When the Flyers decided the direction of the franchise was one that wasn’t going to be influenced by Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, outcry and uproar ensued.
The core of the team that made it within two games of hoisting the Stanley Cup and a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference the next year was sent packing.
Obviously, Carter and Richards were the biggest shoes to drop. The captain and his close friend were supposed to be the faces of the team for years to come. Not so much.
Ville Leino wasn’t re-signed and few had issue with it. Most could see that his deal in Buffalo was baseless and far too big.
Blair Betts and Darroll Powe were waived and traded respectively, and that was a sticking point with some. The two soldier-like penalty killers were given away and some feared the franchise couldn’t find anyone to replace their strong play.
Kris Versteeg? Traded. Dan Carcillo? See ya. Nikolay Zherdev? Of course he was free to go.
With so much emphasis placed on the production of the first line, it often gets lost at how talented the Flyers subsequent lines are. Although the first line will most likely continue to be the team’s most productive line, it doesn’t mean that the other lines won’t sprinkle in production when need to be.
The Philadelphia Flyers (24-12-4) have struggled since the start of the New Year. They have surrendered leads in all four of their games in the month of January and are 1-2-1 during that span.
Tonight they will look to turn things around against the Carolina Hurricanes (14-22-7), a team who they have dominated in the past. The Flyers have won two of the three meetings this season and are 35-13-7 overall and 17-3-3 since the 2006 season (9-1-1 in Carolina).
In order to keep this trend going the Flyers will need a bit more production from their top line as they did not manage a point in the weekend series against Ottawa.