2. Find a goal scoring LW (preferably with speed)
Dream player – Evander Kane
Evander Kane is 22 years old, 6’2″, 195lbs, has great speed, and already has a 30 goal season under his belt (and his prorated number for the lock out shortened season was 29 goals). He also has been shuffled all over the Winnipeg line-up and has not played with anyone on the same skill level as Claude Giroux. A line of Kane-Giroux-Voracek would be nearly ustoppable.
Scott Hartnell is a good player, but his days as a full-time, top line left wing are over. Michael Raffl gave Giroux and Voracek a boost here and there, but he is not the long term answer.
The fact is, both Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek are elite players, but they are also pass first players. Voracek’s amazing lockout shortenend goal scoring bonanza in 2013 was more the result of an outlandish (17%) shooting percentage than a harbinger of a goal scoring future. He will likely level out as a 20-25 goals a year player. A “pure scorer” on the left side of Giroux and Voracek would allow them to utilize their skill and passing ability.
The Flyers were also one of the slower teams in the league this season. They made up for it by being solid in other areas of the game. However, adding some speed to the roster would be a boon to their offensive production.
Realistic options – Jussi Jokinen, Matt Moulson, Evander Kane (maybe???)
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of good options out there for the Flyers in this regard.
Both Jussi Jokinen and Matt Moulson are unrestricted free agents this summer. Jokinen only has one 30 goal season (2009-2010) and may not even been a top line player. Moulson has scored 30 goals three times in his career. His 23 goals this season may not seem that impressive, but he played for three different teams and was unable to find a rhythm. When given the full year, on a line with elite players, there is no reason to believe that Moulson cannot put up 30+ goals.
Neither Jokinen nor Moulson has great speed, but they can both score goals. Thomas Vanek would be another option, but many believe that he has his heart set on Minnesota.
Ultimately, I would not mind seeing the Flyers go after Evander Kane (possibly packaged with Byfuglien, but the price already makes me shudder). However, they need to be careful in what they give up to get him and any deal for a winger should only come after the need on defense has been filled.
Tags: Philadelphia Flyers