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Discussion Starter #21
Clarke: No Niedermayer, JR is back

Flyers likely to keep Roenick

Friday, July 15, 2005

Salary should fit into team's budget

By CHUCK GORMLEY
Courier-Post Staff

Flyers general manager Bob Clarke has two words for Jeremy Roenick, and you might be surprised what they are:

Welcome back.

After reviewing every possible salary cap formula and each of his players' salaries for the 2005-06 season, Clarke has come to the determination that Roenick's $4.94 million contract will fit under what is expected to be a hard cap between $37 million and $39 million.

"We've gone through all of the numbers several times and if the cap is at the numbers we expect them to be, we'll be able to afford J.R.," Clarke said Thursday, one day after the NHL and its players agreed in principle to a six-year CBA.

Roenick, 35, spent most of the past year resting his mind and body after a grueling 2003-04 season left him with a surgically repaired jaw and a lingering concussion.

His mouth, however, did not take a vacation.

Roenick made national headlines earlier this month when he told fans who consider NHL players spoiled and selfish they could "kiss my (behind)" and not bother coming back when the league resumed play. He also angered fellow union members when he advocated a salary cap long before the players agreed to one.

His recent relationship with the Flyers has been strained as well. Last October, he fought for injury pay while he recovered from his concussion, saying the Flyers needed to recognize all he gave them during the 2004 playoffs. That prompted Clarke to say Roenick lacked a speed bump between his brain and his mouth.

In several television interviews since then Roenick has openly questioned whether the Flyers wanted him back for the 2005-06 season, the final year on his five-year contract. No one, including Flyers coach Ken Hitch****, seemed to know where or how Roenick fit into the Flyers' plans.

Now, we know.

"My attitude with J.R. is that I don't care what he says, I just care about how he plays," Hitch**** said Thursday. "Our players know who he is and how hard he competes.

"Sometimes I'd like to be forewarned about what he says, but the one thing about Jeremy is this: the guy competes like heck. I know one thing, it won't be dull."

When he last played for the Flyers, Roenick notched a career-low 19 goals and 28 assists in 62 games, missing 20 of the final 23 games of the regular season after being struck in the face by a shot.

While Roenick appears to be staying in Philadelphia, one of his closest friends appears to be leaving. Clarke said that with the new restrictions on salaries, teams will need to be wary of being top heavy with two or three star players and 18 muckers and grinders.

To alleviate that scenario, the Flyers are expected to buy out the contracts of forwards John LeClair (6.84 million) and Tony Amonte ($4.484 million). Amonte and Roenick attended high school together in Boston and were Chicago linemates.

The buyout figures for LeClair and Amonte would be two-thirds of their salaries, totaling $7,473,440.

That's a hefty price to pay, but Clarke said the Flyers are willing to eat those salaries so they can free up enough money to be active in the free agent market, which is expected to open some time in August.

High on the Flyers' list of needs are a pair of big, strong defensemen. Clarke said Marcus Ragnarsson and Mattias Timander will not be returning to the Flyers next season, but there is a chance Vladimir Malakhov, 36, will return if he decides to resume his career.

"Once the CBA is ratified, we'll see if he wants to come back," Clarke said. "We'll need some big bodies back there."

Clarke said that since the Flyers already will have mobile defensemen Eric Desjardins, Kim Johnsson, Joni Pitkanen and Dennis Seidenberg, they'll need a few bangers to complement the hard-hitting Danny Markov, whom they intend to resign.

That, Clarke said, means the Flyers will not be interested in signing unrestricted defenseman Scott Niedermayer away from the Devils. Instead, Clarke will try to lure Malakhov back to the Flyers and sign at least one other big defenseman.

That likely will not occur until teams start buying out big contract players. Among those who may be made available are Detroit's Derian Hatcher, Colorado's Rob Blake, Ottawa's Wade Redden or Zdeno Chara and Vancouver's Ed Jovanovski.
Courier Post
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Fans hit Flyer phone lines

Posted on Fri, Jul. 15, 2005

Fans hit Flyers' phone lines

Never have the sounds of ringing phones been so sweet to Shawn Tilger.

As the Flyers' vice president of marketing and communications, Tilger spent a lot of quiet days during the NHL lockout.

But after Wednesday's announcement that the NHL has a deal in principle for a six-year collective-bargaining agreement, the phones in the Flyers' ticket office are ringing once again.

"We've been getting so many calls that we had to move people over from other departments to help out," Tilger said yesterday. "The response has been overwhelmingly positive."

He said some people have called not to ask about tickets, but just to talk about hockey.

"Some are so excited that the game is back that they just want to vent their excitement," he said.

Tilger said the Flyers will announce their new ticket-pricing plan the day the collective-bargaining agreement is ratified, which could be Thursday.

"As soon as [the] ratification process is over, we will announce our pricing," he said. "We will announce the new season-ticket benefits we will have."

Philly.com
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Timander gone as of 7/19/05

From aftonbladet hockey section:

Timander nobbar NHL

Mattias Timander förhandlar med Modo inför nästa säsong.
Foto: HÅKAN NORDSTRÖM
Förhandlar med Modo om ett treårskontrakt
Här är en svensk spelare som nobbar NHL.
Mattias Timander, 31, stannar med största sannolikhet i Modo.
- Familjen är viktigast och går först, säger han.
Mattias Timander har ett år kvar med Philadelphia Flyers, men har ringt upp general manager Bobby Clarke och meddelat att han bryter kontraktet.

Translates to this:

Negotiates with Modo about a three year contract

Mattias Timander, 31, says with biggest probability is that he will be with Modo. His family is most important. Mattias Timander has a year left with Philadelphia Flyers, but has dialed up GM Bob Clarke and announced that he is breaking the contract.

Also said that he thinks he is done playing in the NHL.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Flyers buying out Amonte and Leclair

July 23, 2005

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Flyers are buying out the contracts of forwards John LeClair and Tony Amonte.

The buyouts will be announced at a news conference scheduled for Saturday morning, team spokesman Zach Hill said.

The 36-year-old LeClair spent 10 years with the Flyers, and was a member of the famed ``Legion of Doom'' line with Eric Lindros and Mikael Renberg in the mid-1990s. He tallied 382 goals and 379 assists overall in the regular season in his career with the Flyers and the Montreal Canadiens; he had 42 goals and 47 assists in the playoffs.

LeClair, who entered the lockout due $9 million this season, was to make $6.84 million after the leaguewide 24 percent pay cut.

Amonte, who started the lockout at about $5.61 million, was due $4.26 million. In 14 seasons with New York, Chicago, Phoenix and Philadelphia, Amonte tallied 392 goals and 436 assists in the regular season; he had 20 goals and 31 assists in 86 playoff games.

The buyouts will give the Flyers room to make qualifying offers to restricted free agents and begin negotiations with unsigned rookies.

Yahoo
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Flyers putting emphasis on fans (Mentions who was in TOR for vote)

Flyers put emphasis on fans
By WAYNE FISH
phillyBurbs.com

You think hockey fans really care who won or lost the labor war?
Nah. All they want to know is: What are you going to do to win us back after a dark winter without sticks and pucks?

So when the National Hockey League Players' Association finally voted to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement at a meeting in Toronto on Thursday, the biggest questions weren't about whether the players took one on the chin.

Rather, how can they help get the game back on its feet again and, as a result, maximize revenue to get the most out of the 54-percent share of the new financial system they're stuck with.

Flyers captain Keith Primeau was one of those who attempted to drive home that idea to his teammates.

Although he didn't have an official vote count, he said he believes the Flyers pretty much voted along the lines of the rest of the players - which was about 88 percent in favor of ratification.

A vote for the new CBA was basically one for going out and "growing the game" again.

If that means stopping and signing the extra autograph or three, before and after games, a la baseball in 1995, then so be it.

"I think if they (the players) paid attention, they understand that it's now a revenue-driven business," Primeau said. "I hope that point is driven home even more in the fall.

"When you're asked to do an interview, you do it. When you're asked to sign an autograph, you do it. A public appearance, you do it, to the best of your ability. Indirectly, it's going to affect your bottom line."

Make no mistake, hockey players were already some of the most accessible professional athletes on the planet.

But as baseball players such as Cal Ripken showed after the canceled 1994 World Series, it's a whole new game after you've burned some bridges with the people who essentially pay your salary.

"There was talk of players signing autographs before going out for warm-ups [before a game]," Primeau said. "Anything to get people excited about the game again. We have to think of ways to bring people back into the building."

No doubt, there is a sizable portion of players who aren't happy about accepting a salary cap, and some of them made their thoughts known at the union meeting.

A number of veterans are going to be taking pay cuts, others may be losing jobs. Primeau, who has the security of a new four-year contract signed just before the lockout, had to promote the concept of accepting a salary system tied into league revenue, something many players vowed never to do last fall.

"This definitely has a greater impact on older players," Primeau said. "The first stumbling block was convincing those players that this was the right thing for the game."

When a tentative agreement was reached about a week ago, several Flyers said the players shouldn't have regrets about losing a season to the negotiating process because it was necessary to build back trust. The players needed to have full financial disclosure that the game was indeed in financial trouble before they were willing to accept commissioner Gary Bettman's declarations of gloom and doom.

"There just wasn't a deal to be made before this point in time," Primeau said. "When you get to the nuts and bolts of it, it's taken eight weeks just to come up with a new draft on an agreement.

"As unfortunate as last year's events were, they became a necessary evil. You have to go out and try to explain that and pray the fans understand."

Primeau said the players did win some concessions. Pension benefits have improved, NHL players are now on the competition committee, free agency is much less restricted than in the past.

Primeau was joined in Toronto by Mike Knuble, John LeClair and Danny Markov. On conference call were player rep Robert Esche, Sean Burke, Donald Brashear, Sami Kapanen and Todd Fedoruk. Others received information through a secure Web site.

Those who had seen the CBA document on Wednesday night were able to explain the high points to the rest of the players.

"There was concern of tying salaries to revenue," Primeau pointed out in a discussion about how the new escrow fund will help in terms of salary adjustment if revenues go up or down.

"There was a fear about the first few years [of the CBA], how much more players could lose in salary. Beyond that, the players felt this had the potential to be a solid deal."

Unless they buy out some players, the Flyers could have some trouble getting under the $39-million salary cap. Currently, they have 13 players signed for a total of just over $33 million.

That figure does not include unsigned restricted free agents Patrick Sharp, Dennis Seidenberg, Esche, Simon Gagne, Kim Johnsson, Branko Radivojevic and Radovan Somik, as well as several touted prospects including Jeff Carter and Mike Richards.

Cutting loose, say, LeClair ($6.84 million after 24-percent rollback) and Tony Amonte ($4.49M) would free up more than $10 million.

Wayne Fish can be reached at 215-949-4215 or [email protected].

Philly Burbs
 

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smart move, but an obvious one. Now they got some room to sign some FA's to get back some of the scoring they just lost in Amonte and Leclair.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Flyers press conference quotes


Eschie

Following the statement from Flyers Chairman Ed Snider, several representatives from the Flyers were available to the media. The following are excerpts from those interviews.

Robert Esche

On His Experience With a Shootout:

“I played in Houston with the shootout. I’ve been in three or four of them. I enjoy them. They are exciting and I have done pretty well in them. It’s not a crapshoot, it’s obviously going to come down to goaltending, but on the same hand there are so many talented players in the NHL and almost anyone can score on a breakaway. They are very shifty and it’s exciting all the way around. All the other goalies have got to go through the same thing that I’ve got to go through. Just like the smaller equipment, he’s got to put on the same smaller pads that I’ve got to put on. I think it’s a real positive for hockey. I love the idea because I’m a competitive guy. I don’t like tying. I think that the NHL on a whole is a competitive league and I don’t think anyone likes ties.”

On the Union Leadership:

“My personal belief is, yes there’s got to be changes as far as on the way things are run. I think that the executive committee, I don’t think people know how hard our executive committee pulled along other people in the union to get that deal done. Those players were the most passionately driven people to get that deal done. These guys literally made sure people followed them into meetings I think that says a lot for those guys. We gave up a lot but its not whether who won or lost, it’s what’s best for the game. The game is going to get better now and I love that.”

On Gary Bettman:

“I’ve got to be honest, I was talking to [Donald Brashear] on the way down here I’ve got to give him a lot of credit. I think that Bettman did a really great job. Knowledge is very powerful. He knew the numbers, he knew what was going on, and it may have been a lack of knowledge on Bob’s side, I don’t know. I’m not in those meetings. Gary tried to patch up a sport that was really struggling financially. It’s a great sport. It’s the best sport, I believe. Gary did a outstanding job with structuring a cost certainty world. I really do. I think that everybody can thrive from this. I’ve got to be honest, I like the deal. I think its good for hockey.”

On Being a Goalie With the New Rules:

A: “I am very excited about all the rule changes. I said it before, I think this is great for everybody. I think you’re going to see a lot more breakaways and a lot more open games. I mean, the goals against us are going up but its going up for the other guys too, so it doesn’t really matter. But, you’re not going to be able to compare my stats from three years ago to my stats this year. It’s a new era and it’s a bold new step I’m looking forward to it.”

On Being a Veteran Player and Teacher Now:

A: “Oh absolutely, I for one had this question about Antero [Niittymaki]. Antero is a great goalie and I’m looking forward to the challenge. It’s all about challenge and competitiveness, being pushed and pushing someone else. The Flyers are surrounded by a lot of great things right now: great energy, new energetic young players. You know, young players are a lot of fun and that’s one thing that people don’t talk about is how fun these young players are. They’re young, rough around the edges, but that’s exciting.”

On His Thoughts Once Training Camp Starts:

A: “It’s going to be a relief. Even right now, it’s like I can’t believe its over.”


Keith Primeau

"I’m excited to get back to play. It’s been a long winter and a long time coming and that was the consensus that I feel I got from the player meetings in Chicago. It was time to get back to doing what we do best. We’re pleased to be going back to work."

On John LeClair:

"A lot of times when you think of individual players you think of franchises and players names that are synonymous with those franchises. The name John LeClair comes to mind when you think of a Philadelphia Flyer. He’s been a professional for this franchise for a long time. The economics—the way they are—and some of the injury problems that Johnny has faced, he’s one of the first casualties. As a teammate, it’s disappointing and sad to see, again, because he’s been so good for the franchise and in more ways than just on the ice.

"Something like this has a bittersweet feel to it. Johnny was one of those in attendance at the player meetings in Toronto and understands that the marketplace is going to change. Inevitably things are going to be considerably different than what they’ve been in the past. I don’t think it caught him by surprise—he talked about it a little bit this past week. It was sad to think about it and it’s sad now that it’s a reality."

On the "New" NHL and CBA:

"I compare it to the NBA CBA in that they took two bargaining sessions to come to an agreement on their new contract. You’ve seen that both sides of the negotiating committee for the players and the owners have been at the table for exhaustive hours in the last eight weeks. They basically rewrote the entire CBA. It wasn’t slightly adjusted—it’s an entirely new document. Because of that, everything changes. The collective bargaining agreement changes, the way the game is going to be played has changed and the landscape and the environment in which the players remain or move among franchises will change."

On the NHL’s Plan to Assist Players:

"I think there is assistance there. Most players that may need it or need to make that type of call can, but as far as something that’s a part of the CBA, I don’t believe that’s part of it."

On if the New CBA Will End Careers:

"Inevitably the players who may never play another game in the National Hockey League; the sacrifice they have made on behalf of the players this entire lockout amounts to a substantial hit, not only financially but career wise. You hope and I hope that it’s not a large number of players. I hope everybody gets an opportunity to find employment somewhere, but I also know the reality of the new agreement."

Ken Hitch****

On the Rules Changes:

“Everybody is focused on the red line. But, it’s more where the goaltenders can’t freeze the puck unnecessarily, so those pucks have to be put back in play now. It’s the icing that you have to keep your players on the ice now, so you’re going to have the offensive team make a change, and the defending team has tired people on the ice, so that’s a great advantage. On a defensive zone face off you’ve got tired people on the ice, so you’re in real trouble, and most teams ice the puck because they’re getting outworked. The other one for me, which is huge, is they’ve made significant changes in the size of the offensive zone. As a team killing penalties, if you’re overly aggressive, you’re going to pay a big price now. Now, power plays have more room to work and there’s more space. The plays off the goal line on the power play were basically useless, when the net got moved out, and now they’re back in play again. So all of a sudden, those cross the crease plays have become really effective now. They’re very useful tools now on the power play. So, teams that want to work that and teams that want to use the width on the ice on the power play can use it.

“The hoopla stuff is on shootouts and redlines, and it’s the other ones that are really significant, and over time will become huge. That’s what I’m more focused on. It’s not just creating a bunch of space on the ice for offensive players, these rules reward hardworking offensive teams. If you’re lazy or you’re not committed defensively, the price you pay is much bigger today than it was last year.”

On Increased Media Access:

“Of the four major sports, we’ve been the least accessible. I think we’ve been very cooperative, but we’ve also been kind of closed door. Whatever they tell us to do, we’ll do, and we’ll do it gladly. But, I think we have to become part of the marketing strategy of selling the game, too. People want access.”

On Last Season’s Phantoms On this Season’s Flyers:

“The obvious choices that should have been with the Flyers anyway are [Jeff] Carter, [Mike] Richards, [Patrick] Sharp, [Joni] Pitkanen, [Dennis] Seidenberg and [Antero] Niittymaki. All of those players probably would have been there anyway. To see them grow is more exciting than who is going to be there. Those players grew and were excellent players for the Phantoms, and they deserve to be good players for us. Those players are certainly guys we’re going to make room for.

“The other guys are going to get a chance to try out. Guys like [R.J.] Umberger, [Riley] Cote, [Ben] Eager, [Freddy] Meyer and [Randy] Jones. All of those guys are going to get a chance to try out, too, for a spot.”

On the Flyers Having a New Club Dynamic:

“There’s a balance now. This is a team that has a youthful feel to it, but it also has veteran presence. It’s a good balance. This is a team when it’s put together, is going to have great balance between young players who are eager and ready to go, and veterans players who have been through the wars before.”

On John LeClair and Tony Amonte Not Returning:

“It’s not based on their play, it’s based on the economics. I just think that the things that both John and Tony had not just for the Flyers, but for the game of hockey is they were two guys that came with a lot of class. They brought a lot of class to the way they did things. They were terrific in the community, they were great for charities, they supported their teammates in a very classy manner, and they were great ambassadors for the league.”

On Players Being Able to Adjust to the New Rules:

“I think that biggest adjustment will be learning to move through the neutral zone with speed rather than be worried about the red line on transition. I think that’s probably the biggest adjustment, learning to plow through it. There will be hesitation, but once you learn mentally to eliminate the red line on transition, everything is going to be a lot better.

“We’re about to go into a very chaotic game now. We’re going to go in a game where you’re not really sure and you never really have control over it. It’s a little bit like junior hockey, in that you know that there’s a potential for big plays and big mistakes, and you have to learn how to operate in that atmosphere. I think that’s the bigger factor for players is there’s no safe areas now. Even if you have a one or two goal lead, you can still get unnerved by a quick play. Or, if you ice the puck two or three times and get caught with the same people on the ice, you basically are going to give up a goal because they can’t defend.

“The shootout, for me, makes coaches an emotional wreck. It’s very emotional for us as coaches, so we’re going to have to deal with that atmosphere as well.”

Flyers
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Somik is gone as well:

Bob Clarke

On informing John LeClair that we was placed on waivers today:

"I don’t think that he was surprised a lot. It’s not a nice way to start your day off, but he knew that this was coming. John has been so good for this team and this city. He knows that there was nothing that we could do about it."

On other player personnel moves:

"Tony Amonte has been placed on waivers for the purpose of buying him out also. I don’t think that we will sign Radovan Somik. We will let him stay in Europe. I think that we will get all of our juniors signed, including Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. We’ll get into free agency and maybe sign a defenseman or two."

On the rule changes:

"I like the new rules. It’s going to make a big change in our game. The play is going to go on continuously a lot better than it did in the past. Speed previously was fairly easy to nullify. Even though you always wanted speed on your team, good checking teams could really slow the game down and slow the good players down. There will be a lot more ice for guys like Carter, (Sami) Kapanen and those guys who have great speed to use. Our defense, with Kim Johnsson, Joni Pitkanen and Eric Desjardins, those guys who can skate and pass the puck, it will be good for them too. We still have to get two pretty big guys and get a more muscle back there. We need more size on the blueline. We have the offense, but we need some size."

On the prospects on the Phantoms:

"Carter and Richard were really exciting. To see players at that age be dominate players in the American (Hockey) League, which is a huge jump from juniors, it was really neat to see these top players coming along. It’s good that they are on our side."
 

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According to Eklund (take how you please)

The Flyers bought out the two of them today and now we can start to speculate where they may end up. LeClair is still battling back issues, but two teams rumored to be interested are Boston and Toronto. In Boston he would play with Thornton and in Toronto likely be reunited with #88. LeClair's best days have been playing with another power center. The question is of course is his back healthy enough to make a go of it? Amonte could possible end up in either St. Louis or back in Chicago.

These are fun days!
Hmm, Lindros to Toronto? Can't say I'm that big of a fan. To be honest, Lindros days were over after the concussion given to him by Stevens.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Free agency could pose a problem/ Gagne wants to be in PHI for good

On the NHL | Free-agency rule could pose problems

By Tim Panaccio

Inquirer Columnist

Among the changes about to unfold in the NHL is the face of free agency.

It's the one area where the players have the upper hand in the new collective-bargaining agreement.

Under the old agreement, players had to wait until age 31 to sell their wares for millions. Now it will take just seven years in the league for a player to become unrestricted.

Which means every 18-year-old drafted this summer can become unrestricted by age 25 in 2012. That's pretty good.

The other part of that equation is that going into July 2007, any player, regardless of age, can become an unrestricted free agent if he has seven years in the league and is not under contract.

Starting Aug. 1, when NHL clubs can begin signing free agents to contracts, general managers will have to project money against the cap vs. talent performance several years into the future. Just like GMs do in the NFL.

Because no one knows if the $39 million salary cap will grow - or shrink - next season, clubs initially will balk at deals three years or longer.

And that could pose some problems. For instance, the Flyers prefer locking up their young talent to three-year contracts.

Simon Gagne, Robert Esche and Kim Johnsson are restricted free agents. By the summer of 2007, all three would qualify as unrestricted free agents, as would Todd Fedoruk, who is under contract. (That assumes they enter that summer without contracts.)

As part of the agreement, all players who were under contract in 2003-04 will receive a year's credit for "service" during this lockout season.

Thus, Gagne, now 25, will enter his seventh season this fall. He is the most intriguing case because his stock rose considerably by his outstanding play for Team Canada during the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships last spring.

Of course, it helped that Gagne played with Joe Thornton and Rick Nash. That line was the most dominant in the tournament.

With prospects Jeff Carter and Mike Richards coming aboard this fall, plus Patrick Sharp, the Flyers have a terrific nucleus of young forwards to build around.

Question is, do the Flyers re-sign Gagne this summer to a three-year deal that carries him past unrestricted free agency in 2007-08? Surely, that should cost them because Gagne would be giving up unrestricted free agency and expect more money is return.

Or do they opt for a one- or two-year deal and see how the cap unfolds?

General manager Bob Clarke said he won't sign any of his players past free agency... for now.

"I don't think we do that this summer," Clarke said. "We try and get through this winter and see how all the rules work and then make some decisions. I doubt if we do that this year. Maybe somewhere through the winter we might find someone could become unrestricted. We have to make some decisions for next year."

Gagne wants to remain a Flyer for life.

"I love Philly," he said. "This is where I want to spend my entire career. I want to be one of those players who stays with one team his whole career. But it's all new with the salary cap."

Clarke won't rule out giving Gagne a long-term deal at some point.

"We would like that," he said. "We want to keep Simon. I am not sure if this summer is the right time to do it. We will certainly address it. It may not be until next summer that we do it. Whatever it is, we want to keep Gagne and not lose him."

Bob Sauve, who represents Gagne, understands this summer's free-agency period will be chaotic. Teams will proceed cautiously on contract lengths. So will agents.

"We need to study this deal and see what we can make of it," Sauve said.

"It's a whole new ball game for free agency. Simon has become a very good player. He can adopt to any style of play. That is his finest quality.

"He can go from being a defensive forward on a line to being an offensive threat like he was in the World Championships. He can play any role now. Whatever we do will be in Simon's best interests. I would assume, from the Flyers' standpoint, that Simon is a major part of their future."

The bet here? The Flyers sign Gagne past free agency a year from now.

Comcast and the NHL

Now that there is linkage between revenues and salaries in the NHL in the new collective-bargaining agreement, broadcast rights are more crucial. What would happen if Comcast were to outbid ESPN for the rights to televise nationally? Is the league obligated to accept the higher bid? "There is not a contractual obligation," said Ted Saskin, NHL Players Association senior director. "But you still have to make good business judgment. We have a joint committee who will now consult on marketing and broadcast issues. Hopefully, you don't always take the offer that's the most money, but what is right for the sport. I am sure that is something the league will focus on, and we will have input in those discussions."

That certainly means the NHL will likely do all it can to woo ESPN back to the table for 2005-06 and beyond because of its long-standing relationship. Still, you wonder whether the NHL would turn Comcast down if its offer were tens of millions of dollars more than ESPN's.

Stay tuned.

A key promotion

Peter Luukko's new title as president and chief operating officer of Comcast-Spectacor (he was already president of Comcast-Spectacor Ventures) comes at a critical time, with the lockout ending and a healthy number of disgruntled Flyers season-ticket holders. Luukko now has to lend a hand to the marketing department in coming up with ideas to win fans back into the building. That shouldn't be a daunting task given that Luukko is a huge hockey fan and has been part of Ed Snider's regime for two decades. Luukko will oversee day-to-day operations of Comcast-Spectacor.

Loose pucks

Edmonton general manager Kevin Lowe is talking about a payroll approaching $35 million, or $4 million under the salary cap. The biggest gripe among the large-market revenue producers who make and spend oodles of money is that they harbor a nagging suspicion that most small-market clubs won't even hit $30 million in payroll but will be more than happy to receive revenue-sharing checks from teams like the Flyers, Toronto, Colorado, Detroit, etc. It's a legitimate fear. And an unfortunate reality... . Finally, random drug testing is part of the new agreement. Players will be hit with a 20-game suspension for a first offense and a 60-game suspension for a second. A third violation results in expulsion from the league. Bravo!

Contact staff writer Tim Panaccio at 215-854-2847 or [email protected].

Philly.com
 

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Discussion Starter #34
gordfish said:
They should have bought out Roenick and Desjardins while they were at it.
Not going to happen. JR puts fans in the seats and he is still productive. Rico is a good guy to have on defense especially now with the rule changes. He is more of an offensive d-man which is exactly what we need now.
 

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uggh, Leclair to Toronto would make me sick. I'd rather see him go to a Western team so we wouldnt have to see him. You know how it always is when a player leaves the team, and kills his former team all the time. Kinda like Leclair did to Montreal right? I'd rather see the kids, Carter and Richards signed as well. I think they will add a lot. Im new by the way, and happy to be aboard, I love hockey way too much not to be on a forum. :wavetowel
 

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thanks man. and yeah im hearing that as well. a lot of teams are doing stuff today and i think its gonna be a hectic week in the nhl with buyouts and waivers. gonna be interesting to see what the flyers end up doing and who they sign.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Well, take this for what it's worth...Richard's agent is also Derian Hatcher's agent as well. Supposedly, they are talking about Hatcher come to Philly and playing for Hitch again. Just in the rumor phase..:)
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Coach and 4 players to hit the airwaves

Got this from the Flyers appeareance page:


Tuesday, July 26, 2005 9:00 AM Q102
...Flyers forward Jeremy Roenick will call in to Q102 on Tuesday morning during the 9:00 hour.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 9:00 AM 610 WIP
...Flyers forward Jeremy Roenick will call in to the 610 WIP morning show around the 9:00 hour on Tuesday morning.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 9:30 AM WMGK
...Flyers captain Keith Primeau will be calling in to WMGK (102.9 FM) to chat with John DeBella at 9:30 am on Tuesday morning.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 10:00 AM 610 WIP
...Head Coach Ken Hitch**** will be an in-studio guest with 610 WIP at 10:00 am Wednesday morning with Anthony Gargano and Mike Missanelli.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 7:00 PM WMMR
...Flyers goalie Robert Esche and forward Todd Fedoruk will be in-studio guests at 7:00 on 93.3 WMMR with Matt Cord on Wednesday evening.
 
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