On the Flyers side: The last couple moves mean that the Flyers essentially added Nikolai Zherdev at one-year, $2 million, Matt Walker (three-years of a $1.7 million cap hit) and a fourth round draft pick for Gagne. Let’s take a look at a snapshot of the Flyers defense according to CapGeek.com. (Click to enlarge)
(Note: Chris Pronger’s deal runs through the 2016-17 season while Andrej Meszaros has the second longest deal, ending in 2013-14.)
The Flyers now have a full 23-man roster with about $1 million in cap space, so they do have a little freedom if they want to pursue a goalie and maybe make one more move. The only way you can really spin this for the Flyers is that it was a straight salary dump.
On the Lightning side: Tampa Bay receives one year of Gagne’s services for very little, honestly.
In my eyes, the Lightning have essentially traded Alex Tanguay and Andrej Meszaros for Simon Gagne and Pavel Kubina. Obviously, that’s a bit of an oversimplification, but still. The Lightning are the most improved team in the much-improved Southeast division. With Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Ryan Malone and now Gagne, the Lightning boast a substantial group of forwards.
You really have to hand it to Steve Yzerman; he’s achieved about as much as you can ask for in his first not-even-full summer as the new Lightning GM. As for the Flyers … well, they certainly have their own way of doing things, don’t they?
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It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.