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Bringing Hexy Back • 42 Years Old • Male
With rumors of a possible three way deal floating around that would see the Flyers deal away Joni Pitkanen and receive Raffi Torres, supposedly to clear up cap room to sign a UFA center like Scott Gomez or Daniel Briere to a massive free agent contract, I needed to blog and just get this much off my chest after a couple days of contemplation.

I still am not a fan of getting JUST Torres for Pitkanen, nor do I like the rumored return of Mike Commodore and Nic Wallin. Nothing against any of those players, all of whom would be good to excellent fits in the Flyers system. I just don't think trading Pitkanen for them is a good idea.

However, I'd like to see the Flyers really consider a plan B. They are NOT going to be real Stanley Cup contender just by adding Gomez or Briere to their current rosters. As such, why not try to add a guy like Mike Comrie, Brendan Morrison or Todd White AND a Michal Handzus or Wayne Primeau?

They need both a playmaker to work with Simon Gagne and a defensive guy who can be a consistent face-off winner. They also don't necessarily need the guys they add to be six year contracts, either.

Jeff Carter has first line offensive abilities, I just am not sure if he'll be better at a wing or center because he seemed to have some issues in his own end when playing first line minutes at center last season.

Mike Richards is a battler, who has the temperament and talent to play anywhere from the second line to shut down defensive guy down the line. Right now he's a very good PK guy and solid third liner center that works his tail off an manages hit or miss numbers for his sweat.

Also on hand is a wildcard like Ryan Potulny. Potulny has a nose for the puck and seems to end up with the puck in excellent spots. He's also smart as a playmaker. But he's very, very raw as a defensive player.

Simply adding a pair of stop gap centermen could keep enough cash free to re-sign Carter and Richards and keep Potulny's development on track, and not be roadblocks when when the kids are ready to step in a play in the NHL full time, or can step gracefully aside for new UFAs if the kids are not ready.
Filed Under:   Flyers   free agents   Jsaq   Morrison   Comrie   Handzus  
June 24, 2007 10:39 PM ET | Delete
Well said. I've had similar thoughts - about looking for stopgap type players, maybe players with only a year left on their contract (Morrison). We'll see how this plays out, but Homer's off-season has been built around acquiring *young* NHL talent. Guys in their mid-20's, not their mid-30's. Wayne Primeau would be a great 4th line center - but for a Cup contending team. For a non-contending team, he's just taking minutes away from young guys like Potulny and Umberger.
June 24, 2007 11:30 PM ET | Delete
Makes sense. I'm hoping for something similar from the Canucks. A lot of people here want them to make moves and land a big UFA; but none of the UFAs make a lot of sense to me (except Smyth - but not at those prices). I think it's better for the Flyers (and Canucks) to go the "steady as she goes" route and see what things are like next summer. Just adding top-end players wily-nily strikes me as a waste of time (and too close to the Wayne Gretzky School of Coyotes Management - grab the best spare parts you can and hope a team emerges).
June 25, 2007 12:44 AM ET | Delete
We need 1 first line center, one shutdown center and our team is fine. If we have to give up Pitkanen to get it, I'm fine with that. I trust in Homer.Also, I think Carter and especially Richards needs to get signed long term. Six years for Timonen? How about 6 years for the both of them...
June 25, 2007 1:15 AM ET | Delete
I don't think 6 year contracts are the way to go in general. It has to be given to the right type of player who is a competitor like Chris Drury. There are many players who will lose their competitive edge if given long term, guaranteed contracts. I think the league will weaken with many of the star players demanding and receiving long term contracts.
June 25, 2007 3:11 AM ET | Delete
Bradley, I just don't see Potulny or Umberger as fourth line centers. Potulny is raw on defense-and I am being very nice because I like the kid, and Umberger is a winger, not a center, IMO. I just am worried that a Briere or Gomez alone doesn't make them a contender, and a hige contract to either of those guys might keep them from making the tweaks needed to finalize a contender
June 25, 2007 7:59 AM ET | Delete
I agree J - however, jerseys of Comrie, White, and W Primeau just won't sell the way a Briere or Gomez would. I believe that may also be part of the thinking in bringing in a big "name," unfortunately....
June 25, 2007 9:32 AM ET | Delete
Well Evil Tim, you have just hit a big nail on the head. I doubt the Flyers will take my approach, but I'll still root for whomever they roll in.
June 25, 2007 9:45 AM ET | Delete
It's easy to see why GM's of professional sports franchises become gray-haired rather quickly. Tough, tough decisions to make...Am I the only one troubled about the thought of paying $7 mil/yr. to a guy (Gomez) who scored 13 goals last season?
June 25, 2007 10:12 AM ET | Delete
No, Brad, not at all. Especially under a salary cap. In 2003 or whatever, I wouldn't have cared at all. Now that you have a finite budget, you have to sweat every penny. All you can do is hope whomever they sign is worth it.
June 25, 2007 4:09 PM ET | Delete
I like yer points and I agree with you on Pitkanen. But last time Comrie was here he was a bust. So i dont know about that. I still think u guuys would be really impressed with Briere coming over. Me being a season ticket holder to the sabres i know what we would be getting. Believe me... we want briere.
June 25, 2007 5:24 PM ET | Delete
My #1 choice is Gomez but I'm very worried about getting into a bidding war w/the Rags. Not sure if Briere can shoulder the load of a big contract in Philly. I really want a big time 1 guy but at the end of the day the price must be right.
June 25, 2007 5:27 PM ET | Delete
I see Comrie as a piece of the puzzle more than a premier top line guy. More of a fill in than anything else. Morrison would be more intriguing as he is signed and has shown the capability of being a top liner with talented guys before in Vancouver.
June 26, 2007 4:00 PM ET | Delete
i agree, flyers need more than briere of gomez to be stanley cup contenders. depending on guys to step up who were inconsistent all last year. no knock on them by any means, but we do need a 2nd up player like comrie or morrison to solidify the final package.
June 26, 2007 10:08 PM ET | Delete
I agree that Comrie was abust last time. Am I the only person that doesnt think that Carter will never be anything more than a second line center or winger and Richards is way over valued by the fan base. He is too slow to deal with the speed wingers and too small to deal with the big wingers. He is nver going to be anything more than a piece and he will never be a Handzus type. I guess i am saying that i like him but that is it. We need a big name top line center that can be the center of attention. Who is the Flyers now??? Gagne is not teh face of the franchise and we need one desperately. Gomez..yes, Briere...yes, Nylander...No!!!
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