Paul Holmgren has done something I never thought he would do again, surprise me. Several of his trades I have been dubious about but not since the day he sent Mike Richards packing have I been surprised with his flamboyant trades and signings.
According to NHL.com Dan Cleary will be signing in Philly:
Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reported Monday night that the veteran left wing will sign a three-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers worth an average of $2.75 million per year. The deal is not expected to become official until the end of the month, according to St. James.
Now there are several elements about this deal that I do not like but I could go on forever. Instead I have broken down the four most prominent issues I have with the deal to try and understand Holmgren’s rationale.
- Not re-signing Simon Gagné.
As a result of signing Cleary Holmgren has ended any chance of the Flyers re-signing Gagné for next season. Not only a fans favorite, Gagné re-found his form on the ice scoring in his first game returning from the LA Kings. Gagné is a better offensive player who the players and fans both look up to.
- The cap hit.
$2.75 a year is too much money. If this was a bargain end of window deal then this article would have a completely different feel. This deal puts the Flyers further over the cap hit and means that they will have to dump salary somewhere. Andrej Meszaros would be my first choice but that brings us onto my next point.
- Another forward at the expense of defense?
With the Flyers needing to add speed on the blueline Dan Cleary’s arrival will likely mean the salary dump of a defenseman. The Flyers struggled getting the puck out of their zone last season and trading an injury prone PMD for a 3rd line winger with dodgy knee’s makes no sense. Meszaros’ trade value can only rise and Holmgren will get very little if anything in return for Meszaros or whoever he chooses to trade.
- 3 years?!
I can only assume that Holmgren forgot that he has used his buy-outs this season as this is the only logical explanation for giving Cleary a 3 year contract. Luckily it’s not another 35+ contract; $2.75m is an over-payment especially for 3 years.
I could add several other reasons but these are the main four that came to mind. Cleary is a good locker room guy and will add some grit to the 3rd line with Sean Couturier. I truly hope that Holmgren knows something that other Flyers fans don’t and proves me wrong.