Archive for Nik Antropov

Free Agent Possibilities

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2009 by flyersfan44

As the Flyers consider moves they can make over the summer to improve the team, potential free agent signings are always considered.  Let’s take a look at some possibilities:

Goaltender:  The big question is whether the Flyers will re-sign Marty Biron, who is an unrestricted free agent.  Many believe that he is not the goalie that can take the team to the Stanley Cup and the Flyers should look to free agency for one that can.  However, consider that teams that have won the Cup lately with stellar goaltending often have had a goalie that they drafted and developed.  Great goalies are not often available in the free agency market.  What goalies better than Biron are available as free agents?  Possibly Jean-Sebastien Giguere of Anaheim and Nikolai Khabibulin of Chicago.  Giguere won the Cup with the Ducks a couple years ago, but he lost his starting job in this year’s playoffs and is 32 years old.  Do the Flyers take a chance that he can regain form and pull a repeat of his magic year with the Ducks?  Khabibulin is even older at 38.  Former Ottawa goalie Ray Emery was mentioned recently as someone the Flyers would be interested in. I hope this is not the case.  He was a difficult person to deal with for the front office, coaching staff, and teammates in Ottawa, has had a substance use issue, and was released by the Senators. He played in Russia this past season where he punched a trainer.  Hopefully the Flyers are using the story that they’re interested in him as leverage to get a favorable deal done with Biron.  Marty is a solid goalie who has performed well in the playoffs the last two years. He stepped up his game in the post-season,and I think that considering what else is available, it makes the most sense to re-sign him for a couple years while they try to develop recently drafted Swedish goalie Jonas Backlund.  In fact, it’s quite possible that Antero Nittymaki will not be re-signed and Backlund will be the back-up to whoever ends up as the number-one guy.

Defenseman: It was widely speculated that the Flyers came close to trading for Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester at the deadline. The Flyers are very interested in him – he’s big (6’4, 212) and has offensive capability (15 goals, 27 assists last year).  He’s also only 25 years of age, but his current salary of $4,800,000 would necessitate the dumping of salary to fit his new deal under the cap.  Flyers beat writer Sam Carchidi likes Montreal’s Mike Komisarek. He’s also big (6’4, 243) and playes physically. The Flyers really need a big, hitting defenseman. Komisarek’s salary last season was $1,900,000. Although he doesn’t score much, he may be a better value than Bouwmeester.  Or, how about this: The latest rumor has the Flyers trading forward Danny Briere to Montreal for Komisarek (assuming they could sign him).  Unloading Briere’s huge salary, which in my opinion is costing them more than what they get in return, opens the door for Boumeester signing here as well.  Finally, thinking about value, look at New Jersey’s Johnny Oduya. Decent size (6’0, 200), 29 points, and a +21 all for $600,000 per season last year. 

Forward: The Flyers are pretty strong at Forward, but do need a good face-off man.  I’d love to see Glen Metropolit, who they lost on waivers during the season, back here for next year (part of the Briere deal?).  Beyond that, the Red Wings have both Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg to re-sign. Both produced well for reasonable salary and I’d love to see one of them here, but can’t imaging that Detroit won’t re-sign both of them.  Nik Antropov of the Rangers is another free agent whom they Flyers have expressed interest in before.  I like his size (6’6, 230) and he had decent production last year on a poor Toronto team for most of the season (59 points).

It should be another interesting free agency season. Hopefully, the Flyers will be able to use free agent signings and trades to upgrade themselves. They must look to compete with a strong Penguins team that will be good for years.  In an upcoming post, I’ll put out a roster for next year that I’d like to see.