The Philadelphia Flyers have already made a big splash before free agency even begins by trading for the rights of left winger Scott Hartnell and defenseman Kimmo Timonen. They might have overpaid for both 26 million over 6 years for Hartnell and 37 million over 6 years for Timonen but they are a much improved team. Factor in their deadline acquisitions of goaltender Martin Biron, forward Scotty Upshaw and defenseman Braydon Coborn they are going to be a much improved team. According to Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren they are going to be very active in free agency.
Flyers’ GM Paul Holmgren will try to land a top center, either through free agency, trades or a combination of both, reports the Philadelphia Daily News. The Flyers have 41 million committed in salaries which leaves them just enough money to make a serious run at Scott Gomez or Daniel Briere. With Drury most likely out of the mix as he is expected to sign with the San Jose Sharks, The Flyers top target is Scott Gomez. If they don’t come up on winning side in the Gomez sweepstakes they will most likely turn to backup plans such as Rangers center Michael Nylander.
Count the Rangers in as another Penguin rival that is looking to sink their teeth into the free agent pool. The Rangers are looking at all the big names including mid-tier free agents such as resigning Michael Nylander, Robert Lang, Bill Guerin, and possibily Keith Tkachuk. The Rangers are also pursuing a trade with the Nashville Predators for defenseman Marek Zidlicky. Factor in the arrival of touted defenseman Marc Staal and there going to be a force in the East.
Which begs the question: What will the Penguins do to counter ?