When you think of Paul Holmgren, you will often think of huge, money-loaded contracts. Is it fair to think this? Absolutely, as Holmgren has never been afraid of shelling out humongous deals to improve his hockey club. Most Flyers' fans are constantly on Holmgren's case for locking up too much money going into the future. But in reality, the Flyers do not have as many problems as people think.
As of right now, the Flyers have a little over $54 million tied up in contracts for next season, including Chris Pronger's $5 million cap-hit. That gives them approximately $10 million in cap-space, excluding Pronger's LTIR allowance. With the cap schedule to go up to approximately $70 million next season, the Flyers will gain an extra $6 million in cap room. Add in Pronger's cap hit, and the Flyers have roughly $21 million to play with.
The Flyers must settle the long-term goaltending situation once and for all. With the way Steve Mason is playing, it would be realistic to expect to get a contract worth about $5.75 million per season in comparison to other starting goaltenders. Expect this number to even rise into the $6 million range if he continues his unbelievable play. The Flyers will then need to lock up a back-up goaltender, whether it be Ray Emery on another budget contract or re-calling Cal Heeter. This will approximately cost them anywhere from $800 thousand to $1.5 million.
As the top-six forwards are locked up for the most part, the Flyers will need to work on their bottom-six. Brayden Schenn (the lone top-six forward not locked up) will probably land a deal anywhere from $3-4 million on his new deal. Moving down the list, the Flyers will probably keep Scott Laughton around on a full-tim basis, as well as re-sign Tye McGinn and Adam Hall to contracts under $1 million.
The defense will be a bit tricky on the other hand. The Flyers have Mark Streit, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossmann and Braydon Coburn under contract for next year. The Flyers will probably re-sign Erik Gustafsson to a deal worth around $1.5 million per season, as well as re-calling Oliver Lauridsen on a full-time NHL basis. The Flyers may look to nab a veteran blue-liner via free agency, such as Stephane Robidas, to round out their defensive core.
CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER
CapGeek Armchair GM Roster
Scott Hartnell ($4.750m) / Claude Giroux ($8.275m) / Jakub Voracek ($4.250m)
Brayden Schenn ($3.500m) / Vincent Lecavalier ($4.500m) / Wayne Simmonds ($3.975m)
Scott Laughton ($0.894m) / Sean Couturier ($1.750m) / Matt Read ($3.625m)
Tye McGinn ($0.900m) / Adam Hall ($0.750m) / Zac Rinaldo ($0.750m)
Jay Rosehill ($0.675m) /
Mark Streit ($5.250m) / Luke Schenn ($3.600m)
Braydon Coburn ($4.500m) / Nicklas Grossmann ($3.500m)
Erik Gustafsson ($1.500m) / Stephane Robidas ($4.000m)
Oliver Lauridsen ($0.600m) /
Steve Mason ($5.750m)
Ray Emery ($1.500m)
Daniel Briere ($0.000m)
Ilya Bryzgalov ($0.000m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $70,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $68,794,167; BONUSES: $212,500
CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $1,205,833
This is not a bad team if every player plays up to their capabilities. The Flyers look pretty solid heading into season's to come if Holmgren is careful with his further contracts.