The Philadelphia Flyers nearly had an unexpected boost prior to their lengthy playoff run as Peter Forsberg told Swedish newspaper Expressen that he had been offered a contract to join the team on March 2nd.
Forsberg told Expressen that Flyers’ general manager Paul Holmgren approached him about joining the Flyers for the remainder of the regular season when both Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne were struggling with injuries. Forsberg stated that only his own injuries prevented him from joining Philly.
The Blackhawks will surely enjoy a summer full of celebration, but there are also some well-known financial pressure points. The team has a multitude of stars, several of them coming off entry-level contracts, and is reported to have some $57 million committed to just 14 players for next season. There are contracts the team likely would love to unload — Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet come immediately to mind — but it will be difficult.
National Hockey League teams have a two-week window from June 15-30 to buy out players, but the Edmonton Oilers aren’t going to rush into anything.
They will try to trade their captain first, just as they tried at the deadline in early March. A contending team may be interested in Moreau for a draft pick.
Hasn’t been ‘this bad in a long time,’ exec says
The NHL’s free-agent market hasn’t been this thin in years.
“I haven’t seen it this bad in a long time,” says a league executive.
While the arrival of July 1 will trigger a bidding war for the top unrestricted free agents, there’s not much in the way of forwards. Teams will have a tough time finding a quick fix.
GMs have traditionally used the market to fill empty spots and even change the face of a franchise. But this UFA market lacks big names and impact players. There won’t be the same drama.
San Jose’s Patrick Marleau , New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk and Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec lead the forwards who are set to hit the market. Nashville’s Dan Hamhuis , Pittsburgh’s Sergei Gonchar and Ottawa’s Anton Volchenkov are the top blueliners.
10. Willie Mitchell , D, $3.5 million
Mitchell , 33, battled through an injury-plagued season at the worst possible time. Not sure he’ll be able to command $3 million again, but assuming he recovers from his concussion, he can still be a top shutdown guy.