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Daily Times beat writer Anthony J. SanFilippo takes you inside the locker rooms of the Philadelphia Flyers and the rest of the NHL.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

FLYERS LOSE BETTS, OPENING NIGHT ROSTER SET

Blair Betts was claimed off waivers just before the noon deadline today by the Montreal Canadians, much as the Flyers expected.

Betts, 31, was an attractive piece on the waiver wire because of his cap-friendly salary of $700,000 and his defensive mindset and an ability to kill penalties.

This frees up a contract spot for the Flyers to sign rookie Sean Couturier, should they want to keep him on the roster beyond the first nine games of the season.

The other Flyers who were on the waiver wire - Matt Walker and Oskars Bartulis - both cleared. Bartulis will be sent to Adirondack of the AHL. Walker, meanwhile, will stay with the Flyers.

In a crazy turn of events, Walker went from being a player the Flyers were willing to lose on waivers to being in the lineup for the opener, winning the No. 6 defensman job in camp.

Here is how the lineup will look for tomorrow night's game - and yes, these are your line combinations and defensive pairings.

van Riemsdyk-Giroux-Jagr
Voracek-Briere-Simmonds
Hartnell-Couturier-Read
Nodl-Talbot-Rinaldo

Carle-Pronger
Timonen-Meszaros
Coburn-Walker

Bryzgalov
Bobrovsky

Andreas Lilja is a healthy scratch. Jody Shelly is also on the roster, but is suspended for the first five games of the season.

Ian Laperriere also remains on the roster as a technicality for the first day, but will likely be placed on the long-term injury list once the Flyers need to make another roster move.

For now the Flyers are, as always, right up against the salary cap, operating at a measly 65,374 below the $63.4 million cap figure.

It seems the plan is to roll with this roster until Braden Schenn is ready to be recalled, at which point, Laperriere would be placed on the long-term injured list, and another player would be sent back to the minors - likely Rinaldo, since he wouldn't have to clear waivers.

If they did that, the Flyers would then be just 86,905 under the salary cap - still not a desirable number.

The reason the Flyers find themselves in this strict bind is the $1.4 million in bonus overages they are paying against the cap this season from last season.

The reason they had such a high bonus overage was the amount of time players spent on the long-term injury list last season - namely Laperriere and Michael Leighton. That allowed the Flyers to operate above the salary cap, but because of that, they didn't have the room to pay out earned bonus money to players for reaching certain triggers in their individual contracts.

As such, that bonus overage has to count against this season's cap. And, once Laperriere is placed on long-term injury this season, it could have a similarly adverse affect on next season's cap figure.

The Flyers also find themselves in an undesirable position of not having a spare forward for the first five games because of the Shelley suspension.

If there's an injury, the only choices the Flyers would have would be to place Laperriere on LTIR sooner than they would like, send Couturier back to junior or waive another player entirely - none of which are options the Flyers particularly like.

2 Comments:

Blogger Simon said...

Matt Read -- the next Patrick Sharp. Except let's not trade him away prematurely.

Anyone else surprised that Harts isn't with Briere? Are they trying to find OTHER chemistry to work with Briere in the event that Harts gets moved so that the Flyers aren't operating just under the cap ceiling?

October 6, 2011 at 8:21 AM 
Anonymous Sportsbook Software said...

Well, I hope that it didn't go in that way but it happened like that. I am lucky that I didn't lost any bet.

May 31, 2013 at 7:32 PM 

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