This is a team that came oh so close to a title a year ago, and that will either mean a renewed fire this season or a severe hangover. The jury is still out on that one. I see a lot of positives in the Flyers; they get a full year under Head Coach Peter Laviolette who went 28-24-5 in a partial campaign last year. Better than that over the last 47 games the Flyers were 26-17-4. That is how this team got to the playoffs, and advanced so far, playing well late in the year.
Laviolette employs an aggressive two man fore check that relies heavily on good puck movement amongst the defensemen. The team should benefit from playing under this system from training camp on. They have a big time agitator in Chris Pronger, and they are looking for big things from RW Mike Testwuide. Mike is a 23 year old rookie who just finished up a Colorado College.
To win a Stanley Cup this season the Flyers will have to battle a little bit of history. Over the last 26 season, only one team has been able to win the Stanley Cup the year after losing in the finals. To combat this General Manger Paul Holmgren made a lot of improvements to the Flyers’ blue line, and made a surprise move by resigning Goalie Michael Leighton to a new two year deal.
Key Additions- D Dan Jancvevski, D Sean O’Donnell, LW Jody Shelley, D Andrej Meszaros, Nikolai Zherdev, D Matt Walker, and RW Greg Moore
Key Subtractions- C Jonathan Matsumoto, D Ryan Parent, LW Simon Gagne, D Danny Syvret, C Jared Ross