The Flyers came to a crossroads two offseasons ago.
They could have gone in one or two directions. One side of the path had them rebuilding the team, pushing a youth movement that would make them a dangerous contender in a couple years. The other path was the same win-now mentality the Flyers have had for the last two decades, resulting in a couple Stanley Cup berths and a handful of Conference Finals appearances.
Unfortunately, general manager Paul Holmgren tried to travel down both paths at once and wound up falling flat on his face this season.
(Photo: Wayne Simmonds (front) and Sean Couturier (back) were both a part of the youth movement. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
Only five games remain in this lockout-shortened regular season for the Philadelphia Flyers. These five games serve as a tryout period for players to show why they should or shouldn't stay beyond next season. Some players have already been written off, as it may not make much sense to keep for the future.
Many difficult decisions have to be made this summer, including players that have had extended stints as Flyers.
It's going to be a longer off season for the Flyers than they're used to.
Among the topics heading into the off season is the job security of head coach Peter Laviolette. In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren reassured the safety of his head coach.
Via Sam Carchidi's article this morning:
"I haven't even thought along those lines," Holmgren told The Inquirer in a phone conversation. "I think it's been a difficult year because of the situation. We haven't had our whole team all year. I don't blame the coaches.
General Manager Paul Holmgren announced this afternoon that the Philadelphia Flyers have signed goaltender Steve Mason to a one-year extension worth $1.5 million. Mason was acquired in a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 3 for Michael Leighton and a 2015 third round pick.
The 24-year-old goaltender busted onto the NHL scene back in 2008. In his rookie season, he posted a 33-20-7 record with the Blue Jackets, posting ten shutouts, and owning an impressive .916 save percentage and a 2.29 goals against average.
General Manager Paul Holmgren announced on Friday that Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn will be out indefinitely with a separated shoulder. With only a handful of games left in the season, this likely means his season is done.
The length of his departure all depends on the degree of his shoulder's separation, but risking further injury in a season like the one that has unfolded makes close to zero sense. Coburn's departure has promped a callup of Adirondack Phantoms defenseman Oliver Lauridsen.
Originally a steal in the trade from the Atlanta Thrashers for Alexei Zhitnik back in 2007, the 28-year-old Saskatchewan native posted just five points through 33 games—a stark contrast to his 36 point season in 2007-08. His point production has sharply decreased since that point to the lowest it has ever been in his career as a Flyer by far.
Rewind to the Spring of 2010. The Philadelphia Flyers, down 3-0 in the Stanley Cup semifinal round, came back to take the series against the Boston Bruins while down 3-0 in game seven. The comeback mentality of the Flyers started then, and it hasn't let go.
That moment in Flyers history may be a fond one, but it may have ruined the current cast of players. Expecting comebacks every night takes a lot of stamina and endurance to pull off. It shouldn't be expected on a nightly basis.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov allows Brad Richards' 2nd period goal. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Flyers have acquired former left winger Simon Gagne from the Los Angeles Kings.
The Flyers sent a conditional fourth round pick to the Kings in exchange for Gagne, bringing the 33-year-old winger back to Philadelphia where he spent the first 10 seasons of his career here. If the Flyers make the playoffs, it becomes a third round pick.
"Simon is a guy who has a lot of experience and played in a lot of positions, penalty kill, power play and regular shifts," general manager Paul Holmgren said. "He is a good two way player that can skate. We think he will add to us a lot.”