With the 2013 NHL draft and free agency period right around the corner, it's high-season for NHL trade rumors.
One of the main teams trying to wheel and deal right now is the Philadelphia Flyers.
After missing the postseason in 2013, the Flyers have already taken measures this offseason to improve the club moving forward.
For starters, the team inked Mark Streit to a four-year deal worth a total of $21 million, after trading for his negotiating rights with the New York Islanders. Whether or not you believe that improves the team, clearly GM Paul Holmgren is trying to reposition the Flyers heading into the 2013-14 campaign.
He followed that move up by using both of the team's allotted compliance buyouts, sending Danny Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov packing to free up some cap space and give the team some wiggle room moving forward.
Those moves, along with Chris Pronger's placement on the long-term injured reserve (LTIR) give the Flyers approximately $9 million to work with in order to upgrade in net.
Seems like a nice chunk of change.
Yet, Philly fans need to keep in mind that after next season, the team will need to re-sign players like Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier—both of whom were recently deemed untouchable by Holmgren:
Holmgren says he still sees Couturier and B. Schenn as untouchable. #FlyersTalk— Sarah Baicker (@sbaickerCSN) June 26, 2013
Then, of course, there's the issue or re-signing Claude Giroux.
That $9 million isn't looking like such a huge number anymore, is it?
So how do the Flyers upgrade in the crease?
Roberto Luongo will take up $5.3 million for the foreseeable future. Mike Smith will probably be looking to rake in a fair amount of cash as the only major starting goaltender on the free agent market. Ray Emery had a great year, but he hasn't had any consistent success as a starter in years.
Enter Jaroslav Halak.
The 28-year-old Slovakian netminder finds himself in an interesting predicament with the St. Louis Blues, with both Brian Elliott and youngster Jake Allen now competing for the starting job in net with him.
According to Tim Panaccio of CSN Philadelphia, the Flyers are interested in bringing him over from St. Louis. What's more, Panaccio indicates that it wouldn't take one of Philly's top young players to acquire him either.
Halak would also be up for free agency after next season, which may not be ideal, but it does allow Philadelphia to prioritize who they'd like to sign once the 2013-14 campaign has wrapped up.
By contrast, Luongo would be inked and would pose a major problem to Philadelphia cap-wise with regards to signing their younger stars (probably why the Flyers have indicated they won't pursue the veteran). The same holds true for Mike Smith (unless Smith were to inexplicably sign a one-year deal).
If the Flyers could convince Halak—who has a career goals against average of 2.41 and save percentage of .917—to sign another contract where his cap hit is around the $4.25 million per season, Philadelphia may finally have their future goaltender.
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