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Defense was an issue entering the season and a main contributor to the Flyers' shortcomings this year.
With Philadelphia failing to sign star free agents Ryan Suter or Shea Weber this past offseason, the team began the year with a middle-of-the-road squad, led by Kimmo Timonen.
Timonen, entering his 14th season in the NHL and sixth with the Flyers, was still considered a quality blueliner. The rest of his mates were questionable, at best.
Luke Schenn, 22-year-old and brother of Brayden, was brought over in a trade sending James van Riemsdyk to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Versatile defender Andrej Meszaros battled back from an Achilles injury to start opening night.
As the team struggled with injured blueliners, the Flyers scrambled to piece together consistent line pairings the entire season. Though, the young defenders played extremely well down the stretch of the year.
Timonen (45 games): The obvious leader of the Flyers' defensive unit and most versatile blueliner on the team. Led all defenders with 29 points and signed a monster one-year extension to return to Philly next season. A
Schenn (47 games): Was probably the best defender for the team down the stretch of the season. He was extremely durable and dished out 187 hits—good for third in the NHL. Schenn did turn the puck over many times, but was very reliable this year. A-
Meszaros (11 games): Hustled back to recover in time for opening night, only to hurt his shoulder during the year. The Flyers sorely missed his presence on the ice. C
Gervais (37 games): The ex-Tampa Bay Lightning played average hockey all season. He had the worst plus-minus with a minus-17 on the year and averaged a little over 17 minutes per game. C-
Grossman (30 games): Grossman threw his weight around this year totaling 81 hits in only 30 games with team. He showed glimpses of promise before his season-ending injury. C+
Coburn (33 games): The most disappointing and underachieving defender on the Flyers. Before his season-ending injury, Coburn totaled 31 giveaways in 33 games. He was constantly out of position and beat on the one-on-one. D
Gustafsson (27 games): The young defender filled in nicely this season and even contributed offensively with eight points on the year. B
Foster (23 games): The ex-Minnesota Wild defenseman was another part of the rotating blueliners in Philadelphia. He contributed little on both ends of the ice. D+
Huskins (8 games): The Flyers traded away a conditional pick to the Detroit Red Wings for the mediocre Huskins. Yet, he played rather well for Philadelphia before being illegally elbowed by Montreal Canadiens' Ryan White and missing the remainder of the year. He has a chance to return to Philly next season. B
Lauridsen (15 games): Flyers' rookie may have proved some potential in the NHL. In only 15 games, he totaled 36 hits and 24 blocked shots. Some fine-tuning to his two-way play may make him a weapon on the ice. B
Manning (6 games): Another young blueliner who played well in his six games this season. Manning totaled 16 hits and four blocked shots. He also picked up two assists on offense. He may be given a shot next season. B