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With Gustafsson deal done, who are you picking for the Flyers’ starting lineup? [Poll]

Erik Gustafsson
Image via Wikimedia Commons

24-year old Erik Gustafsson signed a 1-year, $1M offer to remain with the Flyers through this season. His new contract is a 1-way deal. Barring injury, Gus is almost certain to start the season in the NHL, and it seems likely he’ll slot in on the third pairing and 2nd-line power play.

But with 10 defenders now under contract for 2013-14, at a total of $34.2 million against the cap, Paul Holmgren and Peter Laviolette are now facing some very interesting decisions when it comes time for camp. Who’s gonna make it?

There are a couple things we can get out of the way. First, barring a miraculous resurrection, Chris Pronger’s contract is going to come off the books as soon as possible. The Flyers are currently $2.05 million over the cap, but Pronger’s contract still counts for $4.94M (CapGeek). Moving Prongs to Long Term Injured Reserve will free up that space and make the Flyers cap compliant in one fell swoop. This takes some pressure off of the front office to pursue trades, because a salary dump – at least for the upcoming season – is not really necessary.

Beyond that, the Flyers have some roster locks:

  • Kimmo Timonen
  • Mark Streit
  • Luke Schenn

Lock, lock, lock. Not even worth discussing whether they’ll start the year as three of the top four. How they’re paired, however, is a bit more iffy. Schenn is a big thumping defender who tends to hang near the crease and relishes contact, while Timonen and Streit both work better by taking away space and cutting off passing lanes.

Kimmo is a superior all-around player, while Streit at times plays like a 4th forward, but both have offensive skills that pair up pretty well with Schenn’s bruising character. Lavy may opt to continue to take advantage of what seemed like some good chemistry between the Timonen and Schenn last season, when they generated a 53.1% 5v5 Corsi For* while on ice together, but 49.7% and 46.6% respectively while apart.

*For the uninitiated, quick definitions of Corsi found here

This still leaves us with five defenders vying for the final two active roster spots, one of whom will see big minutes on the second line — unless a non-roster player impresses in camp and leapfrogs the group, which is possible, but let’s stick with what we’ve got for now.

Braydon Coburn — 6’5″ 225 lb – age 28 – $4.5M cap hit through 2016

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Thoughts on Lecavalier, Holmgren, and the laughing stock the Flyers have (undeservedly) become

I’ve been meaning to write about the Flyers for the last week.

I had this grandiose idea that – bear with me – the Flyers have actually been secretly rebuilding for the last two seasons.

Think about it. A year after coming two games from winning a Cup, they were the Eastern Conference’s best team for the majority of the season. Then the team flamed out down the stretch and crashed in the second round of the playoffs. After that season, the team’s two pillars and arguably most recognizable players get traded in separate deals for prospects and up-and-coming assets to add to the stable of young players already on the roster.

Then, they stick with the young nucleus for two seasons and, potentially, through this offseason. Waiting for Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier and the other young players to rise up and complete this grand puzzle Paul Holmgren has been assembling since he took apart the last successful group of Flyers.

I’m starting to think: “Hey, maybe Holmgren actually has an incredibly developed plan — He continues pumping this roster with young guys and acquires enough veterans and star value to appease a rabid fan base and a hands-on owner…”

Then yesterday happened and… umm, well, nevermind. We might have to reevaluate this. Read the rest of this entry

Flyers on the Streit and Narrow Minded



The Flyers traded today for the rights of Islanders’ defenseman Mark Streit. Streit, 35, has been the Islanders’ captain over the last few years and was previously negotiating with the Isles prior to the trade. In exchange for Streit’s rights, the Flyers gave up right wing Shane Harper and the 4th round pick in the 2014 draft. In other words, not much.

The Flyers will now have exclusive negotiating rights with Streit until July 5th. If they can’t reach an agreement by that point, Streit will be able to field offers from anyone.

Streit could be a much needed addition for this team which has struggled with injuries, offensive production, and, well, defending. If you project Streit’s 2012-13 numbers over an 82 game season he’s averaged nearly 10 goals and 34 assists a year over his seven year career. (He was out for the entirety of the 2010-2011 season) Also, for those of you who love advanced stats, you can check out Streit’s numbers here, which are solid but not spectacular.

The big question right now then is: what will it cost to make him a Flyer?

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Around the Cooler 02/10/13 – Discussion: Will the NFL exist in 30 years?

Here’s what we’re talking about: 

Bernard Pollard inadvertently creating the “Tom Brady rule” in 2008.

Ravens safety Bernard Pollard: “Thirty years from now, I don’t think it will be in existence. I could be wrong. It’s just my opinion, but I think with the direction things are going — where [NFL rules makers] want to lighten up, and they’re throwing flags and everything else — there’s going to come a point where fans are going to get fed up with it… Guys are getting fined, and they’re talking about, ‘Let’s take away the strike zone’ and ‘Take the pads off’ or ‘Take the helmets off.’ It’s going to be a thing where fans aren’t going to want to watch it anymore.” (ESPN)


Right Click for Download: Around the Cooler 02/10/13

What are you talking about around the water cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

The Wooder Cooler Weekly Podcast – 02/02/13

Here’s what we’re talking about:
The Har-bowl! The Superbaugh! (0:00)
What’s wrong with the Flyers? (18:00)
Jrue Holiday is an All Star! (33:00)


Right Click for Download: The Wooder Cooler Weekly Podcast 02/02/13

What are you talking about around the water cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

New Year’s Resolutions: Flyers

I’ll keep this simple – the Flyers are not a Stanley Cup team. Maybe they would be if Shea Weber worked out, but he didn’t. But that’s okay.

Despite their elite firepower and offensive depth, this team is not close to where it needs to be on the back end. Losing Matt Carle hurt (don’t start with me, idiot Flyer fans), and Chris Pronger is irreplaceable.

Even though Kimmo Timonen is a warrior and has been this team’s glue for a surprising number of years, he’s on the decline. Brayden Coburn is a nice player and Andrej Meszaros and Nick Grossmann help fill out a roster, but those guys can’t be counted on to shut down a top line come playoff time.

So the Flyers need to do what they do best – draft.  Read the rest of this entry


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