Isles Talk 2014-15 Season Preview: Philadelphia Flyers

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flyersOver the next few weeks, Isles Talk will be previewing the NHL before we drop the puck on this 2014-15 season.  I have the assignment of covering the Philadelphia Flyers.  Here is my preview.  Please comment on this, and let me know what you think….

Philadelphia Flyers

2013-14 Record – 42-30-10 (94pts) – 3rd in Metro Division, 6th in Eastern Conference

Playoffs – Lost to Rangers in first round of playoffs (Game 7)

Key Additions – C R.J. Umberger, D Michael Del Zotto

Key Reductions – LW Scott Hartnell, RW Steve Downie, LW Tye McGinn, C Kris Newbury, D Erik Gustafsson, D Bruno Gervais

Craig Berube took over for fired Peter Laviolette, and righted the early sinking Flyers ship, and made the playoffs. The CheeseSteaks lost a tough Game 7 battle to the Rangers, but showed they belong in the upper echelon of the East.

Now as camp beings, the Flyers are 4.9 Million over the cap. They will, however, take Chris Pronger’s $4.9 off, to get them to at the top of the salary chart, but will need to make some wiggle room during the season.


In the person of Claude Giroux, the Flyers have one of the top playmakers in the league. Despite his horrid start, his finish was quite strong, and was among the leaders in assists.

Getting RJ Umberger back will help, but after Giroux, and Wayne Simmonds, there is not a lot to look at offensively.

Former Ranger Michael del Zotto comes down to Philly where he struggled last year. A 1.5 million dollar one-year contract will be the potion he needs to prove himself worthy of being a solid NHL player.


When two of your defensemen are former New York Islanders, it does not say a whole heck of a lot. Andrew MacDonald got rewarded (nearly 1,000% raise from his Islanders checks) and is still one of the top shot blockers in the league. Mark Streit did not have his best season last year, and looks to rebound. Brayden Coburn is a solid guy, but not a Top 4 on many teams. Despite the names, they did not have the worst years back there. It may take some herculean efforts to get them to the April dance.


Once Steve Mason got on board, the back line improved. His play, in this man’s opinion brought the Flyers to the playoffs, and he kept them in games that frankly, they should have been out of.

Ray Emery will provide dependable backup, but in order for him to be effective, he needs to be more than a 10-15 game a season player.

Overall Projection

They are going to be in a dog fight in March and April to secure one of those coveted playoff positions. It will be up to new GM Ron Hextall to make the kinds of moves that he was helping with in Los Angeles, to make the Flyers be more comfortable in their skin.