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"I'm not a know-it-all, I'm just opinionated"
Wernersville, PA • United States • 43 Years Old • Male
Ok, so everybody else is writing a blog now, so I guess i'd better do one too so everyone knows how I feel about the upcoming season. I guess the best way to describe my feelings about the upcoming season is to say that I am cautiously optimistic. I am very happy about the additions that Homer made and despite what anyone says, I don't think he overpaid at all. He paid what he felt it would take to lock up the players that he felt would best help the team come back from the worst season in team history. So, here are my feelings about the individual players:

Kimmo Timmonen - I think Homer knew that he was going to get rid of Pitkanen and had to get a quality offensive D-man to replace him. I think he picked the best one out there that had a well-rounded game to offer. Sure, he could have went after Souray and he may have put up more points, but he's also very one dimensional. Kimmo is going to bring a ton of experience and leadership to a defense corps that is going to be much improved this year. I think we have a real nice balance of young studs and crafty veterans now. I am also hoping that Kimmo will help his brother to develop into another quality d-man. I'm looking for Kimmo to lead the powerplay and hopefully put up 50-60 points. I feel this was an excellent addition to the team.

Scott Hartnell - This is a classic case of paying based on potential and I really feel that he will live up to that contract. I know that alot of people feel that this was the deal that screwed up Free Agency for this offseason, but I don't feel that way. I think this kid fits the Flyers mold to perfection. He is a classic Flyers power forward. I look for him to get top line minutes at some point in the season and put up good numbers. I feel that 40-50 points is very realistic. Also a very good addition to the team.

Daniel Briere - I'll be honest. He's not the guy I wanted. I really wanted Homer to target Scott Gomez. I really felt that he was the playmaking center that we needed to go with Gagne. But, that said, since the acquisition was made I have been convinced that he is the guy. Obviously, everyone knows he's a great player. His speed and craftiness will be a welcome addition to a team that hasn't had much of that in quite a while. I just hope that he can fit into the system that Stevens puts together. I am really hoping that they twist the system around to fit his style of game. I am hoping that he can put together another 100 point season and really turn Gagne into the player we have all thought he could be. If Briere brings all he is touted to bring, I can see Gagne breaking out and finally getting that 50 goals and maybe 70-80 points total. This center wing combo is the key to the season in my opinion, well that and everyone staying healthy for more than 2 weeks.

Jason Smith - I have to admit, I don't know too much about Ole Gator. Living on the East Coast, and having a 9 month old baby I don't get to stay up and watch too many Western Conference games. So, I pretty much have to go by what I've read. Sounds like this guy is an incredible leader and would do anything for his team. Maybe not the most skilled defensman in the league, but will sacrifice his body to block shots (which we need since Kukkonen is the only one who will do it consistently) and will get dirty if necessary. Won't put up any points but will still be a valuable stabilizing force back on the Blueline.

Joffrey Lupul - This is the enigma. This is the guy that everyone seems to be torn on. Had an awesome first year with Anaheim, then gets shipped home to Edmonton for Chris Pronger and melts away into non-existence. Homer made a point in the presser yesterday to kind of call him out in my opinion. He kept saying "he needs to do this, and he needs to do that". In my opinion, he needs to settle down, find his groove and be a solid second line winger. I think if the coaches don't put too much pressure on him in his first year here, he can put up some pretty solid numbers. I'm looking for 30 goals, 20 assists. If he is anywhere in the 50 point range, I will be happy.

So, this brings me to what I think the results will be. I don't have any delusions that we are a Stanley Cup contender. I do feel that we are a legitimate playoff team though. I think we will finish 3rd in the Atlantic, just behind the Rangers and Penguins (Man, that hurts to say). I think we will finish with 97 points. I think we will be the #7 seed in the east. We will beat the Rangers in the first round and lose to Ottawa in the second round. All in all, it will be a good warm-up, get to know you season for all these new guys. Look out for The Flyers in 08-09. I think they are a legitimate contender that year. I know I have said in the past that if you don't win the cup the season is a failure, and I do believe that, but we're not winning the cup this year, so I'm not going to get my hopes that high.

That's my two cents. This is my first ever blog, so be gentle with your comments please : )
Filed Under:   Flyers   Timonen   Smith   Briere   Hartnell   Gagne   Lupul  
August 14, 2007 4:04 PM ET | Delete
August 14, 2007 6:24 PM ET | Delete
Quality blog. With the exception of Timmonen, whom I can't comment on intelligently but think is a quality player, I fully agree with your player assessments. Seeing Smith and Lupul a lot the last few years in the West, you are pretty well spot on with those two. Smith is a classic "wood chopper" in the mold of Keith Carney, Darrien Hatcher, Sean Hill, and Matt Greene. Smith may be Captain Chopper. These guys know how to lay the lumber on an opponents arms and wrists and disrupt their puck handling and shooting. They know how to stop the skilled players with their sticks and are highly effective defensively at getting them off their game. Lupul, you are right. He is an enigma. He was fairly talented here in Anaheim. I would not say he was awesome or dominant. We are all quite thankful that in the 2006 playoffs, he got red hot and lit up a coupel of teams with goals. He certainly caught the attention of the Oilers who gave us Pronger in the off season. He was one of the weakest defensively, but has a streaky scoring touch. I think with a few chemistry guys around him and some confidence, he could really develop into a good NHLer. Nice 1st blog.
August 14, 2007 6:30 PM ET | Delete
Thanks Ducksfan07, I appreciate it!
August 14, 2007 7:48 PM ET | Delete
Nice blog! Im not sure on Hartnell yet- give me 20 games and Ill get back to you...4.3M is too much for potential and I dont think it was a good sign at this time..but we will see. Lupul? I really think he needs a setup man to be effective (as does Carter) and I dont see them as complimentary players on a line....dont know if much can be done about that at this time though. I really hope Stevens doesnt pick captains right away and allows the new guys to settle in first so Smith has a chance at the C. Just my opinion.
August 14, 2007 7:57 PM ET | Delete
Nice blog. It appears at least 3 teams in the east have improved over the off season. The Flyers being one of them with one of the biggest off season signings and a huge trade to bring in a vet D man of Smiths caliber. They do still have a big hill to climb and the east appears to be a fight from 1 to 8 once again. I look forward to the season!
August 14, 2007 9:10 PM ET | Delete
Nice blog, CA. Here's hoping Briere exceeds all expectations and Lupul finds his scoring touch in Philly!
August 14, 2007 10:00 PM ET | Delete
The only guy I can speak on with any real knowledge would be Lupul. I watched him here in Anaheim, and I gotta tell ya, as happy as I was to see Pronger put on our sweater, I was bummed to see Joffrey go. I think it was unfortunate that he went to Edmonton, because from everything you here, that town in merciless on hometown boys who play there. With a few more years in the Ducks system, I think Lupul had the potential to be a true star. If he can recover from that Edmonton experience, I think you guys may be very pleasantly surprised. Good blog, and good luck this year!
August 14, 2007 11:09 PM ET | Delete
From what Lupul's said, a lot of his issues in Edmonton came with it being his hometown and being the key guy in the trade for Pronger. Lot of weight on a set of young shoulders. Good Blog.
August 15, 2007 10:51 AM ET | Delete
Nice Blog, agreed with most of what you said and I also see the Flyers as a 5, 6, or 7 seed with an outside shot at reaching the Conf. final depending on matchups and injuries.
August 15, 2007 12:00 PM ET | Delete
Don't forget the late season additions of Upshall, Kukkonen, Coburn, Biron and we may even see some action from parent... good blog tho... future looks bright.
August 15, 2007 1:40 PM ET | Delete
No offense RC, but I deleted both the comment by the moron talking smack on the Ducks and your follow up to it.
August 15, 2007 1:41 PM ET | Delete
I really do hope that Lupul finds his scoring touch again and can deal with the pressure of playing in Philly. He played well in the playoffs a couple years ago so he seems to be able to handle pressure somewhat. Hopefully that's all behind him!
August 15, 2007 3:54 PM ET | Delete
Thanks to everyone that left nice comments about my first blog! I appreciate it!!
August 15, 2007 5:44 PM ET | Delete
well done boss, keep up the blogs...............there is a future for you in these !
August 15, 2007 6:58 PM ET | Delete
Thanks OB18! I appreciate that, but I'm not so sure about the future. I just like to share my opinions.
August 15, 2007 7:37 PM ET | Delete
Nice blog, CAF. I'm not sure that KT will produce quite as many points as you project but he will be a key player. I also think Upshall and Biron will be keys. Homer has done a great job, no it is up to Rambo et al to mold the new troops into a winner.
August 15, 2007 11:53 PM ET | Delete
Old time Broad Street Bully Hockey is what the Flyers should do to win. The Ducks took a page out of Flyer history to win the cup last year
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