Flyers GM: ‘I think we improved our team a lot’

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From the net on out, the Philadelphia Flyers will look very different next season. They spared no expense to do so.

Of course, the question is: was it all worth it? GM Paul Holmgren told CSNPhilly.com that he’s very happy with the results.

“I think we improved our team a lot,” Holmgren said. “We added a very good puck-moving defenseman that’s going to bring us more offense from the back end (Mark Streit). We added, in my opinion, still one of the better players in the game in Vinny Lecavalier … And adding Ray (Emery) to bring in along with Steve Mason, I think, solidifies our goaltending position …”

“More importantly, we kept what we think is a real good nucleus together. We didn’t do anything to dismantle anything.”

Some might say that spending all that money for Danny Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov to not play for the team might count as “dismantling,” but that’s in the past now.

Along with questions about the Mason-Emery duo, people wonder if the addition of Streit is enough to turn around a woeful defense. Holmgren explains that some of the ugliness came from a rash of injuries. Even if he’s just saying the right things, Holmgren said he doesn’t expect to make more moves.

Still, he noted “you never say never on anything,” which might as well be the Flyers’ team-building mantra at this point.

Devils Lamoriello expects to be active in UFA market

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The New Jersey Devils have already made some major moves this summer by acquiring goaltender Cory Schneider and re-signing Patrik Elias, but they aren’t done yet. With the unrestricted free agent period about to start, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello is looking to make some additions.

“No question there are interesting players out there,” Lamoriello told the Star-Ledger. “I think we will be doing something. We have some needs. We’ll see what transpires.”

The Devils still have a little under $13 million in cap space left, according to Cap Geek, although they do need to ink restricted free agent forward Adam Henrique.

With David Clarkson in danger of walking away as an unrestricted free agent and after their failed attempt at landing Danny Briere, the Devils are still in the market for players that can help them offensively. That being said, Lamoriello doesn’t want to talk too much about his plans.

“There are needs, but I’m not going to get into them right now,” Lamoriello said. “You’re never good enough.”

The free agent period starts at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Danny Briere strives to prove rough 2013 was a fluke

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Danny Briere admitted that the Philadelphia Flyers buy out felt like a door closing. Still, he also acknowledged a different door opened by signing with the Montreal Canadiens: a chance to prove himself once more.

He’ll have plenty of doubters after a dismal 2013 campaign, too.

“My whole career has been about finding the motivation to bounce back,” Briere said. “Coming to Montreal makes it really easy. There’s no better motivation than having the chance to play for the Canadiens. Last season was definitely one where I wasn’t happy with the way things went and I’m going to do everything in my power to turn that around. I’m hoping I can prove to everyone it was just a fluke.”

The 35-year-old admits that he dreamed of playing for the Habs as a child.

“Deep down, I’ve always been a kid from Quebec who wanted to play for the Canadiens,” Briere said. “I’m lucky to be able to have a second chance like this to be able to [sign with] Montreal. It’s a huge honor for me to play here. For me, Montreal Canadiens fans are probably the most passionate fans in the NHL. It’s an honor to be playing for them and in front of them and all I’m hoping is we’ll all be cheering in the same direction when the season starts. We’ll be pushing along together to rack up some wins.”

Of course, Briere and the Canadiens must excel for this to truly be a story of redemption.

Mark Streit’s deal with Philly is official

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The Philadelphia Flyers made it official on Friday, signing defenseman Mark Streit to a four-year, $21 million deal, TSN’s Darren Dreger confirms.

Dreger lays out the year-by-year details:

2013-14: $5 million with $2 million signing bonus
2014-15: $6 million
2015-16: $6 million with $2 million signing bonus
2016-17: $4 million with $2 million signing bonus

Streit’s contract will be a 35+ deal, so barring a trade, the Flyers will carry his $5.25 million cap hit even if his play slips or he retires.

It’s already been a busy weekend for the Flyers, with buyouts for Danny Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov coming alongside this deal being made official and the upcoming draft. (Philly nabbed the 11th pick in the first round.)

Here are your trade and free agency odds

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The offseason is upon us and it’s time to figure out where everyone is headed. Of course, free agency doesn’t start until July 5 and trades could happen at any moment. So how about some odds?

Online oddsmakers Bovada.lv have some numbers to help you spend your entertainment dollars on guessing who is playing where next season. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Of course, the first question surrounds Roberto Luongo’s future. Deja vu, eh?

Will the Vancouver Canucks trade Roberto Luongo prior to the start of the 2013-14 season?

Yes: 1/2

No: 3/2

And what about Ilya Bryzgalov?

Will Ilya Bryzgalov be a starting goalie for an NHL team in their first game of the 2013-14 season?

Yes: 2/1

No: 1/3

When it comes to Dion Phaneuf’s future in Toronto, since they’re apparently open to dealing him, Bovada is blunt with the question.

Will the Toronto Maple Leafs trade Dion Phaneuf prior to the start of the 2013-14 season?

Yes: 3/2

No: 1/2

As for the free agents, they see a bit of a surprise destination for the recently bought out Danny Briere.

New Jersey Devils:  3/2

Ottawa Senators:  5/2

Montreal Canadiens: 9/2

Phoenix Coyotes:  5/1

Buffalo Sabres: 5/1

Those odds for him going back to Buffalo make for some great trolling money.  As for playoff hero Bryan Bickell, Bovada sees a very curious destination for him.

Detroit Red Wings: 1/1

Florida Panthers: 3/1

Vancouver Canucks: 13/4

Chicago Blackhawks: 7/2

No courtesy odds for the Sabres and Terry Pegula spending more crazy money? I feel like we got slighted. As for Jarome Iginla, the Penguins don’t have the shortest odds of the bunch here.

Los Angeles Kings: 11/4

Pittsburgh Penguins: 3/1

Dallas Stars: 9/2

St. Louis Blues: 5/1

San Jose Sharks: 15/2

Anaheim Ducks: 8/1

Colorado Avalanche: 8/1

As always, these odds are just for fun or setting the bar for taking money from your friends. Curious to see how they think some things play out, however.