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30 Teams in 30 Days - Philadelphia Flyers Written by habsfan93 - September 8th, 2009

Over the course of 30 days, yours truly is going to take a look at each team in the league, examine their off-season moves, assess the biggest issue facing the team, highlight a player or two to watch for, and finally give an outlook on the season.

Next up, the Philadelphia Flyers.

Philadelphia Flyers
Season 5: 37-33-12-0 (3rd East, 1st Atlantic)
GM: tetreault29 (6th Season)

Currently Projected Season 6 Roster:
(Incoming Player in Bold, Rookies in Italics)

Dumont - Staal - T. Ruutu
Bergenheim - Plekanec - Perron
Glencross - Nielsen - Fehr
C. Adams - Lapierre - O'Marra

Souray - Barker
Vlasic - Gorges
Sarich - Finger

Emery
Halak

What They Did In The Off-Season:

In a Division without a clear leader, the Flyers strode ahead last year and won the Atlantic while putting up their best record since Season 1. Traditionally a middle of the pack team, the Flyers grabbed the opportunity stand out. The offseason did not start off particularly kindly for them though, as there was a mass embargo out of Philadelphia. 12 players decided to either retire or go play in Europe, including 5 players from the Pro level. Particularly painful were the losses of Jeremy Roenick, their 2nd best scorer, and Branislav Mezei, their top offensive defenceman. This left a lot of gaps for GM tetreault29 to fill up, which makes Season 6 a particularly challenging one for the Flyers. The nice thing is though, when the players leave, the salary cap space opens up and the Flyers had a lot of flexibility to work with.

GM tetreault29 didn't waste any time, and got to work quickly. Shortly after the Blue Jackets lifted the Stanley Cup, they sent Eric Staal packing to become the new face of the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Pavel Datsyuk. At only 24, Staal is already a franchise forward and GM tetreault hopes he will be the face of the franchise for years to come I'm sure. The next day the Flyers acquired former Calder winner Eric Fehr, coming off a down year in Montreal. If Fehr can regain his 60-point form, he could be a steal for the Flyers.

The Flyers were able to keep some players in the fold, including pending UFA Jason Blake. However, Blake would not stick around long, as the Flyers in turn shipped him to the Habs for depth defenceman John Erskine in a deal that had some GM's shaking their heads in confusion. Known for his larger-than-life contracts, GM tetreault next gave a 2-year, $3,000,000 a year deal to backup Jaroslav Halak, on the hope that Halak can become the goalie of the future for the Flyers.

At the draft, the Flyers did not select until the 3rd round, taking Quebec product Gabriel Dumont. They took another 3 players later in the draft, and traded for Alexander Avtsin after the draft in a deal with the Leafs. Unrestricted free agency, the moment we're sure GM tetreault29 was waiting for finally came around and surprisingly, a year after landing one of the biggest UFA players in Dumont, the Flyers struck out, landing only depth forwards Ryan O'Marra and Craig Adams.

So it seems, in the end, that GM tetreault29 is counting on the players that made strides last year (like Plekanec, Lapierre and Emery) and promotion of rookies from the farm (like Nielsen, Glencross, Bergenheim, Perron, Gorges and Halak) in order to defend the Atlantic division.


Biggest Issue Facing the Team:

Inexperience and Overcoming the loss of 120+ points. Roenick and Mezei combined last year for over 120 points, which is going to be hard to make up. The team is counting on breakout seasons from a lot of players in order to keep the Division in their possession. And most of those players are rookies. The most grizzled veteran on the team is probably 24-year old Eric Staal who has been to the Cup Finals twice now. The team counts only 4 players above the age of 30. On any team that young, there are going to be growing pains. How the team handles this will make or break their season.

Lack of Blue-Chip Prospects. The Flyers were devestated this summer by retirement and player refuge. And with all the prospects that are being promoted as a result, the cupboard is now looking a lot more bare than it used to. The only prospect in the system who could be considered blue-chip is Max Pacioretty. The Flyers may want to take a hard look at the long-term prospects for this team and shore up the farm system over the next 2-3 years.

Player To Watch:

David Perron - Perron is the rookie to watch in Season 6 on the Flyers roster. With explosive speed and puck handling, Perron has to be considered a front-runner for the Calder at this point in the game. Playing with scorers like Bergenheim and Plekanec, it would not be unrealistic for Perron to record 40-60 assists this season along with 15-20 goals.

Season 6 Outlook:


If any team in the Atlantic took a step backwards this year, it would be the Flyers. Of no fault to tetreault though, he is the unfortunate sufferer of a player retirement plague. I think the Flyers are going to be extremely hard-pressed to repeat as Division winners. We've already covered 3 teams that have as much talent as this roster. An inexperienced roster like this may have to jeopardize the playoffs for a year or two in order to develop before becoming a full-fledged threat.

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Comments:

Awesome read. I never realized how young the Flyers are going to be this year until I read this. The entire division will be dog fight down to the end, but it is possible that we might only see one playoff team from this division, that being the divison winner.

 

Next up, the Northeast!!!!

Written By: StajanFan (2009-09-08 20:00:54)

I'm keeping my money for resigning at the end of this season then I will know which money I have left from resignings all the others.

Written By: tetreault29 (2009-09-08 20:45:18)

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