Mike Knuble is gone, and like others I am very upset that the Flyers could not resign him. He has been the best power forward since Leclair, back in the 90's.
The next question I have for Paul Holmgren is Who's Next.
Let's take a look at the salary cap issue that the Flyers currently have. We must add a seventh defenseman from the system and that costs about 500k, if we use Syvet,Guenin, Marshall, Ratchuk or Bourdon. Therfore, we have approximately $1.75 million for a replacement. Lets see the candidates:
Todd Bertuzzi is a true power forward that can hit and score goals.
Size: 6'3"—235 lbs.
Can he score?: In the past four years, he averages about 17 goals when not hurt.
Salary 2008-09: $1.950 million
Reliability: In Calgary last year, he played an average of 17 minutes in the 2009 playoffs.
Experience: Has been on Team Canada and has played on many teams that have gone deep in the playoffs.
Predicted Salary: $1.750 million per year
Brendan Shanahan is an experienced Power Forward who can still Fight.
Size: 6'3"—220 lbs.
Can he score?: In the past four years, Shanny averaged 20-plus goals. Last year, he scored six goals in 34 games, but it's New Jersey.
Salary 2008-09: $800K
Reliability: Played on a checking line last year with John Madden, and averaged 16:00 minutes per game.
Experience: Has been on three Stanley Cup Teams, won an Olympic Gold Medal.
Predicted Salary: $1.0 million per year.
Mikael Samuelsson is a younger power forward with mobility.
Size: 6'1"—205 lbs.
Can he score?: In the past four years, he's averaged 15-plus goals.
Salary 2008-09: $1.2 million
Reliability: Played for Detroit last year and was used throughout their lineup: on the point for power play, used on penalty kill, and used in front of the net.
Ice Time: He received about 15:08 minutes in the 2009 playoffs.
Experience: Has been on one Stanley Cup team and also won an Olympic Gold Medal.
Predicted Salary: 2.0 million per year.
James Van Riemsdyk:
Size: 6'3"—200 lbs.
Can he score?: In the past two years at college, he averaged 14 goals.
Salary 2008-09: N/A
Reliability: He's a question mark. Is he in Shape? Can he handle 82 games? How defensively sound is he? Will John Stevens play him?
Ice Time: Unknown
Predicted Salary : $850K
Size: 6'2"—195 lbs.
Can he score?: In the past four years, he averaged 20 goals.
Salary 2008-09: $2.25 million
Reliability: Played for Pittsburgh last year on Malkin's line. Can play many different roles including work on the power play and penalty kill. He's not very effective in front of the net though.
Ice Time: He received 14:31 minutes in the 2009 playoffs.
Experience: Has been on two Stanley Cup Teams.
Predicted Salary: $2.25 million per year.
In my opinion, I think that since the Flyers have acquired some defensively sound players, they should go after a guy like Bertuzzi. He still has the ability and he still can hit, the problem is his price.
But can you imagine Bertuzzi, Richards, and Gagne. That is an even scarier line than before.
The next choice is Samuelsson. He can do anything, but I'm not sure what the exact asking price is to sign him. However, he can do it all, and maybe in the Flyers' system he can play a different role than in Detroit.
I don't think Shanahan is a good fit, he is too old, while
JVR is not ready, yet. He is in a very similar situation to Bobby Ryan, two years in the minors/juniors until he comes of age.
Lastly, if he is still available, take Fedotenko. One reason is because he always scores against the Flyers. Remember the 2003-04 Lightning? However, with the cap space, he might be out of reach.