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Examining the Philadelphia Flyers

by John McGourty / NHL.com

 
Complete Flyers Analysis:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards
Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster

Quick rebuild makes Flyers a contender

The Philadelphia Flyers are coming off their worst season since entering the NHL in 1967 finishing last among the League’s 30 teams. General Manager Paul Holmgren wasted little time in making sure it would not happen again. The Flyers have been revamped and upgraded at every position and there are several fine prospects moving through the system.

One aspect of the rebuilding that has seemingly been overlooked is Holmgren has built a team that looks like him — that is, mean. Holmgren may be a gentleman off the ice, but he played hockey with a snarl, just as his trio of defensemen, Derian Hatcher, Jason Smith and Denis Gauthier do. Throw in forward bangers like Mike Knuble, Scottie Upshall, Scott Hartnell, Ben Eager and R.J. Umberger, add prospect Steve Downie, and playing against Philadelphia doesn’t figure to be much fun. The Flyers are going “Back to the Future” -- back to what has always worked for them — big, punishing players.

The rebuilding job began when he acquired goaltender Martin Biron from Buffalo and sent Peter Forsberg to the Nashville Predators for Upshall, Ryan Parent and a first-round draft pick. Holmgren then traded the pick back to Nashville for the rights to defenseman Kimmo Timonen and left wing Hartnell, both of whom he then signed before they hit the free-agent market. But Holmgren didn’t forget the need for offense, signing center Daniel Briere to a long-term deal after Briere put up 95 points with Buffalo last season.

2006-07 Record:
22-48-12, 5th Atlantic

Who's In:
F Scott Hartnell, D Kimmo Timonen, F Daniel Briere, F Joffrey Lupul, D Jason Smith, G Brian Boucher.

Who's Out:
G Robert Esche, D Joni Pitkanen, F Geoff Sanderson, F Dimitri Afanasenkov, F Mike York, F Todd Fedoruk, F Denis Hamel.

2006-07 Leading Scorers:
Simon Gagne (41-27-68), Mike Knuble (24-30-54), Joni Pitkanen (4-39-43) Jeff Carter (14-23-37), Mike Richards (10-22-32)

2006-07 Goaltending Leaders:
Martin Biron, 18-12-3, 3.03 GAA, 35 appearances, .903 save percentage, 0 shutouts; Antero Niittymaki, 9-29-9, 3.38 GAA, 52 appearances, .894 save percentage, 0 shutouts; Robert Esche, 5-9-1, 4.33 GAA, 18 appearances, .872 save percentage, 1 shutout
                         


NHL.com's 2007-08 Flyers Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards | Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster

 

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