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Flyers' offseason game plan - TSN


brelic
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http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=453780

 

Here are a couple of choice passages:

 

New GM Ron Hextall has lots of talent on hand, but has issues to face too. For one thing, they ranked 23rd in puck possession last season and it's not easy to sustain success when the other team has the puck so frequently.

 

********

 

Perhaps the biggest issue to handle this summer will be what to do with Vincent Lecavalier, last summer's big free agent acquisition who fell flat after joining the Flyers. A buyout would be awfully expensive, so maybe the Flyers could find team willing to take on Lecavalier's contract while Philadelphia pays some of the salary. The Flyers have enough skilled players, and young, developing forwards, that they should still be decent on the attack.

 

********

 

After having finger surgery last August, it turned out that Claude Giroux wasn't in peak form to open the season, and he started out with no goals and seven assists in the first 15 games, but Giroux was a force after that, scoring 79 points in 67 games the rest of the way. He's one of the premier power play point producers in the league and no one has scored more total points in the past four seasons.

 

********

 

Read frequently rides shotgun with Sean Couturier, the 21-year-old who plays a shutdown role. He scored a career-high 39 points last season, but only three of those points came on the power play, so there is potential for more offensive production if he is given the opportunity. He had 96 points in each of his last two junior seasons and scored 28 points in 31 AHL games as a 20-year-old, so the pedigree is there for Couturier to take on a bigger role offensively, if he gets the chance.

 

********

 

Progress has been gradual for Brayden Schenn, who did set career-highs with 20 goals and 41 points last season, but he also had poor possession stats despite facing relatively easy competition. It may be fair to wonder whether Schenn and Couturier are blossoming as effectively as possible, as they both compete for playing time down the middle behind Giroux.
 
As the Flyers look to improve long-term, yet also under some financial constraints, they could look to free agent wingers like Mason Raymond, Benoit Pouliot or Radim Vrbata as possibilities to fit in a scoring role without necessarily breaking the bank.
 
********
 
In the past seven seasons, there have been four defencemen to produce at least five 40-point seasons and one of them is Mark Streit, who missed one full season (2010-2011) in that span as he recovered from shoulder surgery. Streit may not be driving play, but the Flyers can do worse than getting respectable possession numbers to go along with his offensive production.
 
It's difficult to imagine what the Flyers saw from Andrew MacDonald in 19 games to warrant a six-year, $30-million contract extension, because MacDonald has been a puck possession nightmare, whose with-or-without-you stats show that nearly everyone fares better without him. There has been some evidence that his neutral zone defence is an issue, and that would have to improve in order to give MacDonald's new contract some value.
 
Braydon Coburn hasn't materialized offensively the way that might have been expected after a 36-point season in 2007-2008 but, as a big guy who can skate and move the puck, he's been able to hold his own in a shutdown role. The question going forward may be just how effective Coburn could be if Kimmo Timonen doesn't return. It's pretty clear that, over time, Coburn has been better with Timonen.
 
Stay-at-home defender Nicklas Grossman scored a career-high 14 points last season and that indicates certain limitations to his game, the same that are inherent to many stay-at-home defensive defencemen. Grossman gets eaten alive in relative possession terms, yet he played more last season (1491 minutes) than he had in any previous season. This is the disconnect that comes between old-school coaching and analytics that emphasize positive shot differentials.
 
After a decent showing in his first (lockout-shortened) season in Philly, Luke Schenn's game regressed dramatically. In six NHL seasons, Schenn has alternated between having seasons with at least 21 minutes of ice time per game seasons in which he's played fewer than 17 minutes per game. Last season saw him play 16:32 per game and his per-game scoring rate (0.15 points per game) was the lowest of his career. Even with that reduced ice time, Schenn ranked third among defencemen with 260 hits last season, which means he didn't have the puck that much, but the Flyers may need Schenn to handle a bigger role again in the future.
 
There are some holes on the Philadelphia defence. Maybe it was part of the reason that they were so quick to sign MacDonald to an extension.
 
A mobile, undersized defenceman, Erik Gustafsson couldn't earn a regular spot on the Flyers' blueline and made the decision to sign in the KHL for next season. Chris Pronger, while on the payroll, hasn't played since November 19, 2012 and isn't going to play again.
 
39-year-old Kimmo Timonen could be on his way to retirement, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Flyers or another team try to convince him to keep playing. Timonen has been a stalwart on the Flyers' blueline, putting up strong possession numbers while facing top-tier opposition. If he really is going to leave, that would create a significant hole. Philadelphia could use a quality addition on defence even if Timonen returns, so if Timonen leaves, might as well make it two.
 
Free agents Sami Salo, Anton Stralman or Raphael Diaz might help and taking a shot at top AHL defenceman T.J. Brennan (from nearby Willingboro, NJ) might improve the Flyers' ability to move the puck from the back end.

 

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He also posted a possible roster for next year. It's actually not bad up front and in goal. Our defense still stinks though.

 

 

CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER
OSGP14-Flyers
 
FORWARDS
Scott Hartnell ($4.750m) / Claude Giroux ($8.275m) / Jakub Voracek ($4.250m) 
Brayden Schenn ($1.500m) / Sean Couturier ($1.750m) / Wayne Simmonds ($3.975m) 
Jason Akeson ($0.750m) / Michal Handzus ($1.000m) / Matt Read ($3.625m) 
Michael Raffl ($1.100m) / Scott Laughton ($0.863m) / Zac Rinaldo ($0.750m) 
Tye McGinn ($0.750m) / Adam Hall ($0.600m) / 
 
DEFENSEMEN
Braydon Coburn ($4.500m) / Kimmo Timonen ($5.000m) 
Andrew MacDonald ($5.000m) / Mark Streit ($5.250m) 
Nicklas Grossmann ($3.500m) / Luke Schenn ($3.600m) 
T.J. Brennan ($0.900m) / 
 
GOALTENDERS
Steve Mason ($4.100m) 
Alex Stalock ($1.000m) 
 
BUYOUTS
Daniel Briere ($0.000m) 
Ilya Bryzgalov ($0.000m) 
LTIR
Chris Pronger ($4.941m) 
 
RETAINED SALARIES (3.16% of upper limit)
Vincent Lecavalier ($2.250m—50.00%) 
 
------
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $69,038,333; BONUSES: $212,500
CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $2,061,667
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Thanks for posting Brelic... i read it yesterday and thought it was interesting.   Here are some of the takeaways that I peronally had after reading it:

 

  • Puck Possession:  This is the #1 problem w/ the Flyers right now both offensive and defensively.   The simply need the puck on their sticks more and have to find ways to be better down low and along the boards.  
  • Questioning the kids:   I think it is more than fair to question Schenn and to some degree Cooter.   While I would take Cooter over Schenn every day of the week I am hoping to see Cooter create more offense.   The kids is such an adept defensive forward that I am not really concerned about his offense but I do think he has some upside.   Schenn on the other hand is the most frustrating player on the Team (to me).   Flashes of brilliance but long periods where he goes unnoticed.   He is not really elite at one skill - decent skater, decent speed, decent shot, decent passer - good a mostly everything but does not do one thing incredibly well.  As I have stated many times I believe Schenn will not be on the Team come the beginning of camp.  This is just the way I see it... they trade Schenn(s?) for a dman and VLC remains as the Center.
  • After a rough start Streit is the Flyers #1 dman... **IF** Kimmo returns I would hope Chief puts Streit on the # PP
  • AMac - to quote Rad:  "I expect great things... great things"...   Nice player but not worth the pricetag IMO and the length of the deal is too long.   If there is any positive to be taken away is that he can be traded...
  • VLC - see bullet point #2.  I think Vinny remains and they move Schenn...
Edited by murraycraven
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Puck Possession:  This is the #1 problem w/ the Flyers right now both offensive and defensively.   The simply need the puck on their sticks more and have to find ways to be better down low and along the boards. 

 

Absolutely. Even without knowing their rank, it was evident. They just seem so eager to give away the puck - dump and chase, poor passing, poor shot selection, and turnovers. Their passing percentage must have been atrocious in the NYR series. 

 

Of course, the disconnect is that we lost that series by ONE goal even though we were thoroughly outplayed.

 


Questioning the kids:   I think it is more than fair to question Schenn and to some degree Cooter.   While I would take Cooter over Schenn every day of the week I am hoping to see Cooter create more offense.   The kids is such an adept defensive forward that I am not really concerned about his offense but I do think he has some upside.   Schenn on the other hand is the most frustrating player on the Team (to me).   Flashes of brilliance but long periods where he goes unnoticed.   He is not really elite at one skill - decent skater, decent speed, decent shot, decent passer - good a mostly everything but does not do one thing incredibly well.  As I have stated many times I believe Schenn will not be on the Team come the beginning of camp.  This is just the way I see it... they trade Schenn(s?) for a dman and VLC remains as the Center.

 

I'm with you - I think The Good Schenn is a goner, possibly The Bad one too. I like him and hope they keep him over VLC. But if they're moving him for a nice young piece that 'fits' better, so be it. Of course, VLC is already a bad fit and he should be the one moved.

 

Cooter is fine defensively. I hope to see more offensive development from him, and I think that only happens if the coach uses him differently (e.g. more offensive zone starts, more PP time, extra skater). He's our de facto #2 center now, and needs to up his offensive game.

 


After a rough start Streit is the Flyers #1 dman... **IF** Kimmo returns I would hope Chief puts Streit on the # PP

 

Yup, Streit lived up to his contract, pretty much. He doesn't have the defensive game that Kimmo does/did, but he provides a lot of that puck moving speed that we need. He's definitely top pairing guy now, if only by default.

 


AMac - to quote Rad:  "I expect great things... great things"...   Nice player but not worth the pricetag IMO and the length of the deal is too long.   If there is any positive to be taken away is that he can be traded..

 

Bad signing. I like the player, but hate the contract. The worst part is he's the Flyers TOI leader, so they're using him like a #1. His numbers and his play show that he's clearly in over his head. 

 

 

The depressing part, I guess, is that our defense figures to be pretty much the same next season. No room for young guys.

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Bad signing. I like the player, but hate the contract. The worst part is he's the Flyers TOI leader, so they're using him like a #1. His numbers and his play show that he's clearly in over his head.

 

I think he will be the leader on TOI again which is a concern.   Nice player, but as you stated, not a big fan of the contract.  I also thought he was pretty bad in the Rangers series but I guess time will tell if this was a good signing or not.   Honestly, I know most folks think he would have gotten the same contract on the open market but I am not so sure about that.

 

The one good takeaway is that Homer forgot ( ;) ) to add in the NMC so maybe if it does not pan out he could be moved. 

 

I hope the keep Schenn too but I just have this sneaking suspicion the Flyers are higher on VLC and will chalk last year up to being injured and not getting a chance to play Center for the entire season.   The whole VLC thing is a mess and they should have never signed him to begin with but that is in the past.   Maybe a Team takes him in a trade but I would imagine the Flyers will hacve to eat salary.  

 

Hextall has some work to do so it should be an interesting offseason. Maybe the conspiracy theorists around these parts are right and we trade him back to Tampa for Carle :ph34r:  

Edited by murraycraven
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Honestly, I know most folks think he would have gotten the same contract on the open market but I am not so sure about that.

 

Maybe he would have. If that's the case, let another team be the sucker. Why must Homer be the sucker?

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Before MacDonald was traded to the Flyers, the word was that the Bruins wanted him and they offered a 5 year deal at 4.5 per year and that was turned down by MacDonald's camp. So, I don't think the 5 million he's getting paid is too much of a stretch. The problem is that defense is such a premium position and teams are willing to spend crazy amounts on it. I know Suter, Weber, Chara, etc...are the elite of the elite, but even then, they're making in excess of $7 million per year. A second pairing defender making 5 million isn't too much out of the realm at all. Would I pay it if I were GM? Not a chance, but that's what the market shows right now. Just watch what a guy like Matt Niskanen is going to make when he hits the open market.

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Never heard about the Bruins offering anything to AMac.   Since he was on the Isles they would have had to trade for him before any deal was discussed so not sure that makes much sense - he was not a UFA until after the season.  He did not have a NMC w/ the Isles so they Isles could have shipped him anywhere w/out his consent.  However, I do know that the Isles offerend him a 4 yr/16M deal that he turned down.

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Before MacDonald was traded to the Flyers, the word was that the Bruins wanted him and they offered a 5 year deal at 4.5 per year and that was turned down by MacDonald's camp. So, I don't think the 5 million he's getting paid is too much of a stretch.

 

I didn't hear about that deal, but if true, it still represents a big difference. The Bruins would have paid him $22.5M versus the $30M he's getting from the Flyers. I don't know about you, but $7.5M is significant to me.

 

The Flyers made that trade and subsequent signing out of desperation. It is what it is, I guess, but I can't pretend I like it.

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He also posted a possible roster for next year. It's actually not bad up front and in goal. Our defense still stinks though.

 

 

CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER
OSGP14-Flyers
 
FORWARDS
Scott Hartnell ($4.750m) / Claude Giroux ($8.275m) / Jakub Voracek ($4.250m) 
Brayden Schenn ($1.500m) / Sean Couturier ($1.750m) / Wayne Simmonds ($3.975m) 
Jason Akeson ($0.750m) / Michal Handzus ($1.000m) / Matt Read ($3.625m) 
Michael Raffl ($1.100m) / Scott Laughton ($0.863m) / Zac Rinaldo ($0.750m) 
Tye McGinn ($0.750m) / Adam Hall ($0.600m) / 
 
DEFENSEMEN
Braydon Coburn ($4.500m) / Kimmo Timonen ($5.000m) 
Andrew MacDonald ($5.000m) / Mark Streit ($5.250m) 
Nicklas Grossmann ($3.500m) / Luke Schenn ($3.600m) 
T.J. Brennan ($0.900m) / 
 
GOALTENDERS
Steve Mason ($4.100m) 
Alex Stalock ($1.000m) 
 
BUYOUTS
Daniel Briere ($0.000m) 
Ilya Bryzgalov ($0.000m) 
LTIR
Chris Pronger ($4.941m) 
 
RETAINED SALARIES (3.16% of upper limit)
Vincent Lecavalier ($2.250m—50.00%) 
 
------
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $69,038,333; BONUSES: $212,500
CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $2,061,667

 

 

 

Not sure how all them roster moves can pan out....but i suggested a couple weeks ago on signing T.J. Brennan he has got good size and is a solid offensive Dman.

 

He would have lead the Phantoms this past year in scoring had he been a Phantoms 2013-14 75 gp 25 gls 47 ast 72 pts...playoffs 13gp 6 gls 8 ast 14pts.

 

Easily would have been the best defensive numbers on the Phantoms in 10 years.

 

He is a local boy who is a UFA and worth a contract and only made 600K last year....certainly affordable.

 

For some of the roster additions some trades will have to take place.

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Never heard about the Bruins offering anything to AMac.   Since he was on the Isles they would have had to trade for him before any deal was discussed so not sure that makes much sense - he was not a UFA until after the season

 

Yeah the rumored deal he turned down was from the Isles. Never heard anything on Boston except they were targeting him in a trade but chose to go with Mezz instead...how true any of that is i'm not sure.

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I didn't hear about that deal, but if true, it still represents a big difference. The Bruins would have paid him $22.5M versus the $30M he's getting from the Flyers. I don't know about you, but $7.5M is significant to me.
 
The Flyers made that trade and subsequent signing out of desperation. It is what it is, I guess, but I can't pretend I like it.

 

right, you're right, rightly right.

 

however, MacDonald turned that Bruins deal down.

so the 7.5 is a fart in the wind... i don't know, we'll never know because it didn't suit, and he would not be playing for anyone at that number and term  he was in the cat bird seat, wait until we see what Niskanen signs for. We'll be sickened.

 

I agree that Nik Hjalmersson is the ideal second pairing guy , with the ideal second pairing contract however he and it are not available.

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right, you're right, rightly right.

 

Just for the shock factor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :blink:

 

tumblr_mkk6r1KSWm1rp50moo1_r1_1280_mediu

 

 

So did you schitt your pants with this sight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????

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right, you're right, rightly right.

 

however, MacDonald turned that Bruins deal down.

so the 7.5 is a fart in the wind... i don't know, we'll never know because it didn't suit, and he would not be playing for anyone at that number and term  he was in the cat bird seat, wait until we see what Niskanen signs for. We'll be sickened.

 

I agree that Nik Hjalmersson is the ideal second pairing guy , with the ideal second pairing contract however he and it are not available.

 

 

Okay... I get where you are coming from but are we sure that he truned down an offer from the Bruins?   It was widely stated he turned down the deal from the Isles but he was property of they Isles.   The Isles could have traded him w/out any consent whatsoever.  They were in the driving seat not Boston or AMac.  

 

I looked everywhere and there is no mention of AMac turnign down anything from the Bruins.  There are a few articles that suggested the Bruins might be interested in trading for him and that is it.  

 

I dont see how the Bruins even put a deal on the table considering he was still property of the Isles and was not a RFA or UFA yet.   Teams cant discuss contracts w/ another Teams player...  He would have to be traded and then signed...

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I looked everywhere and there is no mention of AMac turnign down anything from the Bruins. 

 

How could he turn down anything? He did not have a NTC / NMC. I call BS on this. Snow / etc. (a hole owner) could do whatever they wanted with MacD. 

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How could he turn down anything? He did not have a NTC / NMC. I call BS on this. Snow / etc. (a hole owner) could do whatever they wanted with MacD.

 

Thank you Van!    I thought I was alone on this...   it makes no sense.

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I looked everywhere and there is no mention of AMac turnign down anything from the Bruins.  There are a few articles that suggested the Bruins might be interested in trading for him and that is it.  
 
I dont see how the Bruins even put a deal on the table considering he was still property of the Isles and was not a RFA or UFA yet.   Teams cant discuss contracts w/ another Teams player...  He would have to be traded and then signed...

 

i have never heard of this offer either, i was following the line of thought/logic from bobbyclarkefan .  which said he turned down 4.5 x 5...

 

I can totally see Chiarelli making sure if he was going to give up assets making sure he "got his man" especially after the whole Iginla to the Bruins... no wait that's Rejean Shero's music, what's he doing here Edzo !?! business from the year before.

 

and . there is no NMC with AMac so ... he can be traded at some point if he turns out to be not what everyone hopes, which is I'm not sure.  I expect really good things from that contract, so to me that means I need to not notice him until he does something awesome , like 93% of the time he is on the ice.

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Thank you Van!    I thought I was alone on this...   it makes no sense.

 

No worries. I am in a pissy mood (fight with the missus), so my intonation may be harsh for a bit. But you and I are in agreement. 

 

MacD was slated to be a UFA. He was a trade deadline deal. The boston stuff is a crock of horse crap. Maybe Boston had interest in doing a deal, but it was not MacD in the driver seat. First come, first served. 

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Well you're talking two different issues. He could not have turned down a trade. What was stated earlier is that he turned down a contract from the Bruins. Unless the Isles gave the Bruins permission to talk to MacDonald, the Bruins couldn't have offered him a contract. I think it unlikely that that happened, as the Flyers would have wanted the same opportunity.

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