The Philadelphia Flyers 2010-11 season ended, as every Flyers season since 1975 has, in bitter disappointment.
Flyers fans want the Stanley Cup. The Flyers management wants a Stanley Cup. Despite owning the best record in the Eastern Conference for the majority of 2010-11, Philadelphia wore down entering the playoffs and was ultimately swept out of the second round by the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins.
Such disappointment from a team who lost in the Cup Finals the season before resulted in monumental shake-ups, but not the kind the City of Brotherly Love has come to expect from its hockey franchise. For the first time in memory, the players, not the coach, were held accountable for their underachievement. Remember, this is a team that replaced Terry Murray as its coach after being swept out of the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals and has had a virtual carousel at the helm ever since.
But this time the captain, Mike Richards, was shipped to Los Angeles for prospects. Assistant captain Jeff Carter was traded to Columbus. Kris Versteeg was moved to Florida for a bag of pucks. Ville Leino, Sean O'Donnell, Brian Boucher, Nik Zherdev, Darroll Powe and Dan Carcillo all left via free agency, replaced by a slew of youngsters plus an all-star goaltender and an aging legend whose been playing in Russia the last three years.
No offseason in franchise history has created as much controversy and uncertainty as 2011. Given such uncertainty, it seems like the perfect opportunity to make some BOLD PREDICTIONS.
So, without further ado, here are the five things you can bet will happen in Flyers Nation this season.