Every single thread at some point on the BSH regardless of topic pretty much contains a comment along the lines of ...
Flyers have to trade Carter we can't afford him next year and keep Giroux, Leino, and Zherdev.
Giroux will be here no doubt and Leino and Zherdev still have to prove themselves in my book before I pencil them in as long term core guys. But Carter has done it he is the best goal scorer on the team clearly now that Gagne is gone. But we can Carter's merit all day some people clearly don't like the guy for some reason or another but none of that matters.
Why do you ask?
Because if look at the way our franchise is setup and our depth in the organization, it is all on the blueline not much up front. Whoever you lose up front should be replaced by the next up and coming forward from our farm system on low priced entry level contract. But there isn't much there especially at the level/potential of a Carter, Zherdev and Leino all of whom are 26 or younger.
But the Flyers system blueline is stacked and that is where we can save the money next year to keep everyone up front. One of Coburn, Carle or Meszaros could be moved along with O'Donnell and Walker in favor of Marshall, Bourdon, Bartulis, and Lehutruvi from the Phantoms or impressive Bodrov, and Bertilsson who are playing overseas. That would free up 4-5 million bucks.
We already ready have by a long ways the highest paid D in the league. If two of those names can crack the roster full-time in 2011 we can easily keep all the forwards including Carter in our lineup for years to come. It will certainly weaken our blueline compared to this season but that is salary cap hockey you have to have a steady influx of entry level contracts to keep your team together and the only entry levels guys in the system you look even remotely close to being NHL ready are D-Men.
Plus with stars like Pronger and Kimmo as D partners they can carry the young guys and Backlund taking over goal full time we won't need the overloaded D in 2011 anyway.
This is something to watch in training camp, not who will be making the team this year, but which D-men are poised to make the jump next year when someone will pretty much have to.