Back in late July, before we knew Kimmo Timonen would likely be unable to play again, I wrote an article about how Shayne Gostisbehere should make the team because it could make the most financial sense. Here we are a little over two months later, Gostisbehere has been sent to the Phantoms, and I'm now arguing that Samuel Morin should make the team for the same reason.
The Flyers have their final preseason game tonight and it appears as if it will be a showcase for the final squad, with the exception of Wayne Simmonds who is day to day. The Flyers currently have 24 players still with the team and have to be down to, at most, a 23 man roster to start the season.
They currently have 14 forwards remaining on the team, with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Zac Rinaldo, Jason Akeson, Blair Jones, and Jay Rosehill rounding out the bottom. They have eight defenseman, with Nick Schultz and Samuel Morin serving as seventh and eighth (Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen will remain on the roster but be placed on long term injured reserve). And of course there are two goalies.
Pronger and Timonen will amount to ~$6.941 million in LTIR space. I've written about this topic a couple times now but in order to maximize their cap space, the Flyers need to get as close to $6.941 million over the $69 million cap as they can so they can take full advantage of that LTIR space. Anything they don't use, they lose. The alternative is to get under the $69 million cap, then place those players on LTIR. That's almost impossible to do at this point barring trades.
The current 24 man roster comes to ~$6.455 million over the salary cap (after the bonus overage). Which isn't too bad considering the goal is to be $6.941 million over. Of course, they still need to shed one more player to get down to a 23 man roster. So naturally, the only thing that makes sense is to drop the cheapest player. Samuel Morin is the opposite of that. He is the most expensive player remaining (of Bellamare, Jones, Akeson, and himself).
Even if it's only a paper transaction, Morin needs to start the season with the club. He can be sent right back to Juniors on day one if they wish; but he makes almost $300k more than any of those other players. That's valuable LTIR space that they would forfeit, if they don't keep him. Jason Akeson is the cheapest player at $575k, but the Flyers probably don't want to risk him on waivers. To me, that means either Bellemare is sent down, or Jones gets waived and then sent down; both of whom make $600k.
The other option would actually be to not place Timonen on LTIR before the start of the season. The Flyers would then be working only off of Pronger's $4.941 LTIR allowance. If the Flyers did that, and demoted both Bellemare and Jones as well as sending Morin back to Juniors, they'd sit at $4.361 million over the cap, which is pretty close to the Pronger number. They would then have the luxury of placing Timonen onto LTIR at a later date, and being able to use the full $2 million as the see fit.
Depending upon whether or not the Flyers could make those transactions, and effectively "undo" them before the first game of the season, the safer option would probably be the former, so they can have an extra forward.
Note: credit to commenter Snevik for pointing out that this originally didn't include the $345k bonus overage in the calculations. It has been corrected.