The ink has barely dried on the Flyers' magical, storybook season - one that ended on Wednesday night without a seventh chapter in the Stanley Cup finals, without a parade down Broad Street - but the players will begin cleaning out their lockers today at the Skate Zone.

Next season is less than 4 months away.

With the salary cap expected to rise approximately $2 million, pushing it to a postlockout high of $58.8 million, the Flyers will have to make at least a few interesting decisions. Before restricted free agents are signed, the Flyers have approximately $8.82 million worth of wiggle room.

Here is a player-by-player breakdown:

FORWARDS

DANNY BRIERE

Age: 32

Contract: 5 years left

Cap hit: $6.5 million

Chatter: With 30 points in 23 playoff games, Briere made a legitimate case for the Conn Smythe Trophy if the Flyers skated off with the Cup. For the first time since he arrived, Briere earned his lofty paycheck in the eyes of the fans.

MIKE RICHARDS

Age: 25

Contract: 10 years left

Cap hit: $5.75 million

Chatter: Despite a slanderous rumor that Richards struggled with newcomer Chris Pronger in the locker room, Richards proved his leadership qualities throughout the playoffs - on and off the ice.

SIMON GAGNE

Age: 30

Contract: 1 year left

Cap hit: $5.25 million

Chatter: Gagne battled back through a nasty toe injury in the first round, returning to the lineup a full 2 weeks before he was completely healthy to score the Flyers' game-winner in overtime in Game 4 against the Bruins. He has a no-trade clause.

JEFF CARTER

Age: 25

Contract: 1 year left

Cap hit: $5 million

Chatter: After returning from two different foot fractures, Carter struggled in the Stanley Cup finals, posting just an empty-net goal and one assist in six games against the Blackhawks. He undoubtedly will be subject to rampant rumors this offseason if the Flyers want a top goalie.

SCOTT HARTNELL

Age: 28

Contract: 3 years left

Cap hit: $4.2 million

Chatter: Hartnell transformed from regular-season scapegoat to postseason hero with 17 points in 23 playoff games, silencing the critics begging for him to be dealt in the summer. He has a no-trade clause.

JAMES van RIEMSDYK

Age: 21

Contract: 2 years left

Cap hit: $1.65 million

Chatter: Van Riemsdyk, who was a healthy scratch for two games in the finals, performed much better under pressure. With a modest 35 points in the regular season, the rookie's numbers weren't impressive but a big step from the NCAA.

IAN LAPERRIERE

Age: 36

Contract: 2 years left

Cap hit: $1.16 million

Chatter: Laperriere was the Flyers' playoff icon, depicting what their season was all about. He sustained multiple shots to the face this season and promptly returned to the lineup, even when he thought his season was over. He will be back and ready to block more shots.

DAN CARCILLO

Age: 25

Contract: Restricted free agent

Cap hit: $893,750

Chatter: The Flyers likely will be interested in re-signing Carcillo, who can expect a small raise or a contract for about the same money. He is also eligible for salary arbitration.

CLAUDE GIROUX

Age: 22

Contract: 1 year left

Cap hit: $821,667

Chatter: The Flyers' young phenom undoubtedly will be due a huge raise once his entry-level contract expires after next season. Until then, Giroux, who put up pedestrian regular-season numbers, will have to wait.

VILLE LEINO

Age: 26

Contract: 1 year left

Cap hit: $800,000

Chatter: At this point that the Red Wings would like to pick up the phone and a call a mulligan on their deal to send Leino to the Flyers for Ole-Kristian Tollefsen. If he can prove the playoffs were no fluke, Leino will be owed big money in 2011.

BLAIR BETTS

Age: 30

Contract: 2 years left

Cap hit: $700,000

Chatter: Betts signed a $550,000 deal on the first day of the regular season with the Flyers, after a tenuous training-camp ride. His penalty-killing and faceoff efforts were invaluable. He signed a 2-year extension during the season.

ARRON ASHAM

Age: 32

Contract: Unrestricted free agent

Cap hit: $640,000

Chatter: Asham could get bumped out of a contract by a young player the Flyers think is ready to contribute. His 10 goals and 24 points are by no means spare parts. Asham is well-liked in the dressing room and has the experience coaches are looking for in the NHL.

DARROLL POWE

Age: 24

Contract: Restricted free agent

Cap hit: $520,000

Chatter: Powe should return next season. With nine goals and six assists in 63 games, he can expect a small raise (to the $650,000 neighborhood) to stay with the Flyers. He is a solid fourth liner and experienced penalty-killer.

RILEY COTE

Age: 28

Contract: 1 year left

Cap hit: $550,000

Chatter: Cote was a healthy scratch for 62 regular-season games and all 23 playoff games but was kept around all season. He has a one-way contract for next season, meaning he will have to stick with whichever team he starts the season, Flyers or Phantoms, or be subject to waivers.

DEFENSEMEN

KIMMO TIMONEN

Age: 35

Contract: 3 years left

Cap hit: $6.33 million

Chatter: Timonen is getting older but is just as effective at shutting down top players as he was when he was traded here in 2007. Timonen's back is a concern, but he is the perfect No. 2 defenseman.

CHRIS PRONGER

Age: 35

Contract: 7 years left

Cap hit: $4.91 million

Chatter: Though he will earn $7.6 million in salary next season, Pronger will give the Flyers a $1.3 million relief on the salary cap since his 7-year, $35 million contract extension kicks in.

MATT CARLE

Age: 25

Contract: 2 years left

Cap hit: $3.43 million

Chatter: Carle put together a solid run in the postseason with 13 points in 23 games. He benefitted greatly playing on a defensive pair with Pronger all season, finishing as a plus-19.

BRAYDON COBURN

Age: 25

Contract: Restricted free agent

Cap hit: $1.3 million

Chatter: Coburn and the Flyers seemed far apart in the regular season on a contract extension. He is the Flyer most likely to head for salary arbitration, though his postseason play can only help him.

RYAN PARENT

Age: 23

Contract: Restricted free agent

Cap hit: $855,000

Chatter: Parent capped off a disappointing season as a healthy scratch for much of the Stanley Cup finals. When he did play, his minutes were limited and his weaknesses apparent. He could be a trade candidate.

LUKAS KRAJICEK

Age: 27

Contract: Unrestricted free agent

Cap hit: $700,000

Chatter: The Flyers could part ways with Krajicek, a player who was a midseason pickup. Krajicek could be heading to Europe if he doesn't receive any NHL offers.

DANNY SYVRET

Age: 25.

Contract: Unrestricted free agent

Cap hit: $575,000

Chatter: Syvret, a defenseman with obvious offensive upside, should garner interest from another NHL team this offseason. He was near a point-per-game player in the AHL this season while battling injuries.

OSKARS BARTULIS

Age: 23

Contract: 3 years left

Chatter: The Flyers were less than thrilled with Bartulis' progress after he signed a 3-year extension in December. It is a one-way NHL deal.

Goaltenders

RAY EMERY

Age: 27

Contract: Unrestricted free agent

Cap hit: $1.5 million

Chatter: No NHL team is expected to take a swipe at Emery this offseason. who had a career-threatening bone- graft surgery in January to alleviate a degenerative hip disease.

MICHAEL LEIGHTON

Age: 29

Contract: Unrestricted free agent

Cap hit: $600,000

Chatter: Some think the Flyers owe it to Leighton to re-sign him. Others aren't so convinced Leighton is the man who can carry the Flyers back to the finals. Someone, somewhere will be interested.

BRIAN BOUCHER

Age: 33

Contract: 1 year left

Cap hit: $925,000

Chatter: Boucher is the Flyers' only NHL-ready goaltender under contract for next season.

Others under contract

Jon Kalinski, Andreas Nodl, Kevin Marshall, Pat Maroon, Stefan Legein, Joonas Lehtivuori.

Notable expiring contracts

Mike Rathje (UFA), Ray Emery (UFA), Johan Backlund (UFA), Mika Pyorala (UFA), Jared Ross (UFA), Jon Matsumoto (RFA), David Laliberte (RFA).

Slap shots

Game 6 was the most-watched and highest-rated NHL game in 36 years, since the Flyers' 1974 Cup-clinching win over Boston. Stanley Cup finals series viewership posted its highest average in 13 years . . . Chicago forward Adam Burish, who was a healthy scratch in the last three games, couldn't hold back when asked by NBC about Chris Pronger. Burish called him the "biggest idiot in the league,'' adding that he "can't stand [Pronger] one bit'' and hopes he "never has to see him again.'' Burish and the Blackhawks will parade through Chicago's downtown loop today with the Cup . . . The NHL announced the order of the entry draft, which will take place June 25-26 in Los Angeles. The Flyers would have picked 29th in the first round, but that pick - and the second- and third-round picks - were sent to Anaheim last year for Pronger. The Flyers will pick 29th in the fourth (119th overall), fifth (149th), sixth (179th) and seventh (209th) rounds.

Odds to win 2011 Stanley Cup

(Courtesy of Bodog.com)

Chicago Blackhawks, 11-2

Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-1

Washington Capitals, 13-2

San Jose Sharks, 9-1

Detroit Red Wings, 12-1

Vancouver Canucks, 15-1

FLYERS, 15-1

Buffalo Sabres, 18-1

Boston Bruins, 20-1

New Jersey Devils, 20-1

Ottawa Senators, 22-1

Phoenix Coyotes, 25-1

Los Angeles Kings, 25-1

Nashville Predators, 28-1

New York Rangers, 28-1

Montreal Canadiens, 30-1

Colorado Avalanche, 30-1

Columbus Blue Jackets, 40-1

Dallas Stars, 40-1

Minnesota Wild, 40-1

Anaheim Ducks, 40-1

St. Louis Blues, 45-1

Florida Panthers, 50-1

Atlanta Thrashers, 50-1

Carolina Hurricanes, 50-1

Tampa Bay Lightning, 60-1

Edmonton Oilers, 75-1

New York Islanders, 75-1

Toronto Maple Leafs, 75-1

Key offseason dates

June 15: Deadline for first club-elected salary arbitration

June 22: 2010-2011 season schedule announced

June 23: NHL Awards show, Las Vegas

June 25-26: NHL Entry Draft, Staples Center, Los Angeles

July 1: Free agency begins

July 5: Deadline for player-elected salary arbitration

July 6: Final deadline for club-elected salary arbitration

July 20-Aug. 4: Salary arbitration hearings held

Aug. 6: Deadline for salary arbitration decisions

Sept. 10: Approximate start of training camp

Oct. 7: First game of season at Pittsburgh, Consol Energy Center