The playoffs are over so of course, eyes turn to next season.
The Flyers, who lost in six games, are left with quite a few roster questions, from what to do about goaltending to how to where to find defensive depth.
But the most intriguing question Tim Panaccio asks is what to do about Scott Hartnell, so disappointing during the regular season but so brilliant in the playoffs.
I’m interested in Hartnell because of how he compared to Chicago’s Marian Hossa. Both were second line guys who saw important minutes. Hartnell finished the playoffs with eight goals (three on the powerplay), nine assists, +4, with 25 penalty minutes.
Hossa finished the playoffs with three goals (all even strength), 12 assists, +7, and 25 penalty minutes.
A lot of what Hossa did for Chicago, in terms of his shockingly solid forecheck and backcheck, didn’t show up on the stats sheet, but the same could be said for Hartnell.
So in the playoffs, I think you have to consider Hartnell outplayed Hossa. Of course, you also have to consider Hartnell has a $4.2 million cap until 2013 while Hossa’s is $5.2 million over the next 11 years.
Obviously, Philadelphia will want to watch Hartnell’s performance next season, but he seems like a pretty solid deal.
In terms of Hossa, he had a great post-season, but did he really live up to his cap hit? It’s hard to quantify. Since the Blackhawks won the Cup, it’s not something people are going to ask right away. But as Chicago needs to retain players and sign new ones? The question will certainly come up again.
Of course, it’s mostly an academic question, since I can’t see anyone being interested in trading for a contract that long. Not with Mike Milbury out of the GM game.
Heika guesses goalie Cristobal Huet and defenseman Brian Campbell are both in play, assuming anyone would want that kind of salary. He also thinks Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg might also be available.
And that’s another advantage to winning the Cup (other than, you know, having won the Cup). All of these players (minus Huet) now have an aura of success that make them much more attractive to teams. Sharp and Versteeg were always solid players but having seen them in the post-season, I imagine a lot of NHL teams will be interested in trying to trade for them.
It’s sad that the cap makes it so hard to keep a team together. The Blackhawks lifted the Cup Wednesday night and within 48 hours all we can think about it is who Chicago will try and trade away.
At least they got to enjoy a couple of days, though.