Philadelphia Flyers: What Each Player Needs to Work On This Offseason
The Philadelphia Flyers have a long offseason in front of them. This summer, expect GM Paul Holmgren to make some pretty hefty changes.
The Flyers had one of the most talented teams in the league, but they did not perform. Injuries contributed, but some players that stepped up in last leason's magical run failed to do so in 2011.
Philadelphia, as a team, must become more consistent and limit all the mistakes they make.
Individually, here is what each player should work on this offseason in order to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Sean O'Donnell, D
The Flyers could not have asked for much more from Sean O'Donnell. The 15-year veteran survived the entire season unharmed and ended up playing 81 games for the club.
O'Donnell is certainly not the best defenseman on the team, but he does not make many mistakes when he plays.
O'Donnell needs to rest up and continue to work on his conditioning if he wants to play one more season in the NHL.
Matt Carle, D
Matt Carle had one of his best statistical seasons last year, recording a career high in assists with 39 and a +/- of 30.
Statistically, Carle was fine, but a lot of Carle's mistakes will not show up in the box score. Carle struggled without his usual line-mate Chris Pronger. Carle consistently made turnover after turnover in the defensive end.
Matt Carle needs to work on his puck control and limiting his turnovers in the Flyers' zone.
Andrej Meszaros, D
Andrej Meszaros had a good first season in Philadelphia after being acquired last offseason. He had a great offensive season where he notched 32 points, which is right around his career average.
He ended the season strong which brings even more hope for the 2011-2012 season.
Meszaros will need to get healthy after he will undergo wrist surgery this summer. A healthy Meszaros at training camp is all the Flyers need.
Braydon Coburn, D
Braydon Coburn's numbers continue to decline. He only recorded 16 points this season, but he managed to average over 21 minutes of ice time.
Coburn has shown flashes of greatness during his time with the Flyers. His problem lies with his inconsistent play. Coburn is a big physical guy who sometimes looks for the big hits instead of getting the puck out of the zone.
Coburn needs to be more consistent on the defensive side and must contribute more shooting on the offensive zone.
Kimmo Timonen, D
Like Coburn, Kimmo Timonen's numbers have declined ever since he came to Philadelphia. That does not mean that he has not been one of the better Flyers on this team.
Timonen is the second best defenseman on this team and for the most part was the leader when Chris Pronger was out with his injuries.
Timonen did not have the best postseason. In the Boston series, Kimmo had only two points and a minus six +/- rating.
Kimmo must get back on track at scoring and shooting from the blue line. The powerplay was not very good all season and you have to put some blame on Timonen.
Chris Pronger, D
Chris Pronger, when healthy, is still one of the best defenders in the league. The 17-year veteran is beginning to show signs of weakness, though, as he only played 50 games this season.
Pronger tried to return for the postseason, but was very limited due to his wrist injury. A healthy Pronger next season means another possible Stanley Cup run for Philly.
He must get healthy and continue to work on improving his shots from the point.
Darroll Powe, F
Darroll Powe is a restricted free agent this summer and the Flyers will do everything they can to resign him.
Powe is one of the leaders on the Flyers' penalty kill and has been for the last couple of years. Powe is still young at only 25 years old and if his offensive game can develop, he may turn into a second or third liner.
Blair Betts, F
Blair Betts is the only fourth liner that is under contract for next season. Hopefully his other two line mates return because their penalty kill was one of the best in the league.
Betts is great on the penalty kill, but when it comes to five-on-five hockey, he can sometimes get lost. He will need to work on his game when both teams are at even strength.
Daniel Carcillo, F
In the games he played this year, Dan Carcillo was horrendous. In 57 games, he had six points and a plus/minus of -14.
Now, Carcillo is not on the team for his offense, but he has to do better than that. He showed he can be a scorer by scoring 12 goals last season.
Carcillo needs to work on controlling himself mentally and also unloading his skills physically, especially on the offensive side.
Nikolay Zherdev, F
At the beginning of this season, Nikolay Zherdev looked lost at times on the ice. At times, he also looked brilliant. That is what the Flyers knew they were getting out of Zherdev and his $1 million contract.
Zherdev has been known to be a hit or miss kind of guy who is great one game and then disappears the next.
If Zherdev wants to be with an NHL team next season, he must work on his work ethic and mentally prepare to put 100 percent effort out each night.
Scott Hartnell, F
Scott Hartnell continues to be one of the best pieces the Flyers got in return for Peter Forsberg. He continues to improve on the offensive end as he scored 24 goals this season.
Hartnell has only missed three games in four seasons with the club so his durability gets an A+.
If he and his $4.2 million cap hit wants to remain in Philly, Hartnell will have to keep improving scoring-wise and also as a defensive forward.
Ville Leino, F
Ville Leino has quickly become one of the most improved players in the NHL. He has broken out in the Flyers system after he was acquired from Detroit last season.
Leino is a playmaker who loves to get the puck in other scorers' hands. He may do that too much though. Leino needs to be a little selfish sometimes and shoot himself. Leino makes a lot of great plays, but a lot of times, the other player is not even ready for the puck to be on his stick.
Kris Versteeg, F
Kris Versteeg was one of the more disappointing players this season. The Flyers paid a steep price to obtain him this season to help them offensively.
In 27 games, Versteeg only recorded seven goals and four assists. Maybe he just needs more time to adjust to this system, but right now, his $3.075 million salary for next season does not seem worth it.
Versteeg needs to improve his chemistry with the current players and fully learn and understand the Flyers' system.
Jeff Carter, F
After scoring 46 goals three seasons ago, Jeff Carter has only put up 69 in the past two seasons combined.
Give Carter credit for coming back in the playoffs after suffering his knee injury.
Carter needs to earn his big contract he received and improve his scoring efforts more towards his 2008-2009 season.
James Van Riemsdyk, F
James van Riemsdyk was hands down the best player on the Flyers this postseason. Van Riemsdyk was all over the offensive zone and scored seven goals in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
If JVR needs to do one thing, it is to carry over his playoff run to the 2011-2012 season. If that happens, JVR will quickly turn into a household name in the NHL.
Daniel Briere, F
Danny Briere had another great postseason run, but it could have been even better. Briere had seven goals, but could have easily had at least 10 with all the chances he got in front of the net.
Briere had arguably his best season as a Flyer this year. He was a plus 20 for the entire season, which is his career best by far.
Danny has to remain consistent on the Flyers' offense and especially on the power play. He needs to be a better finisher though and bury those chances when they come.
Claude Giroux, F
When the Flyers drafted Claude Giroux in the first round back in 2006, this is the player they hoped they were going to get.
Giroux had his best season of his career and made a name for himself around the NHL with his offensively dazzling skills.
Giroux must continue to improve offensively and he is another guy that has to take more shots. A lot of times he tries to get too cute with the puck.
Mike Richards, F
As the Flyers captain, Mike Richards has taken the majority of the blame for this year's team. Yes, Richards did have a bad postseason, but can you really question this guy's heart and determination on the ice?
Richards is relentless and always gives 110 percent whether they are up five or down five goals. That being said, Richards does need to become more of an offensive threat. He also needs to take control of the locker room.
Brian Boucher, G
"As the Flyers Goalie Carousel Turns." That was the theme of the playoffs this year between all of the Flyers goalies.
Brian Boucher was the veteran leader who eventually grabbed the "No. 1" spot. Boucher had a great regular season and then followed it up with some good postseason games.
Boucher likely will not be asked to start if he returns next season, so he will need to get used to coming off the bench on some occasions, which he is already good at.
Sergei Bobrovsky, G
Sergei Bobrovsky is the future of the Flyers franchise. He showed signs of being a No. 1 goalie in his rookie season with Philadelphia.
He struggled after being named the starting goaltender in the playoffs. Bob only made 28 saves on 32 shots in his first two games, with the majority of those goals coming quickly in Game 2.
Bob has to continue to improve and work on his fundamentals. As a butterfly goalie, he has the tendency to drop to his knees too early.