In an attempt to bring back the magic, general manager Paul Holmgren shook up the Flyers dressing room quite dramatically.
Philadelphia now has a much different look than did last year's starting lineup, but this year's squad has all the tools in place to make another run at hockey's holy grail.
The minute Jeff Carter was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets, eyebrows around the league were raised.
But shortly after, Mike Richards was being dealt to the Los Angeles Kings? No way. Critics were writing off the Flyers right then and there with those deals. Trading away the leading goal scorer and captain on any team is a monumental move.
Losing Richards and Carter are huge, but looking at the roster now, it worked out in Philly's favor. For one, it freed up cap space to sign goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
Second, according to unnamed Flyers and a quick Google image search, Richards and Carter were quite the partiers in the City of Brotherly Love, something head coach Peter Laviolette was not too fond of.
As far as player acquisitions go, from Los Angeles, the Flyers acquired Wayne Simmonds and future star Brayden Schenn. From Columbus, Philly gets the highly underrated Jakub Voracek, a big third-line body who can also chip in offensively. Simmonds and Voracek step in immediately to add some remarkable depth to this Flyers team.
They also received the eighth-overall draft pick in this past summer's draft from Columbus in the Carter deal, which they used to select Sean Couturier of the QMJHL's Drummondville Voltigeurs, a future franchise center man.
It may not have been a thought when they first signed him, but Jaromir Jagr will make up one of the NHL's deadliest duos this season. He and Claude Giroux have already shown flashes of brilliance in their short time together. Keep an eye on those two because that trend will continue all season long.
Speaking of Giroux, with the Mike Richards and Jeff Carter trades, he is now the number one center. But after leading the team in points with 76 in 82 games, including 25 goals, that shouldn't come as any big deal to anyone. He is destined for that role in Philadelphia.
Fresh off his $25.5 million, six-year extension, James van Riemsdyk will become the team's No. 1 left winger, a role both management and himself believe he is ready to make the jump to.
It took a couple blockbuster deals and a hefty check, but the Flyers finally got their man between the pipes: Ilya Bryzgalov.
Will it be worth it? Oh you better believe it.
I have full confidence in saying that, without Bryzgalov the last two seasons, the Phoenix Coyotes would not have made the playoffs. Now that their starting goalie is Mike Smith, who is not starting material, I see them struggling this season, fighting for the eighth playoff seed in the West at the very best.
In 2009-10, Bryzgalov won 42 games for the Coyotes, posting eight shutouts and a solid 2.29 goals-against average. Just last season, he won 36 games, with seven shutouts and a 2.48 GAA.
Now, with a depth-filled, top-conference squad in front of him, unlike he had in Phoenix, he has all the tools to be successful. So do the Flyers now.
The bad news for the Flyers last spring was that Chris Pronger, their No. 1 defenseman, had injury problems.
The good news? He's back.
Having the summer to recover was just what the doctor ordered for Pronger. Now, the Flyers return, not only an intact core but an even more experienced blue line squad than they had in 2010, with Kimmo Timonen, Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn and last season's newcomer Andrej Meszaros.
One of the Flyers' signings that probably flew under the radar, except for Penguins fans, was Max Talbot.
If your team has had the pleasure of playing the Pittsburgh Penguins in recent playoff years, then you know just how valuable Talbot is. He'll forecheck as hard as possible, chip in offensively (2009 Stanley Cup Finals game seven anybody?) and chirp until he's blue in the face, all to get under the skin of the opposition.
The thing about all that is that it usually works.
This will be one of the most underrated signings of the summer.
Additionally, Philly brought in young Zac Rinaldo to handle some of those responsibilities, as well.
Throw in Scott Hartnell, Chris Pronger, and Braydon Coburn, and Philadelphia again has a very gritty team, much to the pleasure of Flyers' management. The Broad Street Bullies will be back for another playoff run this year.
The Flyers have much more to offer up front than simply their top line. Teams need to or else they won't go too far.
Fortunately for Philly, they have Scott Hartnell, Daniel Briere and Wayne Simmonds.
Hartnell, the former sixth-overall draft pick in 2000, is one of the game's top power forwards. Expect to get at least 20 goals and 50 points out of Hartnell this season, not to mention around 140 penalty minutes, proving he invaluably does it all.
Briere makes for a dynamic No. 2 center behind Claude Giroux. A consistent producer, he is coming of a 34-goal, 68-point season in 77 games for Philadelphia. Those numbers have all the makings of a first-line center, which Briere certainly could be; Philly is fortunate enough to have that great depth.
Wayne Simmonds is a hard-working guy who has yet to crack 20 goals, but he did post 40 points in 78 games for Los Angeles in 2009-10. Those are numbers from a guy mainly serving in a forechecking role, too. Playing with a great hockey mind like Briere and a hard-nosed Hartnell who will ensure he's the first to come out of the corner with the puck, Simmonds should see his production increase this season.
Despite a big offseason shakeup, the Flyers have all the tools to make a magical run again this season in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.