Pronger pact a monkey wrench for Flyers

As the trade deadline approaches, the Flyers are in the process of determining exactly how much salary they can take on. But if it was hard to predict in December how Pronger will feel in May, it’s more daunting to guesstimate now how Pronger will react to physical exertion in September, should he even want to risk his future day-to-day health.

As it stands, the Flyers have north of $3 million in cushion to add for the rest of this season. That’s not the problem. It’s predicting the future. Next year, the Flyers already have $21.3 million committed to Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Andrej Meszaros, Andreas Lilja and Erik Gustafsson. Matt Carle ($3.437 million) is the Flyers’ only unrestricted free agent.

The easiest solution would be for the Flyers to add an affordable rental-type player, like Carolina’s Tim Gleason. But in order to bring in a star, like Nashville’s Ryan Suter – who is reportedly No. 1 on the Flyers’ wish list – the Flyers would need to deal a quality piece from their lineup without the guarantee that Suter would be in their lineup next October.

It would be even more daring to trade for someone like Toronto’s Luke Schenn, who has 4 years and $14.4 million remaining on his contract, without knowing the future salary-cap implications of Pronger and Carle (if any) moving forward.

The only thing that would make the Flyers’ deadline decisions easier is an already assured, one-time contract amnesty that could very well come as the result of the upcoming CBA negotiations, which are set to start sometime around the Jan. 26-30 All-Star break.

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