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)
TCL Flyers was on the scene for Flyers developmental camp Thursday morning and afternoon at the Virtua SkateZone in Voorhees, NJ.
Included in the roster of very young and hopeful hockey players were twelve defensemen ranging in ages from 18 up to 21 years old.
With defense being one of the toughest positions in the game to play and a position sometimes with a prolonged timeframe to develop well enough to break into the NHL, most of these players are ways away from representing the Flyers consistently in regular season play. But it is still nice to see how these young guys look in various drills.
Standing out yesterday were 21-year-old Mark Alt, 20-year-old Shayne Gostisbehere, and 21-year-old Matt Konan.
(Mark Alt talking with an instructor. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
There are a handful of Flyers rookies who are looking to stand-out for Peter Laviolette as he starts to think about his blue line for next season.
For one, that may not necessarily be a difficult task.
Oliver Lauridsen is lucky he's a 6'6" mammoth of a man. Calling himself the "Great Dane" on Twitter, Lauridsen has been impressive for the Flyers in the 14 games he's played for Philadelphia so far.
Last night was just another example of what he brings to the table and it's certainly helping his cause.
With 6:31 left in the game, Lauridsen's screamer of a slap shot beat the Islanders' Kevin Poulin to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead and eventual victory. It was the second straight game in which Lauridsen scored a goal, both being credited as game-winners.
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.