Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has done a remarkable job addressing many of the issues that plagued the 2010-2011 team: he has added team-first players, youth, size, and speed along the wings and a world-class goaltender in Ilya Bryzgalov.
Going into the free agency period, the Flyers still have quite a bit of salary cap space (by their standards), and the most logical question is what does Paul Holmgren plan on doing with it?
With the status of power play anchor Chris Pronger in question for the beginning of next season and no suitable option on the current Flyers roster, Holmgren may make a move to add some offensive power to the Flyer blueline.
Last season, the Flyers' defense corps combined for 22 goals and had only one player reach the 40-point mark (Matt Carle, 40 points). With a younger forward group, the Flyers are going to be relying more heavily on their veteran defenseman to help shoulder the offensive load, make quality plays through the neutral zone and get pucks to the net consistently.
Christian Ehrhoff is the best player available capable of doing all of those things at a high level. The smooth-skating German oozes offensive ability but tempers it with solid defensive play and sound decision-making in all three zones.
Ehrhoff's 51 power play points over the past two seasons place him among the league leaders and his ability to consistently get his shot on net should allow the bigger, stronger Flyer wingers to crash the net in search of rebounds.
Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Matt Carle and Andrej Meszaros all showed the effects of playing 24-plus minutes per game down the stretch. Ehrhoff would help lighten the load on all of them, which could pay tremendous dividends for the Flyers down the stretch and in the playoffs. At 28, Ehrhoff is just entering his prime and will be able to make the eventual retirement of Chris Pronger much easier to deal with.