The second issue is the fact that they take up roster spots on Philadelphia's crowded blueline. Names like Provorov, Sanheim, Haag, and Morin haven't been given the chance to make the jump to the NHL. This may be due to youth/inexperience, but you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would rather have MacDonald/Streit for $10 million than Provorov/Sanheim for $2 million.
So.. can we dump those big contracts to create cap flexibility and some roster spots for the young guns?
As it stands, the Flyers have $59.7 million committed to 9 forwards, 5 defensemen, and 2 goalies for next season. Add in probably figures for Brayden Schenn, Nick Cousins, Ryan White, Radko Gudas, and Brandon Manning and we come to just about $70 million for 12 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goalies:Salary cap rises to $73 million, lower limit set at $54 million https://t.co/NuxmVliEXp pic.twitter.com/lm8LKXGFhU— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) June 22, 2016
- Giroux, Voracek, Simmonds, Couturier, Read, Schenn, Raffl, Laughton, Cousins, White, Vandevelde, Bellemare
- Streit, Schultz, Del Zotto, Gudas, Gostisbehere, MacDonald, Manning
- Mason, Neuvirth
With the current roster setup, they have a complete lineup with about $3 million in cap room. However, this is largely the same team as last year with minimal growth opportunity (and that opportunity is in the middle six forwards, which isn't great).
Let's make The Flyers great again. Warning: this post is about to go off the rails. Can we dump Streit?
I'm jumping into delusional territory, and even I don't think anyone will willingly take on MacDonald's contract. He's a passive defenseman with so-so puck skills, he's owed even more money than his absurdly high cap hit until kids who just graduated from middle school are headed off to college.
Streit, though? His cap figure isn't ideal, but he's owed just $4 million if the Flyers could find a cap floor team to take him off their hands. Are any of them looking for a veteran defenseman who is capable of moving the puck and playing on the powerplay?
From the cap floor: $14.1 million
Current defensemen: Three. Ekman-Larsson, Goligoski, Michalek, plus they also have several 24-26 year old RFAs to make decisions on
Does Streit fit?: If you had asked me one day ago, I would have said yes. But the 'Yotes signed Goligoski to a 5 year/$27 million contract last night and I'd imagine they'll fill the rest of their d-corps with those RFAs. But, if they are still miles away from the floor and don't want to commit money to free agents that might hinder their ability to pay Domi and Duclair when they become free agents, Streit might be a short-term fit worth a mid-to-late round pick.
Fun fact: When Goligoski's contract expires, he will still not be as old as Mark Streit is right now.
New Jersey Devils
From the cap floor: $10.4 million
Current defensemen: Four. Greene, Larsson, Moore, Severson. Boston College's Steven Santini might make the jump this year.
Does Streit fit?: They certainly could use some offensive production, though I'm not sure if their complete lack of excitement is a bad thing or a good thing in their eyes. Like Arizona, Jersey could use Streit as a short-term plug until more of their prospects are ready to compete, and they'd then have some additional cap space to spend at that point.
Fun fact: The Devils are the worst.
From the cap floor: $5.7 million
Current defensemen: Six. Wisniewski, Faulk, Hainsey, Hanifin, Slavin, Pesce. They also have RFAs Ryan Murphy (from American Horror Story/Glee) and Michal Jordan (from Basketball), as well as prospects Haydn Fleury and Roland McKeown.
Does Streit fit?: Long term? Absolutely not. Short term? Probably not. If some things fall into place and Carolina (1) decides the younger guys/prospects are better suited for another year of development in the minors (2) suffers a fairly long-term but not season-ending injury on the blueline (3) is competitive in the Metro this season, then I think they may consider trading for Streit as a mid-season reinforcement.
Fun fact: All of those things are not going to happen, and the Hurricanes are not going to acquire Mark Streit.
We're stuck with him, and that's not a bad thing. He stinks now, but he's an alternate captain, a veteran presence, and a leader. This is going to be a growth year, and it'll be nice to have a steady hand like Streit's guiding the way.