Flyers stick to aggressive mold with Weber offer
As a fan, all you want is for your team to do everything it possibly can to win a championship.
The Flyers have never been bashful about making a big splash in the off-season and they have upped the ante in a huge way this summer, signing Nashville defenseman Shea Weber to a mega offer sheet. While the NHL owners try to limit the length of contracts to five years in collective bargaining negotiations with the players' association, the Flyers offered Weber the second-highest contract in league history at 14 years, $110 million.
While I love the Flyers' aggressive approach in free agency, many of their bold moves over the years have not panned out. When the Flyers landed Eric Lindros in 1992, there were thoughts he would lead the franchise to multiple Stanley Cups. Instead, it was only one Final appearance in 1997.
Three years ago, general manager Paul Holmgren pulled off a trade with Anaheim to bring Chris Pronger to Philadelphia on a lucrative seven-year contract. Pronger’s presence was a big factor in the Flyers' run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2010, but again the team came up short. Pronger’s career is very much in doubt with post-concussion symptoms, which is why the Flyers needed to go after Weber.
Last year, Holmgren dramatically reshaped the team’s roster, trading captain Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in separate deals. Of course that resulted in both players drinking from the Stanely Cup in Los Angeles. I still like the moves made last summer, but only time will tell if the young players Holmgren got in return will lead to a Flyers' championship.
Then there is Ilya Brysgalov’s nine-year, $51 million contract. It wasn’t a stellar first season for the Flyers' newest goaltender, but for the first time in years the team isn’t shopping for a new goalie.
You know Comcast-Spectacor chairman Ed Snider wants to win a Cup in the worst way and he is doing everything he possibly can to win another title. Thirty-seven years is a long time between sips from the Cup, but $110 million just might be the right price to enjoy another parade down Broad Street.