The Philadelphia Flyers have already swung and missed on the top restricted free agent of this year's class, but there are still some interesting RFAs left for them to consider, with the most interesting name being P.K. Subban.
A defenseman who has spent the last few seasons with the Montreal Canadians, Subban has become one of the least liked opposing hockey players in Philadelphia that doesn't play for a division rival due to his attitude.
But he's also become one of the better young offensive defensemen in the NHL, and at age 23 has plenty of time to develop into a really special player.
A report by TSN indicates that Montreal is having difficulty coming to terms with Subban, which could pave the way for the Flyers to make a move for him.
With some uncertainty this offseason because of the pending CBA discussions, there's a chance that, if the Flyers offer Subban a contract more to his liking, Montreal would be less likely to match it than they would in a normal offseason.
A contract of four years, $3.1 million per year would require the Flyers to send back a second-round pick in compensation.
That's pretty good value for a 23-year-old defense man with the kind of upside Subban has, and it would make him the sixth-highest paid defenseman on the team if Pronger's contract is not included.
Defense has been the area that the Flyers have wanted to improve the most this offseason, and so far at best they've moved laterally.
The Flyers traded for a high-upside, stay-at-home defenseman in Luke Schenn, but also lost veteran puck-moving defenseman Matt Carle to free agency.
Subban can much better fill the void left behind by Carle than Schenn just because of his style of play, as Schenn is not really the offensive threat that Carle was.
P.K's offensive game would help on the power play, and his presence on the blue line would add some speed and a definite upgrade over any of the current options to be the sixth defenseman. There also aren't a whole lot of ways the team can upgrade at this point in the offseason, as Subban is one of the few, if not the only impact player left on the market.
As for the fans not liking Subban, it's not like he is as hated as Jaromir Jagr was, and that turned out well. Subban is known for being a chippy player who likes to antagonize his opponents, something that Flyers fans love to see in their players.
The case could be made for conserving cap space for a trade-deadline deal and this contract would probably eat into most if not all of the current cap space. But getting a 23-year-old defenseman with the kind of talent and upside Subban has is always worth considering.
Next season will be the last one for Scott Hartnell and, more importantly, Kimmo Timonen. That means there will be plenty of cap space assuming neither one is re-signed to numbers that resemble their current cap hit.
If that's the case the Flyers have the long-term cap space to make a run at Subban, and they should consider it.
He makes the team better now and down the road without costing the team any of its roster players.
That should make sending P.K. Subban an offer sheet something the Flyers should take a long look at.
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