Homeboyz Network

Prayers and Thoughts go out to Eagles nation

Posted by fanofphilly on Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Today Howie stepped up to the podium and announced that Andy Reid was absent from early morning workouts due to the passing of his son Garrett Reid.  First and foremost my heart and prayers go out to the Reid family and the whole Eagles organization.  Now let me say this… I do no like using […]

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Flyers HUGE FA signings

Posted by fanofphilly on Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Flyers announce 2 signings today. Ruslan Fedotenko – returns back to the team but this time almost 10 years later hes coming back.  He will not be a player that will light the lamp often for us but he will bring solid depth and SIZE.  Something that we needed after losing Jagr and JVR.  Regardless […]

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Rookie salary cap numbers for 2012

Posted by fanofphilly on Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Ok so the numbers are not 100% final but with the new CBA you can get very very close to being accurate. Now these are their paycut for just this year against the cap. 1-12     Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State – $1.8m 2-14     Mychal Kendricks, ILB, California – $807k 2-27     Vinny Curry, […]

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Why Wait? Call DirecTV Experts & See More Games!

What we can say about the Flyers

Posted by k_dol50 on Monday, March 22nd, 2010

After last night’s loss capped off a Thrashers’ home and home sweep against the Flyers, only ten games remain in the season. I’m not sure you could be more pessimistic about a team tied for fifth in the conference with ten to play than fans are about this team. I’m not saying it’s unjustified. In fact, I’m pretty much focusing full-throttle on baseball with the injuries to Michael Leighton and Jeff Carter. What I am trying to say is that in the week since Leighton went down and in the twenty or so hours since Carter broke his ankle blocking a shot, old questions about this team have resurfaced.

The first question is “When will this team ever acquire a true number 1 goalie?” The second is “Does this team possess a winning makeup?” Each deserves to be addressed and reevaluted in light of recent events, so I’ll take advantage of this blog space to do so.

1. “When will this team acquire a true number 1 goalie?”

The quick, easy answer is that they had one but he got injured. The somewhat longer but equally easy answer is that they had one who got hurt and another guy stepped in and might have been a late bloomer and could have actually been a legit no. 1. I like what Leighton did in his stint as a Flyer. He rarely made the outstanding save because he rarely had to. Since the Flyers’ coaching staff had moved him back in the crease a bit, Leighton was in position on almost every shot, allowing him to be in position when he gave up a rebound. He wasn’t elite, but he would have given the Flyers a chance to do something in the playoffs, although it would have taken a fair amount of luck as well.

Now for the difficult answer: There’s nothing that indicates the Flyers will be acquiring an elite goaltender anytime soon. Notice that I say “elite,” while in the question I say “number one.” There are, give or take, thirty number one goalies in the NHL (duh). Of those, there are maybe five elite netminders and maybe half a dozen “tier 1A” guys. When Flyers fans remember the glory days of Bernie Parent and Pelle Lindburg, they’re thinking of elite goalies. The kind that will pick you up and carry you on their backs to a Stanley Cup. The kind of goalie that Martin Biron pretended to be for two series in 2008. The problem with that pipe dream is that there aren’t too many of those goalies out there, and those who do exist aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Luongo, Brodeur, and Ryan Miller are the only guys that come to mind, and they’ll all be with their respective teams for a long time. You could make arguments for some other players, like Fleury and Nabokov, but I’d place them in that next tier, which also includes Lundqvist, Tim Thomas, and budding guys like Bryzgalov.

So if you’re a Flyers fan, what do you do if you can’t acquire an elite goalie? You have two options: sign a “tier 1A” guy or draft one. Now clearly, a “tier 1A” guy can win you a Stanley Cup (I call Fleury a “tier 1A” guy and he just did it), but you also need a strong supporting cast, which the Flyers arguably (see the second part of this post) have.
Homer tried to sign a tier 1A guy last offseason, albeit a cheap one coming off some character and health issues, in Ray Emery. He went after Emery because of the lack of premier goaltending talent on the marked–guys like Tim Thomas resigned–and partly because of limited cap room, which is another issue entirely. Take a look at the top names on this year’s free agent goalie list, courtesy of Sports City: Goaltenders – 2010 NHL Unrestricted Free Agents
Player Age Team 09-10 Salary Notes
Evgeni Nabokov 33 SJ $6,000,000
Marty Turco 33 DAL $5,400,000
Jose Theodore 32 WASH $4,500,000
Vesa Toskala 32 CAL $4,000,000
Chris Mason 33 STL $3,000,000
Dan Ellis 29 NASH $2,000,000
Ray Emery 26 PHI $1,500,000
Martin Biron 31 NYI $1,400,000
Jonas Hiller 27 ANA $1,300,000 Re-signed with the Ducks. 4 years, $18 million.
Peter Budaj 26 COL $1,250,000
Johan Hedberg 36 ATL $1,175,000
Patrick Lalime 34 BUF $1,000,000
Alex Auld 28 NYR $1,000,000
Pekka Rinne 26 NASH $725,000 Re-signed with the Predators. 2 years, $6.8 million.
Stephen Valiquette 31 NYR $725,000
Michael Leighton 28 CAR $600,000
Curtis Sanford 29 MON $600,000
Antero Niittymaki 29 TB $600,000
Brent Johnson 32 PIT $525,000
Yann Danis 28 NJ $500,000
Andrew Raycroft 29 VAN $500,000
Dany Sabourin 28 BOS TBA
Scott Munroe 27 NYI TBA
Joey MacDonald 29

Any of those names excite you? Nabokov is clearly the best goaltender on that list (Hiller and Riske, as noted, have both resigned with their current teams), but I’d bet that San Jose will resign him, since they’ve been a serious cup contender the past couple years. He’s also 33, which presents its own problems. Enter Marty Turco, whose best days are behind him. Taking him this offseason would be a mistake, and they might not have the cap room to do it anyway. Honestly, the best bet on that list might be Leighton, and that’s scary because I doubt The Hockey News would pick the Flyers to reach the cup with Leighton between the pipes.

Then you get to the draft. Drafting an NHL goalie might be the riskiest proposition in sports. You’d be better off taking a player in the 32nd round of the MLB draft. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I’m not so sure. Obvious case in point: Rick DiPietro, picked first overall by the Islanders in the 2000 draft. DiPietro was drafted to be the savior of a franchise that had fallen further in the last fifteen years than Harrison Ford in “The Fugitive” when he jumps off that dam. Not only has DiPietro been injured more often than not (281 NHL games over ten seasons) while being paid a painful 15 year contract, but he hasn’t been all that good when he has been on the ice. Don’t let his .905 save % and 2.79 GAA fool you; he’s good but not deserving of the draft pick or the contract, and his “look at me, I can handle the puck” fantasy leads to some pretty bone-headed goals. The point is that drafting a goalie is a game of Russian Roulette, and the Flyers have shot themselves in the head too many times in the last twenty years to be confident on that front. I’m talking to you Roman Czechmanek and Jean-Marc Pelletier; you too, Brian Boucher.

My only conclusion is that the Flyers are stuck with second tier goaltending talent (if that) for the foreseeable future.

2. “Does this team possess a winning makeup?”

You’d like to think so, wouldn’t you? Richards and Carter were hailed as future All-Stars, and have made a couple appearences, but they don’t exactly match up to the Crosby-Malkins and Ovechkin-Semins of the world. Don’t get me wrong–Richards is one of the best two-way players in the game, and Carter’s wrist shot and speed combination are just dirty, but these guys are both in their prime, and I have yet to see anything that tells me that these two guys will carry this team to the cup. They might be key contributors, but they won’t be doing it alone, which is probably unfair to ask in the first place. After all, Pittsburgh and Washington have great supporting casts around their stars.

But therein lies the problem. Pronger has played very well this year, and it won’t be enough. Giroux and van Riemsdyk look like they’ll be very good very soon, but neither looks like they’ll be a superstar in the next couple years capable of carrying a team. I’m talking NHL scoring leader type guys. Detroit didn’t have that kind of guy two years ago, but they had great talent across the board and executed their systems to perfection–something I think it’s safe to say the Flyers have been unable to do on a consistent basis, whether under John Stevens or Peter Laviolette.

I don’t want to sound like a Debbie Downer, but it’s possible that this is just the wrong combination of guys. Sometimes you have the talent, you have guys who get along, you have strong leadership presences, and it just doesn’t work out. Maybe they are just a few pieces away, but when your GM screws up the cap situation so much that you can’t make major additions, whether in-season or during the summer, you’ve paralyzed your ability to improve. The current mix of guys just isn’t getting it done. Maybe an elite goalie pushes them over the top, but as I’ve said, that guy just isn’t out there.

Maybe as contracts like Briere and Gagne (I love how he plays, but he just doesn’t score enough anymore for his role) come off the boards, this team will be able to make those moves, but I think the Flyers might need a more radical overhaul. I hate to say it because I like this team and have been optimistic every year since the 2007 debacle, but maybe the Flyers needed some more time in the basement of the league to build a strong young core through the draft like Pittsburgh and Washington have. Either that, or managed the cap like an adept GM should.

Posted in: Philadelphia Flyers, Uncategorized.

2 Responses to “What we can say about the Flyers”

  1. flyerfan Says:

    Nice post man, I think with Carter being hurt we are a pretty much 1st round knock out team now for sure….

    This offseason you are absolutely correct in saying out #1 priority is to acquire a goalie…anyone that can help us out because no matter what we do we need a top goalie to contend…

  2. fanofphilly Says:

    yeh… I agree with the both of you in the fact that we need a goalie. not much room in the cap though..we will see.

    that was a damn good article though man, good post! look forward to more reads from ya

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