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.)
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.
July 5 did not carry the same pomp and circumstance that the days leading up to the day did for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Early in the day on Friday, goaltender Ray Emery agreed to a one-year deal, and depth goaltender Yann Danis also agreed to a one-year pact.
Those moves along with the acquisitions of defenseman Mark Streit and former Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier make the team look a lot better off than last season's unfortunate debacle.
Expected comments released by General Manager Paul Holmgren revealed that the team is capped out. No flexibility exists to make additional moves, including one that could have kept popular winger Simon Gagne in the fold.
According to TSN's Darren Dreger, former Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier has agreed to a five-year, $22.5 million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers.
The 33 year old centerman will cost $4.5 million against the salary cap. He also owns a full no movement clause (NMC).
Lecavalier was most recently bought out by the Lightning due to his 11-year, $85 million extension signed back in 2008 being too much for the organization to handle. Ever since his buyout, he quickly interviewed with many teams, including the Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars, and the eventual winners, the Flyers.
Philadelphia Flyers' General Manager Paul Holmgren released a statement today confirming that they will use one of their two compliance buyouts on forward Danny Briere, ending his tenure with the team after six seasons.
The team will have to pay Briere $833,333 for the next four years as per the compliance buyout rules in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement. His cap hit of $6.5 million will not count against the salary cap this season.
"This was a very difficult decision to make as Danny has been a very good player for us over the past six years," Holmgren said in his statement. Holmgren informed Briere a week ago that he would be bought out, the forward said in a press conference today.
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.
Teams destined to miss the playoffs put on 60 minutes of hockey devoid of defense and chock full of a dominant performance by winger Wayne Simmonds in a 5-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.
18 shots in the first period for the Flyers proved the insignificant defensive pressure by the Hurricanes. In fact, Jakub Voracek almost scored within the first 10 seconds of the game forcing starter Justin Peters had to make a desperate save to keep the puck from crossing the goal line.
A battle of two teams out of the playoff picture happens tonight in Raleigh, NC. What will the storyline be? Will both teams play for pride? Steve Mason gets the start for the Flyers as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes.
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.
With a horrible season coming to a close, it's time to count the positives
The easiest way to feel positive about things in the present for the Flyers is to relate them to the future. And the best way to do that is to take a look at the youth.
We are seeing Oliver Lauridsen and Erik Gustafsson get playing time, the Schenn's (Older brother Luke and younger brother Brayden) are both standing out in a good way, and Sean Couturier is taking advantage of increased ice time.
Couturier, specifically, is fantastic news. He went from a dazzling rookie to a player in a serious sophomore slump.