Thursday, August 04, 2005
Jeremy Roenick is going Hollywood.The Philadelphia Flyers made salary cap room for Peter Forsberg by trading the outspoken Roenick to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. Free agent tracker
Los Angeles also receives a 2006 third-round draft pick the Flyers acquired from Nashville. Philadelphia gets future considerations from the Kings and space under the $39 million US cap to clear the way for Forsberg."Once we signed Forsberg, we knew we had to make a trade," Flyers general manager Bob Clarke said. Roenick was an obvious choice because he will earn $4.94 million this season. The 35-year-old centre waived his no trade clause to return to the West Coast.The gritty, energetic Roenick was a perfect fit in blue collar Philadelphia. But his colourful personality, sharp tongue, and long, blonde hair make him an ideal fit in Los Angeles, too. Roenick is best remembered in Philadelphia for returning to the lineup just six weeks after breaking his jaw and sustaining a concussion when he was hit in the face with the puck in 2004. He helped lead the Flyers to within a game of the Stanley Cup final a few months later.Roenick said in a radio interview Wednesday night that he would've liked to remain with the Flyers, but wouldn't stand in the way of letting the team acquire "the best player in the world."Roenick had 67 goals and 106 assists in three seasons with Philadelphia. A nine-time all-star, Roenick has 475 goals and 1,120 points in 1,124 regular season games over 16 seasons with Chicago, Phoenix and the Flyers. After signing defencemen Derian Hatcher, Mike Rathje and Chris Therien to free agent contracts on Tuesday, Clarke said he was done dealing for the summer. But Clarke couldn't resist going after Forsberg. A former NHL MVP who was originally drafted by the Flyers, Forsberg agreed to a two-year, $11.5 million contract Wednesday night. "When you talk about a player like Forsberg, sometimes you convince yourself this player is so good that he wasn't going to come here, but he gave us a chance," Clarke said. Forsberg said several teams, including Colorado, pursued him, and he declined a better offer from another club he wouldn't name. The Avalanche said they offered him the maximum they could afford, $13.5 million over four years. "They came in pretty late, but when they came in, I was very interested and excited," Forsberg said of the Flyers during a conference call from Sweden. "It's an organization that always shows they want to win. It's a class organization."Forsberg was part of the deal that brought Eric Lindros to the Flyers in 1992. Philadelphia sent Forsberg, four other players, two draft picks and $15 million to Quebec to get Lindros. While Lindros never lived up to high expectations in Philadelphia and feuded with management, Forsberg became a five time all star and was the league's most valuable player with the Avalanche in 2003.Forsberg led Colorado to Stanley Cup championships in 1996 and 2001. The Flyers haven't won a title since capturing consecutive championships in 1974-75."He would've looked good in orange and black the last 10 years," Clarke said.Forsberg has been prone to injuries, missing the entire 2001-02 regular season and significant parts of two other years. But he insists he's healthy and Clarke wasn't concerned about the past injuries. "If you play as hard and as physical as he does, you're going to get injuries," Clarke said.Philadelphia has been very active, drastically changing the face of a team that has been a perennial Cup contender.Before signing the three defencemen this week, the Flyers had created room under the cap by buying out the contracts of veteran forwards John LeClair and Tony Amonte. They've also signed highly touted rookie centres Jeff Carter and Mike Richards."We've improved on defence immensely and we've improved our centre ice immensely," Clarke said. "What that translates to, I don't know."