Metropolitan Division Preview: Flyers

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Key Additions/Subtractions

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Additions

  • Vincent Lecavalier
  • Mark Streit
  • Ray Emery
  • Kris Newbury

Subtractions

  • Danny Briere
  • Ilya Bryzgalov
  • Simon Gagne
  • Ruslan Fedotenko

The Flyers used their two compliance buyouts this summer on mercurial goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and aging veteran winger Danny Briere. That saved money helped the club sign unrestricted free agent defenseman Mark Streit, the former Islanders captain, and then ink former Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier---himself a compliance buyout in Tampa Bay.

Bryzgalov was wildly up and down with his play in two seasons with the Flyers, and his buyout, as that of Briere, was not unexpected. Neither was the signing of Streit, who will quarterback the Flyers power play and provide another reliable veteran on the blueline. The only question here is if Philly gave the 35 year-old Streit too many years and too much money considering his age, though that answer may not come until a few years down the road.

Philly won the sweepstakes to sign Lecavalier, and his presence in the lineup will more than offset the losses of Briere, Gagne, and Fedotenko combined. Lecavalier will be motivated, and still has plenty of skill left in his game even at age 33, so his addition to the Metropolitan Division is an unwelcome one for the Blueshirts. Watch Lecavalier, though. He has been nagged by injuries in each of the last three seasons.

The Flyers also inked free agent goaltender Ray Emery to battle Steve Mason for the No. 1 job this season. Coming off an excellent season with the Stanley Cup-champion Blackhawks (17-1 in 21 games, 1.94 GAA, .922 save percentage) Emery very likely will emerge from Corey Crawford’s shadow in Chicago and lay claim to the No. 1 job in Philly where his competitor, Mason, is still trying to regain the form he displayed as th top rookie in 2008-09.

Former Ranger Kris Newbury was acquired from the Blueshirts in an off-season deal, and Newbs certainly has a shot at winning a spot on Philly’s fourth line. He is a tough, grinding center who displayed a nice scoring touch the past two seasons in the AHL and should fit in well with the Flyers.