Tyler J. Altemose
Matt Walker rejoined the Flyers this evening for their contest against the Boston Bruins. It seems to have taken everyone by surprise, as there were no indications that he would be playing other than the fact that he had just recently begun practicing with the team.
Naturally, with Matt Walker off of LTIR and back on the active roster, there are cap implications. I'm here to keep you all up to date.
With Walker on the active roster, the Flyers are back up to 22 active players. Per the CBA, they're allowed one more (presumably Chris Pronger).
The Flyers are now spending $324,233 daily. The NHL daily limit is $319,355, so technically speaking the Flyers are overspending by $4,878. But they have daily LTIR relief in the form of Laperriere's daily cap hit ($6,272) since he remains on LTIR.
At the end of the day, the Flyers have $0 in daily cap space and $1,394 in LTIR relief. It was nice while it lasted.
For the record, that equates (technically speaking) to a yearly salary of $259,284. That means that once again the Flyers' roster is deadlocked. They cannot move anyone up from the Phantoms. It isn't like they would need to at this point though. They have Zherdev on reserve up front and Bartulis as the 8th D-man. But if a goaltender goes down...
Nevermind. We won't even discuss that. Let's all take a moment now to knock on wood.
Chris Pronger, still recovering from a broken foot but set to join the team tomorrow in Atlanta for practice, is slated to return as early as Tuesday. If he does, it'll render both Walker and Bartulis obsolete (technically speaking). Coming closer to the trade deadline, it seems to me as if the best option upon Pronger's return would be to waive Walker.
I said it before and I'll say it again: Matt Walker is walking the same path as Michael Leighton. Minimal time with the team due to recovery from injury, a cap hit that is higher than he's worth, and the perfect concoction of elements that gives the team a reason to send him to Glens Falls for the remainder of the year to recover and prepare for the 2011-12 season.
*** UPDATE (17 January, 2011 | 14:19)
It seems as if I've made quite the blunder when crunching my numbers. I don't know why the numbers clicked like they did in my head, but they did. Or perhaps I was thrown off by the fact that Capgeek still has Walker on LTIR. I don't know. Either way, here are the correct numbers.
The Flyers have $4,262 in daily cap space. They have a projected cap space of $394,063 at season's end if the roster doesn't make any changes (and by that they mean adding someone already not on the roster; this doesn't include Chris Pronger who, although on IR, is still on the team's roster and is being paid).
The way you get to the $394,063 is pretty simple. There are 83 NHL days left. Multiply that by the daily space the Flyers have ($4,262) and add the amount of cap space they've already banked up ($40,314) to get $394,063.
The Flyers also have $4,262 in daily LTIR relief. That much I was correct about. And again, that amount is simply the daily cap hit of Ian Laperriere who will presumably remain on LTIR the remainder of the season.
Altogether, the Flyers have $353,749 in banked LTIR relief space and 83 NHL days with Laperriere's $6,272 daily LTIR relief ($520,609). That combines for $874,359 in terms of yearly salary in LTIR relief.
So, literally speaking, the Flyers have enough space for a yearly contract of $394,063. Obviously that isn't enough for any acquisition because minimum NHL contracts for 2010-11 are $500,000. But with Lappy out (assumingly) for the remainder of the year, the Flyers technically have $1,959,406 in yearly salary they can acquire for the remainder of the season.
Either way, I'm glad I was wrong. Things aren't so grim as they seem.