Despite their offensive overhaul, Paul Holmgren managed to keep the vast majority of his defense intact. That means assistant captain Cool Kimmo Timonen and, the Boogeyman, Chris Pronger will be returning along with Andrej the Giant, Brayden Coburn, and resident punching-bag Matt Carle. Those five will be joined by either Andreas Lilja, Oskars Bartulis or Erik Gustafsson to round out the team's defense corps.
But why should the fans be excited to see the same players again? Because the Flyers will be returning one of the best (and meanest) defensive units in the NHL. Because Matt Carle may have finally turned a corner and developed into an explosive offensive defenseman. Because Andrej Meszaros is an absolute monster who is only going to improve. Because Braydon Coburn proved last season he can be a big, mean, defensive tower of power. Because the biggest Bully in the NHL, Chris Pronger, finally said he's healthy and ready to go. And because Kimmo Timonen (and his hair) is back for another round.
In all seriousness, the Flyers boast one of the best defensive corps in the entire NHL. The group is a year better and should have improved chemistry after playing together for a full season. With some of the other additions, the big five may finally be able to catch a breath and stay fresh for the postseason.