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Flyers players think they can go far with current core

May 4, 2014, 1:18 PM EDT

Claude Giroux Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers failed to make the playoffs in 2013 and they lost in the first round this year. At the same time, the fact that they even advanced to the 2014 postseason was an accomplishment given their 1-7-0 start.

“Coming out of that hole that we did, that shows a lot of character,” Vincent Lecavalier told CSN Philly. “And I believe we can play with the elite teams. Losing Game 7 was tough, but we could be won that game and moved on.”

Lecavalier isn’t the only one who believed that the Flyers had it within them to win Game 7 of their first round series against the New York Rangers. It underscore that this is a group heading into the summer with, as captain Claude Giroux put it, the belief that they’re “not very far” off from achieving great things.

“I think, obviously, it’s easy for me to say, ‘yeah,’ but I really believe in this group,” Giroux said. “If you ask anybody on this team, they probably think the same way.”

Which is important because the Flyers are likely to undergo tweaks over the summer rather than a significant makeover. The team’s only major unrestricted free agent is 39-year-old defenseman Kimmo Timonen. Even if they don’t re-sign him, the Flyers have roughly $64.5 million committed to 17 played for the 2014-15 campaign, per Cap Geek, so adding a big name player would be somewhat complicated.

The Flyers’ front office has shown a willingness to make bold moves in order to reinvent the team while staying cap compliant in the past, but with their current core still relatively young and seemingly on the upswing under coach Craig Berube, they might not feel the urge to do so this time.

Related:

Holmgren to remain as Flyers GM; what about Hextall?

Flyers brass wants more from Lecavalier next season

  1. flyerspsu - May 4, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    The Flyers have a lot of good pieces to work with, but no at the moment they cant go very far and have a very flawed roster, they dont have a #2 dman let alone a #1 and have one of the slowest, least skillful and lowest hockey IQ forward cores in the league, they really need to find away to change that but I have no idea how with Hartnell and Lecavalier signed long term w/ no trade clauses

    • upper90cheese - May 4, 2014 at 11:39 PM

      The Flyers had seven 20 goal scorers on offense this year. Not sure how that equates to slow and low hockey IQ. Agree with you on the lack of top pair Dmen though.

      • flyerspsu - May 6, 2014 at 11:50 PM

        B schenn, Hartnell, Simmonds and lecavalier are all at least one of those, Hartnell being all 3, Simmonds not having too much or great hockey IQ, schenn OK speed and not good hockey IQ and lecavalier being painfully slow

        That’s 4 of the flyers top 6, the gritty style can work real well, I.e. 7 20 goals guys and the 8th ranked offense but against good defenses like NY, NJ, Boston etc. It is really ugly and they can barely move the puck

        Defense is obviously the bigger problem but the flyers top 6 needs some revamping, the 2nd line is awful 5v5

      • flyerspsu - May 6, 2014 at 11:57 PM

        Simmonds not having too much skill*

    • gnashty - May 5, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      I’ve personally never really liked Hartnell and did not like the Lecavalier signing. Those two are a burden on this team. Hartnell slows down that G/Vorachek line.. On a line like that he should put up 30 in his sleep with the passes and plays those two make consistently. If the Flyers have a buyout clause remaining(Don’t remember if they do) they must buy out either Vinny or Scotty.

      On defense it is all type of messed up. Their best players are Macdonald and Streit. Those guys aren’t a #2 let alone a #1. Trading away a very good and still improving winger for Schenn hurts, hurts bad. Watching JVR and watching Luke Schenn makes me want to rip my eyes out! Holmgren while doing some good moves always makes an equally bad move. The Flyers had a winger that could play extremely well with G and Vorachek now they’re lacking that and they’re STILL lacking a good defensive player.

      I guess we shall see if Shayne and maybe Morin make the team next year and how well they play

      • dku5 - May 6, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        Hartnell was at the top of the team in Goals, Power Play Goals and Plus/Minus. He was a strong asset on the Power Play, and he was the man in front of the net setting up the screens for Giroux and Voracek. He takes too many stupid penalties, but I would not simply cut him for that. Lecavalier still put up 20 goals. That is not bad for a 4th liner on a new team. This not stellar numbers, but again, i would not cut a 20 goals just because. Macdonald is not a premier Top line D-man, but he is ranked in the top 50. I would not put him or Streit on the first line, but they are quality second/third line defensemen. Unless there is someone to replace them, why cut them? Morin is just 18, and still hasn’t found his role. He is big, and mobile, but he is not polished yet for the NHL. Gostisbehere may be ready if he adds some more bulk, but I am not sure he is a to line D man in the NHL.

  2. mikedoc315 - May 4, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    I think the Flyers biggest problem is defense,I think we are far from where we need to be on D. And the forwards need some help but no where near the amount the defense needs. It feels good as a Flyers fan to not be worrying about the goalie situation.Craig Berube has his work cut out for him but he has shown he is up to the task.

    • WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - May 4, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      In the four games they lost they scored 5 goals….I don’t think the Defense is as bad as everyone is saying. They just ran into a really good rangers team.

      • gnashty - May 5, 2014 at 10:32 AM

        Problem is they don’t have a defensemen that knows what to do with the puck. They can block shots with the best of them. But they have no one that can help out the rush with passing and or shooting.

  3. willycliffton - May 4, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    I think it’s definitely time to start aggressively shopping B Schenn. If he can be packaged for something with Hartnell or Coburn for a #1 or solid #2 dman I’d do it.

    If Timonen retires that opens up 2 possible D spots and if it’s Harts or Coburn they should have the cap room to fit someone.

    Vinny needs ice time (and full health) to return to being a competent NHL center and that ain’t gonna happen with Schenn or Cooter or even Laughton in the way.

    Definitely need better production from the wings too if anyone decent is available.

    • willycliffton - May 4, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      if it’s Harts or Coburn that leaves* they should have the cap room

    • flyerspsu - May 4, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Schenn, couturier and Laughton are all more valuable to the flyers than Vinny, vinny won’t be a viable #2 center for the rest his career probably

      • cheesesteak75 - May 4, 2014 at 10:29 PM

        At $4 million that’s a tough pill to swallow.

    • gnashty - May 5, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      I’m on the fence with B.Schenn. He’s an inconsistent talented forward that is still young. At times he is impressive at others you wonder why he is on a 2nd line on an NHL team. It reminds me of JVR a few years ago. Flyers traded JVR and I’m pretty sure every single Flyers fan if they didn’t hate that trade the day it happens hate it today. Do not make that same mistake with B.Schenn.

  4. mcphillthy - May 4, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Coburn, hartnell, and Vinny need to go. As should b schenn
    Getting harts or Vinny to waive their NTC/nmc is going to be hard but I’d they are willing to waive it I would package b schenn and a first rounder and either of them for a top dman. Wishful thinking, huh?

    • flyerspsu - May 4, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      If only holmgren didnt love giving out long term deals with NTCs, I’d add Grossman to that list of players that got to go and remove b schenn from it, his development has been frustrating but I’d only move him if it was for a definite stud man in a package

    • gnashty - May 5, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      Coburn, Hartnell, and Vinny all need to go, I agree. The whole B.Schenn things though – don’t agree with. Remember JVR a few years ago? B.Schenn is essentially the same exact story. Don’t make a mistake by getting rid of a 22 year old kid due to inconsistencies! Let B.Schenn grow he is only 22.

  5. Nofoolnodrool - May 4, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    Yup, if they get an early start they should be able to get 36 holes in.

  6. dirt2013 - May 4, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    1975 and counting……………

    • steelwarriors55 - May 4, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      To be fair though here is a list of teams that havent won since 75 or before:

      -Toronto Maple Leafs (67)
      -St-Louis Blues never won
      -Vancouver Canucks never won
      -Buffalo Sabres never won
      -Washington Capitals never won
      -Phoenix Coyotes/Wpg Jets never won

    • steelcity333 - May 4, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      But they beat the Penguins in the first round two years ago. That counts as something, doesn’t it?

      • President Charles Logan - May 4, 2014 at 7:11 PM

        lol i swear they live off that series , probably feels like their long overdue stanley cup to them

      • broadstreetbeatdown - May 4, 2014 at 8:30 PM

        Pens fans are the ones hung up on that one. Y’all should be more concerned with how the Bruins throughly embarrassed your team the year after the Flyers did. 2 goals…2013.

        Oh, and Dan Carcillo still has more goals than Crosby.

  7. President Charles Logan - May 4, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    brayden schenn was a no show in the rangers series … hes over rated and over hyped. and only you folks in philly put him on this high pedestal like the next coming of jesus. … also how far have ya’ll got in the playoff rounds since the self proclaimed victory you seem to think you stole with the carter richards trade?? ……………..lol………………………..nuff said

    • hockeyfan28 - May 5, 2014 at 12:30 AM

      You are aware they also got Courtirer, Voracek, and Simmons in those trades and also one of the top goaltending prospects in Anthony Stolarz with LA pick…you really shouldn’t live life through black and gold colored glasses the flyers own you guys move and worry about the Rangers

      • President Charles Logan - May 5, 2014 at 1:06 AM

        im not a pens fan hockey28, but the flyers dont own the pens either lol, dont talk nonsense

      • President Charles Logan - May 5, 2014 at 1:07 AM

        just stating the facts that these wonder boys they flyers got in the trade .. havent propelled them very far in the past 3 seasons come playoff time

    • gnashty - May 5, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      It’s funny. The same stuff was said about JVR.

      • President Charles Logan - May 5, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        JVR probably would have never flourished in Philly , seems like the pressure of being somewhat of a local guy got to him . Plus they branded him as the next big bad power forward

  8. flyboystransport - May 4, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    I’m stumped as to what they do. They need speed on th 1st line and 2 new dmen. ..One crease clearer THAT HAS A SHOT FROM THE POINT and a faster puck carrier

  9. bleedrangerblue - May 4, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    Ya think? Wow. Ridiculous story. We all know the Flyers have issues.

  10. President Charles Logan - May 4, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    and then kimmo timonin thinks or wants to possibly comeback and i read they wood welcome him with open arms?… are you kidding? when is enough enough ? he had a really good career up until this past season and part of last season… hang em up already!

    • laxman1944 - May 4, 2014 at 6:12 PM

      All right know it all…….WTF would you do oh mighty one??

      You talk…..talk…..talk…..

      So your Paul what are you going to do??

      • President Charles Logan - May 4, 2014 at 6:51 PM

        not bring back an aging slow mistake prone defenseman for starters … oh and isnt talking what this forum is for lax? … you”re a bright one lemme tell ya

      • laxman1944 - May 4, 2014 at 6:58 PM

        Replace him with WHO!!

      • laxman1944 - May 4, 2014 at 7:05 PM

        Last time I checked good blue liners don’t grow on trees and if you happen to have them you tend to keep them.

      • flyerspsu - May 4, 2014 at 7:49 PM

        the scary thing is he was still one of the best Flyers dmen this year

    • courtjester1234 - May 6, 2014 at 6:38 AM

      It’s would you friggin idiot. Were we’re there their they’re you’re such a douche you probably spell it doosh. Oh and you know nothing about hockey let alone the other pro sports I see you posting your illiterate thoughts.

      • President Charles Logan - May 6, 2014 at 2:21 PM

        you could read what i posted and i struck a nerve, thats a double win for me ! you get the jist im sure

  11. stakex - May 4, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    The Flyers have a lot of solid pieces to work with, but they currently aren’t a sound hockey team capable of deep playoff runs.

    • laxman1944 - May 4, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      Agreed, they have about 3 or 4 good blue line prospects in the minors but they’re just not ready yet.

      Figure 2 years and the blue line should be in real good shape. Hopefully they’ll stay the course and not trade away the home grown talent they’ve accrued over the past few years.

  12. claudegirwho - May 4, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    I love flyers fans thinking they’re gonna get rid of some of the long term ntc contracts. Not gonna happen

    • flyerspsu - May 4, 2014 at 7:48 PM

      i personally dont think they will nor do most Flyers fans, we are just hoping somehow they are able to, Hartnell absolutely loves it in Philly so I dont think he would but Lecavalier was on the 4th line for the last month of the season and really doesnt fit with the team so it wouldnt be far fetched to think maybe he would

      • hockeyfan28 - May 5, 2014 at 12:36 AM

        Coburn and Hartnell are tradeable but we are stuck with Vinny hopefully it really was injuries as has been alluded to cause man a 4 million dollar 4th line center geez

  13. whammy71 - May 4, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    Your season is over – go golf! No need to worry til July 1.

  14. durila1 - May 5, 2014 at 4:08 AM

    That group of f_gs. Should take up water polo.

  15. kastout11 - May 5, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    I agree that they are only a few pieces away. They definitely need to bolster their defense. I think Kimo and Grossman are gone. I think Gus and Ghost will fill those holes. They are set with centermen, they actually, have too many, if that is possible. They need a sniper. I would look at maybe acquiring someone like Vanek (a guy that just puts the puck in the net), but I am not sure if he fits Chief’s system. I would really try to package one or more of the vets (Hartnell/Coburn/Vinny) with maybe Brayden Schenn for a #1, but #1’s are not very available. Most clubs that have #1’s, try to hold onto them. Look at the money Homer threw at Weber and Nashville still matched it. AIthough it might be insane to say that a team that was eliminated in the 1st round is close, but I think they are not as far off as some might think.

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