The Philadelphia Flyers have no cap space. In fact, the team is currently over the NHL’s salary cap. This should come as no surprise to anyone who’s paid attention over the last few years. Flyers GM Ron Hextall has been trying like crazy to shed some cap space and it’s been so secret that veteran center Vincent Lecavalier has been the first player offered.
“On Monday, the Flyers nearly had a deal with Nashville that would have seen the Predators take Lecavalier’s $4.5 million salary off the Flyers’ hands.”
The return was unspecified but it could have been a box of chocolate-covered almonds and the Flyers would be tap dancing in the streets if they didn’t have to eat Lecavalier’s salary, which extends for four years at $4.5 million due him in each year. Instead, the deal was a no go and the Flyers still have Lecavalier on salary. For now, the team is paralyzed in free agency as the 11AM start of free agency on July 1 rapidly approaches.
Fortunately for Hextall, Nashville isn’t the only possible destination. There are several teams with lots of cap space that would be more than happy to eat some salary in order to get to the cap floor — for a price, that is. The most likely destination in that vein? The league-worst Buffalo Sabres, who have an NHL-high $38 million in cap space. Other candidates include the New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, and Calgary Flames.
The questions for any team taking on Lecavalier’s burdensome contract are how much do they have to retain and what do they get for their trouble? If Hextall can successfully answer those, he just might have a little play money to burn in free agency.