The Flyers can’t seem to get anything right. At least that is what a lot of fans are saying these days. It almost seems like one can’t be a Flyers fan anymore without a little issue of some sort. They paid too much for Bryzgalov. They overspent for Mark Streit, and the contract is too long. Why the heck did they draft Samuel Morin? Why did they go after Vincent Lecavalier when are bigger needs are on defense. No one even knows who the starting goalie is going to be. The list of complaints seem to be growing by the day.
I know you can’t please everyone. There is an old saying that if you have a leader that tries to cater to all the wants of his followers then you will have a fool in charge of everything. Have they made some mistakes? Sure they have, and rightfully owned up to them. Not that Bryzgalov is a terrible goalie, but him signing here was a mistake. One that both Paul Holmgren and Ed Snider agreed to rid themselves of. Problem solved.
No wait…Who is going to be in net next year? You can’t go with the almost unproven Steve Mason. Well actually they are. Is he going to be the starter? Not even the front office can answer that one yet. My take on it is why not. He has the talent to be a very capable starter. I would like to see them acquire another younger goaltender with some pedigree to compete with him though. Someone like Anton Khudobin. He’s young ,and just like Jonathan Bernier, has put up some pretty impressive numbers in limited duty. Plus he won’t be all that expensive to obtain. Deep down though goaltending wasn’t our biggest problem last year.
They have done nothing to fix the defense!!! Nothing?!?! Mark Streit is no slouch. Yeah he is not a “shut-down” type defensemen but once again that was not one of the Flyers bigger problems last year. One of the biggest problems the Flyers had on defense was clearing the puck out of their own zone. Sure they would love to find a hulking defensemen that can not only remove bodies in front of the crease, but make smooth one touch passes out of the zone. Ladies and gentlemen, Chris Pronger is not coming back. Not next year. Not ever. Guys like that are so very few in the NHL. Holmgren tried his damnedest last year with Shea Weber and Nashville matched. At least they tried. Not many other franchises would have. In fact they didn’t. So here we are with Mark Streit. Is he ideal? No, but his strengths are exactly what they were missing last year.
This is who they draft in the first and second rounds??? Samuel Morin was first round pick in the draft this year by the Flyers. Robert Hagg was their pick in the second round. Both of them are defensemen; which is something that the farm system severely needed to upgrade. Alright I have to admit that I would have rather seen them draft Ryan Pulock. But the fact is that even he needs two to three years of seasoning before making the jump to the NHL, and even then he may never amount to much. With the exception of a select few; the draft is a total crap-shoot. Sam Morin might end up being the second coming of Chris Pronger and then all of this angst would have been all for nothing. Robert Hagg from what little I have seen seems to have some pretty good puck skills for a defensemen. So both of their first picks might be steals. They are both easily one, if not two, years away from even seeing time on the Phantoms. To some Flyers fans this won’t do. There is no immediate result so that must make it a failure. Check back in a couple years and then talk. Right now all you can is look at what skills they do bring to the table and hope they pan out. Which is what most general managers do when they make their selections on draft day.
Why did they spend all of our remaining cap space on Vincent Lecavalier??? 4.5 million is not a lot of money to spend on a player of his caliber. Sure he is not the same player he was 6-7 years ago, but he is still damn good. He will probably not score 40-50 goals in any of the five years of the deal, but 30-35 is a strong possibility. The money that teams were throwing out there was pretty much all the same. He chose to come here for a reason. He feels that this is the best place for him and the best chance he has to win at least one more Stanley Cup. Added to that is now you have a very driven player for the next few years. Yeah a five year deal might be about one year too many but that was the price they had to pay to get him. Other than the length I absolutely love what he could potentially bring to the Flyers.
We have no cap space now!!! How are we going to pay for a extension next year for our own free agents??? More moves are on the horizon. That much I can guarantee. It might mean that they move Braydon Coburn, Andrej Meszaros, or both. I have to say that I really wouldn’t miss either of them. Coburn is a good player. He is just not 4.5 million cap hit good. Meszaros had one really good year here, but all in all, not a 4 million dollar a year player as well. Both have some value. If they go, and one of them will, there is all the cap space the Flyers would need for not only this year but next year as well. Timonen’s 6 million dollar contract is up at the end of this year. And according to capgeek.com the Flyers are only on the hook for 13 contracts and will have over 20 million in cap space. That is not even taking into consideration the inevitable increase in the salary cap(some speculate that it might go up as high as 6 million)and Chris Pronger’s placement on long-term-injured-reserve.
So you see not everything is so dire right now in Flyers kingdom. In fact I think we all should just give it a little more time to see what the front office plans are. We are not even into free agency yet. Let’s all just take a deep breath, media included, and see what pieces Holmgren and Co. can add to next years puzzle because right now is a bit premature to say that things are falling apart once again.
A blind squirrel has to eventually find a nut.
Why wouldn’t I say that…I’m a Philadelphia Flyers fan.