The Ron Hextall era has begun for the Philadelphia Flyers, but his first roster is going to look pretty similar to the last one of Paul Holmgren's tenure.
Hextall is the new general manager, with Holmgren promoted to team president. The Flyers still have a lot of the same strengths (strong group of forwards) and weaknesses (slow/old group of defensemen) and the salary cap situation remains delicate.
Philadelphia shook off a terrible start to the 2013-14 season and still made the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There could be increased contributions from young players up front, while the defense corps and goaltending likely will be the same.
Since the seismic shift after the 2010-11 season, the Flyers have won one less playoff series in three seasons than departed stars Mike Richards
and Jeff Carter
have won championships. Between 1994-95 and 2005-06, Philadelphia finished first or second in its division each season. The only time that has happened since was 2010-11, and an early playoff exit led to the big trades.
Hextall's mission will be simple: Find ways to alleviate some of the salary cap issues while restoring a higher standard of excellence for a proud franchise.
Here's a look at the projected 2014-15 lineup for the Flyers: