Brandon Manning

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2013 Flyers Preview: Defensemen

The Philadelphia Flyers will have quite the balance of experience and youth on their blue line this season.

With players ranging from 23 years-old all the way to 38, the mix of veteran prowess and future promise hopes to be the perfect combination for a turnaround season.

One of the more controversial contracts this year is that of 38-year-old Kimmo Timonen.

Timonen’s one-year, $6 million deal can easily be considered a mistake when given to someone his age, but what Timonen brings to the table every season is irreplaceable. While his game may not be the same as it was three years ago, he can still be argued as the best defenseman in Philadelphia.

(Photo: Kimmo Timonen (front) is the unquestioned leader of the unit whereas Luke Schenn (back) is the future. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)

Flyers Re-Sign RFA Defenseman Brandon Manning

According to Flyers Insider Anthony SanFilippo, the Philadelphia Flyers have signed 23-year-old defenseman Brandon Manning to a one year, two-way contract. Financial terms were not immediately available.

NY Islanders Fall To The Philadelphia Flyers 2-1

Isles fall to the Flyers in Philly, leaving them in the 8th playoff spot in the Eastern Conference

Flyers Making Due With "Patchwork Defense"

“Patchwork” may not be the nicest word to use to describe Philadelphia’s defensive situation right now, but it is the most appropriate.

After last night’s 4-2 win at home over division rival New York, Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette was asked a question that was worded in a way which Laviolette had to point out.

"They probably wouldn’t like to be called that, if I was guessing," Laviolette said when asked about his “patchwork defense,” drawing some laughs from the reporters after the game.

He was quick to follow with praise for some of the guys stepping in at the most desperate of times.

(Pictured: Kimmo Timonen (left) and Luke Schenn (right) during warm-ups. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)

Mason Steals Show in Philly; Shuts Down Rangers

It's not often the Flyers play against Henrik Lundqvist and say that the goaltending was the difference-maker in a victory over New York.

Steve Mason was lights-out despite his team's poor offensive showing. His effort enabled the Flyers to steal a 4-2 win from the Rangers despite being out-played for much of the game.

Mason faced 40 shots, stopping 38 in the win. The Flyers got only 22 on net the entire game, leaving Mason to do all the work and steal a much-needed win from the Rangers.

(Pictured: Steve Mason during warmups. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line - Flyers Edition)

Huskins Has Concussion; Manning, Konan Recalled

The Flyers blue line suffered another casualty as this forgettable 2013 campaign winds down.

Recently acquired defenseman Kent Huskins suffered a concussion in yesterday's 7-3 win in Montreal. Montreal's Ryan White came in high on Huskins, connecting with the shoulder and leaving Huskins dazed on the ice.

Immediately after the hit, Kurtis Foster jumped in and wrestled White to the ice. White was hit with a five minute major for fighting and a match penalty for deliberate injury.

Gervais, Gustafsson Making the Most of Playing Time

Many people have expressed concern with the defense of the Flyers this season.

It’s one of many concerns fans have when it comes to this team. Unfortunately, controversial offseason acquisitions and an injury to Andrej Meszaros have complicated things.

The third pairing for the Flyers is currently Bruno Gervais and Erik Gustafsson.

If it were up to the fans, Gervais would have never come to Philadelphia and Gustafsson would have been in the lineup all season. But agree or disagree with the signing, it happened, and Peter Laviolette can only play the guys that he has.

But when you actually think about it, things are not as bad as they seem. Let’s take a look at the two main concerns of fans right now.

(Pictured: Erik Gustafsson takes down NJ's Adam Henrique in last year's playoffs. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Phantoms Drop 2-1 in Front of a Huge Philadelphia Crowd

Ever since moving from Philadelphia to upstate New York, the Phantoms came back to Philadelphia once a year to treat their former fans with some minor league hockey.

This year, they hosted the Wilkes-Barre Penguins in front of 19,561 hockey fans. That number was good for the seventh highest attendance ever at an American Hockey League game.

The crowd was loud and boisterous, just like any other Philadelphia crowd at a hockey game.

Failure to Develop a Blue Line May Have Cost the Flyers JvR

Saturday night against Carolina, the Flyers dressed Kimmo Timonen, Luke Schenn, Braydon Coburn, Nicklas Grossmann, Kurtis Foster, and Bruno Gervais as their defense.

All six shared one thing in common -- not a single one of them were drafted by the Flyers.

In fact, the Flyers have a consistent issue with things like that. Since the lost season of 2004-05, the Flyers have not gotten more than 150 games played from a defensemen they drafted and only one home grown defensemen has played more than 200 games in a Flyers uniform since that time, Randy Jones, an undrafted defender.

(Pictured: Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)