After watching hockey games 5-7 nights a week for 8 months, the finals and then the summer are tough on the "Nothing on TV Withdrawl"! It is a little depressing and there is even less to read on the web!
This is one of the strangest summers for the Flyers in recent memories. There are some big name players on the market and Philly isn't mentioned with any of them. With the depth up front and in the system, they are concentrating on the defensemen on the market. I just checked Ek's chart and the additions this summer will appear to be minor, but they will have major impact next season.
* Is Carter trying to break the bank now? I am a little concerned that he has not signed yet. He will definately attract offer sheets if not signed. I am not sure if Umberger will. Cmon Jeff, sign the Flyers contract and keep this core together! The free agents that go the offer sheet route always struggle the next year or longer - see Chris Gratton, Thomas Vanek ....
* I have seen some rumors that Umberger might be dangled for a defenseman, I hope not. I love the tenacity and versatility that RJ brings to the ice on every shift. I saw this listed as trading RJ for Suter from Nashville. I guess you have to trade quality to get quality unless you are getting Cobrun from Atlanta for Zhitnik! Sorry I couldn't resist!
* I see that Hainsey is on the chart and the Flyers are interested. He is a nice quality player that many have not heard about prior to this. He would be a nice addition.
* I would like to see Hatcher retire and the Flyers not bring Jason Smith back. Both of these guys are quality hockey guys and never complain, but I think the time to move on is now. If this happens the Flyers have Timmonen, Coburn, Jones, Parent, and Kuukonen as the roster for now. They have Nate Guenin and Denis Gauthier from the Phantoms, but neither will turn any heads as puck moving guys. This is why it is not important to get the name guy, the addition of Sevryn last week was a suprise. He is very mobile, but I am concerned that he didn't already crack the Oilers roster.
* Training camp should be interesting up front. Is Gagne healthy? Is Briere a center or wing? Does Giroux make the team? Is Downie ready for big time minutes as a top 9 guy? Does Knuble still fit into the teams plans? Who will supply the energy now that Sami has retired?
I am planning to go to training camp in the fall and watch some of this in person. For anyone in the Philly area, I highly suggest a trip to Vorhees to watch the team practice, it is a great 90 minutes of hockey for no cost!