Even without signing Dan Hamhuis, the Philadelphia Flyers look to have one of the most expensive defensive units in hockey. They traded for Andrej Meszaros moments ago and now re-signed RFA defenseman Braydon Coburn to a two-year, $6.4 million contract according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
Here’s the breakdown of what their defensemen will be making in 2010-11, from highest paid to lowest paid.
Kimmo Timonen: $6.33 million
Chris Pronger: $4.92
Andrej Meszaros: $4
Matt Carle: $3.44
Braydon Coburn: $3.2
Oskars Bartulis: $600K
Five players at $3.2 million or more? Wow. Philadelphia is committing about $21.9 million in cap space to put Timonen, Pronger, Meszaros, Carle and Coburn on the ice.
Could this be a sign that the Flyers are looking to move one of their incumbent defensemen or are they just trying to stack their corps up as much as possible? Coburn’s deal seems pretty fair, but Meszaros’s incoming contract is wildly excessive for a player whose skills have waned over the years.
More to come on all free agent and trade fronts …
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: