Monday, June 18, 2007

Flyers Dip Into Free Agent Pool Early

Because of the unknown future with the Nashville, the Predators arranged with the Flyers to give them exclusive negotiating rights to two coveted free agents - defenceman Kimmo Timonen and forward Scott Hartnell.

Now, the Flyers have reportedly signed each player to multi-year, multi-million contracts. Hartnell has signed a contract for a 6-year, $25.2 million deal for a cap hit of $4.2 million per year. Timonen was also signed to a 6-year, $37.8 million contract for an annual cap hit of $6.3 million.

The Preds in return for those 2 players will receive a 1st-round pick from the Flyers, which is the pick that was sent to the Flyers in the Peter Forsberg trade. Although the deals aren't official, they are pretty close to being official. "We're extremely close to getting it done," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. "We'll get it done in the next day or two."

The Preds wanted this to happen before July 1st, when the free agent signing happens. ''We expected both Scott and Kimmo to be among the most sought after at their respective positions when the unrestricted free agent marketplace opens on July 1, and it did not appear as if we were going to be able to sign either player before then,'' said Predators executive vice president/ and general manager David Poile. ''That being said, we received a first-round pick for the exclusive right to negotiate with two players who ultimately could have hit the market in two weeks.''

''Timonen was our team captain this past season and an All-Star,'' added Poile. ''Hartnell is a young player that we drafted, inserted in our lineup at age 18, and saw develop into a 25-goal scorer. Both of these players have been important contributors to our franchise's success and we wish them the best going forward.''


Rufus said...

Looks like the Preds are dumping salary as fast as they can. If they ice a terrible team next year then attendance will stay below the 14,000 level and Balsillie can get out of their current lease and move the team. Go Hamilton!!

walter said...

It's not Balsillie who's dumping contracts, the current owner still calls the shots. He probably will just fire sale his team to minimize his losses. I can't imagine Balsillie would be too happy if Nashvile removes all the core guys from a team that was only a player or 2 away from a viable Cup run.