Posted tagged ‘Riley Cote’

Flyers Season Starts Tonight

October 2, 2009
New Flyers Goalie - Ray Emery -  Yong Kim / Staff Photographer (Daily News/Inquirer)

New Flyers Goalie - Ray Emery - Yong Kim / Staff Photographer (Daily News/Inquirer)

There is nothing better than the start of hockey season.  The Flyers face off tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes to start their season.  As discussed many times, the Flyers made a flurry of trades and moves designed to bolster their team.  In fact, some major hockey publications are selecting the Flyers as the eventual Stanley Cup champions.  I wouldn’t go that far, yet.  We haven’t seen them play, nor have we seen these Flyers develop an always win mentality.  I hope it pans out, but I think there are many variables.

The goalie situation in Philadelphia has not been stable since Ron Hextall manned the pipes.  This year, the Flyers start the year with Ray Emery and Brian Boucher as their primary goaltenders.  Both of their contracts are salary cap friendly and they both have a lot to prove.  Emery has had a tumultuous past with his former teammates and with the police.  He needs to have a great and behaved year to get his career and life back on track.  Flyers GM Paul Holmgren took a large chance handing the starting job over to Ray Emery.  If it works out – Holmgren is a genius.  If it doesn’t, we can all kiss this season goodbye.  One thing Emery has going for him is the defense.

I don’t think that you can find very many teams in the NHL with a better top four defensemen than the Flyers have.  With the addition of Chris Pronger to Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Matt Carle and Ryan Parent, the Flyers defense should provide protection in front of the net, skills on the power play and provide some offensive puck movement.  The offense is going to greatly benefit from this backline unit.

With the core of the Flyers, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell coming off career seasons, the sky is the limit.  A healthy Danny Briere added to youngsters James van Riemsdyk, Claude Giroux and Darrell Powe.  Simon Gagne, should he remain healthy, will get his standard allotment of points.  Interestingly, the Flyers added proven penalty killers and checkers, Blair Betts and Ian LaPierrere.  These two guys should take a significant burden off of Mike Richards as the lead penalty killer.  Richards then should be able focus on his excellent two way 5 on 5 play and leading the top power-play unit.  Even better, the Flyers are only going to have to dress one of Riley Cote, Aaron Asham or Dan Carcillo.  This will allow the Flyers to have more skilled players on the ice.  

Finally, the Flyers learned their salary lessons from a year-ago.  By putting Randy Jones on waivers and sending him to the Phantoms, they freed up his cap space allowing them to keep the young players on the roster and leave room for an emergency call-up or if they want to make a trade.  Also, it would prevent them from having to pull the Scottie Upshall trade of 2009-2010.

PhilaTude’s take on the Flyers season – they will win games, but I am still concerned about the intensity around this team and their ability to stay out of the penalty box.  If they can reduce the penalties and show a desire to play tough for wins, watch out, because this team has talent.

Upshall for Carcillo Trade

May 7, 2009

Daniel Carcillo, sportsnet.ca

Daniel Carcillo, sportsnet.ca

This trade happened at the NHL trading deadline, so the topic is definitely old news. However, I wanted to touch on a few quick points:

  1. 1. This gave the Flyers more cap space to maneuver players for the rest of the 08-09 season.  An important point to note, that was rarely discussed in any media, is that Upshall wouldn’t have been resigned with the Flyers for the 09-10 season, unless they did some major salary cap overhaul. Also, I think Holmgren made the move to help Upshall.  Phoenix is a place where Upshall will be a top line player and have the opportunity to have a long career there, assuming the Coyotes will invest in his contract – I think they will.
  2. I liked Scottie Upshall with the Flyers.  He wasn’t my favorite player, nor do I think they need him to win.  People obsessed over the loss of Upshall, I just don’t get it. He did play with grit and a lot of emotion, which the Flyers missed in the playoffs.  However, I think there are plenty of other players on the Flyers that also have the potential and should play with the emotion exhibited by Upshall.
  3. Daniel Carcillo is not a zero.  I think he is a better player to have on the fourth line than Riley Cote.  Carcillo has some skill, can skate rather well and can drop the gloves.  He should have been an instant fan favorite in Philadelphia, but he takes bad penalties and lets his anger/emotions get the better of him.  He scored an energizing goal in game 4 against Pittsburgh that shows he has some skill.  Cote would have whiffed on that.  If Carcillo gets his head together and the referees stop targeting him, he could turn into a strong fourth line energy player for the Flyers.
  4. This trade wasn’t covered well by the national media and all I read in the Philadelphia media was the loss of Upshall, not the potential of Carcillo.  Philadelphia local television may have covered this better, but I don’t know.

  
Of course, the Flyers have been known to give away guys because of salary cap issues or their perceived “lack of fitting into” the Flyers.  For example, Patrick Sharp has turned into a solid producer in Chicago, a young Vinny Prospal was sent away in a trade and RJ Umberger was dumped because of salary cap issues.

The lesson here is that Carcillo still has a chance to prove everyone wrong and be a solid player for the Flyers.  Regardless, the Flyers management of their talent evaluation and salary cap need to be improved.