The future of the franchise?! Drafts, Trades, Retirement
1. Key Question in the near future: Defence!
We will lost Timonen after this season or the next. We will lost Pronger in 2 - 3 years for a #1 or #2 role. We have two ufa dman in Carle and Coburn, so something must happen this offseason or earlier. Also Walker and Lilja are out of their playing career after their contracts ends in 2 years.
We have only one really good d prospect in our Farm system: Erik Gustafsson.
Did you guys think we should draft 2 high dman in the 2012 draft with our 1st and 2nd pick? Or should we try to sign a big UFA Dman? Or should we trade for one like we do it for Meszaros? Do you guys think we should resign Carle and Coburn because we want to build on our consistency in the dzone or is it the right time to change the dcore?
2. Key Question in the near future: What to do with 5 Centers!
We have Giroux, Briere, Schenn, Couturier, Talbot... 1 is too much here.
We can see it in all the line up proposals and in the interviews by Laviolette. We have a problem of making a clear lineup so everyone is happy with his ice time and his role on the team. It´s a luxury problem but it can also be a bad problem. It can creates locker room problems.
IMO Homer never tought about the option he can get Couturier with the 8th Pick. But he can´t passed away on him so we have too much center now as we have had in the past. But who is not a main piece of the team?
Briere: Vet presence, playoff success, alternate captain
Giroux: Franchise Player, Top10 in the league
Schenn: Top5 Prospect
Couturier: Top15 Prospect
Talbot: Vet presence, playoff success, perfect pk, perfect fit for a 4th line job!
So we don´t want Schenn or Couturier on the 4th line, but i don´t know if one of them can play wing on the 1st or 2nd line.
What can we do? Must we trade one of the Centers (and i bet i wouldn´t be Talbot) because we have too much of them or does we keep somenone of them on the wing. And who can it be?
I do think we need to restock our defense prospects.
Yeah, but as the OP says he isn't going to be a #1 or 2 shutdown dman that whole time. Pronger and Timonen still have more good hockey in front of them then most players will ever play, but it would be impossible to argue they aren't on the downslope of their careers.
I would definitively like to see the Flyers make some maneuvers and go after someone like Ryan Suter, ie another legitimate anchor d to give us the ability to control Timonen and Pronger's minutes, and eventually replace them as the foundation of our blueline along with Meszaros. I don't know if he is really going to be in play during the season, but I would think Holmgren will keep a close eye on him until he gets signed.
As far as our forwards go, there are too many variables right now to really project, but I think it's safe to say we have a fully stocked cupboard. Right now everyone looks promising, but more likely then not one or more of Vorachek, Simmonds, Schenn, Couturier or Read will have a "disappointing" season. That shouldn't be a killer because of the depth we have but it is likely a fact of life when you skate this many "emerging" players; some of them never really emerge.
In the long term, the surplus of centers is not an issue. If Schenn and Couturier play at the level most people seem to project I think we'll see Briere shifted over to wing. I don't think he is quite as effective as he is at center, but he is still a great skater and a coldblooded sniper. I think (hope?) this happens sooner rather then later.
If one of the Centers absolutely has to go, it's Briere.
If Briere can't be traded (and I honestly don't think he can be at this point given his huge contract and his NMC), then he must be shifted to the wing. And I agree with the above poster... I hope this happens sooner rather than later.
1. Either go heavy after Suter and commit to either losing one of both of Carle and/or Coburn in the process, or commit completely to the young, solid core of Coburn, Carle, and Meszaros while drafting defensemen in the defense heavy 1st round of 2012.
2. Giroux --> Couturier/Schenn --> Couturier/Schenn --> 4th line center (Holmstrom/Talbot)
That's our future down the middle. No deviation shall be made.
I´ve looked a bit in the upcoming 2012 draft class. And only finding puck moving dman who are max. 6.1 with alot of body work to do.
Do we really can use another offensive defenseman? We have Gustafsson and Carle! So if we believe in our 3 (Carle, Coburn, Meszaros) we should need a potential #1 Dman because we don´t have one after Pronger become slower and more injuries will come to him and Timonen retires.
Chris i think you know the upcoming draft class better than me, do you see someone who we can get with our potential late 1st round pick?
Or is it more usefull to use the late 1st the late 2nd and a player to get a early 1st in 2012?? Or something like this?
Buffalo fan here, and just noting that you guys need defensemen and have a glut of forwards. Based on the OP's statements, and having seen Briere in Buffalo, I'd say put him on the wing, and eventually have Giroux, Couturier/Schenn, and Talbot as your four centermen. Considering you need defensemen though, and have a lot of forwards, how about a deal based off of Gragniani/Hartnell. Hartnell has a big contract and he's got another year after this I believe (I'm not sure about that), and Gragniani is a young, puck-moving defenseman who's on our top PP right now with Erhoff, ahead of Leopold, Myers, and Sekera. Maybe throw in Brad Boyes (he's making around the same as Hartnell, about $4M cap hit) who has an expiring contract, which would allow you guys to have some more cap space if you really wanted to go after Suter/Weber, or Parise, or whoever this summer.
I think it's becoming obvious that Meszaros, Carle, and Coburn aren't growing into the #1 role (you could make an argument as the #2 for any of them), so I'd expect the Flyers to be the Flyers and turn to free agency and potentially the trade market to pursue options there.
As for the Center depth, Briere, Giroux, Talbot, Couturier can all play wing...and I'm sure Schenn can too. We'll find out tomorrow night
what makes you think we are going to lose Kimmo ? he is 36 but i could see him playing till 40+ he barely misses games ( i think its' like 12 gms over the last 7 years )and we would be screwed if Kimmo and P retired at the same time.
You said don't resign Carle or Coburn, so you not going to resign either? At least one has to be resigned.
We all saw what kind of money Wisnewski went for and I'm sure Coburn and Carle's agents are thinking the same thing - they're going to go where the money is. I don't know that if the Flyers sign a guy like Suter, they'll be able to afford a Coburn or Carle. The best bet is to see how desperate a team looking for goaltending is and dangling the carrot named Sergey Bobrovsky. If Phoenix comes calling, the name Brandon Gormley should be coming up.