So it's official, the Flyers have asked Simon Gagne to waive his no-trade clause.The worst part is, Gagne has agreed to waive it. So now we have to brase ourselves fo one of the most saddening trades in recent Flyers history. I personally am very upset about the situation. I know that there is a business part of hockey that sometimes forces you to part ways with key assets, but could this have been avoided?
First off, as everyone knows, Jody Shelley being signed was a mistake. Seeing how the Flyers are already pressed against the cap, why go sign a player who can only fight, play a maximum of six minutes a game, and who had no purpose in today's league. Right there the Flyers would not have been in such a rush to trade Gagne to clear cap if they had that extra $1.1 million in cap space.
Another thing that could have prevented this is if Marty Turco would have taken the Flyers' initial offer. I know this is out of their control, but if Turco would have accepted that contract ($2.1 million cap hit over 3 years), Leighton would have not signed his new contract ($1.55 million cap hit over 2 years). So then you would have had a combined $3 million cap hit between Marty Turco and Brian Boucher, which is much less than what Leighton and Turco is going to cost them.
I know that was out of there control, but after they Turco said no, I would've seriousley pursued Chris Mason and Dan Ellis. Both are capable starters, and each signed for under $2 million per season in Tampa Bay and Atlanta respectively. This way, once again, the Flyers could keep Simon Gagne with their extra cap space.
Now I'm going to talk about a way to resolve this problem that has been debated over the last six months: trading Jeff Carter. I believe trading Carter is the best choice to clear cap space and get the proper assets to help your team (perhaps two right wings). Carter's trade value is high, therefore if there is any time to trade him it is now. Plus, all this is happening due to the cap, but in the long run it ill work against us. One year from now, Gagne and Carter will be up for new contracts. While Carter will ask for a raise ($6 million?), Gagne will take a pay cut ($4-4.5 million?). The Flyers will also have to give Claude Giroux and Ville Leino new contracts, so the money saved with Carter and the pay cut that Gagne will take will contribute to there new contracts.
The last possible thing that could have prevented this was by not over paying Braydon Coburn. I think they payed about 500k too much, which is a lot when it comes to the Flyers' cap situation. Even if they would have traded him or not resigned him, they could have gotten a less expensive defenseman in free agency. The addition of Andrej Meszaros makes Coburn less important to the team, so they could have easily just gone out and gotten a cheaper depth defenseman for $1 to $2 million and let Meszaros take over Coburn's role.
What are your thoughts?