NHL

Philadelphia Flyers

Division: AtlanticGM: Paul HolmgrenHead Coach: Peter Laviolette
2011-12: 47-26-9 (5th in East)
Goals For260 (T-2nd)
Goals Against225 (20th)
Powerplay %19.7 (6th)
Penalty Kill %81.8 (17th)

Last Season

The Flyers had one of the busiest summers heading into last season, making drastic changes to their roster. The moves seemed prudent as Philadelphia rolled through the regular season, hanging tough in the Atlantic Division and finishing fifth in the Eastern Conference.

The Flyers fell flat in the playoffs however, and it had to hurt watching Mike Richards and Jeff Carter hoist the Stanley Cup as members of the Los Angeles Kings.

This past off-season was a bit quieter as the Flyers made only one significant move in acquiring Luke Schenn for James van Riemsdyk and re-signed core players Wayne Simmonds, Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek. They did, however, come close to nabbing Shea Weber from the Nashville Predators with an offer sheet that was ultimately matched.

The 2012-13, the Flyers are firmly Claude Giroux's team and, seemingly as always, there are question marks in net heading into the season.

WHO'S IN / WHO'S OUT
Additions: D Luke Schenn, LW Ruslan Fedotenko, D Bruno Gervais
Subtractions: G Sergei Bobrovsky, D Matt Carle, RW Jaromir Jagr, D Pavel Kubina, LW James van Riemsdyk

Season Outlook

Prospect Watch

Two of the team's higher ranked prospects graduated to the big league last season in Zac Rinaldo and Eric Wellwood. Both will be expected to contribute more this season, but their advancement leaves the prospect cupboard a little thinner.

The top prospect could be 2012 first-rounder Scott Laughton. By most accounts, the big forward is still a couple of years away. Ben Holmstrom, another highly ranked forward, is more NHL-ready and could see some playing time this season.

The area where the team could get the most help from its prospects, though, is on the blue line. Erik Gustafsson will likely stick with the Flyers full-time once the puck drops again while Brandon Manning continues to climb the team's defensive depth chart.  

The Upside

Philly put together a very solid season last year built around a core of young players that are only getting better. Giroux (24) has established himself among the elite players in the league while Wayne Simmonds (23), Brayden Schenn (20), and Sean Couturier (19) are only getting better. Philadelphia has the young pieces to make sure they don't miss a beat anytime soon.

The Downside

Another year and the Flyers once again have to worry their goaltending will hold them back. Ilya Bryzgalov was supposed to finally be the remedy, but it's one year into his nine-year deal and the questions persist. After trading Sergei Bobrovsky this summer, Bryzgalov is the undisputed starter. The Flyers are hoping he can return to his old Phoenix Coyotes form and that last year's inconsistencies were just an anomaly.

Keeping Busy

A look at where Flyers players went during the lockout:

Marc-Andre Bourdon (Adirondack, AHL), Daniel Briere (Berlin, German Elite), Ilya Bryzgalov (CSKA Moscow, KHL), Sean Couturier (Adirondack, AHL), Ruslan Fedotenko (HC Donbass, KHL), Bruno Gervais (Fribourg Gotteron, Swiss Elite), Claude Giroux (Berlin, German Elite), Nicklas Grossmann (Södertälje, Swedish Elite), Erik Gustafsson(Adirondack, AHL), Matt Read (Södertälje, Swedish Elite), Zac Rinaldo (Adirondack, AHL), Brayden Schenn (Adirondack, AHL), Tom Sestito (Sheffield Steelers, BHL), Wayne Simmonds (Bili Tygri Liberec, Czech League), Maxime Talbot (Ilves, Finnish Elite), Jakub Voracek (HC Lev Praha, KHL), Eric Wellwood(Adirondack, AHL)



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