After a big offseason in 2011, many are expecting the Philadelphia Flyers to make a splash once again when free agency begins on July 1. Some have even linked the Flyers to one of the biggest name free agents, Rick Nash. While a Nash-to-Philadelphia deal would certainly send shockwaves through the league, Travis Hughes at the SB Nation blog Broad Street Hockey argues that the Flyers should find someone with a lower sticker price.
Nash topped out at 79 points in 2008-09 and has dropped off each season since. He's one of the highest-paid players in the NHL and yet 24 players scored more goals than he did last season. 58 players had more points than he did last season. Oh, but he's on a bad team, you say? PA Parenteau of the New York Islanders scored more points than Nash. So did Teddy Purcell and Olli Jokinen and David Desharnais and you get the point.
This is with six years left, too. You think he's going to be worth $8 million a year in 2017 when he's 33 years old? It's not old, but I'd be willing to wager damn good money that his current contract will be the most lucrative of his career.
Hughes suggests that Anaheim Ducks forward Bobby Ryan could have a similar impact to Nash at a cheaper price. If the Ducks want a young talent like Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn or James van Riemsdyk, however, the Flyers may be better off finding help elsewhere.
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