Philadelphia Flyers Sign Darroll Powe, But Trouble Brewing

Between ThePipesContributor IJuly 22, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - MAY 24:  Kimmo Timonen #44, Darroll Powe #36 and Michael Leighton #49 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrate after defeating the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 4-2 to win Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals and to advance to the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Wachovia Center on May 24, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

With the Gagne trade still fresh in the minds of Philadelphia Flyers fans, the re-signing of Princeton graduate Darroll Powe flew under the radar last night.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported that Powe's new deal is a worth $725,000, an increase from only $532,500 last year.

Powe laced up his skates for 63 games last season, tallying 15 points and racking up 54 PIMs for the orange and black.

As is often the case, with good news comes bad news as well.

Sarah Baicker of CSN Philly spoke with forward Blair Betts yesterday, who informed her that he is four months away from returning from offseason shoulder surgery.

Betts was a staple on the Flyers penalty killing unit in 2009-2010, in addition to a great faceoff man.

While Philadelphia will miss Betts's shot-blocking prowess and contagious work ethic, his absence will allow Darroll Powe—a natural centerman—to shift over from left wing back to his preferred position in the middle.

Powe's one-year deal makes him one of nine Philadelphia Flyers currently on the roster eligible to become restricted or unrestricted free agents next summer.

Along with Powe, Jeff Carter, Claude Giroux, and Daniel Carcillo will all become RFAs in July 2010 barring any midseason trades or contract extensions.

Of those four players, Claude Giroux is the most interesting case.

Giroux's entry-level contract—which has a meager cap hit of just over $800K—expires after this season, leaving the Flyers in a tough spot.

The 22-year-old centerman played in all 82 games last year, notching 16 goals and 31 assists in his sophomore campaign.

Giroux exploded in the Flyers playoff run for 21 points in 23 games, including his game-winning overtime goal in Game Three of the Stanley Cup Finals.

There's no doubt that the Ontario native is due for a serious raise next season if the Flyers hope to keep him in their lineup.

The bottom line is that Philadelphia has to start planning right now for next offseason if they want to avoid another devastating Simon Gagne for cap space-type trade.

The Philly faithful are already irate after GM Paul Holmgren's moves this summer, and without proper consideration and preparation, next offseason could see a full-scale riot down Broad Street.