An unwanted comeback
As for the Flyers' predicament of fitting Rathje onto the roster and under the salary cap, Rathje said he completely understands Holmgren's concerns.
"He told me what he had to do (by adding Timonen and Smith) and I understand that," Rathje said. "He was shocked when I told him after the surgery that I wanted to come back. But he never discouraged me. He told me straight up if I'm healthy I'd play."
Less than $1-million, certainly.
It's a huge concern for Holmgren, really, that this ill-advised signing from the Flyers' postlockout buying spree is still lumbering around the practice sheet, an unfortunate description of a guy who used to be a pretty effective player. And, who knows? Maybe he still can be.
But not at that salary, and in that condition. Not when this is a team that got young and quick quickly and is looking for a rebirth.
They can't afford Rathje's comeback to be successful — and I mean that in more ways than one. Especially when he's under contract for another two seasons after 2007-08.