Holmgren kicking the free agent tires for Shanahan

According to TSN’s Bob Mckenzie, veteran sniper Brendan Shanahan is in Philadelphia today, meeting with Flyers’ General Manager Paul Holmgren to discuss signing with Philly.  Shanahan has stated he wants to stay in New York, where he lives with his family.  But since the New York Rangers declined to pick him up and the New York Islanders don’t want to take on the salary, Shanahan is forced to look elsewhere and Philadelphia is interested and in the vicinity of the Big Apple.

At first glance, taking on another forward contract seems silly for the Flyers, who are too heavy as it is at that position.  But with Steve Downie being a constant disappointment and Andreas Nodl seeing major top-line minutes, Shanahan could fit in nicely, giving the Flyers a legitimate weapon.

Another reason why the move could make sense is if Holmgren plans on acquiring a defenseman for the long haul.  The Flyers’ Achilles heel this season has been its vapid defense, ranking 27th in the league in goals against.  Acquiring Shanahan could allow the Flyers to move a forward to gain a defenseman that would make a difference.  Top on the list of players that could be moved are Mike Knuble and Scottie Upshall, who are in the final year of their contract.

A reason why the Shanahan signing would be improbable is Brendan’s asking price.  The Flyers are hard pressed against the salary cap and Shanahan will likely be asking for more than the veterans minimum, which is under $1 million. If he does accept the vet minimum, a signing could be pending.  However, Shanahan will want a multi-year contract and the dollars to be in the 2-4 million range.

Another serious option for Shanahan is to the New Jersey Devils.  Brendan played four years with the Devils to start his career and the team is located within commuters distance to New York.  Jersey normally would show little interest due to cap restrains, but recent devistating injuries to the forwarc corp could possible have opened up the option for a transaction.

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