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While Philadelphia's first line will clearly be the team's go-to line, the Flyers don't take much of a step backward at all when the second unit comes over the boards.
In place of the undersized and injury-prone Danny Briere, the Orange and Black have added sturdy centerman Vincent Lecavalier. At 33 years old, Lecavalier is no longer in his NHL prime but still presents a proven goal-scoring presence for Philadelphia.
Lecavalier has poured in double-digit goals in each of his 14 NHL campaigns and has managed 20 or more conversions 12 times. Furthermore, with a Stanley Cup championship on his resume, Lecavalier should provide the kind of veteran leadership that will help youngsters like Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn develop even faster.
Simmonds has been a model of consistency since coming to Philadelphia. In two seasons with the Flyers, the blossoming 6'2", 183-pound power forward has missed just three games while contributing 43 goals and 81 points during that time.
Like Hartnell, his size helps clear real estate for his fellow playmakers, and Simmonds has quickly become one of the NHL's premier front-of-the-net operators.
Meanwhile, Schenn, who came over with Simmonds from the Los Angeles Kings in the summer of 2011, has all the tools to quickly develop into an offensive force. He possesses exceptional skating and hockey sense. He has above-average playmaking vision and should eventually pour in 25-30 goals consistently at the NHL level.
There are certainly more question marks surrounding Philadelphia's second line than the club's top unit.
At 33 years old, Lecavalier is no longer the game-changing force he once was. His goal totals have been steadily on the decline since 2008 (he hasn't surpassed 30 goals in any of the last five seasons) and missed a total of 49 games due to injury over that span.
Simmonds may be a steady offensive contributor but he leaves something to be desired on the defensive end of things. The former second-round pick in 2007 has registered just one plus-rating in five NHL campaigns and doesn't possess the kind of skating and defensive acumen to receive much short-handed ice time.
Finally, Schenn has all the tools to be an elite NHL talent but, in two-plus seasons at the game's highest level, has yet to fully demonstrate what made him the fifth overall selection back in 2009.
Projected as a pure NHL sniper, Schenn has managed just 20 goals in 110 career NHL outings. If he doesn't take a significant step forward this season, serious doubts will begin to surface as to whether Schenn is the elite NHL talent everyone thought he was.