This is my first blog and I live and breathe flyers hockey so cut me some slack. haha After a disappointing first round exit at the hands of the pens, that saw the flyers get beat defensively and in goaltending, their main goal coming into the offseason was to improve the goaltending and blue line. Like many flyers' fans i was awestruck, angry, and about to start a lynch mob to homer's house, but after a few days i realized what a good move it was if the flyers win the treasured Stanley cup within the next few years and granted a Pronger extension. Here are the three biggest acquisitions of the offseason so far for the flyers.
I was always a fan of Ray Emery since his days of seeing him in the AHL playing against the phantoms. Whether it be his on or off ice shenanigans he was involved in, he was still one of my favorite players. I still love the Ray Emery and 70yr old lady road rage incident. After being exiled by the senators after a down season that saw the sens advance to the finals the year before to only lose to the ducks. Ray thought it was best to go to the KHL to clean up his act and at the time it was the trend of some NHL players like Jagr, Yashin, Zhitnik and so on. When I heard the flyers were looking into Ray Emery I was excited that he would be that missing piece to solidify our team. Watching the flyers press conference announcing the Ray Emery signing I saw a man that made mistakes in his life and cleaned himself up and homer giving him another chance. I look forward to the start of October and see what he can bring.
Like many flyers fans I was sad to see to Lupul and Sbisa and two 1st round picks to go especially when you never know who you can draft in the ladder stages of the 1st round; Simon Gagne and Claude Giroux are two names that come in mind. Growing up I loathed Pronger for his numerous cheap shots: elbows to heads, stomping, etc. My favorite was his demanding of a trade out of Edmonton after one year on his deal cause his wife did not like the city. Here's hoping to she likes Philly. Pronger was born to wear the Orange and Black and he brings such a defensive force to a team that has a shaky defense over the years. Chris Pronger is the real deal. Braydon Coburn is already a good defenseman, but under Pronger's wing his game will excel.
After seeing this signing I was like uhhh what? A 35yr old winger, but after watching a few hours of youtube videos and reading about what he can bring to the table I thought he was a perfect fit for the flyers. The one thing that stuck out most about Ian was not just his nose , which has more curve then a hockey blade, was his work ethic and his hate to lose. Many times the flyers would lose and have a hard time to rebound and come up short in much needed to win games or come out with another horrible effort. One game was the final game in the regular season against the rangers that saw the flyers lose home ice advantage in the 1st round of the playoffs. He also brings some much needed veteran leadership to the flyers, who lost Mike Knuble to free agency.
Some probable line combination for next year
I like this line because everyone on this line plays well on both ends of the ice. Gagne brings to the table a 40goal scorer and a very good defensive forward. Richards, what can you say, the man lays it out every game through leadership, determination and grit. This past season Richards became the only player to score multiple 5-3 shorthanded goals and he is only 24years old. In recognition of his defensive skills, Mike was nominated for the Selke Trophy (best defensive forward). I still think he should of won, but oh well. Giroux is a small, young player who played in 42games last season and put up 27points as a rookie. In the postseason flyers fan saw ''The razzle and dazzle" from Claude Giroux, who put 5points up in six games. Giroux has become a fan favorite with chants of "ROOOOOOOOOOOOOO" every time he touches the puck. Although Giroux is small in size he is a quick skater with good hands that i have seen "dang'l" around many a defender and keeps you guessing what he is gonna do next. When I see some of the passes and moves Giroux makes one other player comes into mind Peter Forsberg.
Briere had a disappointing regular season due to injuries that only allowed him to appear in 29 games. However in those 29 games Briere was able to post 25 points. In the post season Briere had continued success and posted 4 points in 6games. One downside to Briere's play is his sometimes "Lazy" play that sees him not back skating or poor defensive coverage. Carter had a breakout season scoring a career high of 46 goals 2nd to only Ovechkin. Although Carter had a disappointing post season that included missing a wide open net to put game 2 against the pens away and shifted momentum back in their favor. Hartnell is a grit player that can score goals and is not afraid to back down from anyone. Hartnell is most widely known throughout the league for his hair. Look for Hartnell to get some more powerplay time now that Knuble has departed.
Carcillo came to the flyers in a trade that saw electric and fan favorite Scottie Upshall traded to the Phoneix Coyotes. Carcillo comes to the flyers and fills another role of enforcer, but has some skill. Powe a graduate from Princeton University,came to the flyers via the Philadelphia Phantoms. James Van Riemsdyk was drafted 2nd overall by the flyers and is currently attending the University of New Hampshire. JVR came into the World Junior Championship and led team USA and all players in the tournament in points. JVR will most not likely make the team next year, but will either return to college or play in the AHL with the phantoms for a season or much as needed. Jared Ross is a call up from the phantoms like Briere and Giroux is a small forward with speed. Ross scored his first NHL goal against the pens in the postseason. Look for Ross to be a call up when there's an injury. Laperriere is one of the flyers signings in the offseason, that was brought in for his leadership and hate to lose mentality. Laperriere has spent the last few seasons with the Avalanche.
Asham is an enforcer, who contributes with a goal or scrap here and there. JVR, Powe, and Ross were explained in the above. Cote is one of the premier enforcers in the league for not backing down from anyone including the occasional beating from Donald Brashear.
Timonen is one of the flyers all star defenseman on the team since signing with the team a few years back. He can do it all play powerplay, penalty kill, defense, move the puck, etc. Coburn has a matured into a stud defenseman that the flyers acquired from the thrashers for Alexi Zhitnik. Panned out well for the thrashers huh? Coburn has had a regression this season and look for him to bounce back this season with Pronger bolstering the defense. Carle is good in the defensive zone and can move the puck to join the rush; what more can you ask for more?
Pronger is the ace that solidifies the flyers defense and arguably one of the best defenseman the flyers have ever had. Coburn and Carle see above.
Randy Jones is coming off a lackluster season that included many miscues that landed the puck in the flyers net mostly due to what many to believe a nagging hip injury. Jones had surgery over the offseason and here hoping he comes back to form and plays like two years ago where he posted 31 points. Ryan Parent is still maturing, but the flyers have seen some upside to his game as he mostly is a defensive defenseman.
PENALTY KILL 1
4 ON 4
4 ON 4
Thanks for reading
Bleed Orange N Black