The Flyers are about $9 million under the cap and should be a player as they head into the first day of free agency Thursday.
But the cap numbers are tight. Very tight. And they limit their options.
Let’s play the numbers game here and assume they do not have character guys Brian Boucher and Riley Cote on their payroll next season. That’s a savings of about $1.5 million and would bring their cap space to $10.5 million.
Now let’s assume they will shell out at least $5 million to re-sign restricted free agents Braydon Coburn, Dan Carcillo and Darroll Powe. That leaves $5.5 million of space.
That’s not a lot to sign a goalie, a winger and a defenseman in free agency.
Would it be enough to sign goalies Dan Ellis or Chris Mason, defenseman Kurtis Foster (who made $600,000 with Tampa Bay last season) and Arron Asham?
Or they could decide to make Michael Leighton the No. 1 goalie (with Boucher as the backup), and perhaps have enough money to sign one of the market’s elite defensemen, Anton Volchenchov, and then ink Asham.
Or they could make Leighton the No. 1 and sign winger Colby Armstrong and Foster.
Or they could stick with Leighton as their No. 1 and sign defenseman Zybnek Michalek (or Henrik Tallinder) and center/winger Matt Cullen, who played for Peter Laviolette in Carolina.
The possibilities, of course, are limitless.
What would you do?