5 Ideal Free-Agent Signings for the Philadelphia Flyers

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IJune 13, 2013

5 Ideal Free-Agent Signings for the Philadelphia Flyers

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    The Philadelphia Flyers made a relatively big splash trading for the rights to Mark Streit. He can't sign until free agency officially begins in July, but his presence would be a major boost to the Flyers' blue line. 

    However, even with the potential addition of Streit, the Flyers could still stand to add some talent to their depleted defensive corps. 

    Unfortunately, this is an extremely weak free-agency class. The salary cap is also lowering, so there could actually be a fair amount of movement as teams shuffle rosters to stay compliant with the new cap.

    This class is full of past-their-prime veterans and role players, so the Flyers will have to find the right players that will be both cost-effective and fit in well on the ice.

    Here's a list of five players who could meet Philadelphia's criteria and be possible targets for GM Paul Holmgren come July. 

Michael Ryder

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    Michael Ryder is not much of an all-around player, but he can score goals in bunches. The Flyers went through some serious goal droughts this season, and Ryder would be a big help.

    He has a wicked right-handed shot that helped him score 35 goals in 2011-12 for the Dallas Stars, and shouldn't be too expensive.

    The Canadiens have announced that they won't re-sign him, so he'll definitely be on the open market. 

Rob Scuderi

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    One of the most underrated defensemen in the league, Rob Scuderi helped lead a young Pittsburgh team to the Stanley Cup Final in 2009, and then did the same thing for the Kings last season.

    He's 34 now, but he still remains one of the smarter, stronger defensemen in the league who can check and block a lot of shots.

    He wouldn't help the team get any younger, but for a couple of years and under his current $3.4 million salary, signing him would be a worthy investment. 

Bryan Bickell

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    Bryan Bickell has really helped himself over the past few months, especially while helping power Chicago back into the Stanley Cup Final.

    He's 27 years old and stands 6'4". He doesn't skate extremely well, but he is phenomenal in front of the net and along the boards.

    The Blackhawks are a bit cap-strapped and also have to look at Viktor Stalberg's expired contract, so there's a good chance Bickell will be available on July 5. 

Andrew Ference

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    This 34-year-old defenseman may not get Philadelphia fans excited, but Andrew Ference is a solid all-around player and teammate who could help the Flyers a lot.

    He has been a huge part of Boston's success since joining the team in 2006, and I think he still has enough left in the tank to help here, as long as he doesn't want too much money.

    The Bruins have to re-sign Nathan Horton, so it's unlikely they'll have money left over to lock up Ference as well.  

Ryan Whitney

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    After sliding down the depth chart in Edmonton under some of their talented young blueliners, Ryan Whitney will officially be available when free agency opens.

    Whitney is still only 30 years old. He has dealt with some injuries which have hampered his play over the last couple of years.

    However, with a full offseason ahead of him to recover, Philadelphia could bring him in as a good leader who can contribute some on offense.