When the Flyers lost in overtime to the Blackhawks, I like all Flyers' fans were pissed off. That being said, I was proud of the team, and was happy with the roster the way it was for the most part. With a bit of tweaking to the roster, I thought we'd have a good shot of doing this and more in the 2010-11 a season. But as this off-season goes on, I'm starting to get worried and doubt Paul Holmgren.
The very first thing that got me questioning was the re-signing of Michael Leighton. Don't get me wrong, Leighton got many people's respect this past season and proved that he can be a great back-up, but I believe Holmgren jumped the gun. He spent precious cap space on a goalie who is a back-up, when they already have a good back-up in Brian Boucher. I think that Holmgren got scared when Marty Turco and Evgeni Nabokov said no to contracts, and thought that maybe Leighton would walk away in free agency, so he right away locked up Leighton just in case. But in reality, if Holmgren would've just waited he would find that Turco would now accept that contract of around 2 mil per season. Even Chris Mason and Dan Ellis were capable starters up for grabs, and they were both signed to contracts that payed them less then 2 million a season. That would be one more thing (goalie situation) that the Flyers wouldn't have had to worry about right now.
The second thing that caught my eye in a bad way was the aquistions of Andrej Meszaros and the signing of Jody Shelley. Let me say for the record that I like both players and find both can help the team in a big way, but I just hate the finacial terms of the contracts. Shelley's contract for 1.1 million/season is a joke for the role he'll play, and Meszaros' 4 million/season for a fifth defenseman is too much. I would've like the Shelley signing if it were for no more then 750k, so he could help inforce the team and protect our start. As for Meszaros, I wouldn't have aquired him, even though he's a good defenseman. I would've targeted Kurtis Foster for a cheap price like he signed for in Edmonton.
Now Nikolai Zherdev has signed and more and more rumors are saying that Gagne is heading out of town. As soon as Simon Gagne rumors started I started to get angry/worried. Angry for the reason that Holmgren is dis-respecting the longest tenured Flyer and putting him in a lose/lose positoned. Worried that Gagne's return won't be over the top helpful to the Flyers right away, and how it would basically be replacing Gagne with Zherdev. I still say that by Jeff Carter being traded most of the Flyers problems would be solved, but it's obvious that Holmgren is too stubborn. I have a bad feeling that if Gagne is traded and Carter is kept that we'll create future cap issues in the 2011-2012 season, plus how we will not get a good return for Gagne.