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In order to pay Hamhuis, Flyers will have to make more moves

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Now that the Philadelphia Flyers have acquired the negotiating rights to Dan Hamhuis, the question is now whether they’ll be able to sign him or not.

According to, the Flyers currently sit just over $8 million under the $56 million salary cap for next season with 17 players under contract. The Flyers have 11 forwards under contract but just four defensemen, with Lukas Krajicek, Danny Syvret and Mike Rathje all set to become UFAs this summer. It’s unlikely the Flyers will be keeping any of those three, especially with Hamhuis now on the negotiating table.

More importantly, the Flyers will be looking to keep defenseman Braydon Coburn, who was absolutely incredible during the playoffs this past season and who will become a restricted free agent after making $1.4 million last year. The Flyers will certainly aim to keep him, will want to sign Hamhuis and will need at least one more defensemen, two forwards and will likely be looking to acquire a new goaltender.

Hamhuis will be looking to make at $4 million a season and has all of the leverage on his side when it comes to negotiating with the Flyers, and if you factor in Coburn’s salary for next season that’s likely at least $6 million tied up between the two defensemen; nearly two-thirds of the remaining cap space with six spots still open.

If the Flyers do hope to sign Hamhuis and keep Coburn -- giving the Flyers what is likely the best blue line in the NHL -- then you can almost guarantee that one of the top forwards on the Flyers will have to be traded, and in the best case scenario be traded for a goaltender. There is some thought that the Flyers will be shopping one of Jeff Carter, Scott Hartnell or Simon Gagne in order to free up salary space.

Here’s a scenario that makes sense. A trade with the Los Angeles Kings that sends Carter to LA in exchange for either Jonathan Quick or Jonathan Bernier. You have to think that the Kings would be much more willing to part with Bernier, who makes $843,000 next season over Quick, although either would work well for the Flyers. Obviously, it wouldn’t be a straight up trade, but with those major pieces the trade would work for both sides.

The Flyers would instantly free up $3-4 million in cap space, while either acquiring a solid starting goaltender to go with their top defense or at the very least a very capable goaltender who can work in tandem with Brian Boucher. Obviously the Flyers would prefer Quick, who is under contract for three more seasons at $1.8 million per year, but the extra cap space here will be key.

The Flyers aren’t done making moves over the next week, not if they hope to sign Hamhuis and especially if they aim to keep Coburn as well. Expect one of the top forwards on the Flyers to be on the market and it’s very likely they’ll be traded; if not, then Hamhuis tests the open market and the Flyers get a seventh-round draft pick next summer.