The Flyers put defenseman Lasse Kukkonen on waivers today, a move described by GM Paul Holmgren as necessary in case a forward player goes down with an injury since Riley Cote and Danny Briere are already out for the weekend. They need the extra cap space, he says. This could've been expected, probably. Lasse hasn't played too well this season and we all know he's been in John Stevens doghouse.
My question is this: Kukkonen may very well be picked up off the waiver wire by another team. If that happens, and a different Flyers defenseman goes down with an injury, what happens? Yeah, we're screwed. That's why I don't like this move. If he clears waivers then this risk pays off, but if he doesn't... let's not think about the doomsday scenario. Hope that Randy Jones gets back in the fold... fast.
In the meantime however, Kukks can still play with the team. In fact, tonight he centered a line of Aaron Asham and Josh Gratton. You read that right. He said pre-game he hadn't played center since he was a teenager. Awesome.
The other side of this story is, of course, that they might be freeing up cap space for a different forward -- Brendan Shanahan. It's been said that Philly is high on Shanny's possible destinations, and the Flyers could definitely benefit from the defensive-mindset he'd bring to the club. His leadership is also pretty invaluable. Some people are lukewarm on having him come to town, but I'd love the move, especially if it happens on the cheap (which with our cap is really the only possibility anyway).
Kukkonen coming off the books gives Holmgren about $1.7 million to work with under the cap, enough to sign Shanahan.