A quick word about the Flyers' buyout of the Daniel Brière contract. A few posters use that fact as evidence that the player is useless and the team had given up on him, but there is more to the story. Agreed, he had a difficult season or two with injuries recently, just 49 points two seasons ago, and 16 during the lockout season.
What we have to consider is that with the amnesty buyout provisions of the new CBA, the Flyers suddenly had an option to get rid of Ilya Bryzgalov, which they did, but then had another amnesty buyout burning a hole in their pocket. They looked at their salary structure, and found that they could buy out Mr. Brière for relatively cheap, and get a whackload of cap space in the bargain. Because his salary had been heavily front-loaded, and the salary cap spread out over a number of years, they were facing two more years paying him $3M and $2M, but with a $6.5M cap hit for both years.
So, after doing some quick math, they realized that they could pay him 2/3 of the 5 mill they still owed him, which works out to 3.33 million total, and in return they get $6.5M of cap space for two years. Most if not all teams would jump at that chance.
So this was a case of a misuse of the buyouts, which Gary Bettman resisted for a long time but caved on. He feared, quite rightly, that teams would buy out players and dive right back into the UFA market, which is precisely what the Flyers did in turning around and signing Vincent Lecavalier and Mark Streit to generous contracts. His only solace will be that the buyout money falls on the players' side of the ledger, it makes up part of the 50% of Hockey Related Revenue they're guaranteed to receive, so they won't be stealing any more hard-earned dollars from Rocky Wirtz and Charles Wang than what they're strictly entitled to.