• August 17, 2022

Stamkos Rumors Cloud Flyers Free Agency Plans

There were rumors shortly after the Flyers traded Jeff Carter and Mike Richards that they were considering making moves to acquire centers Brad Richards or Steve Stamkos.

Richards is considered to be a lock for the New York Rangers, but the status of restricted free agent Stamkos is in question with free agency looming in less than 40 hours. Stamkos’ agent is expected to meet with Steve Yzerman, general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, again tomorrow.

The consensus among reporters seems to be that there is no consensus within the organization whether or not to extend an offer sheet to Stamkos. Stamkos is without question one of the top five forwards in the NHL and an opportunity like this will not come again for some time.

However, making this move would throw any semblance of a plan that the Flyers had for long-term success completely out the window. The potential numbers being thrown out by Frank Seravalli of Daily News are $115 million over 12+ years, or a $9.58± million cap hit.

There is no feasible way the organization could sign him without giving up a substantial amount of first round draft picks and key roster players. Possibly some combination of Danny Briere or Claude Giroux with Matt Carle, Kris Versteeg or Scott Hartnell would have to move, and the cheaper talent required to fill in the roster gaps would render it more of a lateral move than a forward one.

The other problem with preparing an offer sheet for Stamkos is that the Lightning would have up to seven days to match the offer. During that time, the Flyers would be unable to sign free agents, as they would have no idea how much salary they have available.

While the free agent market is not heavy on top end talent, there are a number of quality depth players that they could round out the roster with rather than further shake up the team.  Depth is key for any Stanley Cup contending team; the Pittsburgh Penguins performed admirably without two of their best centers this past season in no small part to their quality farm system.

The Flyers could look at any number of Erik Cole, Jamie Langenbrunner, Michael Handzus, Eric Belanger, Marty Reasoner, John Madden, etc. for some combination of leadership, scoring ability, faceoff percentage, and special teams support.

Every day Stamkos goes unsigned is another day that I have to wonder just how crazy Paul Holmgren is. Will he pull the trigger to further assemble his fantasy team or play it safe?

For the latest Flyers news and updates, you can follow me on twitter (@JoshJanet).

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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  • Yes, I’d like to see Stamkos in orange/blk, BUT not at $10mil/yr AND losing a Briere or a Giroux. The Lindros trade cost an awful lot in terms of future stars and possible Cup and certainly don’t want such again. Play Schenn and season/develop Couturier for a year and fill in the “blanks” now with solid players like a Cole, etc. At some point within next couple years we’ll need two good defensemen and that might require getting a FA then… an extremely high-$ contract could inflict mortal financial wounds without a corresponding jump in salary cap. There is no guarantee that Stamkos’ production won’t fall off in 4yrs.

  • Iggles, agreed 100%. Stamkos is a phenom, but that money is sick. Seravalli must have the same sources as Paulman. Sorry Paul. 😉
    Let Leino walk, & use the money to sign Belanger & Cole. Both are bigger forwards & great team first vets. Cole is fast, plays both PP & PK, & is a great locker room guy, & wants to play for Lavy again. Belanger is our third line center, great on face offs, is solid two way center, & hits. Perfect & we could sign both along with our own restricted FA’s.

  • Stamkos had a great past 2 seasons, but he is NOT worth a $10mil cap hit. If they do that, then kiss JVR goodbye after next season because they would absolutely not be able to afford him. Especially if he stays on the level he was on in the playoffs. I say sign Erik Cole, John Madden, Leino and have those guys (the first 2) mentor the young studs we have. They still need some help on the blueline because Carle and Coburn were terrible last year. DD, I prayed for you too and I am no ignorant than you are. On that note, no more back and forth with you on NON-sports topics. If you don’t agree with my opinion, then so be it. But if you want to name call, I suggest you do it with someone else. Have a nice day!

  • Not trying to jump on the man-love, but I totally agree with both of you. I would love Belanger and Cole. Ville just looks to be asking for way too much and that Stamkos deal would shred this team.

  • RR, same here. Sports talk, no names, sounds good to me. BTW, thanks for the prayers, we can all use them. 😀

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