The Philadelphia Flyers came into the offseason motivated to make up for a poor year.
Owner Ed Snider does not like to miss the playoffs, but that's just what happened, as the Flyers had goaltending issues and defensive deficiencies. They bought out Ilya Bryzgalov and tried to address their needs between the pipes by signing Ray Emery (one year, $1.65 million) away from the Chicago Blackhawks.
Emery shared the goaltending duties with Corey Crawford in the regular season last year and finished with an impressive 17-1-0 record. He did not get a chance to play in the postseason, but he will have an opportunity to establish himself and see if he is better than Steve Mason, who came to Philadelphia in a late-season trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Flyers traded for defenseman Mark Streit, who was scheduled to become a free agent, but they changed those plans by signing him to a four-year, $21 million contract. They also signed center Vincent Lecavalier (five years, $22.5 million), who had been bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Philadelphia was troubled by injuries to defensemen last year. The addition of Streit and the return to health of the rest of the defensive crew, along with the upgrade in the net, should make the Flyers an Eastern Conference playoff team in 2014.