Posted tagged ‘Marty Biron’

Ray Emery Officially a Flyer

June 11, 2009
Ray Emery, notice no belt

Ray Emery, notice no belt

I wrote about the Flyers potentially signing Ray Emery to a contract a few weeks back.  You can read that post here.  Now that Emery has signed, I don’t think my opinion has changed.  Emery provides the Flyers with a stop-gap at goal for at least one season.  He signed for a paltry 1.5 million for one year.  By not resigning Biron at close to 4 million for three years, the Flyers saved an immense amount of salary cap space to sign a top level blue-liner.  Biron’s stats and Emery’s stats are similar, except Emery is much more of a nut job, and has tons of off-the-ice incidents to his name. Emery is about 6 years younger than Biron, as well. 

By the Flyers signing Emery for only 1 year, it provides the Flyers with an easy out if Emery can’t hack it.  The Flyers would still be without a number 1 goalie, but at least they wouldn’t have given up anything on a chance to try with Emery.  From Emery’s perspective, the 1 year deal gives him the chance to prove himself on and off the ice for the potential of a more lucrative and long term deal.  Emery has proven to be a solid goaltender.  The question is – Can he bounce back from his problems in Ottawa and recapture his standing as a top goalie in the NHL?  Playing in Philadelphia is not easy.  If Emery starts out poorly, it could be a long season in the Flyers net.  Let’s hope that Emery does well.  I still think that if Biron wasn’t asking for so much money, he would have been the better option.

Of course, signing Emery on the cheap to save cap money was an objective.  If the Flyers don’t use the additional cap money to get a top level free agent defenseman, then settling for Ray Emery could be a big mistake before the season even starts.

Flyers and the Goalie

May 29, 2009
Marty Biron

Marty Biron

We’ve mentioned a few times, here at PhilaTude, that the Flyers goalie situation never seems to be settled.  Most members of the media, as well as the Flyers front office consistently agree.  In fact, heading into next season, the Flyers don’t have a NHL caliber goalie under contract, nor do they have any semblance of a stable of young goalies in the system to be groomed to play in the NHL.

For a great analysis of the Flyers goaltending history and issues, read Tim Panaccio’s 3-part series at CSNphilly.com.

My take is the following:

1)       It’s time to focus on the future of the position.  Either acquire via trade or free agency a young net minder that can be developed or draft an excellent goaltending prospect.  Both of these options are easier said than done, however, they need to try.

2)       Resign Marty Biron for two more years.  Let him hold down the spot until we can develop a young goalie.

3)       Focus on defense first.  A strong blue line of defenders always makes the goalie better.  In fact, I would be satisfied if only Timonen and Parent returned from last year’s team.  Alberts, Jones, Carle and Coburn can all go.  Trading Carle could net some serious cap space and moving Coburn should net a significant goalie prospect.

4)       Since going with Biron is the best option – make it clear he is the guy to him, the team and especially the public and media.

Of course, no one has to listen to PhilaTude, but we think it would be smart.

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.

Ray Emery to the Flyers?

May 6, 2009
Ray Emery as a member of the Ottawa Senators

Ray Emery as a member of the Ottawa Senators

Splashed all over the local and national hockey media are confirmed reports of the Flyers having discussions with Ray Emery’s agent. Click here for the facts. The Philadelphia media makes it seem like the signing of Emery was imminent. However, Emery’s agent reported that they are having discussions with the Flyers and two other teams. In fact, there was article written about how Marty Biron’ agent feels about the Flyers talking with Emery.  Who cares?  Biron is a free agent, just like Emery.  For the record, I like Marty Biron and barring any potential trade for a goaltender, I think Biron is our best shot.

Does Ray Emery provide the Flyers with an upgrade over Marty Biron? Statistically speaking, Biron’s are slightly better. Emery led the Ottawa Senators to the Stanley Cup finals and lost; Biron led the Flyers to the Eastern Conference finals and lost. Aside from their play on the ice, which I think is identical, Emery has been involved in many off-ice incidents, which is a headache the Flyers don’t need. Also, Emery had a solid season in Russia, which may or may not translate well to the NHL. I think Robert Esche has played well in Russia, but I haven’t seen him back in the NHL. My only thoughts for the Flyers looking into Emery are that he might be a cheaper option than Biron and he is six years younger. Other than that, I don’t see a point.

For the Flyers to really have the long-term Cup winning goalie, I think they need to develop him in the organization. Draft a goalie and let him work his way to the NHL.

Of course, the wheeling and dealing Flyers could always try and swing a trade for JS Giguere from Anaheim.

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.