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It’s Philadelphia Flyers day on PHT

Aug 30, 2013, 9:05 AM EDT

Ilya Bryzgalov Getty Images

Throughout the month of August, PHT has been dedicating a day to each of the NHL’s 30 clubs. Today we wrap things up with the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Philadelphia Flyers had high hopes going into the 2013 campaign, but they also had some major areas of concern, the biggest of which was starting goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. His Flyers debut season in 2011-12 was plagued by inconsistency and his low points were emphasized by a wide array of unusual statements he made to the public.

It raised questions as to whether he could he adapt to life in a big hockey market and all the added pressure that comes with it. The Flyers needed him to be a major part of the team’s success given the commitment they made and in the end, he wasn’t able to come close to living up to those expectations.

That problem was magnified because the Flyers didn’t have a backup goaltender they felt comfortable with for most of the season, forcing them to continue to use Bryzgalov despite his struggles and even after fatigue set in. It wasn’t until they acquired netminder Steve Mason from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Apr. 3 that Bryzgalov’s workload lightened.

Even still Bryzgalov or the Flyers’ goaltending in general weren’t their only problems. Philadelphia suffered through defensive issues and injuries plagued them. It all cumulated in them missing the playoffs for just the second time in seven seasons and Flyers GM Paul Holmgren referring to Ilya Bryzgalov‘s nine-year, $51 million deal as “a costly mistake.”

Offseason recap

The Flyers started the summer with some cap issues due to the falling ceiling. Fortunately the new CBA provided the Flyers with two compliance buyouts and they had an owner willing to exercise them on Bryzgalov and Daniel Briere‘s contracts to free up a little over $12 million in annual cap space. They also let Mike Knuble and Simon Gagne walk as unrestricted free agents. Both of them are still unsigned and Knuble might retire at the age of 41.

Of course, Philadelphia did more than just get rid of contracts this summer. They added some major pieces and former captains in defenseman Mark Streit and forward Vincent Lecavalier. Those two signed sizable contracts that ate up most of their cap savings, but they were still able to address their goaltending needs by bringing back Ray Emery on an affordable one-year, $1.65 million contract.

As a result of their recent struggles, the Flyers had the 11th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and they used it to select defenseman Samuel Morin.

  1. cityofthechamps - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Days since Flyers last cup……… 13,975 :p

    • laxman1944 - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      get back under your bridge troll you have no powers here.

    • macgrubie - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Years till next declaration of bankruptcy of the penguins (quickly to be followed by being awarded 8 first round picks) …. 5?

  2. phillyphanatic77 - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Seems like PHT and NHL.com coordinated their “30 in 30″ pretty closely. Most teams were the same day. And the Flyers were close to last on both sites. Not complaining, just find it interesting (altho it did feel as if neither would ever get to Philly). I really hope September goes a lot faster than August bc October needs to get here already.

    Anyway, I don’t think many would argue that the Flyers haven’t clearly improved, it’s just a matter of how much. Personally I feel their roster is a lot more complete than a season ago. And plus the outlook this summer is much brighter as the Bryz clouds have cleared and they actually got the guys they targeted. Last summer was just one disappointment after another- Jagr+Carle walking, striking out on Parise/Suter,signing Gervais, and the Preds matching Weber. And those feelings seemed to transfer to an abysmal regular season after the dreaded lockout. It was just an unbearable year for Flyers hockey, but there’s so much more optimism around this season. Idk if they finish top-3 in the Metro, but I’m very confident this is a playoff team and they’ll get a wildcard spot.

  3. laxman1944 - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    They did well by not trading away youth……got a few battle hardened veterans ……..got a potentially great goalie on the cheap…..

    Not too shabby……..time will tell

  4. tjvalley - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    I’m an islander fan, and defensively, streit is going to hurt the flyers. He was the worst or top 3 worse in +/- every year since we signed him. He’s soft and bad defense in general. Good luck with that.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 30, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      He’ll be no worse in his own zone than Matt Carle was. And the Flyers were adequate to good defensively with him turning the puck over nightly.

    • narfmoo12 - Aug 30, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      Steit will be on the third pair instead of first pair. He is getting paid to move the puck and quarterback the PP, not be a top pair shut down defenseman. Huge difference.

  5. thebullyyears - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Been a Flyers Fan since the Broad Street Bullies era,Bryzgalov was erratic in goal,should’ve not been given a 9 yr $51 Million Contract.

    • jpelle82 - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      great contribution to conversation captain obvious….now go crawl back under your rock

      • stepanup - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        Yes his statement was an obvious one, but it was also an accurate one. Your only contribution was to be a dick. Looks like commenters are entering mid-season form already.

      • laxman1944 - Aug 30, 2013 at 4:23 PM

        Thanks for being your usual A$$hole self………much obliged.

        now go rip NJ for signing your man crush Jagr…….

  6. girouxed - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    FINALLY

  7. stepanup - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Their additions this offseason made sense. Puck-moving defenseman, second line center, and goalie depth. The Metro divison is going to be brutal, so I see them as the 3rd seed behind the Pens and Rangers. No easy games for anyone though.

  8. pitpenguinsrulez - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Unless your old as dirt you’ve never seen the Flyers win the cup, video games don’t count! The Flyers are good at one thing and that is disappointing there fans constantly but hey that’s nothing new in Philly sports with your Phillies, Flyers and Eiggles.

    • goodolejr - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      You’re correct in that a lot of us haven’t seen a cup win, as I’m in that boat. What we HAVE seen is continuous fan support that has kept us up with the top teams in attendance. I haven’t seen or heard any stories of the league stepping in to keep us from bankruptcy…have you?

    • ryanrockzzz - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      Unless you made fire with sticks you probably haven’t seen the last Pirates winning season either….

    • laxman1944 - Aug 30, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      Pittswhatever……You really do get off ripping Philly in general…..

      Other than your hockey club do you have anything in your life?????

      Seriously……it’s ok…….tell us……

      It is truly sad……oh well…….go jump in one of your rivers….you have 3 to choose from.

      • cityofthechamps - Aug 31, 2013 at 12:48 AM

        We have more championships then you do in total, and you have more sport teams then we do. Life here is awesome and beautiful. And its more impressive for us to follow our sport teams with as much pride as you do. Take Pittsburgh’s population to Phillys. Its so vast different in number. And another thing, how bout them Eagles? :p Any Super Bowl rings yet?

  9. goodolejr - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    A huuuuuge problem last year was that they had nobody to make that first pass out of the zone. Too many times a forward would have broken out of the zone for either a breakaway or just to drive the offense the other way, only to have the pass intercepted at the blue line. This year they have the ability to match a PMD with a stay at home type on each pairing. And they don’t have to have Coburn try to play on either the top pairing or as a puck mover. He’ll have a bounce-back year just on that alone.

    This is definitely a playoff team. All of the lines are actually pretty balanced and the top 3 lines look really good, on paper of course. I also think (mainly hope) this will be the breakout year for Schenn that everyone’s been waiting for. I’m excited for Flyers hockey, and just hockey in general really.

    Is it October yet?!

  10. pitpenguinsrulez - Aug 30, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Buccos are only 4 wins away from 81 and 5 from 82. All I want is to see a winner cause I was born in 1993!

    • laxman1944 - Aug 30, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      1993!!!!!!!

      That explains it………

      Thank goodness

      There is still time for the punk to learn a little humility and sportsmanship ………

      Doubtful though………Once a jerkoff…….always a jerkoff

  11. President Charles Logan - Aug 30, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    My Flyers predictions
    Vinny Lecavalier will have a really good season score at least 25
    Emery wins more games then Mason
    Voracek wont duplicate last year’s point total
    They will wind up trading one of the youngins for a veteran down the stretch
    they make the Playoffs .. they are at least a Playoff team , then you never know.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 30, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      I agree with most of that. Idk if Voracek repeats his PACE for points over a full season but I think he’s a sure bet for 60+… he’ll get top line and PP minutes with one of the best playmakers in the game. And they showed Jagr/Giroux-like chemistry on an underachieving, struggling team.

      As for Emery, I believe the franchise hopes that Mason takes the job, but there is certainly a chance Emery comes away w better stats. You know I’m a Mason believer, as he showed me nothing in his game to doubt him in a Flyers uniform. However, Emery is clearly the safer pick to be successful. Overall, I’m just ecstatic that I no longer have to sit on the edge of my seat waiting for the next weak shot to trickle through, as I did with Bryz.

    • laxman1944 - Aug 30, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      Not too shabby actually……

      Blue line still scares the heck out of me though.

      • President Charles Logan - Aug 30, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        Anyone think Hal Gill be a good fit?? is he still out there looking for a job?

      • laxman1944 - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        Lol……I’ve liked him for years BUT I’m afraid the big fella may not have much if anything left in the tank.

  12. jacketsfan7 - Aug 30, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    He re-signed a 2 year deal with Nashville I believe

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