It's a theme repeated year after year. Teams must shed players in order to make room for the following year's salary cap. The Philadelphia Flyers may be no different despite sitting on top of the league. The Flyers are sitting at about $3.65 million in cap space. Sometimes these moves are tough, but they benefit the team in the long run. Here are 10 players to keep an eye on going into the trade deadline.
While Matt Carle seems to be the perfect partner for Chris Pronger, the Flyers may look to add a defensive forward or a forward capable of replacing Andreas Nodl on the top line.
With a $3.4 million contract, Carle could be the victim of the numbers game. The Flyers have a deep defense and could free up some more cap space to add a player or possibly get Ville Leino signed.
Matt Carle has shined while playing with Chris Pronger, but I believe most players would shine playing with Pronger. Having Oskars Bartulis, who is more then capable of stepping up to the plate, makes this move a small possibility.
Jody Shelley was signed in the offseason to be the next Philadelphia Flyers heavyweight. His contract, however, doesn't fit the mold. Shelley's contract weighs in at $1.1 million. The Flyers may look to deal him if they decide that Daniel Carcillo can fill the role of resident puncher.
Carcillo can bring a little more to the table. Who can forget his beautiful move against the Toronto Maple Leafs last year? How about his overtime winner against the New Jersey Devils in the playoffs?
Shelley can fight with the best of them, but his contract might find him moved to make room for a scoring winger or defensive forward.
His $1.1 million would be a good amount of money to add to your cap space. Keep an eye on Shelley heading down the stretch.
Blair Betts may have the smallest salary on this list, but $700,000 is nothing to sneeze at. Factor that in with the Flyers already being deep at the center position, and Betts could likely land on another team at the deadline.
The only problem with moving Blair Betts would be: Who do you make play fourth line center? With Daniel Briere, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Claude Giroux and Darroll Powe all being natural centers, the decision is tough.
If a deal were to go down, the most likely scenario would be the Flyers adding a top line winger, moving Powe to the center and placing Nodl on the fourth line. Having a fourth line of Powe, Nodl and Carcillo wouldn't be that much of a step down from where they are now.
Braydon Coburn has been playing pretty good hockey this season. Paired with Kimmo Timonen, Coburn really shows his skill. The problem with Coburn is no one knows how he would react to not having Timonen to back him up.
In the 2008 playoffs, Timonen went down with an injury. Coburn wasn't the same, which in my opinion led to the Flyers picking up Chris Pronger. Getting Pronger ensured that Coburn could be paired with Timonen permanently.
Coburn's $3.2 million cap hit would almost double the Flyers' cap space if moved. If this deal goes down, it would again be for a forward.
This is probably the least likely of the list. Andrej Meszaros is playing some of the best hockey of his career. Meszaros leads the league in +/-. Along with defensive partner Sean O'Donnell, Meszaros is playing like his early days in Ottawa.
Despite this, Meszaros' $4 million salary is not something that can be ignored. General Manager Paul Holmgren most likely won't move Meszaros, but if he needs big time cap space, Meszaros is the only one to look at.
If Holmgren did indeed need that much cap room, Meszaros would fall victim. Kimmo Timonen, Daniel Briere and Scott Hartnell all have no trade clauses. Chris Pronger, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are the only others close to Meszaros' pay. However, Pronger is needed for a playoff run, Richards is the captain and leader of the team, and Carter likely isn't moved since he just had his contract extended.
While highly unlikely, wouldn't this move be the "Shocker of the Year" award winner?
It's true that Scott Hartnell is a member of arguably the hottest line in hockey. As I pointed out earlier, Hartnell does have a no trade clause. In the event the Flyers asked Hartnell to waive his clause, his $4.2 million salary coming off the cap would be huge.
Harntell is a former first-round draft pick with 30-goal scoring capability. With two years remaining on his contract, a non-playoff team that is looking to make a quick turnaround could be interested in him. The only things that would keep Paul Holmgren from making this deal are Hartnell's no trade clause and the potential of breaking up a powerful scoring line.
As seen in the past, all bets are off when it comes to the trade deadline. If I had to put a percentage on how likely this would be, I would say that there is less than a 30 percent chance.
Kimmo Timonen's situation is a lot like Scott Hartnell's. Kimmo Timonen has a no movement clause which means he can not be traded or waived without his permission. Timonen is a work horse, he plays in all situations on the ice and is probably the best at breaking up 2-on-1s.
If for some reason Paul Holmgren decided that the Flyers could use another $6.3 million instead of Timonen, the Flyers could ask that his clause be waived.
Chances are that Timonen stays, but clearing that much space would create many different possibilities. If the Flyers could pull a move that saw $2 million come to the Flyers, they would still have added $4.3 million to their $3.6 million space. Heading in to next season with $7.9 million and 16 players under contract wouldn't be a bad thing.
NOTE: Cap Space Figures for next year are based off this year's Salary Cap. The cap could go up and leave possibility of even more space.
Daniel Briere is the highest paid Philadelphia Flyer. With a $6.5 million contract, Briere stands at top of Philadelphia's payroll. Briere, like Kimmo Timonen, owns a no movement clause.
A Briere trade would be a case of a very attractive offer. In order for the Flyers to move Briere for cap reasons, they would most likely want the same calibre player back for less money. Briere is also having a huge season for the Flyers, and unless they are 110 percent positive they can move on without him, the Flyers won't move him.
James van Riemsdyk is often the subject of trade rumors. The former second overall draft pick hasn't progressed as quickly as some fans would like. Moving JVR would save the Flyers $1.6 million.
Paul Holmgren has said that he isn't willing to move JVR, but if an attractive offer came up that could lead to the Flyers adding the key piece to the puzzle, JVR would be moved.
Van Riemsdyk is an attractive target for teams in rebuild mode. Being young and having huge upside are reasons why a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs would be a fit for JVR.
The Flyers aren't just going to give van Riemsdyk up for nothing. They are likely to want a roster player and maybe a draft pick in return for JVR.
I know what you all are thinking. Before you blow up the comment section, let me assure you that I know that Laperriere is hurt, and that he is on long-term injured reserve (LTIR). Hear me out on this, while I don't think trading Laperriere is going to happen, there is something that could happen that would possibly cause Laperriere to be a cap casualty.
Ian Laperriere has been sitting on LTIR for the entire season. The NHL could choose to ivestigate his injury status should they deem that the Philadelphia Flyers are "stashing" salary and going against the collective bargaining agreement.
Should the NHL choose to do that, Laperriere would have to see an NHL appointed doctor. If that doctor says that Ian is ready to go, the Flyers could be looking at having to move him. Having to put Laperriere back on the active roster would cut the Flyers' cap space almost in half and would no doubt put a wrinkle in any other plans they have down the stretch.
While I have never heard of the NHL doing this in the past, it sure would make for an interesting situation, one that the Flyers would have a tough time dealing with.