Ranking the Candidates for Vacant Spot on Philadelphia Flyers' Top Line

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Ranking the Candidates for Vacant Spot on Philadelphia Flyers' Top Line
Associated Press
The Flyers are seeking a new linemate for Claude Giroux.

During the offseason, the Philadelphia Flyers traded winger Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets for R.J. Umberger.

Hartnell spent most of last season on coach Craig Berube's top line alongside captain Claude Giroux and winger Jakub Voracek. Now, the Flyers have to find a replacement for Hartnell on their top scoring unit for 2014-15.

The winner will likely be determined in training camp, although if a player fails to produce on the top line, changes are always possible during the course of the season.

Here is a list of the top four candidates for the final spot on the Flyers' top line. They are listed in order from least to most likely, with a discussion of what each player brings to the table, what some of their shortcomings are and what their presence on the first unit would mean to the Flyers.

As a very long shot and honorable mention, we'll go with Wayne Simmonds, who led the Flyers with 29 goals last season.

With that said, slotting Simmonds into the top line would be putting too many eggs in one basket and wouldn't leave enough depth for the rest of the lineup. He is also a perfect fit on the second line for the Flyers.

Feel free to comment on any player on this list or add a player you feel belongs here. As always, indicate why you feel the way you do.

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