News broke this morning that the Flyers had ended their negotiations with restricted free agent Jakub Voracek and signed the RW to a 4 year, $17M contract with a $4.25M cap hit each year. It seems to be a favorable deal for Voracek from my point of view. The negotiations seem to have been based around whether to pay Voracek like the 18 goal, 49 point player he was in the regular season or the point-per-game (10 points in 11 playoff games) player he was in the postseason. It looks like the two parties tried to meet in the middle, but came much closer to what the Voracek camp must have been asking for. His cap hit is larger than Scott Hartnell’s, which seems to be a bit ridiculous. One also has to think the Flyers might have paid a bit more to him to try to make up for including him in trade rumors for much of the summer. In many ways, it’s similar to the big contract extension the Flyers handed out to James van Riemsdyk last summer after his dominant postseason in 2011 (same cap hit, but JVR’s was 2 years longer). With the contract extension, the Flyers now have roughly $3.56M of cap space, but can exceed the cap by up to $4.9M because they can place Chris Pronger’s cap hit on long-term injured reserve once the season starts.
The signing of Voracek does not preclude them from making another move, whether it’s signing Shane Doan or Alexander Semin, trading for Bobby Ryan, or trading for another defenseman (Keith Yandle, Jay Bouwmeester, Alex Edler). However, it’s important to note that Paul Holmgren said he expects Voracek to start the season on the top line with Scott Hartnell and Claude Giroux. That top-line RW spot is where Semin or Bobby Ryan would have fit in with the Flyers, so signing Semin looks more unlikely than it already was and trading for Ryan doesn’t appear to be a top priority now. Signing Doan to fit in as the RW on the 2nd line with Wayne Simmonds and Daniel Briere would be excellent, but Doan might be able to get more ice time or better linemates (hello, Sidney Crosby) elsewhere.
As of right now, here’s how the Flyers lineup shakes out for next season:
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