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Flyers and Free Agency: Lots of Choices, Little Cap Space

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Chuck Fletcher, Philadelphia Flyers offseason
General manager Chuck Fletcher will try to make the Philadelphia Flyers more competitive through free agency and the trade market.

(UPDATE: The Flyers created $3.33 million of cap space Tuesday by buying out Oskar Lindblom.)

The Philadelphia Flyers have virtually no cap space, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be active when the free-agent period opens Wednesday at noon.

They could get space by buying out James van Riemsdyk, or by making a deal (Ivan Provorov? Travis Konecny?).

The Flyers might also get cap relief if Ryan Ellis ($6.25 million annual cap hit) isn’t ready for the start of the season and goes on the long-term injured list. Ditto Joel Farabee ($5 million)

Philly only has about $119,000 in cap space, but teams can exceed the $82.5 million cap by 10 percent in the summer.

And, remember, general manager Chuck Fletcher is on the hot seat and needs to change the team’s culture, whether it’s through a trade, a signing, or both. He has called for an “aggressive retool” this summer.

The Flyers are trying to get harder to play against (hello, 6-foot-4, 220-pound Mason Marchment?), and need to upgrade an offense that desperately could use a proven goal scorer. And, yes, Johnny Gaudreau, a South Jersey native who grew up rooting for the Orange and Black, would fit the latter description.

But he will probably cost $9 million or more annually.

Having acquired Tony DeAngelo from Carolina means Philly doesn’t figure to sign a defenseman unless it feels Ellis won’t be ready for a while. Ellis missed most of last season with a pelvic injury.

Here are some of the unrestricted free agents who could interest the Philadelphia Flyers:

LW Johnny Gaudreau

Age: 28.

Stats: 40 goals, 115 points in 82 games.

C Nazem Kadri

Age: 31.

Stats: 28 goals, 87 points in 71 games.

LW Mason Marchment

Age: 27.

Stats: 18 goals, 47 points in 54 games.

LW/RW Ilya Mikheyev

Age: 27.

Stats: 21 goals, 32 points in 53 games.

LW/RW Nino Niederreiter

Age: 29.

Stats: 24 goals, 44 points in 75 games.

LW/RW Frank Vatrano

Age: 28.

Stats: 18 goals, 32 points in 71 games

LW/RW Ondrej Palat

Age: 31.

Stats: 18 goals, 49 points in 77 games.

LW/RW  David Perron

Age: 34.

Stats: 27 goals, 57 points in 67 games.

LW/RW Evander Kane

Age: 30.

Stats: 22 goals, 39 points in 43 games.

C/RW/LW Andrew Copp

Age: 27.

Stats: 21 goals, 53 points in 72 games .

C/RW Claude Giroux

Age: 34.

Stats: 21 goals, 65 points in 75 games.

C/RW Ryan Strome

Age: 28.

Stats: 21 goals, 54 points in 74 games.

C Vincent Trocheck

Age: 28.

Stats: 21 goals, 51 points in 81 games.

LW/RW Andre Burakovsky

Age: 27.

Stats: 22 goals, 61 points in 81 games.

G Jack Campbell

Age: 30.

Stats: 2.64 GAA, .914 SP in 49 games.

G Martin Jones

Age: 32.

Stats: 3.43 GAA, .900 SP in 35 games.

RD Justin Schultz

Age: 31.

Stats: 4 goals, 23 points, minus-15 in 74 games.

RD Justin Braun

Age: 35.

Stats: 6 goals, 18 points, plus-2 in 69 games.

RD John Klingberg

Age: 29.

Stats: 6 goals, 47 points, minus-28 in 74 games.

RD Colin Miller

Age: 29.

2 goals, 14 points, minus-2 in 38 games.

Breakaways

Patrik Laine, Matthew Tkachuk, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Kaapo Kaako, and Kasperi Kapanen are among the RFAs. …  The Flyers’ development camp in Voorhees will have only off-ice sessions Wednesday; players will be back on the ice Thursday and Friday. The camp, which is free and open to the public, will conclude with a three-on-three tournament Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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