Andrej Meszaros injury impact
Andrej Meszaros had surgery on his Achilles tendon and will require six to eight months to recover. Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils suffered an Achillies injury last season and missed about eight months as a result. Meszaros will essentially be out until the playoffs begin and his absence will leave a major void on the Flyers blue line.
Assuming Captain Chris Pronger will also not return, the top four defense looks like this:
Kimmo Timonen - Nicklas Grossman
Braydon Coburn - Luke Schenn
That leave the following players competing for the final two spots
Erik Gustafsson, Marc-Andre Bourdon, Bruno Gervais, and Andreas Lilja
The Flyers salary cap currently sits at $70.2 million but remove the combined cap hit of $8.9 from Pronger and Meszaros and it drops the Flyers cap down to $61.3
With a lack of depth on defense and available cap space, expect Flyers GM Paul Holmgren to add an insurance player either via free agency or trade.
Available players in free agency include Carlo Colaiacovo, Michal Rozsival, Pavel Kubina, Brett Clark, Cam Barker, Matt Gilroy, Kurtis Foster, and former Flyer Sean O'Donnell who are all unrestricted free agents. The Flyers may also target a restricted free agent as they did with Shea Weber. Potential RFA targets include P.K. Subban, Michael Del Zotto, John Carlson, Dmitry Kulikov, Cody Franson, and Jonathon Blum.
Potential targets in trade include Keith Yandle, Dan Boyle, and Lubomir Visnovsky who is in limbo after being traded to the Islanders without his agreement to waive his no trade clause.
The main challenge for the Flyers is that they signed first round pick Scott Laughton, and re-signed defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon to a multi-year deal. The two signings now puts the Flyers at the 50 contract limit, which would prevent them from signing any free agents.
The loss of Meszaros may also have an impact on the Flyers attempts to acquire Bobby Ryan as well as THW's Eric Roberts explains in his article The Buffalo Sabres Could Benefit From The Flyers’ Misfortune
Fantasy Hockey Coach Dynasty Keeper League
We still have room in the Keeper League we are starting, register and post in the forum that you are interested. Keeper League home page. Send $10 entry fee via paypal to [email protected] Space is limited!
By Peter Harling
Follow me on Twitter @pharling