Checking in on the Philadelphia FlyersJuly 9, 2014, by
Last year: 42-30-10, third in the division. Lost to the Rangers in the first round
Key additions: R.J. Umberger, Nick Schultz
Key subtractions: Scott Hartnell, Adam Hall (likely)
Franchise direction: I didn’t quite know what to think when Ron Hextall replaced Paul Holmgren, but so far the new general manager has demonstrated restraint uncharacteristic of this organization. Yes, the Hartnell/Umberger trade was a little bit of a head-scratcher and the rampant rumors that Philadelphia tried to move up to grab the No. 1 draft pick were interesting, but all in all this has been an unusually quiet offseason for the Flyers.
Salary cap: Though it doesn’t look pretty on CapGeek right away, Chris Pronger can’t be placed on LTIR until the season starts, so Philly is actually in decent shape. The Flyers would love to unload Vincent Lecavalier’s contract and that may have prevented them from being as aggressive as they’d like this offseason. Still, they have a bit of wiggle room left this summer and every key player locked up for next season, too.
Prospect pipeline: Forward Scott Laughton has a great shot at making the team and there are also high hopes for former Union defenseman Shayne Gotisbehere, but the Flyers don’t have too many other impact guys on the cusp. Forward Nick Cousins is next in line. After them, there will be a bit of a wait for D-men Travis Sanheim, Samuel Morin and Robert Hagg.
Projection: Some atypical continuity might really help the Flyers this year, and Philadelphia does have some improving young players. The Claude Giroux fiasco was a weird way to kick off the new season, but Philadelphia should be right in the playoff mix again."Checking in on the Philadelphia Flyers",