When it was determined that Max Talbot would be a top-nine forward heading into the season-opening 3-1 loss to Toronto on October 2 there was an immediate problem with the Flyers.
No disrespect to Talbot, who is one of the hardest working penalty killers in the NHL, but he is not a third line left winger on a team that is desperately searching for a goal-scorer. And with no wiggle room under the salary cap the Flyers are finding out the hard way that no depth at forward is going to hurt them this season.
Adjustments to the new system need to be made but the Flyers pulled off the win for Craig Berube in his NHL coaching debut.
The Flyers held onto a 2-1 victory over the Panthers thanks to a fantastic effort from netminder Steve Mason. Mason stopped 33 shots in the win, which was Philadelphia's first of the season.
Berube, who also made an impressive debut in his first press conference, was blunt about the impact of the win.
"It’s over, we’re worried about practice and improving," Berube said after the game. "This is just one win and there’s plenty of games left in the season and we need to focus on winning all the games we can the rest of the season."
(Photo: Steve Mason makes a save in the first period. AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
The start of a new season brings with it countless questions for all 30 teams.
Some questions will be answered right away while others may take all season or even longer. In Philadelphia, the Flyers are no different.
Without further ado, here are five questions facing the Flyers this 2013-14 season.
(There will be pressure on the Flyers forwards to score this season, including a repeat performance from Jakub Voracek [front] and a break out season from Matt Read [back]. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line.)
Back when Flyers centers Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were dealt to Los Angeles, it was to clear an overabundance at the center position to bring in true, talented wingers.
Those trades hauled in two very important wingers in Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds, setting the stage towards finding legitimate, true wingers.
While there may not be a significant amount of transition from last year to this year in terms of wingers, losing veteran returners Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble to free agency opened two spots for the Flyers' youth to earn.
Many of the incumbent wingers will be wearing orange and black for the next several seasons.
(Photo: Flyers RW Jakub Voracek has a lot to smile about heading into this season, including being a top-line winger on a high-scoring team. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
The Jeff Carter trade is the gift that keeps on giving.
Everyone remembers where they were when the trade happened, and know all too well the details of that trade. Jakub Voracek and a pair of draft picks were traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to Philadelphia for the talented center.
The 2011 first round pick, 8th overall, turned into center Sean Couturier, who made a major impact in his first two seasons. The less heralded third round pick (63rd overall) turned out to be another center by the name of Nick Cousins, who will be looking to make an impact in the near future as well.
The man who once wore a #4 on his sweater will have to add a zero, as the retired Barry Ashbee holds permanent claim to that number.
Though Vincent Lecavalier will have to add a zero to his jersey, leading him to don a #40 jersey with the Flyers, Philadelphia did not get a zero as they landed the top free agent of the offseason. After inking a five-year, $22.5 million contract to play for the Flyers, the 33-year-old Lecavalier will bring the perfect combination of scoring and a veteran presence to a young Flyers team seeking a direction.
“I’m really excited," Lecavalier said. "Obviously everything came pretty quickly. I was part of an organization for 14 years so it was a tough few days. But after I talked to [head coach Peter Laviolette] and [general manager Paul Holmgren], I really liked what they have to say and where the organization is going. So that made my decision a lot easier.”
Lecavalier was bought-out by the Tampa Bay Lightning, a shock to the NHL. His buyout of $30 million over 14 years broke an NHL record that Ilya Bryzgalov held for only a few hours.