Philadelphia Flyers: Free Agency Update, Get Your Nametags Ready

Justin GarzoneContributor IJuly 7, 2008

Since the beginning of the Free-Agency period on July 1, the Philadelphia Flyers have, once again, changed a lot of faces within the organization.  Departed are R.J. Umberger and Sami Kapanen via trade and retirement, respectively.  Other names expected to leave are Jason Smith (captain last season), Patrick Thoresen (acquired from Edmonton from waivers), and Jim Dowd (the ageless penalty killer).

Glen Metropolit, the 34-year-old center, signed a two-year contract after playing for the Boston Bruins last season.  Steve Eminger, who the Flyers faced in their playoff series against Washington, signed a one-year contract worth $1.2 million. 

Paul Holmgren traded away the bruising d-man Denis Gauthier to Los Angeles and acquired Ossi Vaananen along with Tim Ramholt, both defensemen.  Gauthier played all of last season for the AHL affiliate Philadelphia Phantoms and was eating up valuable cap money. 

Just today, the organization announced the signing of Arron Asham to a multi-year deal believed to be four years.  Holmgren also received a four-year extension to remain as GM and has all of Philadelphia breathing a sigh of relief  (who signs GMs anyway?). 

Ever since he took over for Bobby Clarke, he has made one outstanding move after another to rebuild the Flyers and return them to perennial playoff contenders. 

It appears that most of the moves have been made for the current off-season.  The stage has been set for a very interesting training camp, where many players will have a shot to make the roster. 

One name to watch for is Claude Giroux.  The 19-year-old super-prospect played two NHL games last season due to injury, but has already been labeled as a superstar in the making.  The numbers he put up last season in the QMJHL were staggering.  (38 goals and 68  assists for 106 points in only 55 games during the regular season and 17 goals and 34 assists for 51 points in just 19 playoff games, earning him MVP honors)

That's all from Philly for now.  Next stop, training camp.