Training camp has already started for the Philadelphia Flyers. Rookies have reported and veterans are scheduled to arrive at the Skate Zone this weekend.
It seems like yesterday when the Flyers were absolutely man-handled by the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins in last year's playoffs.
This year, the Orange and Black are looking to make their own historic run, one that includes winning the last game of the season and another Stanley Cup.
The Flyers organization has made some drastic changes this offseason. It may have taken fans a little while to get used to the new kids on the block, but I think they are ready for the new season—and also the future.
Here are five good reasons why Flyers fans should be pumped up for the 2011-12 season.
It took a nine-year deal and $51 million, but the Flyers have finally have their No. 1 goaltender. The last one that Philadelphia had was probably Ron Hextall.
In Ilya Bryzgalov, you have one of the best goalies in the NHL, one with a 2.53 career goals-against average and perhaps most importantly, a Stanley Cup. Granted, Bryzgalov may not have been the starter at that time in his career, but he knows what it takes for a team to win.
One issue with the signing of Bryzgalov is probably the uncertainty surrounding Sergei Bobrovsky. A goaltender battle between two great netminders like them can only be a good thing, though.
At 23 years old, Claude Giroux is an emerging superstar.
Giroux led the Flyers in scoring last year, recording 25 goals and 51 assists. The scary thing is that Giroux is still young and he is still improving.
Giroux increased his point total by almost 30 from 2010. This year, another 10- to 20-point increase should be expected.
In Giroux, you are looking at the future captain of the Philadelphia Flyers.
While the Flyers have great expectations for this upcoming season, it can also be expected that the team hits some road bumps during the course of a long winter.
The Flyers have rebuilt their roster and injected some youth into the lineup. The Flyers will most likely have 11 players on their opening day roster that are 26 years old or younger.
Not only should fans be excited about this season, but also for the next five seasons.
With Mike Richards and Jeff Carter gone, this is now Chris Pronger's team.
It is well documented that Richards may not have been the best leader in the locker room. No one can take away the effort he put on the ice each night, but there are questions surrounding his leadership qualities off the ice.
Did Richards and Pronger get into it off the ice? Who knows? But that distraction is now done with and Pronger now has the reigns in Philadelphia.
Expect a much tighter locker room this season that carries over when Claude Giroux takes over.
Going into every Flyers season, anything short of winning a Stanley Cup is considered a failure.
The Orange and Black have a storied history, one that includes 16 division titles, eight Eastern Conference Championships and two Stanley Cups.
The Flyers' front office goes into every season making sure that they have a Stanley Cup contender on the ice.
Philadelphia contends each and every year, and this year should not be any different.