Thursday, May 2, 2013

2013 Philadelphia Flyers Season Review

I thought that this was a playoff team and I was wrong, as this team played far worse than expected this season. They boast a talented group of forwards, but their blueline took a significant tumble in the wrong direction. Their goalie was good, but not great, when he's paid to be better than just good. When Scott Hartnell went down with a serious injury early in the season, this team lost it's soul, from which they never completely recovered, even when Hartnell returned.

Jakub Voracek emerged as a star, which is good because Jeff Carter was 4th in the league in goals (Jakub finishing 8th). Claude Giroux is still among the top 15 players in the NHL (he finished tied for points with Zetterberg and Toews), though I am backing off my preseason assessment that he is top 5. Claude will be back next year at an absolute steal of a price ($3.5M). When Claude becomes a free agent at the end of next season, this team will owe him back pay, and they will pay it. In so far as Hartnell is concerned, his production last season may have been an aberration never again duplicated, which may or may not have to do with the departure of Jaromir Jagr.

Luke Schenn was a decent role player, unfortunately their greatest weakness was lack of high end talent to play in the top pairing. Schenn is a good guy to have on a 2nd or 3rd pairing, but he's not in that elite tier.
Kimmo Timonen is getting old. He might still be a usable defenseman, but he shouldn't be any team's #1 guy. Same with Schenn. Braydon Coburn and Bruno Gervais did not play well. They missed Matt Carle, even if Tampa didn't seem to improve much by getting him.

Preseason Rank: 6
Midseason Rank: 19
Final Rank: 18
GM Grade: D+

1st Star: Claude Giroux
2nd Star: Jakub Voracek
3rd Star: Wayne Simmonds

UFAs: Simon Gagne, Ruslan Fedotenko, Jody Shelley, Mike Knuble, Adam Hall, Matt Walker, Kurtis Foster, Kent Huskins
RFAs: Erik Gustafsson, Brandon Manning, Oliver Lauridsen,

Best Contract: Claude Giroux 1 more year at $3.75M
Worst Contract: Ilya Bryzgalov 7 more years at $5.7M

What I said about them in preseason:  Ilya Bryzgalov was a train wreck last season and Philly was still a top team. It can't get any worse, infact it will probably be a little bit better. Claude Giroux is now a top 5 player in this league. Their defense is not as good as it was, but Luke Schenn was a smart addition.


Philadelphia will be a lot like Detroit this offseason, trying to pounce on every upper tier defensemen who may become available. They are a Shea Weber or a Ryan Suter away from being a top 10 team, sadly there are no such players currently available. They will strongly consider buying out Danny Briere, who is not worth $6.5M per season. The Flyers have plenty of appealing young assets that they could offer up in a trade for a top tier defenseman, which you can expect them to try. If they are not successful in plugging that hole, then next season may be another struggle to even reach mediocrity.

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