Posted tagged ‘Joffrey Lupul’

Flyers Acquire Chris Pronger

June 29, 2009
Hopefully, Chris Pronger will hoist the Cup in a Flyers sweater.  (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Hopefully, Chris Pronger will hoist the Cup in a Flyers sweater. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The Flyers acquiring Chris Pronger and a minor-leaguer for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa and some draft picks is tremendous.  It gives the Flyers an excellent core of defensemen and provides some salary cap flexibility at the end of this season. 

Ok, I know many people are bitter about giving up Sbisa and the late first round draft picks, but you have to give up something to get something.  Regardless, if the Flyers didn’t get Pronger, Sbisa wouldn’t have been on the roster this year.  Besides, the Flyers still have to resign Parent and Coburn to long-term deals around the same time Sbisa’s contract would expire.  Personally, I’d rather have Coburn and Parent over Sbisa.  Parent and Coburn are made for the NHL, Sbisa will be a fine defensemen, but no better than Randy Jones.

Joffrey Lupul was a disappointment last season and I am still not sure why Holmgren gave Lupul that ridiculous contract extension.  He’s the Ducks’ problem now (or again). 

The Flyers defense will have Timonen play with Parent, Coburn and Pronger and Jones and Carle.  It is great that Carle and Jones will be the 5th and 6th defensemen, because that’s where they belong.  If they can re-sign Andrew Alberts for the league minimum, he will be an excellent 7th defenseman.

Chris Pronger brings a much needed edge to the Flyers defense.  He can kill penalties and keep opposing players from crashing the net.  Ray Emery should be ecstatic to have Pronger in front of his net.  A few downsides to the deal are that Pronger will be a free agent after this season, he is 34 and his presence will just make the referees salivate at calling more penalties on the Flyers.  I think Holmgren will be able to re-sign Pronger, because he will love playing here and I expect Holmgren to make more moves to have the necessary cap space.  At age 34, many defensemen have been effective.  Niklas Lidstrom from the Red Wings is still playing tremendous hockey in his 30’s.  Chris Chelios and Paul Coffey also had great seasons while in their 30’s.  I’m not worrying about Pronger’s age.  And, the issue of the Flyers getting tougher – they know how to play against their opponents and the referees.

I am jacked up for this season.  The Flyers still need to get a face-off winning veteran center, re-sign Knuble and sign a back-up goalie.  No matter what else happens this off-season, the Flyers got one of the best and toughest defensemen in the league.  And by the way – Jay Bouwmeester – overrated.

Other draft news:  The Flyers added two goaltenders and a few skaters.  I don’t really think any of them will have an impact on the Flyers organization in the short-term.  If one of these players develops, they would be considered “draft steals.”

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John Stevens to Blame?

May 8, 2009
John Stevens, flyers.nhl.com

John Stevens, flyers.nhl.com

After the Flyers first round exit in this year’s playoffs, someone should blamed. Right?

Should Paul Holmgren be blamed for having to make roster decisions based on salary cap dollars? Yes, but that’s not why the Flyers lost. Holmgren still assembled a strong enough team to make some noise in the playoffs.

How about we blame the players for not playing to their potential? Yes and no. Some of the players outplayed expectations – Claude Giroux, while others were battling injuries – Simon Gagne, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and Randy Jones. Players like Joffrey Lupul, Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere didn’t step up as much as they should have.

Could Marty Biron be responsible? Nope, he played well enough for them to win. He didn’t play well enough to win it for the team, but he gave the Flyers a shot at winning.

Should John Stevens be at fault for the performance of the Flyers in the playoffs? Absolutely. How does a coach allow his team to squander a three goal lead in a do-or-die playoff situation? How does a coach not have his team playing top level hockey heading into the playoffs? How does a coach not expect his players to play to their potential? How does a coach allow his team to be undisciplined? How does a coach allow his team to “take periods off” or “go through the motions” of many regular season games?  I can’t answer these questions.  I hope the Flyers organization answers these questions.  It makes no sense to me why John Stevens gets the free pass.

My guess is that he will be back. I’m not happy.

Flyers – Final Thoughts on the 2009 Playoffs

May 5, 2009

Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers


Now that the Flyers first round playoff loss is over 10 days old, I am more capable of discussing the poor showing in the playoffs. I needed some time to cool off. In the local Philadelphia media, it was repeatedly written about the lack of leadership and the lack of urgency on this Flyers team. That may have been apparent and obvious to the media and fans, but I think it was something more.

Mike Richards is the captain. Kimmo Timonen and Danny Briere were both captains of their former clubs. Mike Knuble and Marty Biron have been in the league for years. The Flyers have leadership. What they are lacking is the grit, determination and mental toughness. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter both played through injuries, which exhibit the above, but it diminishes their skill needed to win games. The supporting players, specifically, Scott Hartnell, Joffrey Lupul and Simon Gagne, came up small. I expect more out of players making between 3 and 5 million a season. Gagne plays hard, but doesn’t step-up to be that go to player when the team needs him because Richards and Carter were hurt. Hartnell is supposed to bang in front of the net, but he can’t when he is in the box. Joffrey Lupul has speed and shot, but was trying to be too fancy. For every Richards, Carter, Briere and Giroux, a team needs the bangers, gritters and intangible guys. Richards is both. The skill guys aren’t off the hook, either. They didn’t put the puck in the net. So, my diagnosis and the problems with this team were the players not playing their roles.

This off-season is going to be interesting. I am curious to see what the Flyers are going to do with the goaltending situation, solidifying the defense, managing the salary cap and developing their young talent. If Holmgren makes the appropriate moves and tweaks, this team can compete and build on their experience over the last two years.

Coming up in the next few weeks, I will develop my thoughts on how the team should look next season and my take on Daniel Carcillo.