The St. Louis Blues have more salary cap space than any team in the National Hockey League today, more than $20 million.
The franchise is operating on a tight budget. But the new Tom Stillman ownership group would consider adding some salary this spring if the right trade opportunity presented itself.
So general manager Doug Armstrong has hit the road to survey some possibilities. His regular presence at Philadelphia Flyers games leads the Philadelphia Daily News to believe he doing some business.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren is feeling some heat with his high-paid team struggling. This man loves to sign players to comically oversized contracts and then dump them so he can sign different players to comically oversized contracts.
How Holmgren keeps his job doing this year after a year is a mystery, but, hey, good for him.
If Holmgren could convince Danny Briere to waive his full no-movement clause – which would take some doing – the Blues would have to at least consider the scenario.
Here is why:
A recent five-game point streak reminded us that Briere, 35, can still generate offense during the twilight of his career.
He is small (generously listed at 5-foot-10) but tenacious and somewhat versatile. It would not be hard to imagine him fitting into Ken Hitchcock’s system.
The Flyers could can $6.5 million in annual cap space by moving him. That would help this season and really help them handle the upcoming cap reduction.
Philadelphia could use the salary cap space to shore up their blue line, while is still reeling from the demise of Chris Pronger.
The Blues could afford the back end of Briere’s contract is not onerous. He will make $3 million next season and $2 million in 2014-15.
Holmgren just added old friend Simon Gagne for a draft pick, so that could help offset the Briere subtraction.
The Blues just lost forward Andy McDonald to a lower-body injury after losing Vladimir Tarasenko to a concussion. Their admirable offensive depth took a big hit.
Of course, all of this speculation means nothing unless Briere agreed to leave Philadelphia. Right now he does not seem so inclined.
For more on this story and other NHL notes and links, check out my post on STLToday.com.