• September 27, 2023

Stamkos Out, Richards In Flyers Future?

The Flyers have told members of the media that they will not be extending an offer sheet to restricted free agent Steve Stamkos. As has been widely discussed, the price the organization would have to pay to acquire him would limit them from assembling a full team, not to mention the enemy they would create in Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

It would be Eric Lindros hockey all over again, albeit with less drama.

In the end, performing their due diligence is laudable.  One would rather they assess all of the options available rather than make moves with blinders on.  Along those lines, they now appear to be looking into what it would take to sign unrestricted free agent Brad Richards.

Richards, 31, is coming off a 77 point season with the Dallas Stars and is considered to be the top unrestricted free agent forward in this year’s class.  I wouldn’t have believed the Flyers were involved at all if Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun hadn’t reported that the Flyers are quietly shopping defenseman Andrej Meszaros. Meszaros, 25, is signed for three more years at $4 million per year.

Considering that the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers are all expected to be heavily involved in the inevitable bidding war, I don’t expect the Flyers to take the risk. He is this year’s Ilya Kovalchuk and will require an obscene amount of money for his services.

I also believe the Flyers realize the issue they have at defensive depth with their lynch pins, Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger, getting older.  Throwing away one of their future replacements just doesn’t make sense, especially with centers Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier waiting in the wings.

The other risk with overpayment is the possibility that the player doesn’t perform to the contract like fans expect, or suffers from injuries that render him an expensive paperweight.  Just ask Chris Drury, who was bought out by the Rangers after scoring 5 points in 24 games this past season. Drury, 34, would still be considered one of the best 2nd/3rd line players in the league if he could stay healthy.

Personally, if he doesn’t have a contract signed by August, I would love to see the Flyers extend him a tryout offer.  See if he’s healthy enough by the time next season rolls around and sign him to whatever cap space you have left.  Not only would be he be reunited with former teammate Danny Briere, but to have a shot at playing the Rangers in the 2012 Winter Classic?

Who would say no?

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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June 30, 2011 9:52 pm

Sure glad the Flyers didn’t revisit 1991 Part#2… better to keep your draft picks and ca$h for future needs. Get a good face-off 2-way center now and get ready to bring in D’s in near future. No way should Meszaros be dealt.

July 1, 2011 12:59 am

You heard it here first. Cole & Handzuis or Belanger by 3:00pm today. Bank on it. Richards is going to get too much money & we don’t need a top center, with Giroux & Briere on the top 2 lines.

July 1, 2011 1:08 am

Josh, Drury might not ever be able to play again. His knee is so bad, no one is going to sign him & take a chance on him. The Flyers cannot afford to be wasting money on damaged goods. Noooo!! to all of the Gagne lovers too.

July 1, 2011 7:04 am

Pleeeeeeeeeeeease be Cole and Belanger! Anyone see the write up on available forwards with the Corsi scores on BSH? Belanger is a freaking horse!

July 1, 2011 8:13 am

Hardly a revelation that they would want to sign Cole considering his and Lavvy’s Carolina roots. Belanger would be a nice addition too.

July 1, 2011 12:31 pm

Flyers sign Jaromir Jagir is my guess..

July 1, 2011 12:39 pm

Jagr is too old. Go after Richards and trade Bob for some help.

July 1, 2011 2:46 pm

Looks like Paulman was right again..