FLYERS DEALT BIG BLOW
The Philadelphia Flyers have received bad news on their blueline as defenseman Andrej Meszaros suffered a torn achilles and had surgery this morning. “Andrej had successful surgery this morning to repair a torn right achilles tendon. The surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Raikin at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. Andrej was injured last week during summer training in Slovakia. Andrej will be out indefinitely, ” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said in a released statement. A complete torn achilles tendon normally knocks out players for at least 6-9 months.
Meszaros who when healthy plays a top pairing role, is a huge blow for the Flyers as the team doesn’t expect Chris Pronger to play again and Kimmo Timonen is on the downside of his career at age 37, in addition to the Flyers losing top-4 defensman Matt Carle to free agency.
A lot of pressure is going to fall on 22 year old Luke Schenn to get back to a shutdown role type of play he flashed a few years ago in Toronto.
TEAMS NOT WILLING TO DEAL DUE TO UNCERTAINTY OF SALARY CAP
For clubs looking improve via trade, they are finding it difficult to find any trading partners in the dog days of August. Players such as Shane Doan left on the free agent market are having no impact on the trade market but it’s the potential lockout impacting a majority of clubs deciding to stand pat until a new CBA is in place.
Talks between the NHL and NHLPA resume this week and the CBA expiring on September 15th is inching closer. There’s been no real progress at this point and has just been a feeling out process for both sides. It’s been positive that the two sides continue to meet but no serious-serious negotiations are going to happen until September. The consensus around the league remains status quo in that it will be shocking if training camps start on time. I’m told the NHL owners will wait as long as possible it takes to get the NHLPA to cave on reducing their revenue sharing which is now in their favor 57-43%. One reason the NHL is willing to lockout the players again to get what they want is they regard the sport as a “regional sport” for their particular cities and that those fans are always going to be there.
MORE CBA BUZZ
The likelyhood of a lockout appears to be impacting some career minor leaguers who are looking to stay in North America as some small market teams are weary of adding any more salary to their books with the threat of a lockout. One player who falls into this category is Upper St. Clair’s Grant Lewis, a former second round pick of the Atlanta Thrashers (now Winnipeg Jets). Lewis has played in one career NHL game and went overseas to play in the KHL last season. Lewis, seeking a two-way deal is looking to return to North America but the one team interested in him is a small market team nearing the 50 contract limit and the team has informed Lewis they can’t commit to him yet because of the potential lockout as ownership won’t give them the okay to add anymore salary. It could force Lewis back to the KHL or the German Elite League where he has a lucrative offer but would likely end any shot of playing in the NHL as the German Elite League is a step below the KHL.
MYSTERY TEAM ON DOAN’S SHORTLIST
Last Thursday I reported that Shane Doan has trimmed his list of suitors down to four teams outside of the Phoenix Coyotes, with confirmation that the Penguins, Canucks and Rangers made Doan’s shortlist. So who is the mystery fourth team? An NHL source said on Monday that the Los Angeles Kings, and Detroit Red Wings did not make Doan’s shortlist, while Doan is believed to have never had serious interest in playing for Buffalo or Montreal, despite the Sabres making a massive four year offer believed to be worth over $24 million on a four year deal.
Indications are the mystery team Doan is still considering is the San Jose Sharks or Philadelphia Flyers. Meanwhile, the Nashville Predators have been considered a sleeper team, although a source directly involved in the talks said the Predators weren’t as high on Doan’s list as Pens, Canucks and Rangers. One report out of San Jose indicated this week that the Sharks wouldn’t offer Doan more than three years. The Penguins, Canucks and Rangers have all offered Doan three year deals. Agent Terry Bross has been trying to land Doan a four year offer around $20-$22 million from one of Doan’s teams on his shortlist. None have blinked yet.