The free-agency period has been a pretty rough one for the Philadelphia Flyers, and it's clear that the team has problems on their blue line.
Ilya Bryzgalov had a difficult year for the Flyers last season, but it looks like they are going to be giving him another opportunity to prove that he can become Philadelphia's franchise goaltender. He certainly deserves another chance; one year just isn't enough time to adjust to a new environment.
On the other side of the coin, Philadelphia's forwards look to be in good shape for next year.
Apart from losing a couple of valuable players, such as Jaromir Jagr, the majority of the lines remain intact. The team has kept its most productive forwards, and there is reason to believe that there will be more production out of the younger players after their performances last year.
Then there's the defense.
The Flyers defense has had an offseason full of injuries and near-signings of free agents.
To be fair, there has only been one close call, but what a close call it was. It appeared as though the team was going to sign the highly talented Shea Weber, but his offer was suddenly matched. That had to be deflating to a large number of Flyers fans.
Losing out on Weber certainly hurts, but injuries are what is hurting the team the most right now.
Andrej Meszaros recently had surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon, meaning that he most likely won't be seeing the ice this year. And it doesn't look like Chris Pronger will ever be playing again after his post-concussion symptoms have refused to improve.
Adding Luke Schenn from the Toronto Maple Leafs will certainly help the team, but he isn't the kind of player that will change the outlook of the defensemen. The Flyers need the kind of player that has a high-production level and the ability to grow into his role with the team.
It feels as though the majority of the NHL offseason is over; however, there are still some quality defensemen on the market—the kind of guys that the Flyers need to take a look at.
Here are three players that could help fix Philadelphia's problems on the blue line.