Ray Emery is an option in goal. Hal Gill? not really. Bouwmeester? Possibly for the right price.
We could go on teetering and tinkering with names for the next several hours, but I have to admit this team is not close to dancing with those two partners.
Does anyone truly believe this Flyers team as it is presently constructed is as good as the two remaining dance partners in the Cup finals? Hardly. It may be so far away that one should invest in a telescope to secure the distance between them.
Simon Gagne? Too soft for me. I need someone who has Gagne's skill level, but is not reluctant to bang in the corners and grind it out game after game. Too cautious, not my guy.
Briere? Soft as a jelly donut. Skill level: slightly above average; again too soft, not durable, and appears to be high maintenance—i.e. Forsberg—not my guy.
Carter, Richards, Giroux? Yes, I'll take them; tough, poised, and highly skilled.
Hartnell? Does not care enough about his teammates. If he did he would stop the silly hooks and holds so Richards does not have to play 25 minutes a game. Not my guy.
Knuble? Again, a bigger body player, but just too soft, also too slow, can be replaced to get to the next level.
Lupul? Good skills, but again too soft and does not work hard enough in the corners and along the walls. His intangibles are poor. I can live with Lupul, but really not my guy.
Darrol Powe? Absolutely my kind of player. Gritty, fast, mentally tough, and highly competitive. A nice third line center.
Cote? Has to go.
Carcillo? Has to change his game. He needs to call Kris Draper and ask him how to play a fourth line wing position that can contribute offensively or more from an intangible pathway.
Coburn and Parent? I will keep them. Young, mobile, and solid defensively. I would like to see the both of them play more aggressively—with a snarl—by taking people out in front of the net.
Timonen? Smart and tough. I can live with him.
Carle? Again, too soft and does not play the way he needs to play—which is emotional, more physical, and with an edge.
Jones? Yes, again too soft, broken record folks.
Biron? Do I really have to? Mentally, very weak and poor concentration levels. Desperately needs a change of scenery.
This is a team with many holes and I am not certain Holmgren is the GM who can make the appropriate adjustments to get this team to the next level. I see a team that is immeasurably soft, mentally weak, severely undisciplined, and lacks those big-time, big-game changing players.
Talent notwithstanding I would be hard-pressed to see the Flyers take that leap next year unless there are some dramatic changes to the personnel on this roster.
Many of the pundits will disagree, saying the Flyers are close and just a few pieces away. Well, all I can say is take a good hard look, be true to yourself, and look at the two teams still at the dance party. There is much work to be done as I write this article.
Mental toughness, physicality, grit, speed, goaltending, and a killer instinct are a few of the deficiencies that are quite noticeable as I look through my telescope.