In the face of unrestricted free agency, a player’s on-ice production, both potential and registered, is typically in direct correlation to the dollar amount they make or are set to bring in. In other words, compensation for personal efforts.
Yet, when it comes to UFA to-be Ville Leino and the Flyers, the 27-year old Finnish forward’s production is just one part of the equation. Danny Briere’s production is the other piece.
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On May 25, in an abrupt and surprising decision, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski called it a career, retiring after 11 seasons in the NHL.
The announcement came without warning as the jaws of the collective hockey world dropped in disbelief. Rafalski, 37, walked away from one year on his contract at $6 million. He was playing a solid 20 minutes per game on a good, competitive team and that play had not dropped off as he finished the year with 44 assists and a plus-11 rating.
The Red Wings, who planned for the defenseman to finish his contract, are now left with a gaping hole on their blue line and little time to fill it — a consequence of early retirement that most teams will never face.
However, if general manager Paul Holmgren and the Flyers aren’t paying attention and didn’t see Rafalski’s sudden retirement as a wake-up call to take a look at their own defensive situation, the same could happen to them with 36-year-old Kimmo Timonen.
Rumors, speculation and amateur attempts at general managing have become a staple of every NHL offseason. While ideas become somewhat intriguing during a summer of disappointment and vacant of real news, rumor mongering is typically unreliable and in some cases, annoying.
So when the scuttlebutt broke from Twitter on Monday night that New York-based news hound Incarcerated Bobclaimed the Toronto Maple Leafs and Flyers are in “serious discussions involving Jeff Carter,” there was a spark of curiosity and rightfully very few true believers. Just another Carter trade rumor.
However, there is one overlooked nugget in Bob’s proposed deal that is hard to ignore. The formula actually makes sense.