The 2012 free agent class was headlined by players like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Various teams submitted huge offers to both players and they were the center of attention for a good period of time. In the end, both players ended up signing 13 year/$98M deals with the Minnesota Wild.
Next year's free agent class appears to be even better.
The Philadelphia Flyers are always a team that is looking to get better. While GM Paul Holmgren may have struck out a little more than usual this off-season, he will definitely come out swinging again next summer.
Reportedly, the Flyers should have somewhere around $16 million in cap space when next season ends. That gives Holmgren a lot of money to work with, and he is going to have a countless number of options when looking to improve his team next summer.
The marquee unrestricted free agents in 2013 appear to be Anaheim Ducks forwards Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Either player would be a huge addition to the Flyers offense, and I expect Holmgren to be very interested in both.
Perry, 27, at 6-foot-3, is a proven goal-scorer who uses his big size effectively in the right wing position. In 2010-11, he won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy for leading the league with his 50 goals. His production dropped last season as he had 38 points less than the previous season, but a 60-point season is nothing to be ashamed of.
Getzlaf, also 27, is the captain of the Ducks. He is a player who should easily be able to put up atleast 60 points every season. Last season, one which some considered a disappointment, he scored 11 goals and tallied 46 assists for 57 points. His playmaker style of play and leadership ability would bring a lot to the table for the Flyers.
Both Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf were members of the 2007 Stanley Cup Champion Ducks. They both know what it takes to win, so don't be surprised to see Holmgren make a push for either next summer.
There is a whole lot of diversity in the 2013 free agent class aside from Perry and Getzlaf. Among the young forwards that will attract attention around the league include Joffrey Lupul, Derek Roy, Ryane Clowe, Dustin Penner, and Stephen Weiss. Holmgren could try to reunite another pair of brothers by going after Kyle Wellwood of the Winnipeg Jets.
There will be no shortage of veteran forwards on the market either. Jarome Iginla, Milan Hejduk, and former Flyer and fan-favorite Simon Gagne are just a few.
The Flyers might have to go out and add a defenseman next off-season. They are in luck, because there are a few good ones on the market, Alexander Edler and Ryan Whitney to name a couple.
I would not be surprised to see Paul Holmgren pulling out the offer sheets again next off-season, as there are a couple really good restricted free agents. Amongst them, who I see as a great fit for the Flyers, is 22 year-old defenseman Zach Bogosian.
Things didn't go the way Paul Holmgren and the Flyers wanted them to this summer. However, they have tons of options to better their team when free agency begins next off-season. With a wide variety of forwards and defenseman to choose from, expect Holmgren to be agressive, and hopefully successful.
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