I did a bit of number crunching last evening. The Flyers face an interesting cap situation following day one of the NHL draft. Here's how things stand and what could happen next.
Cap hit currently stands at: $50,792,000
Players accounted for: Briere, Richards, Gagne, Hartnell, Knuble, Lupul, Upshall, Giroux, Downie, Timonen, Hatcher, Rathje, Coburn, Parent, Kukkonen, Biron, Niittymaki.
RFA: Carter, Thoresen, Jones, Eminger, Guenin
UFA: Cote, Dowd, Smith.
Assuming that Rathje, Hatcher and Kukkonen are off the cap, that leaves the Flyers with $13,083,000 in cap space to resign FAs and fill holes on the roster. Under that scenario, they'd need 4 forwards(to have 13) and 4 defensemen(to have 7).
Assume the following cap hits:
Dowd(or like veteran) $550,000
That adds $9,775,000 to the cap hit, leaving $3,308,000 in room to add other pieces.
Granted, the numbers can be tweaked a bit, one way or another, but without Hatcher retiring there isn't another decent FA coming. If Hatcher stays, there isn't ANY FA coming.
Smith re-signs for $2.5mm-$3mm: I'd keep Kukkonen and let Guenin stay a Phantom or shop him for picks next year.
Jones traded: Possible he could be a sweetner to trade into round two today, but I don't see Jones going anywhere.
Another trade-it's unlikely, but maybe they swing another trade today by, say dealing Knuble+ for a bona fide top 4, and use the cap space to add a veteran winger like Brendan Shanahan.
I am a bit happier about the future of this team than I was 24 hours ago, but I would have preferred the Flyers keeping the 27th and drafting John Carlson or Jakob Markstrom. Who knows, perhaps they'll trade into round two and nab Markstrom this afternoon.
Luca Sbisa was a stellar pick at 19. He will be a huge piece of the team's puzzle moving ahead.
I feel Eminger played pretty well for the Caps in the playoffs, and that under John Stevens, Terry Murray, Jack McIlhargey and Joey Mullen, we could see improvement such as those made by Braydon Coburn and Randy Jones in Eminger's case.
Anyhow a glimpse at what could be the 2008-09 Opening day line-up: