Posted tagged ‘Mike Knuble’

Flyers Mildly Active in Free Agency – 76ers Quiet

July 2, 2009
Ian Laperriere - newest Flyers forward

Ian Laperriere - newest Flyers forward

After a busy day on free agency in the NHL and NBA, the Philadelphia teams were only slightly active.  The Flyers signed a back-up goalie, Brian Boucher, to a very salary cap friendly contract.  They also signed Ian Laperriere to a 3 year contract at a cap friendly price.  Laperriere is a forward who plays with grit (a PhilaTude favorite word) and hates to lose.  He will be a solid third or fourth line veteran presence, who can kill penalties and take a strong leadership role.  The rest of the NHL was active, with the Rangers paying an immense amount of cash for an oft-injured Marion Gaborik.  The Canadiens rebuilt their top line by signing Mike Cammelleri, Brian Gionta and trading for Scott Gomez.  The 76ers did nothing, while the rest of the NBA was quiet except for the Pistons signing Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.

The Flyers did lose Mike Knuble to the Washington Capitals.  The Caps paid close to 6 million over two years to Knuble, who is 37 years old.  I wanted the Flyers to resign Knuble, but only because I thought they could do it without giving up too much cash.  The Capitals overpaid for Knuble, I think he is only really worth 4 million over 2 years, which is probably what the Flyers offered him.  While I don’t wish Knuble any bad luck or harm, he is going to significantly miss out on a good Flyers season, similarly like Brian Dawkins who will miss out on an excellent Eagles season.  

The 76ers have announced that it might take some time to sign to Andre Miller.  I guess if he doesn’t sign anywhere else, it makes sense to wait.  Maybe he is waiting to see if he gets other offers, who knows?  An interesting development around the Houston Rockets is that Yao Ming won’t be playing next season.  If I were Ed Stefanski, I would try my hardest to trade the Rockets Samuel Dalembert and take whatever they will offer.

As discussed in yesterday’s post, there is no loyalty; it’s all about the money.  Players talk about staying and playing for their current team, but in the end it’s all about who gives them the largest contract.  Hopefully, the Flyers and Sixers aren’t done this off-season and we’ll have some more interesting news and new players to discuss.

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Free Agency

July 1, 2009
Andre Miller, Free Agent

Andre Miller, Free Agent

Every year, there is excitement around which NHL or NBA free agents might sign in Philadelphia.  This year is no exception as the Flyers struggle to resign their own free agent, Mike Knuble, while the Sixers are dealing with Andre Miller, similarly.  Here’s my take on free agency:  I hate it. 

I hate for all it could be, but isn’t.  Here’s the deal – every team has to abide by a salary cap.  In the NHL it is hard cap with a minimum to be spent.  In the NBA there is a soft cap allowing teams to go over the cap for their own players and/or pay a luxury tax if they go over the cap.  Both salary cap systems have their strengths and weaknesses, but both don’t allow any wiggle room for free agency.  Free agency is all in the players’ hands, especially, the players in demand.  Free agency has come down to which team can pay the player the most amount of money. 

A few quick examples, Brian Dawkins signed for the most amount of money in Denver, when the Eagles had offered a similar, but less money contract.  Jim Thome signed with the Phillies a few years ago for the most amount of money even though his current team for many years offered him a pretty solid contract.  He was encouraged to take the money.  The NBA and NHL are no different.  Carlos Boozer opted out of his contract, rejected a solid offer from the Cavaliers and subsequently signed for an immense amount of money with the Utah Jazz.  Danny Briere of the Flyers signed for the most amount of money, instead of settling for a little less to play for his hometown team, the Montreal Canadiens.  Get the point?  It’s all about making the players wealthy. 

I want free agency to be about keeping teams together, providing chemistry building opportunities and finding an exciting player that isn’t on anyone’s radar.  Instead it’s about money and worrying about teams spending too close to the salary cap.  Wouldn’t it be great if there was an incentive for players to resign with their old clubs, if their clubs want them back, just like in the Miller and Knuble situations?  Since owners and teams have restrictions on their spending, shouldn’t the players be prevented from being overpaid?  To develop some significant loyalty to all sports leagues and it starts by finding a way to keep teams together, with significantly less talk about money and more talk about winning.

Flyers – Final Thoughts on the 2009 Playoffs

May 5, 2009

Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers


Now that the Flyers first round playoff loss is over 10 days old, I am more capable of discussing the poor showing in the playoffs. I needed some time to cool off. In the local Philadelphia media, it was repeatedly written about the lack of leadership and the lack of urgency on this Flyers team. That may have been apparent and obvious to the media and fans, but I think it was something more.

Mike Richards is the captain. Kimmo Timonen and Danny Briere were both captains of their former clubs. Mike Knuble and Marty Biron have been in the league for years. The Flyers have leadership. What they are lacking is the grit, determination and mental toughness. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter both played through injuries, which exhibit the above, but it diminishes their skill needed to win games. The supporting players, specifically, Scott Hartnell, Joffrey Lupul and Simon Gagne, came up small. I expect more out of players making between 3 and 5 million a season. Gagne plays hard, but doesn’t step-up to be that go to player when the team needs him because Richards and Carter were hurt. Hartnell is supposed to bang in front of the net, but he can’t when he is in the box. Joffrey Lupul has speed and shot, but was trying to be too fancy. For every Richards, Carter, Briere and Giroux, a team needs the bangers, gritters and intangible guys. Richards is both. The skill guys aren’t off the hook, either. They didn’t put the puck in the net. So, my diagnosis and the problems with this team were the players not playing their roles.

This off-season is going to be interesting. I am curious to see what the Flyers are going to do with the goaltending situation, solidifying the defense, managing the salary cap and developing their young talent. If Holmgren makes the appropriate moves and tweaks, this team can compete and build on their experience over the last two years.

Coming up in the next few weeks, I will develop my thoughts on how the team should look next season and my take on Daniel Carcillo.