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who needs to get in front of a player when you can just wrap him up with your stick?
Matt Carle was the Flyers worst player in 2011-12 and somehow got worse in the playoffs.
His defensive presence was non-existent, his positioning was atrocious, he is too small to go into corners and win a puck battle (remember how bad the breakout looked?) and unless he was confused as to which jersey he was wearing his sub-standard decision making lead to his becoming a turnover machine.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, bless their hearts, signed Carle to a six-year, $33 million dollar deal. After leading the Eastern Conference in goals-against (281), Tampa needed to improve their defense. Signing Carle did not achieve that goal. In fact, I guarantee Matt Carle is a minus-player in Tampa and the Lightning finish in the bottom three in goals against once again.
Had Philly added no defenseman and still lost Carle, not to mention his potential $5.5 million cap hit, I would still be confident the Flyers improved defensively.
Jaromir Jagr was a key acquisition last year for his veteran leadership, legend status in a locker room full of players who grew up playing with him in NHL video games. His hands/scoring touch still better than most of the players in the league.
However, Jagr missed nine regular season games with nagging, maintenance-related injuries that are sure to become more prominent as the former MVP moves further into his 40s.
Jaromir's ineffectiveness and decline in playing time through the playoffs showed that the Flyers would be better served to explore cheaper options for a team chock full of wingers who can produce points.
Jagr signed a one-year, $4.55 million deal with the Dallas Stars, a pay raise of $1.25 million from last year.
Dallas, apparently in desperate need to sell jerseys, overpaid for a 41-year-old who probably won't play more than 65 games this season.
Between two expendable, overrated players the Flyers saved themselves over $10 million in cap space for 2012-13 alone.
Also, in trading James van Riemsdyk, whose cap hit was to jump from $1.65 million to 4.25 million this season, for Luke Schenn ($3.6 million cap hit next four seasons), the Flyers were able to save a little cash, address a need and move a player who was never going to live up to the expectations of being a second-overall draft pick.
Van Rimsdyk just was not a Flyer. He wasn't tough, he didn't score enough to make up for his lack of interest on the defensive end of the ice and he's a New York fan. It sounds petty, but a player who grew up rooting for the Rangers and, even worse, the Yankees, will never get what it means to wear the orange and black.
In losing Carle, Jagr and van Riemsdyk the Flyers' front office was able to improve their team via addition by subtraction. Furthermore, the money saved in not holding onto those three players enables Philly to pursue higher-quality talent at the trade deadline.