5 Headlines That Will Be Written During Philadelphia Flyers' 2013-14 Season
The Philadelphia Flyers are a team with a lot of potential, but also a lot of question marks entering the 2013-14 season, a season in which many different types of headlines could be written about the team.
With a young captain, two new goalies, a porous defense and two promising 21-and-under forwards, there is a lot of room for the team to either go way up or way down this year.
A lot of things will come down to the goalies and the team's health, both of which were epic failures throughout their disappointing 2013 season.
With so many talented players and interesting story lines, let's look ahead and predict what headlines could be written about the Flyers during the upcoming year.
Flyers Succeeding With Two-Goalie System
With Steve Mason and Ray Emery in town, there is finally some reason to be optimistic about the Flyers goaltender situation.
While neither have the look of a true high-end No. 1 goalie, Mason has a lot of upside, and Emery is a proven commodity.
Their ability to complement and push each other should bring positive results between the pipes in Philadelphia for the first time in awhile.
Claude Giroux Shows Why He Was Named Captain
Giroux had a bit of a slow start last season, his first as the captain. At only 25 years old, Giroux is still relatively young for a captain, but he is the unquestioned leader of the organization now.
He picked up the pace some and finished as nearly a point-per-game player, but the season was still a bit of a letdown.
Look for Giroux to bounce back in a big way and eclipse 90 points while showing the kind of leadership that makes him so special.
Flyers' Group of Right Wingers May Be Best in NHL
Jakub Voracek, Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds are all talented players already, but their capacity to continue improving is what makes them so special.
Voracek is almost 24 years old and is coming off a breakout season where he and Claude Giroux established a chemistry that should make opponents nervous.
Simmonds is almost exactly a year older than Voracek and continues to get better all the time. He works hard every shift, checking along the boards and battling in front of the net, but also scores more than most people realize.
Read is the oldest of the bunch at 27, but is entering just his third NHL season. He is a tremendous skater who works hard every shift and has been one of the Flyers' most consistent forwards over the past two years.
Free-Agent Acquisitions Providing Major Boost
The offseason signings of Mark Streit, Vincent Lecavalier and Ray Emery should prove to be fruitful for the Flyers, who were lacking in veteran leadership after buying out Danny Briere.
Lecavalier should slide into the second-line center spot, and Philadelphia fans will gravitate to him immediately. Streit will help pick up the slack on the defensive end, as he brings a lot of offensive ability which the Flyers were missing in 2012-13.
Emery is another solid veteran who has already played in Philadelphia and is well liked by the city. All three will help contribute both on and off the ice this season.
Flyers Looking To Bolster Defense
Whether this headline is at the trade deadline or the end of the season in anticipation of the offseason, this is an inevitably.
With Kimmo Timonen likely in his last season, the Flyers will have lots of extra cap space and a big hole on defense that needs to be filled.
Streit can step in somewhat, but he's 35 years old. Nicklas Grossmann and Braydon Coburn are also very upgradeable, and I expect Paul Holmgren to acquire a major player or two.