Monday, June 30, 2008

Flyers make a trio of moves leading up to free agency

The NHL free agent frenzy begins tomorrow, but that hasn't kept the Flyers from being busy. After officially signing Jeff Carter on Friday, the Flyers made three more moves to help shore up their roster.

First, the Flyers signed defenseman Steve Eminger, who they acquired from the Washington Capitals at the draft, to a one year deal worth a little over a million dollars. The Flyers view Eminger as a possible top six defenseman next year, considering his salary and how much they gave up to get him.

Next, the Flyers waived defenseman Denis Gauthier, who spent his entire year last season with the Philadelphia Phantoms. Gauthier played parts of two seasons with the Flyers and was a strong presence on the blue line, unfortunately injuries and declining play have derailed his career. Waiving Gauthier and his 2.1 million dollar contract will lead to a buyout of his contract, which will cause only a 700,000 dollar cap hit.

The Flyers also made a trade today, acquiring defenseman Tim Ramholt from the Flames for Phantoms forward Kyle Greentree. Ramholt spent last season in the AHL and tallied 24 points in 77 games. He appears to be more minor league depth for now, although he is only 23 and could develop into an NHLer with more experience. He was ranked as the 7th best prospect in the Flames system according to Greentree was big and a little slow and his future is probably exclusively as an AHL player.

After all of these moves, the Flyers have continued to add depth to their blueline and appear to be maneuvering themselves under the cap to make at least one free agent signing. While they won't be able to afford the big names like Brian Campbell, they should be able to get a solid d-man with their available cap space.

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