One step is complete in the Philadelphia Flyers' long list of "things to do" this offseason.
A No. 1 goalie has been acquired (although he is not signed yet). There are many moves that have to be made this offseason and several more key steps that have yet to be reached.
If the Flyers want any chance at getting back to the Stanley Cup Finals next season, here are eight steps they must take in order to get back to their 2010 form.
Phase Complete. Since the early 2000s, and arguably before, the Flyers have not had a true No. 1 goalie in net. Not since Ron Hextall have the Flyers had someone that they could count on night in and night out to possibly shutout the opposing team.
In Ilya Bryzgalov, the orange and black finally have their man. Paul Holmgren, give this man his money!
Well the Flyers do not quite yet have a No. 1 goaltender. The Flyers only traded for the exclusive rights to negotiate with Ilya Bryzgalov until he becomes a free agent after the end of the NHL season.
Bryzgalov made $4.5 million last season and will almost certainly command at least six or seven million over three years.
The Flyers will have to trade some blue-chip guys in order to clear up some space, but it must be done.
If Chris Pronger was 100 percent in the playoffs, the Flyers would have had a different outcome this season. I'm not saying that they would have won the cup, but they wouldn't have won only four games in the postseason.
Pronger is the key piece to the Flyers puzzle and especially to their defense. With a top defender like Pronger and a No. 1 goalie, the Flyers will be pretty hard to score on.
Is there really something going on between Mike Richards and Chris Pronger in the Flyers' locker room?
Maybe it has just been an excuse made up inside the Flyers organization for their recent failures.
Regardless, there is always a little truth to every rumor and the two must co-exist in order to put the best product on the ice. This is Richard's team.
If the Flyers cannot sign Ville Leino, they will be backtracking in their path to a Stanley Cup.
Leino was acquired two years ago for basically nothing and has since flourished as a Flyer. He has shown glimpses of "Peter Forsberg" in him and would be a huge loss this summer.
I may be in the majority for saying this but....
I think Sergei Bobrovsky should spend next season in the minors. I love how he played this season in his first season in the NHL, but he needs to be an everyday goalie. He won't be able to do that if the Flyers sign Bryzgalov. It will just hurt his progression if he can only play 20-30 games next season.
I was one Flyers fan that was ecstatic when I heard that the Flyers acquired Kris Versteeg during this past season.
Now I am that same fan who wants him out of town.
He just did not fit in the system and really under-produced all season long. He disappeared in too many games. If the Flyers could swing him for another two-way player I would pull the trigger.
What Flyers fan doesn't like Simon Gagne?
Gagne, let's face it, will always be a Flyer. He had a decent season in Tampa Bay and may want to return to Philly for a hometown discount. That is pretty much the only thing that the Flyers could afford at this point.