This is a response to this blog, by hockeybuzzard, ajm7719 that appears at:http://my.hockeybuzz.com/...30&post_id=14654
..................................................ajm, this is a fairly good take on the areas you covered. I agree with being patient with the young talent and trying to land a solid offensive d man. Meszaros has been disappointing, but when healthy he can be a solid top 4. Unless he's just damaged goods at this point, I don't want to just get rid of him without having a top 4 type who can take up the slack. It's possible Mez heals and comes back strong next season...but if a team is willing to trade us a 1st rounder or a good prospect, I'd have to listen.rnrnI'll go ahead and mention the now critical draft, where a dynamic/possibly franchise type player could be had. Seth Jones would be just the type of top D prospect the Flyers need. His skating, mobility and puck skills at his age and size is pretty rare. With his frame and sound game he could make the jump to the NHL sooner that later.rnrnThe Flyers haven't done a very good job in developing homegrown defensive talent. The Flyers focus in the the first round of the draft has largely been on forwards (mostly centers). The last top 10 pick the Flyers used on a D man was when they took Joni Pitkanen with the fourth overall pick back in 2002. Joni was talented but he never seemed to use his size often enough to appease Flyer fans. I remember one of the complaints some had about him was how he would often carry the puck up the ice and into the offensive zone before taking a "bad angle shot" or going around the net and not finding anyone to pass to. The Flyers would love to have that "problem" now. Joni had some sort of off-ice issues where he wasn't fitting in with the team (Fedoruk punched him in the face etc.)...I also remember he had a significant injury and was less inclined to be physical after that... the sentiment amongst the fans seemed to really move against him in the 06-07 season and he was ultimately shipped out of to Edmonton (with Snaderson) for the venerable Jason Smith and a young (if fragile) talent in Lupul. With the sky high prices puck carrying offensively bent two-way D men in trade (and actual salary), and the premium for them in free agency, it's becoming increasingly cost prohibitive (and difficult) to trade for or sign a top D man It is critical that the team do what it can to bolster this area through the draft and other channels. With that said, the Flyers defensive cupboard is not completely bare. There are some guys who could be NHL players with the next few years like guys like Oliver Lauridsen and Shayne Gostisbehere...but an elite prospect like Seth Jones could make a potentially huge impact. Beyond Jones, guys like Nurse (stronger and more physical but slightly less skilled version of Jones) and Ristolainen (solid two way game, with size to play sooner than later). There are talented forwards headlined by the talented duo MacKinnon and Drouin, but if the Flyers draft 1st, I think they should take Jones. If they miss on Jones, MacKinnon or Drouin, they should go with Nurse, at least from what I've seen so up to now (3/27/13). rnrnThe other critical area you didn't go over is coaching. Whatever Lavy is selling, the players don't seem to be buying. It's tough to lay blame at Lavy's feet, but NHL coaches tend to have short expriation dates and ot seems like the milk is going sour. Making a change, getting rid of Lavy, Berube and maybe Paddock and bringing in a fresh outlook could go a long way in resetting the team's mentality, helping them to get their swagger back and forge an identity as a team. If the Flyers are patient here, have a good draft, find a good replacement for Lavy and his assistants (I've seen enough of Berube and McCarthy), try and bring in top 4 offensive d man if a reasonable deal is out there...if they do all of that, I think they could soon find themselves a playoff contender once again.