NHL Four-cast: Philadelphia Flyers
2 - Are they better or worse than last year? Worse. The Flyers let R.J. Umberger go despite a breakthrough postseason, just to keep the mediocre Jeff Carter. Vinny Prospal headed back from whence he came, returning to Tampa after putting up 27 points in 35 games with Philadelphia. Captain Jason Smith is in Ottawa, leaving a veteran leadership vacuum in the Philadelphia dressing room. They did bring in Glen Metropolit, a personal favourite since his time with the Jawz, but for all of his class, he isn't a cult of personality that can power this team. That will probably be left to Mike Richards and while he has the nasty skills, he has yet to pick up the mantle of team leader (perhaps give the C to Jim Dowd until Richards is ready?). They did add Ossi Vaananen and Steve Eminger to the blueline, but seriously, who cares? Now Arron Asham on the other hand ... he just seems to be making the rounds to antagonize the Rangers - first the Isles, then the Devils, now the Flyers - and he is a tough, hard working guy.
3 - Who should YOU draft in fantasy? Richards is a given, as is Danny Briere, who should bounce back from his god-awful -22 season. Carter and blue collar Mike Knuble should be good for 50 points each while Scott Hartnell and Scottie Upshall should get 45 each and grab you a good number of PIM as well. Kimmo Timonen is unspectacular but steady from the blueline while Braydon Coburn is turning into a solid fantasy citizen - 17 of his 36 points were on the power play, he was +17 and had 74 PIM. Marty Biron is the clear-cut starter and should easily repeat his 30 win performance with decent numbers, even with Vaananen and Eminger getting regular shifts in front of him. The wild cards on this team are Steve Downie and Simon Gagne - you just can't guess what you will get from them this year. Gagne can be a beast but is coming back from a serious injury to his head, while Downie seemingly doesn't have anything in his head.
4 - Who plans memorial services weeks in advance? Apparently the family of a friend of Eric Lindros. He used that excuse to get out of participating in a pre-game ceremony before the final Flyers game at the Spectrum. At least he didn't say he couldn't remember where the Spectrum was or his parents wouldn't let him go.
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