First off, I would like to congratulate Paul Holmgren for the blockbuster move acquiring 35-year-old veteran defenseman Chris Pronger, plus up and coming prospect Ryan Dingle in a trade that sent two current Flyers and a hand full of draft picks to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks: 25 year old Joffrey Lupul and 19 year old defenseman Luca Sbisa, first-round picks in 2009 and 2010, and a conditional third-round pick in 2010 or 2011.
If you recall back to 2006, the Ducks gave up Lupul, Smid, and some draft picks to Edmonton in order to get Pronger in the first place! The Ducks went on to win a Stanley Cup that year!
Yes, this price tag is a sky high deal for Philly and could potentially hurt the future of the Flyer's Organization. Both Emery and Pronger are signed for one year only and some great players/prospects are the means of this trade. Will the ends be what fans desire in West PA, as well as the rest of the world?
I'll leave the price or possibilities of this trade for you to argue all day, but the realization is that the Flyers have not reached our goal since 1975. That goal my friend is to sip some sweet sweet champagne out of Lord Stanley's Mug and proudly host it into the air! The future is now.
The Flyers have been amongst the top teams in the Eastern Conference the past two seasons. It is tough for such a strong offensive team to have to score five or six goals to win games, night in and night out, due to a lack of defense and arguably goaltending too.
Martin Biron has done a good job over the past two seasons but is not quite as skilled as Brody, Fleury, Thomas, or even Ward for that matter! He and Niittymaki are both free agents come Canada Day and don't be surprised to see Nitty stay and Biron walk—that's $3.5 million towards our cap!
The first addition to the franchise during this busy offseason was the addition of controversial yet "mind blowing" goalie Ray Emery to a one-year, $1.5 million contract (the best deal in the NHL if you ask me.) Is it a risk you ask? Hell yeah, everything in life is a risk. How can you succeed unless you take chances, learn from your past, and fix your mistakes as best you can moving into the future?
Accompanied by Pronger on "D", you have the most feared combo in the league. Nobody will want to run the crease on Emery because we all know he's a hot head, will take matters into his own hands, and will lay you out like Ron Hextall used to do! Pronger will be there to back him up.
Not to mention another key addition by GM Paul Holmgren picking up Daniel Carcillo for Scottie Upshall and a 2011 second round draft pick at the trade deadline. This trade brought in another top agitator who can also put puck in the net.
I don't know who this Dingle kid is but who cares! The Flyers have a great young nucleus already and just needed a bit of tweaking in order to gain revenge on the Mighty Penguins and reach the Stanley Cup Finals and inevitably end the drought.
The Flyer's Captain Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Scotty "Too Hotty" Hartnell, and Simon Gagne all had 30+ goals last season and have steadily improved the chemistry of the team. Mike Knuble put in 27 himself and is the only unrestricted free agent of the group. Don't be surprised to see him resign but will he be on the starting line if he does?
The Flyers had a decent year finishing fifth and doing this without the highest paid Flyer Danny Briere. After multiple surgeries lets hope he can play to his potential, minus his set backs last season.
The last year we won the Stanley Cup was in 1975, so the pressure is definitely on the players, Coach Stevens, as well as the management. I have faith in Holmgren, Berube, Clarke, and Hatcher in their decision making.
It is time to put the pieces of the puzzle together. It's been 35 years of competition and no hardware since then. No matter the stakes, no matter the place, no matter the face: It's 2010, let's end the chase!
Thanks for the read,