After the Flyers free agency acquisitions of Bruno Gervais and Ruslan Fedotenko the Flyers have filled some minor holes in their roster, but I think it’s clear the Flyers may have a move or 2 to make to put the finishing touches on their roster. The question everyone is wondering is – what will Homer do? According to him – nothing. Homer after the signings said the following – “I really like our team,” Holmgren said, “and I’m hesitant to look at anything where I’ve got to give up something (important) to get something back. We have a lot of good young players that have tremendous potential. Quite frankly, I’m happy with our team right now. That doesn’t mean we won’t look and see what happens.” That last line there means everything else I said before this could be a lie. Homer never closes the door to any potential move, but it would seem that unless they want to lose a major piece they will be unable to gain a major piece – as Homer stated. That just means he will need to get creative.
The roster as it is right now is not too bad, but it could use a big scoring winger to put the final touches on the offense. I think priority for Homer now is to figure out who is going to slide into Jagr’s position on that top line wing. As of right now the top 9 forwards look like this – Briere, Hartnell, Giroux, Schenn, Simmonds, Read, Couturier, Talbot, Fedotenko. That last spot is a little up in the air since Voracek‘s contract status is uncertain, but if he is re-signed he will be in the top 9. To me that seems like an awfully young and raw group of forwards. The Fedotenko signing, if it did anything, it brought another veteran presence to the forward group. Read and Couturier are virtually unknown and unproven. Although I believe Coots will be a solid NHL player for years to come it must be mentioned that it will only be his second year in the league so he can’t be expected to carry a large amount of the load. That will be G’s job. The thing is that he needs a scorer. He’ll do just fine potting the puck, but he is really a playmaker. If this guy ever gets paired with a serious 40 goal scorer watch out. And speaking of a 40 goal scorer (or almost) Birddog will need to carry over his play from last season to this season. If he can then that line will once again be one of the more productive lines in the league. Although that Homer has seemingly (or not) ruled out any more moves it would be preferred that they pick up a good sized scoring winger before the season starts. Yes that could be Bobby Ryan as he fits the bill, but it doesn’t have to be, nor will it be, if it costs Schenner or Coots.
Defensively the signing of Bruno Gervais doesn’t do a whole lot besides give the Flyers depth at the 6/7 defensemen slot and make Talbot happy (as Bruno is a good friend of his and Max will be his best man at Bruno’s wedding). Right now the 6 defensemen that would likely be on the Flyers opening night roster are Timonen, Coburn, Meszaros, Grossmann, Schenn, Gervais/Bourdon. If Bruno can hold down that 6th spot and be solid every night that would be take the Flyers a long way. When it comes down to the playoffs the team that is the last man standing will usually contain a group of 6 defensemen that can be rolled out at any time in any game. You can’t have a weak 3rd pairing because as the grueling playoffs wear on the first 2 pairs will have to carry that load and it will wear them down that much more. In 2010 one of the major reasons we lost was because we had a weak 3rd pairing and had to overplay our top 4. We wore down Timonen for years because of a weak 3rd pairing. It’s a must that we anchor that 3rd pairing before the season begins.
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