Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Morin signed to entry-level deal, might see early action

The Flyers joined several other teams this week in offering their top rookie draft pick, Samuel Morin, his first NHL contract. Under collective bargaining agreement rules, Morin's contract is structured to three years for hte maximum $925,000 base salary. Signing and performance bonuses, if attained, would take the deal above the poverty line and to an annual average of $1.425 million. That would begin when Morin makes the big club, and so it won't be for a while. Several of the 6-foot-6 Morin's teammates were impressed by his plan and composure with the puck Monday night in his NHL preseason debut. He earned a lot of minutes in both regular shifts and on power plays. But he's a long way from being an NHL presence. Physically, Morin has a lot of filling out to do, and experience-wise, NHL defensemen naturally develop at a slower pace. The Flyers have a two-year "slide" period where they can keep Morin for the first 10 games of the season and then send him back to his junior hockey team. That will almost certainly happen in October (and if it doesn't, it would say more about how they feel about their defense than anything else), and would probably happen again next year. Morin needs a couple of more junior years before coming to training camp truly ready to make an impact in the big leagues. At least he has shown flashes of being able to do just that in the future.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cleary situation unclear as Flyers begin camp

The Flyers' first group of three for this first day of training camp is going on the ice without a hitch, and without Dan Cleary. Sources say the would-be training camp invitee from Detroit was on the list of players scheduled for the 8:30 practice but decided to stay home to sort out his feelings about leaving the Red Wings. Meanwhile, his agent, J.P. Barry, tries to sort out contract talks with the Red Wings. Word is Cleary, who spent the past eight seasons with the Red Wings and grew to be one of their most popular players, is hoping Barry can woo the Wings to put a third year onto their offer to keep Cleary. As it stands, it's believed the Flyers plan to sign him to a three-year, $8.25 million deal once they clear cap space. Until then, Cleary was to be in camp on a tryout agreement only. The Red Wings were believed to be interested in re-signing Cleary, but were short one year and a lot of money as compared to the Flyers' offer. The Flyers will keep an interested eye on this from afar while camp ensues over these next three days here at Wells Fargo Center.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Flyers might not be getting Cleary, after all

Paul Holmgren talked excitedly Monday night about what Dan Cleary could bring to the Flyers. Cleary was a guy "who could play up and down the lineup" even at 34, Holmgren said of Cleary. The veteran forward had done just that in Detroit, showing a knack for defense, physical play and scoring, either as a third line wing or cohort to top line center Henrik Zetterberg. For the Flyers, Cleary was supposed to report Tuesday on a Player Tryout contract, and reportedly would sign a three-year $8.25 million deal as soon as the Flyers could clear cap space for him. Apparently, the Red Wings thought otherwise. A tweet from CBC reporter Elliotte Friedman Tuesday afternoon reported a "complication" had arisen between Cleary and the Flyers, intersting since the player hadn't yet arrived at Wells Fargo Center for the ongoing club photo shoots. Subsequent reports broke that the Red Wings had met with Cleary and his agent, while Holmgren, spotted as he walked toward the club's locker room, said only, "I don't know anything ... until I hear it from the horse's mouth." That's where the Flyers stand as of now with Cleary, who may or may not renege on his agreement to come to Flyers camp on a tryout basis. Perhaps the Red Wings found a way to clear enough cap space to re-sign their unrestricted free agent forward. Right now, like Holmgren, we don't know.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Gill to attend Flyers camp on tryout contract

While the Flyers continue to toy with the idea of bringing unrestricted free agent Simon Gagne to training camp on a tryout contract, a report out of Boston says they're already sold on the idea of giving another veteran a try. According to the report, Hal Gill, the 6-foot-7 defenseman who spent most of his career with the Bruins and seemingly had wrapped things up in Nashville last season, will be in Flyers camp under a tryout agreement. Gill, 38, joins what already is a crowded list of blue line hopefuls for a team that's perceived to be weak on defense, even with the offseason acquisition of Mark Streit. As such, Gill wouldn't have much of a chance to stick unless there is a trade and only if he can regain some of the competence that afforded him the opportunity to play more than 1,100 regular season and 110 playoff games in the NHL. Gill has played for five teams, starting with the Bruins in 1997-98. A durable player season in and season out, he logged 32 games and went scoreless in a labor-shortened season with Nashville earlier this year. The Preds chose not to re-sign him. The Flyers may be seeking to add veteran depth to their bench in Gagne and perhaps Gill, but would have to make a move or two to free up cap space to sign them as UFAs.