what would you all say that the one most important thing would be for this team right now?
as for fowards, i would say aquiring a playmaker, this team with the loss of recchi and zhamnov has a lot of talent still but no clear playmaker, recchi ran the powerplay last year and he was 80% of the reason that is was so good during the regular season, and with him being injured in the playoffs and playing poorly i am sure that is the reason that the PP faltered also. i would like to see them make a move, sign someone, and/or bring up a foward who has playmaking talent, as of right now i just dont see it on the roster.
as of right now i feel the roster will look something like this next season
out of the fowards i just dont see that much playmaking talent, Roenick is a scorer, handzus shows flashes of playmaking skill but not too consistently, same with gagne but he is solely a scorer, knuble is a grinder as is primeau, kapanen, stevenson, and brashear. Sharp really hasent gotten enough playing time to show if he has any offensive talent and we really dont even know if the kids (carter, richards, umbarger) will be on the team coming out of camp or if they have NHL playmaking talent, which is doubtful at their age and experience
Ok, there's slim to no chance that Carter or Richards are going to be moved to the wing. They are simply too good of prospects at their position to move to the wing. I don't care about the whole Mike Richards being too small to play center. He's got mad skills, is a faceoff demon and will do just fine. Actually, his hockey sense and ability is probably more refined and more adept than what Carter brings. Carter may be the bigger of the two players and may have had a coming out party by scoring some big goals at the WJC, but Richards has been the more consistent player of the two. Richards is probably more NHL ready than Carter and would have little trouble adapting to the NHL. Anyways, I think it would be foolish of the Flyer organization to move Richards and Carter from the center position and retrain them to play the wing. Let Umberger, Ruzicka, and Eager gear up for the wings.
With regards to our most pressing needs, I'd say we have two. We need to get younger on the defense. I'm sorry, but Desjardins and Ragnarsson should not be in our top four rotation. Desjardins has become injury prone and I'd feel more comfortable if Pitkanen, Markov, Seidenberg, and Jonsson took the majority of the minutes on D. While Desjardins and Ragnarsson bring experience, experience in this case would be best served by youth. As well, we could use a real mean crease clearing defenseman. And I'm not talking about one who will give love taps with his stick or anything like that. I mean we need someone who is as mean as a bull and hits like a freight train.
Second thing we need is for Hitch to open up the game a little more. The playoffs proved that when we played that stiffling defensive system, we ended up getting beat. When we opened up and played a high pressure offensive game, we won. Don't worry about limiting the number of shots our goalie faces. We know we've got a good one and having him work every now and then isn't a bad thing. As well, quantity means nothing if the quality of shot isn't there. By playing a more offensive style of game, it means more shots and more quality with the shots, no more dump and chase.
I don't think the roster needs a complete overhaul. More youth incorporated into the line up would be a great thing. More than anything, we need the coaching staff to get the perfect game mentality out of their heads and go with letting the players have fun. It's amazing how productive people can be when they're having fun.
some good points, heres what i think, i think we need a shifty finese player, someone who is fast and has god stickhandling, we have to many centers as it is, and i like Handzus alot. but heres what i would do. package Handzus and Gagne(lets face it, hes never gonig to be a 40 goal scorer) and maybe a winger for a top flight winger. some like like Gaborik, whos just ready to hit his breakout year or Havlat(not only is he skilled but hes gritty) whos name i have heard in alot of recent trade proposals for other teams. but i realize thats a long shot, b/c Ottawa is in the east and i dont think the flyers organization likes Havlat for more then one reason. aside from a scoring winger a crease clearing defensemen like Vandermeer who we had or a rhett warrener type. any comments on that?
If Gagne was given the oppurtunity with 1st line minutes he would most likely be more productive. How is he supposed to be scoring goals when he is on a line that is trying to keep the other teams top line from scoring.
in the 20 games which gagne played an offensive role with zhamnov and amonte while primeau and JR were down he scored 12 goals.... that is on pace for a 50 goal season if put with a SKILLED PLAYMAKER... if that is done, and gagne is not playing on a line with keith primeau, or JR but a skilled playmaker, unless the playmaker is a winger he will not put up 40, only pavel bure can put up 40+ goals a season BY HIMSELF... as for trading for a great center or winger, i would love to have thornton which is a proven skill and power foward center, who does make the people around him better but there is about a 3% chance that he will go anywhere, nevermind to our team... gaborik is going nowhere, as is havlat. recchi was this teams playmaker and they let him go. the whole point to bringing in a playmaker would be to make gagne play like his full potential, if he had a full season with zhamnov under his belt, he would be a 35+ goal guy
i keep reading that they want a young Dman as well as some more in return, that would lead my suspicions that they would start asking with pitkanen, which i doubt clarke would move, though it is for joe thornton.... anyway, thats what spector's is reporting, though he reported that toronto would be interested... you know because they are interested in any trade for anyone
What the Flyers really need is a 30 year old healthy Scott Stevens. Since that isn't happening, I say resign Zhamnov and put him with Gagne. As many of y'all have pointed out, Gagne's game opened up with a playmaker. Bring back Zhamnov of possible!