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Bringing Hexy Back • 42 Years Old • Male
In my analysis, yes it was.

The Flyers want to be competitive as quickly as possible. Making this trade and signing these two guys, both of whom fill vital needs, sends a message that this team is going to do what it takes to ice a winner. Philadelphia is suddenly a much better team on paper, and still has $9mm or so in cap space and only one restricted free agent of any consequence to re-sign(Joni Pitkanen, who might be traded this weekend anyhow).

Kimmo Timonen provides the steady veteran presence and smart decision making that Eric Desjardins did for so many years. He can handle any role-except crease clearing beast-and will also bring the experience of being a team captain. He'll definitely will help the team's moribund power play and will be an excellent tutor to young Finns like Lasse Kukkonen, Pitkanen(if he stays) and Jussi Timonen(Kimmo's kid brother).

I hear arguments about the length and amount, but pretty much every expert analysis I read had Timonen getting between $6 million and $7 million this summer had he hit the open market. If that is the case, how is $6.3 million overpaying?

People also point out the length, but this is a front loaded contract that is built to dump towards the end. In other words, it's a four or five year deal in a six year deal wrapper. If Timonen retires after say, year four, he's off the cap immediately. If he's traded, the new team inherits a smaller cap hit.

EDIT: Sorry, my fault here. I was incorrect. The cap hit remains the same if he's traded. Thanks to Dan Tolensky for catching this. I blame Antero Niittymaki and my 11 month old, who is enjoying four teeth coming in at once, for waking me from a deep slumber. Yes, I was having a nightmare about Niittymaki when the crying woke me up. I wish I was certain it was the kid's.

Under the current CBA, only players ho sign a multi-year contract after their 35th birthday count on a team's cap after they retire.

As for Scott Hartnell, he's a physical player with 25 goal ability who is all of 25 years old. He is only now scratching the surface of his prime. He should be an instant fan favorite in Philadelphia with his skill and snarl.

I think he got overpaid, but at most by only a couple of hundred thousand, or peanuts in todays sports world. If Sergei Samsonov was worth $3.5mm last summer, I am pretty sure that Hartnell was worth more this summer, especially with a higher cap and a weaker crop of wingers.

I am not crazy about giving him six years. I personally wouldn't give anyone more than a four or five year deal, unless his name was Crosby or something similar, or it was a case like Timonen's above.

But, Hartnell should fill a big role for the team, and if he progresses as Paul Holmgren thinks he will, $4.2mm will be a bargain in four years.

The bottom line is the Flyers plan was to build massive cap space this summer and be aggressive in free agency. This is a good start. Now get a playmaking center...
Filed Under:   Jsaq   Timonen   Hartnell   Predators   Flyers   Holmgren  
June 20, 2007 9:35 AM ET | Delete
Well said. Alexei Yashin, Alexei Kovalev, Robert Lang, and Brendan Morrison all produced around 50 points last season -- the same projected amount Hartnell would have had if he had played 82 games. No one would question paying any of them $4 million. Well, maybe Cashin... ;)
June 20, 2007 12:26 PM ET | Delete
Agreed. All very good points and I applaud Homer for the job he's done thus far. The only problem I have is that the Flyers have many RFA's up for a new contract next year (Umberger, Carter, Richards, Ruzicka, Coburn, Jones and Picard). With the addition of these salaries, I'm not sure we'll be able to afford to keep them all - or, at the very least, be able to make additions to this team next off-season.
June 20, 2007 1:11 PM ET | Delete
Ruzicka has to do a LOT more to prove he's even worth considering for a qualifier, Umberger might be trade bait, Jones is a dime a dozen depth defenseman, and Picard might be spending all of the upcoming season in the AHL. Not too much to worry about there. Carter, Richards and Coburn could be a concern, but there's $9mm in space now and Holmgren's trying to dump contracts before or at the draft to create more room.
June 20, 2007 2:15 PM ET | Delete
Great job - one correction though.. even if Timonen is traded in the later years of his contract, his cap hit is still $6.3 mil for that new team. The only ways to reduce that hit is 1) buyout, 2) re-entry waivers and 3) retirement/minors.
June 20, 2007 2:57 PM ET | Delete
Yep. Thanks Dan. I have been notified and stand corrected on that. This is what happens when you write a blog after your kid wakes you up in the middle of the night and you can't get back to sleep.
June 20, 2007 2:59 PM ET | Delete
Good Article, I agree with you, great move by Homer
June 20, 2007 3:17 PM ET | Delete
I wouldn't worry so much about Carter and Richards coming up for contracts. Carter had 20 some goals year one but slid last season and Richards hasn't really shown me much. I like him and have high hopes but at this point he seems like a poor mans Mike Ricci.
June 20, 2007 3:24 PM ET | Delete
I think Richards is as much, if not more of a keeper than Carter. He seems a lot more intelligent in the game, and definitely works harder. There's times Carter just looks lost. Once Richards had his abdominal issues resolved he was a really vital piece of the puzzle.
June 20, 2007 3:37 PM ET | Delete
I believe both Carter and Richards are VITAL parts of the Flyers future. Each doing their own thing...they're both still really young and still learning the NHL game. Carter has 50 goal potential and Richards can be a Michal Handzus type two-way forward. I hope they can both reach their potential, and with the Flyers.
June 20, 2007 3:46 PM ET | Delete
If Richards isn't going to be a scorer, which it appears (at least initially) he's not, then I would expect him by reputation to be a shut down checker. To me he's too small to handle the bigger power forwards and too slow to stay with the quicker forwards. He has the heart of a lion but I'm not sure he has a role at this point. Where do you play him? You can't play him on the top two scoring lines and the Flyers have maade it obvious that they have no intention to do that, and you can't play him as a third line checker because he can't handle the work (how many times since then end of the season have you heard the names of Keith Primeau and Michael Handzus invoked? To me that an indictment of Richards development. I'm sure they were expecting him to fill that role). That puts him on the fourth line. That's not the role I expected him to be in when he came up. All that said, I'm hoping for him to find his way to the checking line. I just don't think he's going to be in any position to ask for a big number when his contract comes up which is really my point. I have no faith in Carter, though I wish I did. I think he may turn out to be a big disappointment. They're both still young, so I'm not ready to give up. The thing I want this week is for the Flyers to trade for Edmonton's sixth overall and grab two forwards to reload the system. The forwards they've pick in the last few years make me nervous. We aren't going to be able to hit free agency every year.
June 20, 2007 3:55 PM ET | Delete
Another good point of view, one which I'm sure the majority of Philly fans agree. I am also not concerned with the Carter and Richards cap situation at this time. I hope that Carter does make it difficult to sign because he's had a very productive season but I'm not banking on it unless he discovers his game in a hurry. Richards, I'm assuming will get and agree to affordable third line money.
June 20, 2007 4:25 PM ET | Delete
Richards projects as second line center, thus far he's been used as a third line center. He's never been seen as a goal scorer like Carter, more of a heart and soul guy, such as Drury. Carter, I still see more as a winger. Point taken on the contract hits, though.
June 20, 2007 5:09 PM ET | Delete
I don't see Carter as a wing. They've tried that and he didn't show that he could come off the wall with the puck or find the holes in the limited amount of space that he has coming down the boards. When he was drafted they compared him to Joe Thornton and I can see why, he plays straight up and has an excellent release. He has to be a center or he'll definitely fail. Even the Flyers don't project Richards as a second line center. I'm still trying to figure out what they're going to do if Downie makes the team. Can Downie, Richards and Eager play together and if they can what line in the league is going to want to skate out against those three? Richards may work better defensively if he moves to the wing.
June 20, 2007 9:49 PM ET | Delete
Carter's only similarities to Thornton are in size. Carter's a shooter, not a passer. He was tried at wing for a week, and then bounced around for awhile. He never had a real trial at the position. Richards is projected by the Flyers as a second line center. However, he's always had some guy named Forsberg in his way, especially with Carter pegged as a future first line center, playing on the second line. Richards is fine defensively. He's not a big guy, but he was a vital part of a very good PK unit last year. Sami Pahlsson isn't big guy either, but he's a pretty good defensive player.
June 20, 2007 10:06 PM ET | Delete
I love Carter's wrist shot! It reminds me of Wendel Clark.
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