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Grades for Each Philadelphia Flyers Free-Agent Signing in 2013-14

Brad KurtzbergContributor IFebruary 21, 2014

Grades for Each Philadelphia Flyers Free-Agent Signing in 2013-14

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    The Flyers unveiled their three major offseason acquisitions at a press conference last July.
    The Flyers unveiled their three major offseason acquisitions at a press conference last July.Matt Rourke/Associated Press

    The Philadelphia Flyers made three major offseason signings last summer. Now, with the 2013-14 NHL season hitting the home stretch, we can evaluate each of these signings and assign general manager Paul Holmgren a grade.

    The grades are based on a combination of this year's performance and expectations. The length and the value of the contract paid to these players is also taken into consideration.

    Obviously, these grades are subject to change as the NHL season continues and players' performances improve or fall off.

    Feel free to comment on these grades and to offer your own. As always, please indicate why you feel the way you do.

Ray Emery

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    Ray Emery has been a reliable backup goalie for the Flyers this season.
    Ray Emery has been a reliable backup goalie for the Flyers this season.Tom Mihalek/Associated Press

    Ray Emery was brought in to compete with Steve Mason for the Flyers' starting goaltending job.

    By the time the season started, Emery was firmly established as the backup netminder, and he's done a credible job at that position.

    Emery has a 7-9-1 record with a 2.91 GAA and a save percentage of .902. These are very average numbers for a goalie.

    Emery has recorded one shutout. It was an important game as it followed the embarrassing, brawl-filled 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals.

    This summer, Emery will again be an unrestricted free agent unless Holmgren signs him to a new deal.

    He's been a steady influence as a backup goalie but never truly was a threat to become the starter.

    Grade: B-

Mark Streit

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    Mark Streit was brought in to provide offense and quarterback the power play.
    Mark Streit was brought in to provide offense and quarterback the power play.Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press

    Yes, the Flyers technically acquired the rights to defenseman Mark Streit in a trade from the New York Islanders, but they still needed to sign him to a new contract, so he's included in this list.

    After the trade, Holmgren signed Streit to a four-year contract.

    Streit was brought in to help move the puck and quarterback the Philadelphia power play. The results have been mixed at best.

    In 59 games, the Swiss native has scored eight goals and 29 points. Four goals and 12 points have come on the power play.

    Streit's offensive production puts him on pace for roughly 40 points over the course of a complete season. That's a little disappointing for a player with a $5.25 million cap hit, according to Cap Geek.

    At 36, expect diminishing offensive returns from Streit with each passing season.

    Defensively, Streit has been disappointing, often coughing the puck up in his own zone.

    Streit hasn't lived up to his billing and is not a good value for his salary.

    Grade: C+

Vincent Lecavalier

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    Injuries have slowed down Vincent Lecavalier this season.
    Injuries have slowed down Vincent Lecavalier this season.Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    The Flyers signed Vincent Lecavalier to a five-year contract this summer to be a top-six forward and provide the team with more offense and some veteran leadership.

    Lecavalier got off to a strong start with the Flyers. In the early part of the season, when nobody on the team was scoring, it was Lecavalier who provided Philadelphia with some offense.

    But for the season, injuries have slowed down Lecavalier's production. In 46 games, he has scored 12 goals and 23 points. Seven of those goals have come on the power play.

    Inconsistency has been a big issue for the former Tampa Bay Lightning star. In the last 12 games, Lecavalier has just two goals and four points.

    If he can stay healthy in the future, Lecavalier can still produce better offensive numbers. So far, he has been too inconsistent to justify his contract.

    Grade: B-

Overall Grade

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    Paul Holmgren gets a mixed grade for last summer's signings.
    Paul Holmgren gets a mixed grade for last summer's signings.Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    The Flyers did not address their biggest needs last summer in free agency. They still lack some team speed and did not upgrade their core of defensemen enough to make themselves clear-cut Stanley Cup contenders.

    None of the three players brought in have fully lived up to expectations.

    Emery has settled in as an average backup which is OK. Streit has not produced as much offense as expected and has been shaky on defense, and Lecavalier has been slowed by injuries and inconsistency after a solid start to the season.

    This team needs to make changes to go from a playoff fringe team to a true championship contender. The attempts made last summer have not worked out as planned.

    Overall Grade: C+

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