Forget Emery: The Flyers MUST Sign Hal Gill

Patrick QuarryContributor IJune 3, 2009

DETROIT - MAY 26:  Hal Gill #2 of the Pittsburgh Penguins collides into Jiri Hudler #26 of the Detroit Red Wings during game two of the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on May 26, 2008 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

After watching the Stanley Cup Finals, I realized something.

Detroit doesn't play as physical in front of the net when Hal Gill is on the ice.

This observation has led me to believe that Hal Gill is the solution to the Flyers immediate problem of not having a big, tough, and physical defenseman.

Now here is the problem (and its the same problem over and over again.) The S-A-L-A-R-Y C-A-P. Gill is a lot like Derian Hatcher in the three attributes above.

Now, it looks like the Flyers must use Derian Hatcher's $3.5 million salary from last year for all-around team improvements.

Assuming Ray Emery doesn't sign for more than $1.5 million, Johan Backlund replaces Nittymaki, and they don't sign Munroe, the Flyers will save about $3 million.

If the Flyers either

Door No. 1 - Trade Randy Jones and save $3 mill.

Door No. 2 - Trade Matt Carle and save $3.5 mil. (personally I think Carle is worth the extra 500K)

Door No. 3 - Also they can keep these two guys and not resign Alberts. This is where Hal Gill comes into position.

The Flyers can trade either Gagne or Lupul to Montreal (Gagne has a no-trade clause, but wants to play in Montreal).

I think Gagne is the obvious choice because he makes more and is not that good anymore (anyone ever hear of a thing called backchecking).

The goalies, Gagne, Hatcher, and the loss of a door could save them between $9 and $10 million dollars. Jackpot! The one bad thing is that this is all hypothetical and is subject to change without warning or notice.

If it is true though—Gill will make a big improvement on defense. The Penguins would want to resign Gill, but he'll need to be paid more than his current $2.1 mil. salary. Also Evgeni Malkin is cashing in next year when his salary goes from about a million to $9 million! With this in mind expect the penguins to put Gill on the bubble.


Also in a lighter note, my headline suggests I don't like the interest of Ray Emery by the Flyers. If that's what you were thinking, I have one thing to say, you're totally WRONG!

I will publish a new article on why Ray Emery is the perfect fit for the Flyers in the next day or two.