Okay, someone has to say it: the Philadelphia Flyers are building wrong.
Going back through the last five Stanley Cup winners (2009-13) and the Flyers Eastern Conference Champion team in 2010, there is a huge discrepancy when comparing the make-up of those teams to the Flyers of 2013.
The winning teams being talked about are the 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins, 2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks, 2010-11 Boston Bruins, 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings, and 2012-13 Blackhawks.
(Photo: Chicago's Patrick Kane just realizes he scored the game-winning goal of Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, beating the Flyers.)
Going into this season the New York Islanders are in a very unique position compared to what they have been in the past. They are a team that is confident having come off of an unexpected and impressive playoff appearance last year. They have organizational depth that has built up nicely from sticking to their rebuilding plan and drafting well. To supplement that, they have made smart signings and waiver additions that both have and are looking to make an impact in the NHL. With the majority of the roster already set, it will be these players that are fighting to stay in the bottom lines that could ultimately have the biggest impact on how the Islanders do this season.
Fred Shero, perhaps the most decorated coach in the Philadelphia Flyers' history, was announced as an inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builders Category on Tuesday.
Shero led the Flyers to consecutive Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975, as well as a Finals appearance in 1976. He holds the Flyers record for games coached, wins, and winning percentage.
"I am thrilled to hear that Fred Shero was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame," Flyers' Chairman Ed Snider said. "It's a great day for the Philadelphia Flyers."
Shero's name will always be synonymous with the era of the Broad Street Bullies, and his magical quote "Win today and we walk together forever." His leadership paved the way for the Flyers to be the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup. "The Fog" coached the Flyers for seven seasons between 1971 to 1978.
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.
The 2013 NHL season has come to an end and an impressive push down the stretch by our beloved Isles has secured them the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. For the first time since 2007, the New York Islanders will play post-season hockey and compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
However, the real challenge lies ahead for the Islanders, as they will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs. The Penguins basically ran circles around the rest of the Eastern Conference during the lockout-shortened 2013 season, finishing in 1st place with 72 points. (Photo Credit: Beauty Playin 'Eh/Flickr)
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.
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.
In a truly critical contest, the New York Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Tuesday night, putting the Flyers 7 points away from the Islanders, who now sit in in the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak at Nassau Coliseum.
After the Flyers committed an icing, took a timeout, and failed to get the puck deep when play continued, the Islanders rushed the puck up the other way. Colin McDonald found Michael Grabner streaking down the wing after a pick by Keith Aucoin. Grabner snapped it past starter Steve Mason to give the Islanders the 2-1 lead.
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)