whitney, as well as veterans like Visnovsky and Gonchar. As for forwards, next year's July 1st could be sweepstakes for Jarome Iginla, Perry or Getzlaf, Joffrey Lupul, Ryan Clowe, and Simon Gagne, to name a few.
All of this is speculation - no real facts to it. Us fans will have to sit back and watch what goes on. Other moves will fall into place after the Parise/Suter frenzy is over.