Just hours after Tampa Bay put him on waivers, hockeybuzz.com reported that the Flyers have shown interest in veteran Chris Gratton off the waiver wire, to fill in as fourth-line center. Gratton is on waivers until noon Tuesday, and can not be claimed before that time, but it is unlikely a move could be made due to the cap restraints on the Flyers.
The 33-year old center tallied 33 hits, with no goals and two assists in 18 games played this season. Gratton was a Philadelphia Flyer from 1997-1999 and scored 23 goals and 47 assists in 108 games in the orange and black. He is also the cousin of Flyers/Phantoms’ enforcer Josh Gratton.
Any news considering the Flyers as interested is somewhat surprising, considering the cap space bind the Flyers are in. As it stands the Flyers have less than a million worth of cap space available, meaning Gratton’s truncated 1.2 million salary, doesn’t exactly fit the numbers. Also adding returning defenseman Randy Jones from the LTIR and something has to give.
Gratton would be acquired for his two-way play and face off percentage. He led the Lightning in faceoffs with a 62.2% win percentage and would take over the fourth-line center dutys for the Flyers. Facing a disaster of a season, Tampa Bay dropped Gratton and Radim Vrbata, in hopes to save enough money to quickly rebuild in the offseason.
Edit: Hockeybuzz backtracking with the statement
Note: I was testing a new posting technique and accidentally posted a test blog that was claiming the Flyers had claimed Chris Gratton off of waivers. This was just my reaction to a silly rumour that I heard and I can not tell you how UNTRUE this would be? In fact of course, it will be tomorrow before we will know who claims Chris Gratton. and it will not in anyway be the Flyers!