VIEW FROM THE TOP: Philadelphia Flyers

 

As the self-appointed spokesmen/woman of the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, we are using the idea of "To the victors go the spoils" quite seriously. What we will do between now and the night the Stanley Cup banner is raised in the United Center is point out the shortcomings of all the teams that won't have four crisp new banners in their rafters. We continue this series with the *snort* Philadelphia Flyers.

Seriously, what the hell are the Philadelphia Flyers doing?

Let's get this out of the way: the Flyers GM, Paul Holmgren is either completely incompetent or attempting to turn the team into some sort of performance art commentary on the career of Mike Milbury.

Holmgren began his offseason by sensibly buying out the contracts of overpaid gnome Daniel Briere and mentally broken goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.  

And that's when things got crazy.

Holmgren traded for the rights to UFA Mark Streit, and gave the 35 year old a 4 year, $21 million contract.  But that's not all, Paul then handed 5 years and $22.5MM to Vincent Lecavalier because dudes who are bought out by other team are awesome, unlike the dudes you just bought out yourself.  

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!

As of this writing, the Flyers either have or have not agreed to terms on a three year deal with Dan Cleary despite being a bazillion dollars over the cap.  There are conflicting reports over whether Cleary will be in Flyers camp today, and you know what?  This is madness, absolute fucking madness.  Let's just get to it.

THE FORWARDS:

Claude Giroux is really good, so naturally he stabbed himself in the hand with a broken golf club last month.  Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek both had good seasons last year and could end up salvaging the Richards/Carter trades.  After that it gets a bit dicey.  Lecavalier appears to be on the downside so luckily he's got a long contract AND a no-trade clause.  Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier will both need to take a step up in development.  Max Talbot is a nice bottom 6 forward who actually has a reasonable contract.  Just thought I'd point that out.

As for Dan Cleary, my guess is that tomorrow he'll show up in camp, sign a 3 year contract and then laugh himself into a sports hernia. (ed. note - Cleary used the Flyers to leverage a new contract with Detroit. Which is no less hilarious - F)

THE DEFENSEMEN:

I used to hate Chris Pronger but now I just feel sad when I think of him.  He was supposed to go out in a blaze of glory by getting a lifetime suspension for throwing the entire Phoenix Coyotes franchise into the sun.  Dammit.

Anyway, since the Flyers' really old defenseman with a huge over-35 contract can't play, they decided to bring in Mark Streit to fill that role.  I wonder if the Flyers are going to build a separate press box in the Wells Fargo Center for guys who are on "LTIR".  They can paint a set of winking eyes on the outside.

Kimmo Timonen is still decent at age 37, let's hope that Holmgren gives him a massive contract extension as soon as possible.

For some reason, I don't believe in Luke Schenn and I never will.  On the day of his Hall of Fame induction I'll be like "eh, he wasn't that good".  Donald Coburn is pretty good but will probably be traded because he's not 74 years old.

There are like 10 defensemen listed on this roster right now, and that doesn't count Hal Gill who just got invited to training camp.  What the fuck is going on here?

THE GOALTENDERS:

Good friend of Hockeenight RAY ARMORY is back in net for Philadelphia.  Keep in mind that it was Razor's injury in 2009-10 season that sent Paul Holmgren on his QUEST FOR A GOALIE.  The problem is that Emery is older, has Bo Jackson's disease and got himself injured in a shortened season last year.  It seems unlikely that he'll be able to carry a full load over 82 games and his backup is the predictably horrible Steve Mason.

MUNDANE FACT:

Paul Holmgren wears footie pajamas.

OUTLOOK:

On paper the Flyers don't seem like they should be THAT terrible.  They've got some nice forwards, and they'll probably get at least one decent season out of Lecavalier.  It's just that their cap situation is completely fucked, and the defense and goaltending are suspect.

ARE THEY BETTER THAN THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS:

Nosir.

 

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