Yin & Yang
Posted 5:38 PM ET | Comments 2
Yin and yang, up and down, good and bad, a GM's job is full of contrast. A GM needs to manage winning now without losing in the future. For Philadelphia's Paul Holmgren this is no different. Last year with our beloved Flyers finishing last in the NHL Homer was tasked with getting the Flyers back on track fast without hurting the future of the franchise. Did he do it? Only the next few years will tell, but let's take a look at the good and bad of two off season moves.
Daniel Briere - The big get, noted as one of the top three centers available on July 1st. The Flyers were looking to fill the void left by Peter Forsberg. They needed a pass first center that can get Gagne back to his personal record setting scoring. Voted MVP of the All Star Game with one goal and four assists obviously the void has been filled. Last season he finished with 95 pts on a good fast skating Buffalo team. He can score and he can make the pass. The power play will definitely see an improvement with Briere on the ice.
The downside of Briere is he played in a very different system. Will he produce for the Flyers? Definitely. Will he be a 95 point man? Probably not. He excelled in the run and gun styles, something the Flyers are trying to adapt too. Philly is not a run and gun team, they are a hard working aggressive rough team. Overall he will help the situation in Philadelphia, but I don't think he was the answer for our number one center.
Now vs. the Future - Daniel Briere, Kimmo Timonen, Joffrey Lupol, Jason Smith, Scott Hartnell, Scotty Upshall, Martin Biron, Braydon Coburn, Ryan Parent, all brought in to win now. This is definitely an improvement to the team. We now have grinders, goal scorers, a number one goalie, and mobile defensemen, as well as three captains. Our leadership questions have been answered. Who knows if any of these players will be the next captain, but at least we will have some more leadership in the locker room. The majority of these players were locked up for lengthy contracts. Hopefully this means winning now and several years to come.
The salary cap is one of a GM's worst enemies. The Flyers already have over 40 million committed to salary next season. I highly doubt the salary cap will go up much more. What if it goes down? How much more are fans willing to pay for tickets? The NHL has already stated the hike in the cap is because of raised ticket prices. If we don't win now, how much can we spend on a new player? Also, with all the new players we need time for chemistry. Almost half the team is new; if players don't work out we are stuck for a long time. With three former captains trying lead the locker room there could potentially be too many people trying to run the show.
As we can see every decision has its yin and yang and a GM must constantly work to make the two flow in harmony. It is a tough balancing act and let's hope Homer has done a good job managing the scales.