2013 NHL Free Agency: Tempting Players Philadelphia Flyers Must Avoid

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IJuly 2, 2013

2013 NHL Free Agency: Tempting Players Philadelphia Flyers Must Avoid

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    There are a few free agents in this class that the Philadelphia Flyers need to avoid. Because of the lack of talent in this group, there won't be any huge contracts thrown around, but the Flyers still need to be shrewd.

    The top players on the market are often overpaid, and this group is as undeserving of big money as any other in recent memory.

    As rumors continue to swirl, the Flyers have been connected to quite a few free agents, most of which are nothing but speculation.

    A couple players may be worth pursuing at the right price, but the following players will get overpaid and/or are bad fits for the Flyers. They have some talent, but need to be avoided at all costs.

Vincent Lecavalier

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    Vincent Lecavalier was a bona fide NHL superstar in his prime, and is still a very good player at 33 years of age. But he is not a good fit for the Philadelphia Flyers right now.

    GM Paul Holmgren said he met with the former Lightning captain last week, and it has been rumored that Philadelphia is among the favorites for Lecavalier. But I feel that signing him would be a mistake.

    Center is the Flyers strongest position right now, with Claude Giroux, Brayden Schenn, and Sean Couturier currently penciled in to their top three lines. Their best prospect, Scott Laughton, is also a center.

    Lecavalier is the top available player on the market, so bidding is likely intense and he should command a pretty hefty contract. Why would the Flyers go in on another expensive player in his mid-30s? Mark Streit is enough.

    If they do end up signing Lecavalier, I think that means Couturier or Laughton (or both) could be seriously shopped around, presumably for a defenseman.

    UPDATE: Lecavalier has signed a five-year, $4.5 million deal with Philadelphia. Less money than I expected, so I actually don't mind the deal. 

Tim Thomas

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    As a Flyers fan myself, I would have an extremely hard time rooting for Tim Thomas even if he was in our net wearing the orange and black.

    He's been rumored to be a fit for the Flyers since announcing his intention to return to the NHL, but I would rather call up Brian Boucher and have him back up Steve Mason than bring Thomas anywhere near Philadelphia. 

    Facts are facts: Thomas is 39 years old, will want too a sizable contract, benefited from playing behind a great Boston defense, and delivered more than a few crushing defeats to Philadelphia just a couple years ago.

    He is also a somewhat controversial figure whose selfish attitude and expressive personality drew the ire of Boston teammates and fans alike.

    If the Flyers learned anything from their disastrous Ilya Bryzgalov signing, it's that overpriced, distracting goaltenders should be avoided at all costs.

Viktor Stalberg

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    When he's on the ice, Viktor Stalberg looks like he should be a top NHL point producer. He's a 6'3" winger who is one of the faster skaters in the league but he doesn't use his frame and skills to their potential.

    At 27 years old, his season-high goal total is just 22, and he absolutely disappears in the playoffs, registering just six points in 32 career games.

    He was also scratched for two games in Chicago's playoff series against Detroit, and apparently had some issues with playing time.

    With the lack of top talent on the market, Stalberg will likely get overpaid.

    If the Flyers are smart, they'll make sure they aren't the ones doing the overpaying, yet Sam Carchidi said they are pursuing the Swedish winger.

David Clarkson

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    After turning down the New Jersey Devils' latest offer, David Clarkson officially announced his intention to test the open market.

    Being one of the best forwards available (which isn't saying much), Clarkson probably figures he can get a relatively big contract, and at 29 years of age this is his last chance for one.

    Clarkson broke out in the 2011-12 season, scoring 30 goals and then followed it up with 15 in 48 games this past season.

    Is that a big enough sample size to justify the contract he's about to get?

    In short, no way. The Flyers don't need another overpriced third-line winger.