Flyers Cont'd: Versteeg Traded, Leino and Boucher Move On

Flyers Cont'd: Versteeg Traded, Leino and Boucher Move On

So much for an easy Friday to lead us into a light holiday weekend. The Flyers continued to be aggressive on the first day of free agency, shipping Kris Versteeg off to the Florida Panthers for draft picks. Meanwhile, Ville Leino's and Brian Boucher's tenures in orange black are officially over, as the winger signed a long term contract with the Buffalo Sabres, and the netminder heads to the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Versteeg trade signals the end to that experiment, and while some fans were willing to ride it out and give the young hand a chance to learn coach Peter Laviolette's system, the front office indicated it was a failure.

The Flyers received a second round pick from Florida, in either the 2012 or 2013 draft, as well as San Jose's third in '12. Unfortunately, this is less than they originally paid when they acquired the 25 year old in February, sending a first and a third to Toronto. The move was certainly in part to create some much needed salary cap relief, but accepting a return that was less than their initial investment has to sting.

And up north, Leino found a partner willing to pay. The Sabres agreed to a 6-year deal with the Finland native worth $27 million, averaging $4.5 mil per season. It's a steep price for Leino, who had a career year in 10-11 with 19 goals and 34 assists, but at times was maybe a little too fancy for his own good. [See "Update" here for how this relates to the Jagr deal]

Boucher's departure comes as no surprise however, as he agreed to a two-year deal with Carolina.

There's no telling if the moves are over--is an extension for recently acquired Wayne Simmonds on the way?--but I hope they are, if only because we would like to get into holiday mode (parrrtayyy!). There's no doubt this has been an exciting couple of hours though, and for that matter, last few weeks in Flyers-land.

A Brief Summary of the Flyers' Moves on Day One; Voracek, Jagr, Lilja, Talbot
Jaromir Jagr, Philadelphia Flyer

Tonight's lineup: WIth only RHP left, could Ryan Howard start every game?

Tonight's lineup: WIth only RHP left, could Ryan Howard start every game?

If healthy, Ryan Howard is expected to start all three games in the Phillies' final series of the season Sept. 2-4 at home against the Mets.

He might also start the entire Braves series.

The Phillies' final six games are all against right-handed starting pitchers: Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz and Josh Collmenter in Atlanta; Robert Gsellman, Bartolo Colon and Noah Syndergaard with the Mets. That could mean six starts for Howard before his time with the Phillies expires.

Howard's batting average has been below .200 for practically the entire season, but he's been much better since the All-Star break, hitting .259/.325/.598 with 11 homers, five doubles and 25 RBIs in 123 plate appearances (see game notes). He went 0 for 6 in his last two starts but homered in each of his two previous starts to reach 23 for the third year in a row.

Here's the Phillies' full lineup Tuesday against Teheran:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Roman Quinn, LF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Freddy Galvis, SS
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff, P

Matt Kemp is out of the Braves' lineup.

1. Ender Inciarte, CF
2. Adonis Garcia, 3B
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Nick Markakis, RF
5. Tyler Flowers, C
6. Jace Peterson, 2B
7. Dansby Swanson, SS
8. Mallex Smith, LF
9. Julio Teheran, P

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Howie Roseman makes complete 180 with latest roster move

Howie Roseman makes complete 180 with latest roster move

Howie Roseman solidified his hold on Executive of the Year Tuesday when he re-signed guard Darrell Greene to the practice squad and released JaCorey Shepherd from the practice squad. Shepherd was signed on Wednesday when Greene was previously released.

The Eagles were undefeated with Shepherd on the practice squad this year.

But they're also undefeated with Greene on the practice squad.

Roseman did not return messages requesting comment about Shepherd's seven-day stint with the Eagles.

Once Roseman realized he had actually NOT signed Lito Sheppard, the deal was voided.

The Eagles don't play this coming weekend so we were hard-pressed for any actual news.