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Rebuilding or Not?


Guest idahophilly
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So, as my hockey depression settles in I ponder the question as to whether we are rebuilding or not... A caveat first...

....If (IF) we are rebuilding it's likely to be a one season mini rebuild. We are not talking about an Islanders or Oilers type rebuild. Nor are we talking about a Columbus situation, which isn't a "rebuild" because the very definition assumes you had something to rebuild in the first place... Columbus doesn't.

Ok, so let me walk myself through this... (I need the therapy)

Most definitely, Flyers management would never admit to a rebuild and what Holmgren does will be very telling... But, with so many emerging sophomores and a defence in chaos can we or should we even consider a deep run in the playoffs? I'll never say never but it seems unlikely.

Assuming we don't expect a deep run then should we hang onto ALL our young talent, let the chips fall as they may? We will likely have nearly 10 million in LTIR money alone once (and if) the season starts plus our 3.5 million in current cap space. Waive Shelly and Walker and we gain another 2.8 million. That's allot of cap space. But, the season will have started, the UFA's will be gone and anyone willing to trade with us will know we are desperate and want a key piece or two from our pool of youth.

So, do we make virtualy no moves and dive into the DEEP UFA pool next summer and just use this year as a learning experience for the "kids"? Who knows, maybe we can pick up a rental at the deadline and make a run depending on how the season goes???

Or, do we settle into the idea of being sellers at the deadline, also depending on how the season is going? Maybe a bubble or contender team wants a Hartnell, Briere or Timmo and we get picks or a nice prospect back instead of losing them for nothing?

Or maybe, as Howie has speculated, Homer pulls a rabbit out of his hat and signs a European/KHL/unDrafted d-man and all is well.

My fear is that Homer has fear... that he will make that trade for a Boyle or an equal type player out of pressure from Snider or his own mind and give up that 1-2 pieces of our future.

So what do we do? Which way? Should we just admit this is a mini rebuild year or at the very least a "development" year? Or can we still make a serious run?

I admit, these are questions that can't realistically be answered now but makes for good discussion. Mezaros wasn't the piece that will win a Stanley Cup anyway but a team can only take so many blows. Was this the final one for this season? Let's face it, there will be MORE injuries as the season goes along among what will be an overworked defence. The talent pool for call ups is nearly empty...

Well Homer, let's see what you are made of now...

What do you all think?

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I have long thought that, for teams like the Flyers, "rebuilding" can mean a 6-8 seed in the playoffs for a year or two instead of five to ten years of pathetic hockey. And, as is the way of hockey, once you're in the playoffs, you can always catch lightning in a bottle.

I liked the patience Homer showed with the Weber scenario and I liked the efforts to add without subtracting.

This isn't "rebuilding" - it's "building."

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I think we're looking at a "mini-rebuild," though the team may still contend for a playoff spot. I could see them shipping off Timonen to, say, Detroit to give him a shot at the cup. I don't think they trade Danny or Hartnell. Danny's one of the few vets left on the team, and he's under contract for two seasons past this one. Hartnell's still relatively young, and showed drive last year to improve, as well as chemistry with Giroux. I think you'll see him extended mid-season.

What I don't think we'll see is the Flyers trading off any of the young roster players to try to stay competitive this year. For those afraid that the Flyers will do that, look back to 2006-2007. On paper, the team didn't look good to start the season. Even into the season with the team struggling mightily, Holmgren didn't trade Carter or Richards for immediate help. Sure he traded Freddy Meyers for Zhitnik and Robitaille for Mike York, but those were hardly panic moves. I think that the team management actually does look at things from a rational perspective in most cases (Bryzgalov notwithstanding), and will only make a move to buy a player at a premium if it will actually help the team do better. This year, I don't think they can do that, and I think management will agree and stand pat with trades. They might sign a UFA dman, but I would expect only a one or two year deal if they do. I also think that they're officially out on Doan following this.

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This isn't "rebuilding" - it's "building."

I agree w/ rad on this one... we are finally "building" a Team and not selling off promising youth to get the "Adam Oates'" of the NHL. Personally, I look at this Team and get incredibly excited about the future. This year is gives the Flyers brass a really good look at the makeup of this Team as it currently stands. Let's see what the kids have...

Do I like the defense? Not in the least and I did not like it before Mezz went down. Truthfully, I see them missing the playoffs if they play the entire season with this defense. I am sure Homer is going to address the situation so my expectations are they will make the playoffs. The Kings proved that all you need to do is get to the dance...

If there is something out there via trade that is truly worth the price I am sure the Flyers will consider it. But, I like how Homer has played his cards. Unfotunately, he struck out w/ Suter and Nash committed suicide by agreeing to the Weber terms. This is a good young Team and a player or two (defense) from being a serious contender.

As for the UFA class of 2013: There is a lot of offensive prowess with Getz and Perry. Frankly, I think Getz is the better player and I would love to see him in the O&B. Kid is tough as nails and is a stone cold stud. And yes, I know he is a center. The 2013 UFA Class for Dmen is less than inspiring so that cornerstone defenseman is still not in the picture.

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From an outsider's perspective...

I don't see the Flyers rebuilding at all, really. Perhaps "building," as others have said. From reading another thread, it seems to me that losing Meszaros to injury has caused some panic. Well, it certainly doesn't help, BUT, I don't necessarily think that it makes/breaks playoff chances, etc. Sure, a few players were lost in the offseason, but Holmgren did everything he could (and probably more) to try to land Weber, not to mention Suter and Parise. Had any of those things happened the "mood" would have certainly been different for obvious reasons. But staying on topic, what I'm saying is that I don't think Holmgren's view is "rebuilding" at all. He knows there's a solid core of young players that are only going to get better, and for once he's refusing to part with them. Certainly that was part of the reason for the offer sheet to Weber - he'd knock him out with money, but he wasn't willing to give up talent he already has. Good move, I say.

Losing Carle certainly magnifies the Mez injury; but to be honest, I've never been that high on him anyway. Now, that's not to say that he's not a decent player. I just don't think that it's a loss the Flyers can't overcome. There are a few promising young defenders that should get some time now. So let 'em! You might end up pleasantly surprised at what you have. At worst there are still a few decent D-men that could be had without breaking the bank that could probably fill the void reasonably well. None of this is guaranteed, obviously, but I'm sure you all know what I'm getting at.

Bottom line, the Mez injury is a pothole, not a roadblock. And I don't think it'll drastically change Holmgren's plan (assuming he has an actual "plan" that is).

Anyway, that's one Pens fan's perspective.

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Can't wait to see what the kids can do...

Honestly, that's one of my favorite things that I look forward to going into every new NHL season. And not just for my Pens, either. I love watching young talent. Sure, the kids are going to have their ups and downs, but that's normal. Heck, look at what the Flyers have right now in young talent alone. That's an enviable position to be in! I still see a three-way battle in the Atlantic with the Flyers right in the mix. And it'll be fun to see how the season plays out with both the Pens and Flyers having some money to throw around at the deadline... assuming, of course, that no major moves are made before then. And also assuming that we have a season in the first place :huh:

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Greetings:

Dinah's outside view is rational and deeply appreciated. I don't see big moves but this is a team used to winning, sometimes at too high a cost long-term.

Another "problem" here is the CBA. I Homer being given an opportunity to lay low while a "real" cap is being set?

Peace,

Howie

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From an outsider's perspective...

I don't see the Flyers rebuilding at all, really. Perhaps "building," as others have said. From reading another thread, it seems to me that losing Meszaros to injury has caused some panic. Well, it certainly doesn't help, BUT, I don't necessarily think that it makes/breaks playoff chances, etc. Sure, a few players were lost in the offseason, but Holmgren did everything he could (and probably more) to try to land Weber, not to mention Suter and Parise. Had any of those things happened the "mood" would have certainly been different for obvious reasons. But staying on topic, what I'm saying is that I don't think Holmgren's view is "rebuilding" at all. He knows there's a solid core of young players that are only going to get better, and for once he's refusing to part with them. Certainly that was part of the reason for the offer sheet to Weber - he'd knock him out with money, but he wasn't willing to give up talent he already has. Good move, I say.

Losing Carle certainly magnifies the Mez injury; but to be honest, I've never been that high on him anyway. Now, that's not to say that he's not a decent player. I just don't think that it's a loss the Flyers can't overcome. There are a few promising young defenders that should get some time now. So let 'em! You might end up pleasantly surprised at what you have. At worst there are still a few decent D-men that could be had without breaking the bank that could probably fill the void reasonably well. None of this is guaranteed, obviously, but I'm sure you all know what I'm getting at.

Bottom line, the Mez injury is a pothole, not a roadblock. And I don't think it'll drastically change Holmgren's plan (assuming he has an actual "plan" that is).

Anyway, that's one Pens fan's perspective.

Mez is better than he's maybe been givin credit... outside of the flyers. he's a year removed from being awarded the flyers' best defenseman. that was when pronger was playing as well. he eats a lot of minutes, can be physical and has some speed and puck skills. that's a pretty valuable D man in my book.

his loss is bigger than carle's... imo. but, i like your overall outsider's perspective. the flyers are never a team to 'rebuild'. well, at least they'll never be a team to *admit* to a rebuild. but, as rad says, this is a straight up *build*.

i'm very pleased homer didn't give up any of our blue chip young guys. i would have loved to have poached weber, but not at the cost of losing cooter or schenn, so i can't be disappointed.

i'm hoping our drafting in the last few years can possible begin to fill some of the holes we have, starting maybe this year? who would have thought an 18 y/o cooter would end up being so critical to our core so fast. these players are maturing earlier and earlier and we've had some pretty good success with late round draft picks. i'm content to let our seeds grow this year. i think they'll make the playoffs, but again... not much hope for past the 1st round.

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Mez is better than he's maybe been givin credit... outside of the flyers. he's a year removed from being awarded the flyers' best defenseman. that was when pronger was playing as well. he eats a lot of minutes, can be physical and has some speed and puck skills. that's a pretty valuable D man in my book.

his loss is bigger than carle's... imo.

Fair enough. I was more or less stating my opinion, but I can see your point as well. Either way, I still think the Flyers can "plug that hole" at least somewhat sufficiently.

i think they'll make the playoffs, but again... not much hope for past the 1st round.

IDK, that's hard to say. Certainly part of that depends on match-ups and getting/being "hot" at the right time. I understand why you'd feel that way, but that young core has some PO experience under its belt now and will only get better. Better enough to get past the first round with the lineup as it stands right now? Who knows, but personally I wouldn't doubt it. I think a lot is going to hinge on how Bryz performs. If he can become a stalwart in net and the D is reasonably solid I think the chances are good, especially considering the talent on offense. If Bryz can't step it up, well...

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Fair enough. I was more or less stating my opinion, but I can see your point as well. Either way, I still think the Flyers can "plug that hole" at least somewhat sufficiently.

IDK, that's hard to say. Certainly part of that depends on match-ups and getting/being "hot" at the right time. I understand why you'd feel that way, but that young core has some PO experience under its belt now and will only get better. Better enough to get past the first round with the lineup as it stands right now? Who knows, but personally I wouldn't doubt it. I think a lot is going to hinge on how Bryz performs. If he can become a stalwart in net and the D is reasonably solid I think the chances are good, especially considering the talent on offense. If Bryz can't step it up, well...

yeah.. i just make my pre-season assessment. but, when playoff time rolls around again, anything goes. and, of course, i'll be disappointed if they don't make it past 1st round. but, i felt exactly the same way last year after all of those changes. i knew they would make the playoffs. and yes, anything can happen if they catch fire. but, when they were eliminated in the 2nd round, i wasn't horribly disappointed because that was about what i assessed with that team.

i am not of the opinion that we got better this off-season. i think we're fairly even to last year, but it could easily be argued that we're actually worse than when the season ended, especially with this news of mez. i still think this group can make the playoffs and then all bets are off, but i can't realistically think they get much farther than just making the playoffs this coming year.

maybe that's my way of managing my own expectations... but, i try to honestly assess the team to avoid extreme disappointment year after year. ;)

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@idahophilly All I have to say is patience, patience and more patience. It might be the gazillionith time I've said this, but the Flyers never got anywhere selling off youth for over the hill vets. In a salary cap world, that can catch up to you real quick. Who want's to be like the Leafs, with three or four mill of cap space and still sucking forever.....no thanks. Build through the draft, use smart deals to upgrade, you know, like Stevie Y just did in Tampa Bay, he got his goalie of the future Lindback for a 2nd rounder and a bag of hockey pucks....the Flyers, we spend 50 mill on a bum...yeesh.

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From the outside, like DinahMoeHumm, I think you got slightly worse with the losses of Carle and Jagr. I think you got Schenn which adds grit on your D-line, and lost JVR, someone you have already replaced with all the young talent. I don't see any reason to circle the wagons and call it a standoff though. I think you guys will be right in the thick of things again, especially if the youth continues to improve. Honestly, injuries ALWAYS matter... so it's going to be more of a wait and see how the grind goes than anything. And if Bryzgalov returns to his old self, you may find yourselves chasing the number one seed very reasonably.

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I'm not sure I'd even call what we're doing 'building' because everything we've done has been by subtraction (Carle, Jagr) or strikeout (Weber, Parise, Suter, Nash). The only move of significance was to swap Schenn for JVR.

Out: Jagr, Carle, JVR

In: Leighton, Schenn

LTIR: Pronger, Meszaros

I don't know about you guys, but that's a little underwhelming. And don't kid yourselves that the Flyers are consciously 'building' or 'rebuilding'... this is a team that was willing to give $100+ M over 14 years to Parise, Suter and Weber. If both Parise and Suter had signed, moves would have been made and young promising players shipped off to make room for the prized acquisitions. They're still trying to do what it takes to win now.

So let's evaluate:

On defense, we took a huge step backward by losing Carle for nothing, and Mez going down to injury. That's two top-4 guys gone. We added Schenn, but I fear that he will now be asked to play a more significant role that will expose him. Great learning experience, for sure, but that also means a defense that will be overwhelmed at times and forced into making mistakes. We're going to have one top pairing and two 3rd pairings.

On top of a weak defense, we have a huge question mark in goal with Bryzgalov. It would be great if he showed us that he's worth that big contract, and that last year was an adjustment period. But if he's just as inconsistent, the man who steps between the pipes in his relief is Michael Effing Leighton. To me, our goaltending took a step backward by replacing Bob with Leighton... but, the caveat is that Bryzgalov had an off year so we'll see what happens.

Our offense also took a hit by losing JVR and Jagr. I'm sure this will be a minority opinion, but I think Giroux will have a down year statistically. Jagr was a huge influence on and off the ice, and when Jagr's name was on the scoresheet, you could be pretty sure that Giroux's was right next to it. He's increased his goal, assist, and point total each year, and I hope this year is no different. But I think a lot of it depends on the chemistry Giroux develops with the new winger, be it Voracek or someone else. I expect a 10-point drop for G.

Bottom line, this is a weaker squad on paper and a younger (less experienced) one. Based on nothing by my amateur observations and opinion, I think all of the factors I pointed out will cost the Flyers about 8-10 wins, which would put us right on the playoff bubble.

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I'm not sure I'd even call what we're doing 'building' because everything we've done has been by subtraction (Carle, Jagr) or strikeout (Weber, Parise, Suter, Nash). The only move of significance was to swap Schenn for JVR.

Out: Jagr, Carle, JVR

In: Leighton, Schenn

LTIR: Pronger, Meszaros

I don't know about you guys, but that's a little underwhelming. And don't kid yourselves that the Flyers are consciously 'building' or 'rebuilding'... this is a team that was willing to give $100+ M over 14 years to Parise, Suter and Weber. If both Parise and Suter had signed, moves would have been made and young promising players shipped off to make room for the prized acquisitions. They're still trying to do what it takes to win now.

So let's evaluate:

On defense, we took a huge step backward by losing Carle for nothing, and Mez going down to injury. That's two top-4 guys gone. We added Schenn, but I fear that he will now be asked to play a more significant role that will expose him. Great learning experience, for sure, but that also means a defense that will be overwhelmed at times and forced into making mistakes. We're going to have one top pairing and two 3rd pairings.

On top of a weak defense, we have a huge question mark in goal with Bryzgalov. It would be great if he showed us that he's worth that big contract, and that last year was an adjustment period. But if he's just as inconsistent, the man who steps between the pipes in his relief is Michael Effing Leighton. To me, our goaltending took a step backward by replacing Bob with Leighton... but, the caveat is that Bryzgalov had an off year so we'll see what happens.

Our offense also took a hit by losing JVR and Jagr. I'm sure this will be a minority opinion, but I think Giroux will have a down year statistically. Jagr was a huge influence on and off the ice, and when Jagr's name was on the scoresheet, you could be pretty sure that Giroux's was right next to it. He's increased his goal, assist, and point total each year, and I hope this year is no different. But I think a lot of it depends on the chemistry Giroux develops with the new winger, be it Voracek or someone else. I expect a 10-point drop for G.

Bottom line, this is a weaker squad on paper and a younger (less experienced) one. Based on nothing by my amateur observations and opinion, I think all of the factors I pointed out will cost the Flyers about 8-10 wins, which would put us right on the playoff bubble.

I went with slightly weaker because the forward corps won't miss Jagr or JVR so much because your younger talent will develop some and make those departures much less noteworthy. Your defense gained a physical guy in Schenn, but lost a good offense minded D-man in Carle, and now Mez is out again and longer. And you got rid of Bob for Leighton. So yes weaker squad but all it takes is one of the young guys to take off and you're pretty much right where you left off last season.

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yeah.. i just make my pre-season assessment. but, when playoff time rolls around again, anything goes. and, of course, i'll be disappointed if they don't make it past 1st round. but, i felt exactly the same way last year after all of those changes. i knew they would make the playoffs. and yes, anything can happen if they catch fire. but, when they were eliminated in the 2nd round, i wasn't horribly disappointed because that was about what i assessed with that team.

i am not of the opinion that we got better this off-season. i think we're fairly even to last year, but it could easily be argued that we're actually worse than when the season ended, especially with this news of mez. i still think this group can make the playoffs and then all bets are off, but i can't realistically think they get much farther than just making the playoffs this coming year.

maybe that's my way of managing my own expectations... but, i try to honestly assess the team to avoid extreme disappointment year after year. ;)

That's a good way of summing it up.

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