Simon Gagne
Simon Gagne, foreground, celebrates his go-ahead goal in the third period of Game 7 against the Boston Bruins on Friday, May 14, 2010, in Boston. The Flyers won 4-3. Michael Dwyer/AP

The Flyers appear to be determined to trade Simon Gagne to clear salary-cap space.

Let's forget, for a second, how it might be smarter to trade Jeff Carter because it would solve the logjam at the center position and because he'll demand a huge contract next season as a free agent.

Once you come to grips with the fact that they've decided to keep Carter and not Gagne, there are some interesting scenarios being rumored for how they will use that cap space.

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The ideal possibility would be to get one of the Kings' two good, young, cheap goalies in return for Gagne. Both Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier would be upgrades over Michael Leighton. Plus, that would free them up to acquire another forward such as Anaheim's Bobby Ryan (a Cherry Hill native), or possibly even top free agent Ilya Kovalchuk - far-fetched, but it has been mentioned.

But they're more likely to get draft picks back from Los Angeles or another team. In that case, the Flyers are likely to use that cap space to sign one of the two top-flight goalies left on the free-agent market, Evgeni Nabokov or Marty Turco.

Assuming they add a top goalie but not a top forward, that leaves only six good scorers to spread over three lines. The Ville Leino-Danny Briere-Scott Hartnell line appears set, so that leaves Jeff Carter and Mike Richards likely on the top line with grinder Dan Carcillo, and Claude Giroux basically alone on the third line again, unless James van Riemsdyk improves drastically in his second year.

That's not terrible, especially considering how strong the defense is and the potential improvement at goaltender.

Oh, and there is one more scenario being rumored, but I almost don't want to type it because it would be so stupid for the Kings and so amazing for the Flyers: Trading Gagne and Carter for Quick, star fowards Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, and top young defenseman Jack Johnson. According to this message board, it was mentioned on a radio station. No way it happens, but it's fun to consider!

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