Happy Free Agency Day, and to Flyerdelphia's loyal Canadian readers, Happy Canada Day!
Flyers Five returns, after a too-long absence. This week looks at the best Flyer moves in free agency, following the 2004-05 lockout and the subsequent era of the salary cap.
Honorable Mentions: Ryan Kesler (2006) and Shea Weber (2012): The Flyers made offer-sheet splashes with Ryan Kesler and Shea Weber. Kesler's offer was for one year and $1.9 million, while Flyers fans were excited at the possibility of a stalwart defenseman in Shea Weber. Against all odds, Nashville matched the 14-year, $110 million offer sheet, leading fans of the Orange and Black to wonder what might have been.
5. Ray Emery 2.0, July 1, 2013: The Orange and Black signed Ray Emery -- one of the NHL's best comeback tales -- after his Stanley Cup victory with Chicago in 2013. Emery was brought back to the organization on a one-year, $1.65 million deal to back up Steve Mason, and posted a 2.96 GAA and .903 SP in 28 games. Between Emery and Mason, the Flyers invested $3.15 million in goalies -- a stark contrast from the $5.6 million cap hit to Ilya Bryzgalov.
4. Peter Forsberg, Aug. 3, 2005: The Flyers grabbed one of the most coveted free agents after the 2004-05 lockout in Peter Forsberg with a two-year, $11.5 million deal. Then 32, 'Foppa' went on to produce 19 goals and 75 points in 60 games on the 'Deuces Wild' line with Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble. However, injuries caught up with Forsberg in the disastrous 2006-07 campaign, and he was dealt to Nashville mid-season in one of Paul Holmgren's first big moves as GM.
3. Jaromir Jagr, July 1, 2011: When Jaromir Jagr announced his return to the NHL from the Kontinental League in 2011, many in league circles assumed he would return to Pittsburgh, where he cut his teeth. However, No. 68 stunned the league when he signed a one-year, $3.3 million deal with the Orange and Black, and enjoyed a 54-point season in 73 games alongside Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell.
2. Scott Hartnell/Kimmo Timonen, June 18, 2007: Paul Holmgren plucked the free-agent rights to Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen from Nashville, and signed them to six-year contracts worth $25.2 million and $38 million, respectively. Both players went on to become integral to the team's core, as well as alternate captains -- up until Hartnell was traded last Monday -- and nearly enjoyed Stanley Cup success in 2010.
1. Daniel Briere, July 1, 2007: The Flyers snagged another of the league's coveted free agents in 2007, when they signed Danny Briere to an eight-year, $52 million contract after a 95-point campaign with Buffalo. Despite multiple injury setbacks, Briere was prodcutive in his six-year run with the Orange and Black, scoring 283 points. His 79 points in 68 playoff games with the team also contributed to his 'Mr. Playoffs' moniker.
Be sure to follow along with Flyerdelphia for complete coverage of the free agency period.
Rob Riches is a writer for Flyerdelphia, where he contributes the Flyers Five column. Follow Rob on Twitter @Riches61.