Philadelphia Flyers: Grading the Players Slated to Become Free Agents
Now that the core of players for the Flyers has been ironed out, it’s time to cut the fat. The Flyers will have seven players who will become free agents after this season; four of them will be unrestricted free agents and three will be restricted free agents.
Unrestricted free agents are free to sign wherever they would like. Restricted free agents can solicit offers from other clubs, but their current club has a chance to match any contract offer.
Nikolay Zherdev – UFA
Zherdev will probably not be a Philadelphia Flyer next season. This is obvious. He has been a healthy scratch more times than any other player on the Flyers’ roster this season. There is a reason for that. His selfishness combined with lack of production and sketchy defense is not healthy for this team.
Grade = C+
Dan Carcillo – RFA
I have a feeling that if another team offers Carcillo a small contract (which is likely), the Flyers may match it. Although not a big-time playmaker, Carcillo brings intensity and aggressiveness off of the bench and most importantly, he listens to Peter Laviolette. If Lavy tells him to calm it down, Carcillo will comply.
Which Flyers deserves a new contract?
Grade = B-
Andreas Nodl – RFA
Nodl could be upgraded. Nodl has a plus-11 rating, which is a nice number, but with only 9 goals and 9 assists so far this season, his production isn’t good at all. I’m going to give Nodl a decent grade here, but if I had to guess whether the Flyers would match a contract offer, I’d say no.
Grade = C+
Ville Leino – UFA
With 25 assists so far this season, it’s evident that Leino is a key addition to the team. His defense is very spotty, though. He is reluctant to put forth effort in defending, which annoys me. With the small contract that Leino has, the Flyers will most likely re-sign him at the end of this season. He performs well in the playoffs and has good hustle.
Grade = B+
Darroll Powe – RFA
With just 11 points in 51 games, it’s hard to argue against Powe’s lack of production. The only thing making him valuable at this point is his faceoff-winning ability. If Powe gets a nice-sized offer elsewhere, he’s a goner.
Grade = C
Sean O’Donnell – UFA
Uhh…yeah. I think the Flyers won’t have a problem giving up O’Donnell at the end of the season. He’s almost 40 years old and it’s about that time for him to possibly hang ‘em up. He has a plus-12 rating, which is good. Other than that, he hasn’t had much production. I realize he's a D-man and won't have many points, but the bottom line is that he's old and should be replaced.
Grade = C
Brian Boucher – UFA
This will be interesting to watch. Boucher is a good backup goaltender. If he doesn’t demand a ton of money, the Flyers may opt to re-sign him. This will, of course, be dictated by the outcome of the playoffs. If Boucher doesn’t play well, he very well may be done here.
Grade = B
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