Randy Jones will get re-signed for $1.3 mill multi-yr deal.
I predict Hatcher, Smith and Modry all off the books come next season.
With Hatcher retiring/buyout and Smith/Modry leaving as FA's. Big Hatch does have 1 more yr left on his 3.5m contract, but I will go on a limb and point at Rathje to compare. Youngsters Parent and Kuks both played solid in the playoffs and should make the Flyers roster again. With 3 gone, the Flyers will still need to pick up a solid D-man to fill the void. Good timing, because this sure is a good year for free agency defenceman offerings!
Timonen(6.3m) - Coburn(1.3m)
Jones(1.3m) - Parent(1m)
Kukkonen(1m) - ??????????
With Jones at $1.3m totals approx 11mill spent on 5 D-men leaves us in very good shape to grab someone good!
I predict this total of $6.7m off the books.
Will the loss of Hatcher/Smith's leadership n grit effect the Flyers D negatively? Have Coburn and Jones come into their own this season as solid core defensive players? Will Kuks put on 10 lbs of muscle this offseason? Will Parent emerge as the defensive stud we all predict him to be? What will become of the Goat and his bloated salary?
Should the Flyers grab a young D-man or an older experienced vet!?
I am predicting that Timonen will wear an "A"
and lead this core of skilled youngsters very effectively. Because of this, I predict the Flyers will be targeting a relatively younger(mid 20's) player
with proven skills, and not an older (30+) vet player, so I will limit my analysis to FA players in the 20's age bracket.
Here are 4 UFA's and 4 RFA's to consider...
UFA Michal Rozsival age 28,6' 2",210lbs ; $2.3mill ; 80gp/13g/25a/38p/+0/80pim
A fine overall D man with size and skill! Great run in the playoffs. Would be awesome to have him in O&B for a comprable salary, but I have a feeling he will be making closer to double, in the $5+mill range. I predict him not to be re-signed by the Rags.
UFA Brian Campbell age 28,6' 0",191lbs ; $1.75m ; 83gp/8g/54a/62p/+8/20pim
Flyers tried to get "soupy" at the deadline. They failed. He is due for a huge raise and should be getting a fat $6+mill/yr deal with some lucky team, and it wont be the Sharks. Low PIMs, highly skilled, high excitement player! I predict him not to re-sign with the Sharks unless they move Marleau.
UFA Brad Stuart age 27,6' 2",213lbs ; $3.5mill ; 72gp/6g/17a/23p/-10/69pim
-16 with the Kings but stellar with the RedWings! Former 1st round pick, he has developed into a steady top 4 D-man! He is BIG and would be a fantastic pickup for the Flyers if they can land him for approximately the same money. I predict him to re-sign with Detroit.
UFA John Michael Liles age 26,5' 10",185lbs ; $1.4mill ; 81gp/6g/26a/32p/+2/26pim
Liles is smallest of the lot, he is quick and very mobile. He also low PIMs means he doesnt take too many stupid penalties. Another D-man that many teams will covet because he is skilled and well rounded and has big upside potential, but the Flyers will pass on him because of his size. I predict him to be re-signed with a $3+mill multi-year contract with the Avs.
Joni Pitkanen .. jussssst kidding! now for the RFA's... =)
RFA Jay Bouwmeester age 23,6' 4",212lbs ; $2.25mill ; 82gp/15g/22a/37/-5/72pim
A skilled towering D man who is due for a nice raise. Expect him in the $5m salary range. If Flyers can grab him via trade or offer sheet, I say it would really sew up the defence in a hurry. I predict him to be re-signed by Fla at all costs
RFA Ryan Suter age 22, 6'1",196lb ; $1mill ; 76gp/7g/24a/31p/+3/71pim
Preds 1st round prodigy w/ good bloodlines. Has huge upside potential. If the Preds trade this kid away, Ill be very surprised!
RFA Andrej Meszaros age 21, 6' 2",218lbs ; $1mill; 82gp/9g/27a/36p/+5/50pim
Another 1st rounder with big upside. He is a young big skilled Dman with BIG upside! Predict he will be re-signed by the Sens.
RFA Christian Ehrhoff age 24,6' 2",205lbs ; $1mill ; 77gp/1g/21a/22p/+9/72pim
Worthy of consideration. Predict he will be traded by the Sharks.
Comments are welcome!