It's here. The start of NHL free agency will take place in less than one hour from now and teams everywhere are gearing up to make some moves. Now that Steven Stamkos is out of the picture for the Flyers, they can focus their attention elsewhere.
Ryan Bright of Philly Sports Daily has some ideas of what the Flyers will do as well as a preview of how the lines will be structured this upcoming season.
Of the options available, the most talked about is 32-year-old forward Erik Cole, who won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes and Flyers coach Peter Laviolette in 2007. Cole made $2.9 million against the cap last season, while scoring 26 goals and 26 assists in 82 games. At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Cole is a sizable veteran power forward. With the young wingers on the roster for the Flyers this upcoming season, the leadership and a gritty style that Cole possesses could go a long way.
Erik Cole is someone I could deal with as a Flyer. Sure, Jamie Langenbrunner (35-years-old) and John Madden (38-years-old) are probably great guys, but do the Flyers really want players with that type of age?
Regardless of their roster, come Friday afternoon, the Flyers will undoubtedly be buyers. It’s just a matter of who, where and what happens with Leino.
This is an important point. Ville Leino holds the key so to speak. If the Flyers can't re-sign him, they'll have to go after a winger to take his place and that could throw a wrench in the whole "depth-building" plan.