Welp, another season and another disappointing end for Flyers fans. The worst type of seasons are the ones that end prematurely due to poor management.
There were a number of issues that led to the demise of the Flyers' season, but we're certainly not here to grasp at straws.
Instead, I will lay out my plan as if I were general manager of the Flyers.
1. Sign Ilya Bryzgalov.
I'm a huge fan of Bryzgalov for a couple of reasons: He's a proven veteran; he's a dominant force in net when he receives help; he speaks both Russian and English.
Through 10 seasons, Bryz has a save percentage of .916 with a .917 save percentage in the playoffs; that's pretty darn good. Did I mention that he also has a Stanley Cup under his belt?
Lots of fans want Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun, who is now a free agent, but at five years younger, Bryzgalov is a better bet.
The Flyers' goaltender of the future is undoubtedly Sergei Bobrovsky. He came up big a number of times, but also did a good job of exposing his flaws for the whole world to see. Bob's biggest flaw? Dropping to the butterfly too early.
Bryzgalov is a butterfly goaltender just like Bobrovsky. Bryz will aid Bob in the development department in that he will be a vehicle of communication between Bob and the Flyers' coaches.
2. Cut the excess fat: Scott Hartnell, Jody Shelley, Andreas Nodl.
Scott Hartnell is a waste of money.
Jody Shelley is useless when it counts the most.
Andreas Nodl is continually lost on the ice.
Scottie Hartnell turned off his "bullish" switch last season and is now annoying and costly to the Flyers in terms of penalty minutes as well as the salary cap.
There isn't much offensive skill associated with No. 19 in orange and black, and at roughly $4.2 million, he needs to go. Hartnell has a no-trade clause, so he will have to be released.
Jody Shelley was an awesome player and a trooper for the Flyers during the regular season. In the playoffs, however, Shelley barely played. He has zero offensive skill.
Sure, it's easy to afford his $1.1 million cap hit, but why pay a player to be your primary enforcer during the regular season? Seeing a pattern here? It's all about the playoffs.
Andreas Nodl is lost, insecure and misguided. So, in essence, he's like a teenage girl. Nodl thinks he's a big-time playmaker...but he's not.
Nodl thinks he's a grinder and a tough guy...but he's not. As of right now, Nodl is a restricted free agent, so I don't see the Flyers matching an offer for him.
3. Build back some muscle: Christian Ehrhoff, Erik Cole, Scottie Upshall.
A kid can dream right?
If Vancouver wins the Stanley Cup, they will most likely re-sign Ehrhoff. Heck, they'll probably re-sign him if they don't win.
At just 28 years old, Ehrhoff would be a SOLID pickup for the Flyers in the offseason. In 79 games this season, Ehrhoff had 50 points and a plus/minus of plus-19. He's durable and skilled.
Erik Cole was a rumored midseason target for the Flyers, but they instead went out and traded for Kris Versteeg. Cole isn't the greatest player on earth, but he's an affordable third- or fourth-line forward.
Scottie Upshall should've never left Philadelphia. He's a chipper, extremely skilled, and an opportunistic player.
Upshall never got a chance to get into a rhythm this season since he was traded to Columbus from the Winnipeg/Phoenix/InsertCityHere Coyotes. Like Cole, Upshall would be cheap and a huge upgrade for the second or third line.
This article sounded like the new Dodge Durango commercial, didn't it? Maybe not.
Anyways, Paul Holmgren will undoubtedly do something crazy, but predictable, so let's all sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
NOTE: Obviously, it's not possible to execute all of these moves. My intention with this article is to throw out some ideas of possible targets for the Flyers. With that being said, I have done some number crunching:
- Moving Jeff Carter would give the Flyers the best chance to sign other top-notch players since Carts carries along a $5,272,727 cap hit.
- Scott Hartnell would be the second-best option with a $4.2 million cap hit.
- As of right now, the Flyers have $430,845 under the cap.