Early Look at the Philadelphia Flyers' Cap Situation for 2014 Offseason

Brad KurtzbergContributor IDecember 12, 2013

Paul Homgren should have lots of money to work with next summer.
Paul Homgren should have lots of money to work with next summer.Dave Sandford/Getty Images

The salary cap is a big issue for the Philadelphia Flyers and all NHL teams. The league recently announced that the estimated salary cap for 2014-15 is $71 million.

How will this increase in the salary cap affect the Flyers? This is an early look at the salary cap situation for the orange and black next year. Obviously, these numbers are subject to change as players sign new contract extensions and/or trades are made.

As of right now, the Flyers have 13 players under contract for next season with a total cap value of just over $49,000,000 according to CapGeek.com. That number does not include Chris Pronger who will not count against the cap because of his long-term injury status, according to Frank Seravalli of PhillyNews.com.

That leaves the Flyers management with approximately $22 million to spend in the offseason if they want to reach the salary cap ceiling.

Many core players are signed to long-term deals.
Many core players are signed to long-term deals.Len Redkoles/Getty Images

The core of the Flyers is already locked up to long-term contracts. Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Vincent Lecavalier, Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read are all for at least the next four seasons.

 

Position-by-Position Specifics

There are four forwards on the current Flyers roster who are eligible to be free agents next season.

Steve Downie and Adam Hall can become unrestricted free agents (UFAs), while both Brayden Schenn and Michael Raffl will come off their entry-level deals and can become restricted free agents (RFAs).

On defense, Kimmo Timonen, Andrej Meszaros and Hal Gill are scheduled to become UFAs, but it is unlikely any of them will return to Philadelphia next season. Erik Gustafsson is eligible to be an RFA if he does not sign an extension with the Flyers before free agency begins.

Both starting goalie Steve Mason and backup Ray Emery have expiring contracts as well. Emery will be a UFA while Mason can become an RFA if no deal is reached with the Flyers.

The Flyers have been aggressive in free agency in recent years.
The Flyers have been aggressive in free agency in recent years.Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

You have to figure that the Flyers will look to re-sign Raffl and Brayden Schenn, and that Mason will be welcomed back if he continues to play as well as he has throughout the first 30 games of the season. Gustafsson also probably remains in the team's plans as long as he can reach a deal at a reasonable dollar amount.

That should still leave general manager Paul Holmgren plenty of room to sign a few key free agents or make a big move via trade.

As of now, there are several big name players who are potentially eligible for free agency next summer including Thomas Vanek, Marian Gaborik, Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Matt Moulson, Paul Stastny and Dion Phaneuf.

Flyers management has always been aggressive and proactive when it come to taking chances to improve its team. Expect Philadelphia to be active in the offseason in both free agency and the trade market.

The recent bump in the salary cap for next season means that the team will have plenty of cap room to work with when the offseason begins.