Flyers

Flyers 2018 free-agent target: C Tyler Bozak

usa-tyler-bozak.jpg
USA Today Images

Flyers 2018 free-agent target: C Tyler Bozak

Each day until July 1, the day NHL free agency begins, NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Boruk, Tom Dougherty and Jordan Hall will analyze some of the league's impending free agents and project their likelihood of signing with the Flyers.

Over time, general manager Ron Hextall has freed his club from its salary cap dungeon, setting the Flyers up with greater financial flexibility this offseason. The team has $21.7 million in cap space, according to CapFriendly.com.

As the Flyers look to take a step forward in 2018-19, free agency will provide Hextall an avenue to fill specific holes and supplement his mix of veterans and youth. While the team hasn't been major players on the market under Hextall in the past, the GM indicated earlier this month the Flyers could be active this summer.

Hextall said the Flyers wouldn't entertain a seven-year contract on a free agent, but he expressed a desire to add a veteran or two depending on the term.

With that said, let's look at some possible fits and how/if they make sense for the Flyers.

Tyler Bozak

Age: 32
Position: C
Height: 6-1
Weight: 199
Last team: Maple Leafs
2017-18 cap hit: $4.2 million

Boruk
Bozak would seem like an ideal third-line center for the Flyers. He has size, skill, contributes in all situations, can make occasional plays, but he’s not the fleetest of foot and now at the age of 32, don’t expect Bozak to find his stride once he signs a free-agent contract.

Also, Bozak can be labeled as soft and to some extent, he was exposed in the Maple Leafs' first-round series against the Bruins. It was obvious Bozak wasn’t up to the challenge in the game Nazem Kadri was suspended, forcing Bozak to play bigger minutes. The fact the Leafs are allowing Bozak and James van Riemsdyk to move on says they’re trying to cleanse their roster from the Brian Burke days.

The Flyers need to tread lightly here and not overspend for a player that may have very little left in the tank in two or three years. I’d be leery of signing Bozak to three years, especially at a price tag around $5 million.

I fully expect the Colorado Avalanche to come hard after Bozak, who owns an offseason home in the Denver area and also played his college hockey at the University of Denver prior to joining the Maple Leafs' organization. That seems to be the ideal fit.

Dougherty
The Tyler Bozak you remember from five years ago is not the Tyler Bozak that is entering free agency, unless you’re looking to massively misuse him like the Maple Leafs used to do. When Bozak was the top-line center on Toronto, it was when the Leafs’ roster was an eyesore. It put Bozak in the spotlight and in a role his talent level wasn’t equipped for.

That said, the past few seasons have been different. Bozak has slotted down to the third line as the Maple Leafs’ roster vastly improved and the centerman finally found himself a role. Bozak has posted 40-plus points in four of the past five years and in 2017-18, he had 43 points in 81 games while winning over 50 percent of his faceoffs, an area he’s always been solid in.

Ten teams are reportedly in on Bozak and I would be surprised if the Flyers were not one of them. Bozak is a veteran, two-way center with leadership qualities and a high compete level. The drawback with Bozak is his skating is not what it used to be and that could be a problem.

One area the Flyers have to keep making strides in is getting faster. They’ve added better skaters over the last couple of seasons. Because of that, the term on a Bozak contract is important. The Flyers have money to spend in the short term, Hextall said. With Bozak’s speed already in the decline, anything more than three years is a high risk.

But if the Flyers can bring Bozak in for two years, he would be an upgrade over Valtteri Filppula. He would slot nicely in on the third line. He’s a player I would imagine Hextall will target.

Hall
There's a chance a team might overspend for Bozak and it won't be the Flyers.

Should they be in the market for the 32-year-old? Of course. The Flyers need to improve their depth at center and in the bottom six, and Bozak would do both.

"You would like to find another centerman," Hextall said in late April. "You always look through the center of your lineup. Your goaltending, your D and your centers. If we could upgrade there, that would be great."

Bozak does a lot of little things well — he wins faceoffs, provides some secondary scoring and offers good intangibles.

However, he doesn't play on the penalty kill, an area the Flyers want to improve as well with a possible depth addition, and I can see a fellow suitor offering him a nicer deal — maybe one more year, a little extra money — than the Flyers.

More on the Flyers

Jeremy Roenick sells stunning mansion with full baseball field in backyard

isu0g9g5gqyrvr0000000000.jpg
Realtor.com

Jeremy Roenick sells stunning mansion with full baseball field in backyard

Jeremy Roenick first listed his Scottsdale-area home in 2012 and it finally sold last month. The weird thing is, his home could be one of the more beautiful Philadelphia athlete homes I have ever seen, and I have written up a bunch of them.

Originally purchased in 2005 for $3.8 million, Roenick listed it for sale in 2012 for a cheeky $11.7 million. It sold on April 1 for a final price of $3.3 million, which, when you see the inside and the backyard, might be an absolute steal.

Built in 1997, this seven bedroom, 7.5 bath estate of 18+ acres is one of the more stunning homes you’ll see. Everything on the inside looks custom, including the bathroom with a copper tub, massive closet and a bedroom that is giving off log cabin vibes. The property and views are truly stunning and the entertaining space is just as elegant as the inside of the home.

Outside you’ll find an open air dinning and living room with a very large pool. If you have kids, they’ll absolutely love the wiffleball field, which is complete with dirt infield, backstop and outfield wall. There’s also a three-hold golf putting green as well.

Just look at this place.

Congratulations to whoever purchased this home, it looks like a beauty.

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule, live stream: Blues can advance to Cup Final with Game 6 win over Sharks

usa_craig_berube_blues.jpg
USA Today Images

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule, live stream: Blues can advance to Cup Final with Game 6 win over Sharks

Craig Berube and the Blues are one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.

They can earn that victory Tuesday night when they host the Sharks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final.

Including the playoffs, the Blues are 49-24-8 under Berube, who took over Nov. 19 as interim head coach.

For some context on the Blues' run, St. Louis visited the Wells Fargo Center Jan. 7 with the same number of points as the Flyers. The Blues were 29th in the NHL at 16-19-4 and 36 points, while the Flyers were 30th at 15-20-6 and 36 points.

St. Louis has never won a Cup, but it's on the verge of being one step closer to a title.

Below is the schedule for Day 39 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. You can watch the entire playoffs on the networks of NBC. 

San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues (STL 3-2)
Game 6, Western Conference Final
8 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN | Live stream here