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"The Flyers and Beyond"
Dresher, PA • United States • 24 Years Old • Male
My name is Ryan Smith. I am 21 years old and a huge Flyers fan for life. This is my first article writing about the Flyers (and really about anything) so I don't expect much, but I do expect to get better as I go along.

Thoughts on the Free Agency Frenzy:

Just before the free agency frenzy began at noon on the 1st of July, it was announced that the Flyers have traded their 2012 2nd round draft pick for Tampa Bay's defensemen Andrej Meszaros. I was very worried about this when it was first announced. The first thing that came to my mind was "Jeez, I think this means we're not signing Braydon Coburn this year". This only worked out because we did sign Coburn. If the Flyers didn't, I think that Meszaros would have been totally useless and a waist of $4 million in cap space. Hes a very solid defenseman when there are other solid defensemen srounding him. Although you could say that's the case with anyone, the proof exists with him playing with Chára in Ottawa. With that being said, I am stoked about the signing of Sean O'Donnell. A solid and strong D-man who still has one, maybe two years left in him with Stanley Cup experience. With these signings/ trades, here is my defensive lineup opponion for 10/11 season:

1. Pronger/ Carle
2. Timonen/ Sean O'Donnell
3. Coburn/ Meszaros
Bartulis (7th)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this could possibly be the deadliest group of defensemen in the entire National Hockey League. If you can come up with a better top 6 than what the Philadelphia Flyers have, then please let me know. I'm dying to know who has better defense then the Flyers.

Now for a signing I totally disagree with. I want to know the person responsible for signing Jody Shelley. The reason I say that is because I don't think Paul Holmgren is that stupid. He is smarter than that. I understand we need a strong enforcer, but I'd much rather go for Carcillo. Although Shelley may handel the puck better, hes not as tough, does not score, does not pass, and can not be on the ice for a long period of time. Does this sound like a player you want on your team? I didn't think so. I know many people may disagree with me, but hey, this is what it's all about. I want to create discussion. Thats my beef on Jody.

There have been many rumors about Gagne waiving is no trade clause. At first, I thought this was a terrible idea, as I thought they asked him to do this to dump salary and get future draft picks. But then other rumors started coming out about getting Bobby Ryan, and possibly signing Turco, who I think would be a great addition to our team. If the Flyers don't get both of these guys and we get rid of Gagne, I think it would be a waist of a sniper, and another 20+ goal scorer gone for nothing. We need something in return, and someone that would deliver. Bobby Ryan, in my opinion, would be a wonderful addition to the JVR-Giroux line. This would be the ultimate 3rd (maybe even 2nd) line. Then you have Carter-Richards-TBD and of course the deadly Hartnell-Briere-Leino line.

Anyways, if the Gagne rumor is true, I just wish we get someone who can help us bring the cup in the 10/11 season, and not draft picks for the future. It will be a sincere waist of a trade, and absolutely pointless. Now lets move on to goaltending. Although I'm happy the Flyers signed Michael Leighton for another two years, I don't like (as of now) that he will be our starter, and I the fact he's making about $.5 million more then he should be making. We need to dump Boucher as soon as possible. Now I'm not totally sure what his contact status is (NMC/ NTC?) but I really think he needs to be traded or moved down to the AHL, and bring someone else in. If the Gagne rumor is true, then I'd hope Turco will be coming in, or even Evgeni Nabokov at a decent price, and keep Leighton as our backup. This would be the ultimate line of defense. With the solid blue line the Flyers have, and the potential goaltending the Flyers could have, I can see the GAA being less than 2 the entire season. It would be very hard to score against the Flyers and a very frighting offense if we bring in someone like Bobby Ryan.

All in all, I'm fairly happy with the way the off season has gone so far, and we're only about a month into it, with about three months left to go. Who knows what else the Flyers will do during the rest of the off season. Only time will tell.

Thank you so much for reading my blog post. I hope you liked it. If you didn't, (or even if you did) please, please, please send me some feedback! I have multiple contact methods:
@RJNSmith (Twitter)
[email][email protected][/email] (email)
http://facebook.com/RJNSmith (now accepting all friends)
http://rjnsmith.com/ (website launching soon)

Once again, thanks for reading! Expect an update from me in the near future, or after a Flyers trade/ major rumor!

- Ryan Smith
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