To start out, my hockey-sense is not to any sort of broad knowledge, I've never played, but through my birth roots as a Philadelphia Sports fan, and really checking out the Flyers during the Primeau, Gagne (early years), Desjardins, Kapanen and those folks era, to somewhat a casual extent hockey viewing really pulled at me. The Flyers really grew on my fanhood, and I became more interested in them then the likes of the 76ers and Phillies. Although my individual athletic career is mostly that of Football, basketball, and baseball. The point being, hockey is awesome, and through the passion of being a sports fan, and sticking with the Philadelpia fan loyalty, I found the love. And, even though amatuerishly, began to and still formulate opinions of players. So take my thoughts for what they are.
I've tried this whole cap geek thing, which seems to be the craze, and rightfully so in my opinion. So here is the thinking in putting the roster together.
Notable dropped Flyers: Hartnell, Carter, Carle
Carter: I do think he has a big time skill set, an enormously talented player. But his shot is not accurate, as is justifiably joked about. I would argue that the low shooting percentage is a huge hinderance. Although he scores, some of those "thrown on the net for the heck of it", and tough angle shots could be better served with a different strategy in offensive zone possessions. Also, when has he really shown up in the playoffs? I don't think enough is to be said about that.
I do think Hartnell and Carle are overpaid. Carle looks extremely solid defensively majority of the time, but I would say in large part that is due to Pronger. In the playoffs this past year he looked like a fish out of water. I think Hartnell has a decent skill set, but I just think you could get near that for a much lighter cap hit.
Again, being an amatuer, I'm not sure how you would ship away Carle and Hartnell, but maybe you could just throw them in with Carter to Toronto? Probably not, but I really think that Kadri kid is going to be special, and Gunnarson is a nice young defensive talent.
Also, on Bryz. I think now is truly the time to fork up some cash for a solid, proven goalie. Yes it will set us back at forward, defense, or both, but I would argue not dramatically. It's been how long since Hextall? I love Bob as much as the next guy, but it's time. And I watched Bryz a lot, living in Phoenix. I think he's worth the dough. I would also say he played half-decent the first playoff series against the Red-Wings, contrary to media expression. Jury is still out on his playoff performance, in my opinion, but the talent is surely there.
Anyway, here it is.
CAPGEEK.COM CAP CALCULATOR
James Van Riemsdyk ($1.654m) / Mike Richards ($5.750m) / Nikolai Zherdev ($2.000m)
Simon Gagne ($2.750m) / Claude Giroux ($3.750m) / Kris Versteeg ($3.083m)
Ville Leino ($2.750m) / Daniel Briere ($6.500m) / Nazem Kadri ($1.720m)
Darroll Powe ($0.900m) / Blair Betts ($0.700m) / Matt Bradley ($1.300m)
/ / Kyle Wellwood ($0.750m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $62,150,000; CAP PAYROLL: $62,137,261; BONUSES: $2,550,000
CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $12,739
Also, sidenote:/question Hockey seems so alluring. What would be a good way to go about getting into some sort of semi-competitive league? Check out some rinks and they might throw a guy in as a single? And where is a nice bargain for equipment?