The Philadelphia Flyers are hovering right around the salary cap limit. The cap is set at $59.4 million. The Flyers currently are sitting at $2.3 million below the cap. Sounds like a lot of space, right? Not really, especially if they want to add another piece before the deadline.
There are a number of reasons that the Flyers would want to add to their cap space. Even with the cap being projected to go up next year, the Flyers could still want some extra room.
Reports have surfaced that the Flyers asked Ville Leino if he would be willing to wait on a contract extension. They needed him to wait until the offseason when the cap goes up so that they could sign him, due to the tagging rule.
The tagging rule is simply this: A team can only spend up to this year's cap for next year. This means that when the Flyers added Kris Versteeg, they did not have the cap space for next year (based on this year's cap) to sign Leino to an extension.
The Flyers may wish to clear some cap space so that they could activate Ian Laperriere off of long-term injured reserve. This way they don't risk any rollover money that would count against next year's cap.
They could also choose to add more space so that they can bring Matt Walker back up for insurance.
Whatever the case may be, let's take a look at five moves the Flyers could make to get more cap space.
Ah yes, the curious case of Nikolay Zherdev. Flyers fans seem to be torn on this player. Some think he should be traded; some think his offense could prove valuable.
When the Flyers were in Carolina this past week to play the Hurricanes, Mike Richards fell suddenly ill with the flu. Jody Shelley ended up sprinting down from the press box to fill the roster spot. When asked later, Paul Holmgren sayed that the team couldn't find Zherdev. That's just the latest of Zherdev's problems as a Flyer.
Zherdev has 15 goals this year, but often finds himself as a healthy scratch due to his lack of motivation on defense. It appears as though Zherdev has worked himself into Peter Laviolette's dog house.
Paul Holmgren denied a report that six NHL teams were interested in Zherdev. If the Flyers are really looking to free up cap room, then Zherdev's $2 million could be moved. Whether it's done via trade, waivers or done at all remains to be seen.
There is no denying that Daniel Carcillo is an energy player. He makes a living by throwing big checks and getting into timely fights. Carcilllo won his arbitration this past offseason and was awarded a $1.075 million contract.
That contract could be too costly for the Flyers moving on, especially if Carcillo ends up scratched down the line.
Rumors surfaced that the Chicago Blackhawks may be interested in Carcillo. I am unsure how true that is, but the Flyers could be interested in moving him.
Jody Shelley is the Flyers' heavyweight, plain and simple. He's the enforcer, the one who makes sure that other teams don't take cheap shots at his teammates. However, if the Flyers should need to add a piece, Shelley's $1.1 million contract could be the money, they need to do it.
The Flyers have Daniel Carcillo, who also can throw the punches and play the enforcer role. Does this team really need two enforcers? Some would say no. Also, if it came down to which you would rather have, I would have to give the edge to Carcillo.
Shelley could be victim of a Flyers' need, if one should come up.
(UPDATE: At the time of this writing Oskars Barulis was injured during the Flyers/ Phoenix Coyotes game.)
Darroll Powe doesn't make much. In fact his cap hit is only $700,000. Although if you add that to the space that the Flyers already have, you start to have a good lump of cash.
The problem with moving Powe is that he kills penalties so well. Other than that, Powe is an extra center. The only way Powe gets moved in my opinion is if the Flyers have a major need that needs to be addressed, and Powe has to be included in the deal.
While it's an unlikely scenario, nothing is out of the realm of possibility.
This is the least popular option for the Flyers. I'm almost positive that Paul Holmgren does not want to trade James vanRiemsdyk at all.
The thing that makes JVR a possibility is the fact that he makes $1.6 million. Also that he can be used to get a solid player. JVR is a hot prospect that the Flyers are really high on. Chances are that JVR stays right where he's at.
Should the deal be on the table that needs JVR to complete it, I can't begin to wonder what Holmgren does. Especially if the deal is attractive.
What move would you like to see the Flyers make? Leave a comment below and let me know!