Monday, July 6, 2009

Thoughts on the Offseason So Far

So we've almost arrived at training camp. All the big deals are done and the draft has passed. Teams will be spending the rest of the summer just tweaking their roster here and there while preparing for the beginning of training camp. Since things are pretty much set for the Flyers, I figured that I'd break my 3 month hiatus and comment on their moves this offseason.

Ray Emery:
I'm already on record saying that I do not like this deal as I think we could have gotten someone better. However, my position is changing and I'm looking at this a little more optimistically. If we hadn't signed Emery, and instead had gone after someone like Khabibulin or even re-signed Biron, I don't think we would have been able to pull off some of the moves that we made later on. Emery can be a great goalie, but I still don't trust his head until he proves that he can go a season without being crazy. However, if he wants to get into a few goalie fights this year with say... Marc-Andre Fleury... I'm all for it.

Chris Pronger:
This was our big splash for the summer. We shipped an underachieving Joffrey Lupul and an unproven defensive prospect in Lucas Sbisa for one of the best defensemen in the league in the past 15 years. Pronger has played in two Stanley Cup Finals, winning one of them. More importantly, he made the finals as part of an 8th seeded team, so he knows that no team is out of it based on their seed. He also hates losing, is an offensive force, and can lay someone out when he feels like it. This guy is the complete package, and when you look at his game, you realize that he was born a Flyer, it just took him several years to come home. A lot of people have complained that we gave up too much to get him. I disagree. Lupul was overpaid for the production that he put out, and Sbisa is a prospect. We don't need prospects, we need a proven, shut down guy, and that's what Pronger is. The Pronger acquisition has also caused me to rethink the Emery signing. I believe that Pronger will not put up with any crap that Emery might try and pull, so his guidance and maturity will help keep Emery in line this season.

Ian Laperriere:
Laperriere is good at two things- annoying the other team, and faceoffs. The latter is the more important part. Over the past couple of seasons one of the Flyers biggest issues has been winning faceoffs in clutch moments of the game. Hopefully the addition of Laperriere will give us a boost in that department. He should also help Richards and Carter get better at taking faceoffs. It's little moves like this that could really help us this season.

Ole-Kristian Tollefsen:

Translation- come across our blue line at your own peril.

So yea, I'm excited for this season. I have a feeling that the Flyers are going to play rough and tumble hockey. It looks like toughness and discipline will be the theme this year. Even if we lose, we won't be losing without a fight. It's going to be a classic Flyers year. GET EXCITED.