Philadelphia Flyers: 6 Reasons They Should Be Favorites in the East

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Philadelphia Flyers: 6 Reasons They Should Be Favorites in the East
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

This year's Philadelphia Flyers will certainly be a very different team. Over the past three months, they've cut ties with nine players from the 2010-11 roster, including their captain (Mike Richards), an alternate captain (Jeff Carter), a pair of 40-plus point players (Ville Leino and Kris Versteeg), four solid role players (Nikolay Zherdev, Sean O'Donnell, Brian Boucher and Darroll Powe) and their best agitator (Dan Carcillo). 

The result? Many around the NHL believe the Flyers are no longer a bona-fide Stanley Cup contender. Analysts and sports writers are predicting the team will finish as low as tenth in the Eastern Conference. Anyone on the "Flyer Bandwagon" has abandoned ship. 

But are all of the gloom-and-doom prognostications a bit premature? Is there still hope for the new-look Flyers? Can they still finish at the top of the Eastern Conference standings? Here are six reasons not to count them out just yet. 

As always, comments are welcome and appreciated.

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