Saturday, July 2, 2011
Posted: 1:43 p.m. Updated: 3:39 p.m.
By Sarah BaickerCSNPhilly.com
Early last week, general manager Paul Holmgren sat on a podium before a packed press conference to present the three newest Flyers, all acquired as part of the deals that sent Jeff Carter and Mike Richards to the Western Conference.
Wayne Simmonds, 22, a right wing who came to Philadelphia from the L.A. Kings, sat right in the middle of his two new teammates. When Holmgren introduced Simmonds to the crowd, he used language that tends to be frequently employed when describing the prototypical Philadelphia Flyer.
Wayne is a rough and tumble, rugged winger who we think has a real upside in terms of offensive production, Holmgren said. We look for big things from Wayne.
But Simmonds, who said hes been told more than a few times that he was born to be a Flyer (hes 6-foot-2, physical and can score goals), still hasnt inked a deal with the Flyers.
Both Jakub Voracek and Brayden Schenn, the other two players who came to the Flyers in the Richards and Carter deals, have contracts in place that will ensure they remain in Philadelphia.
As the Flyers brass moves forward from their busy first day of free agency, signing Simmonds should be a priority and Holmgren makes it sound as though it is.
Well, were continuing to talk, he said, of discussions with Simmonds' agent. Fair to say we are close.
Multiple sources have suggested the Flyers are still seeking to fill out their offense, as well, but as the hours tick by, the list of available free agents further shrinks. Brad Richards, whom Holmgren suggested the Flyers had interest in as recently as Friday evening, signed with the Rangers early Saturday.
But there are still some names floating around that may have piqued the Flyers interest.
Simon Gagne had been one of them, but the former Flyer, who registered 17 goals and 23 assists in 63 games Tampa Bay Lightning, agreed to a two-year, 7 million deal with the L.A. Kings Saturday afternoon. On Friday, Holmgren had said there was interest in a return to Philly for Gagne on both sides, and that he had spoken with Gagne's agent.
There are other names, but as things stand, available cap space is limited. As of now, with Simmonds still unsigned, theres about 3.27 million remaining under the cap ceiling. The Flyers would have to move some salary if they were to sign another big-name player, or that player would potentially have to agree to a pay cut.
There are other possibilities, of course, should the Flyers choose to make another move or trade in free agency. And from the sound of it and the hours long after the Jaromir Jagr and Max Talbot deals were signed that Holmgren continued to camp out in his office in Voorhees there very well be more to come.
Were still looking around, Holmgren said. You just never know. As I said earlier, the first wave I think is over. Now you get the second-tier wave. Whether it starts Saturday, I dont know.E-mail Sarah Baicker at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @SBaickerCSN.