Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Flyers land Lecavalier

The Flyers did their typical Flyer thing, signing Vincent Lecavalier, who had just been bought out by the Lightning, to a reported 5 year, 22.5 million dollar deal.  The Flyers of course can't afford that contract without moving some salary, so expect news of a Braydon Coburn trade to be coming any minute now.

There are plenty of cons to this deal, including the fact that Lecavalier hasn't scored 40 goals since 2008 and hasn't even gotten 30 since.  He's also pretty old and will be 38 in the last year of the deal.  Still, he is a legit superstar and should be an upgrade over Danny Briere.  Whether he will be a superstar for more than just a few more years is debatable but he should be good in the here and now.

Now the only question is whether the Flyers have anything left to upgrade the defense and get, you know, a starting goaltender.  Hard to do with zero cap space so expect the Flyers to be active in the trade market.

Am I out of blog retirement?  Maybe?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Blockbuster Sixers trade: Philly picks up Bynum, deals Iguodala

As part of a huge 4 team trade involving Dwight Howard, the Sixers have pulled off a major addition, acquiring Andrew Bynum from the Lakers while dealing off Andre Iguodala to the Nuggets.  The details of the trade are still emerging, but as of now the deal looks something like this:

Sixers get:
Andrew Bynum
Jason Richardson

Lakers get:
Dwight Howard

Nuggets get:
Andre Iguodala

Magic get:
Arron Afflalo
Al Harrington
Nikola Vucevic
Moe Harkless
Three 1st round picks

While the Sixers did have to give up several more pieces besides Iguodala, including their two most recent first round picks, Bynum and Jason Richardson are huge additions for the Sixers.  Bynum is certainly enigmatic but he is also one of the best centers in the league, probably better than all big men besides Dwight Howard.  The one drawback to Bynum is that he is a free agent after the coming season and has indicated that he won't re-sign but he is from New Jersey so perhaps he will consider staying closer to home.  Adding Richardson and his three point prowess to the team will also help spread the floor.

As for Iguodala, he been a key member of the Sixers for nearly a decade and he will be missed.  While he was miscast as the leader of a team, Iguodala is still a great defender and a solid all-around basketball player.  It's unfortunate that all of this went down when he was in London representing our country but the Sixers likely had to strike now to make sure the deal got done.

Huge, franchise changing move for the Sixers, and one that I applaud.  Bynum could certainly leave after just one season but the Sixers have taken their first step towards becoming a team that can compete with the Heat in the Eastern Conference.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Phillies extend Cole Hamels for 6 more years

Forget all the trade speculation: Cole Hamels is going to be a Phillie for a long, long time.  The Phillies announced this morning that they have signed their home-grown ace to a 6 year, 144 million dollar contract extension.  The deal also includes an option for a 7th year and a limited no-trade provision.

Forgetting that the Phillies are already paying 20+ million to two other pitchers, this is a great deal for both Hamels, who gets market value, and the team, who gets a great pitcher locked up for his prime years.  While he will certainly be on the downside of his career when the contract runs out, Hamels still has plenty of good years left in his arm and its awesome to know they will all be in a Phillies uniform.

What the Phillies do next will be interesting.  They have a ton of money locked into starting pitching for the next several years, so will they feel compelled to move Cliff Lee?  Will they ship out Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence?  If so, what are they going to do for an outfield next season?  With the trade deadline less than a week away, we will likely know their plan soon enough.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Flyers lose out on Weber as Nashville matches

We all had our hopes up.  Certainly the cash-strapped Predators couldn't afford to lock up Shea Weber to a 110 million dollar contract, right?  We all essentially penciled Weber into the Flyers line-up and started dreaming about an unstoppable defensive unit.

All of those hopes and dreams have now disappeared as Nashville has announced that they will match the Flyers offer sheet to Weber.  While it will be difficult for the Predators to cough up the money necessary for Weber, they determined that their star defenseman was worth every penny.

After losing Weber, where do the Flyers turn now?  They clearly are in the market for a top defenseman but there aren't any left on the market.  The Flyers could throw a bunch of money at forward Shane Doan but that isn't going to do anything for their back end.  While the offer sheet showed plenty of creativity, Paul Holmgren is now going to have to get even more creative if he wants to add a top defenseman to the Flyers.  Homer has shown to have plenty of moves up his sleeve but he is now in danger of leaving the offseason table with nothing.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Flyers sign Shea Weber to massive offer sheet

The Flyers made huge news late last night when they signed Predators defenseman Shea Weber to a 14 year, 110 million dollar contract.  Since Weber is a restricted free agent, Nashville will have one week to match the Flyers offer if they want to keep their star defenseman.  Should they not match, the Flyers would get Weber but they would be forced to fork over 4 future first round picks.

While Weber is certainly worth the money, it isn't a guarantee that the Predators will match.  The way the Flyers structured the contract, Weber will made 26 million dollars in the first year alone and make more than half of the money in the first 4 years.  For a team without a ton of cash laying around like the Predators, this might not be a deal they can afford to match.

Should the Predators not match, the Flyers will be adding one of the best d-men in the league.  Not only is Weber known for doling out big hits, he has a big shot from the point and can log a ton of ice time.  As the Nashville captain, Weber would also bring leadership to the Flyers and would replace the huge hole left by the injured Chris Pronger.

Speaking of Pronger, this offer sheet likely confirms that Pronger will never again play hockey.  Should the Flyers get Weber, they will also have to make a few moves to shed some salary.  It could mean that Andrej Meszaros and Jakub Voracek have to be shipped out or the Flyers could move an even bigger contract off the books.

It wouldn't be a hockey offseason if Paul Holmgren didn't make a gutsy move.  Adding Weber to one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference would further cement the Flyers as a Stanley Cup favorite.  Early indications are that the Predators can't afford to match but they still have a week to figure out whether they can make it work.  It will be a long week of waiting for the Flyers and their fans.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sixers sign Nick Young, amnesty Elton Brand

While they might not be making earth-shattering moves, at least the Sixers are making things interesting this offseason.  First, they draft another extremely talented swing player that can't shoot from the outside.  Then, they re-sign the much-maligned but actually decent Spencer Hawes to a reasonable 2 year, 13 million dollar contract.  Today they have made two more moves, signing swingman Nick Young and amnestying Elton Brand.

Young is another shooting guard/small forward to add to the Sixers collection, though he can actually shoot the three ball a little bit.  He signed a one year, 6 million dollar contract which could prove to be a good value for a player that can come off the bench and average around 10 points a game.  Given his penchant for volume shooting, it's a fair guess that he is a replacement for Lou Williams.

To have room to sign Young, the Sixers had to use the amnesty clause on Elton Brand, buying out the last year of his contract that would have paid him 18 million next season.  While Brand has been a great leader on the Sixers, he hasn't lived up to his huge contract, averaging just 11 points and 7 boards last season.  Expect him to latch on with another team in need of his veteran presence but he is completely off the Sixers cap this season.

The Sixers were one game away from the Eastern Conference Finals last season.  Have the moves they made so far this offseason made them any better?  Not really, but perhaps they aren't quite done re-tooling.