So the season is over and the off season is starting with a fury. The Flyers will buy out Danny Briere and SHOULD buy out Bryzgalov in the next few days. I say this for the following reason, the salary cap has the Flyers pinned down and they need to exercise the relief that they can with the greatest impact. These decisions have less to do with performance and more to do with salary cap numbers. With these two moves the Flyers can achieve the most relief from the salary cap number.
So what should the Flyers do next? Trade for Bobby Ryan? Get Shea Weber? No, no, no! They should exercise something that has not been around Philly for quite a few years, PATIENCE! They have a good looking young goalie in Steve Mason and one in the Juniors. They have good looking defensemen (we all saw plenty of these guys last year). They have young forwards. Let them brew as a unit. Make small additions, not huge blockbuster moves.
Sign a veteran goalie like Ray Emery to help develop Mason. Get some wingers up front with size and the ability to cycle the puck. The best way to win a championship is to have a group of guys that grow together. I remember the knock on most of the players that the Flyers have let go. Handzus is too slow, Sharp not a top 6 guy, Carter – I have no idea on this one, Richards – see Carter, Seidenberg is not a top defender, Justin Williams is not a top 6 guy. All of these players are still in the NHL and have all won Cups with other teams in the last few seasons.
The great Flyers teams all had one thing in common, a nucleus that grew up together. The 70s had Clarke, Barber, MacLeish, Watsons, etc. In the 80s there was Propp, Kerr, Poulin, Sutters, etc. The 90s had Lindros, LeClair, Desjardins, BrindAmour, etc.
So let’s start something here with Giroux, Vorachek, Read, Hartnell, etc. Make small changes that are required by the salary cap era, but do not turn over 12 new guys again and wonder why there is no chemistry.