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 Philadelphia Flyers goaltending situation will look a tad different this season.
After amnestying the contract Ilya Bryzgalov, Paul Holmgren signed veteran Chicago Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery to pair up with last season's backup netminder Steve Mason.
A change of scenery seemed to be necessary for Bryzgalov, who remains unsigned by a team at any level.
At the moment, it appears that there will be a timeshare in net with both Mason and Emery seeing a very large amount of time. Mason will likely see 60 percent of the action as he did do an admirable job for the Flyers late last season.
Free agent defenseman Hal Gill knows the reality of the situation he's in.
Playing on a player tryout, Gill left a good impression on the Flyers in their 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers at home on Tuesday. Gill registered an assist, was a plus-1 and had four blocked shots.
"I think in a normal situation when you have a contract you’re just worried about progressing and getting ready every game," Gill said. "In this situation I wanted to speed up the process, but it was good.
"It’s nice to get out there and be competitive and play. I felt good. It’s preseason where you are still learning a new system and timing needs to get there, but it is nice to get out there.”
After a miserable 2013 campaign, a complete overhaul was expected for the Flyers this off season.
Instead, two key contracts were cut and replaced by three new players, leaving much of the same team to prepare for the 2013-14 season.
General manager Paul Holmgren said a few times during last season that he didn't plan on blowing up the team this off season. He kept his promise.
Now with the acquisitions of defenseman Mark Streit, goalie Ray Emery and center Vincent Lecavalier, the Flyers managed to cheapen their roster and replace Ilya Bryzgalov and Danny Briere effectively, allowing them to keep a healthier version of the same team from last season.
Holmgren is happy with the roster he has now going forward. And with that, chairman Ed Snider is "excited" for the 2013-14 season to start.
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.
A certain controversial goaltender is looking to return to hockey in the NHL, and with a vacancy in Philadelphia after buying out Ilya Bryzgalov, the Flyers have been linked a few times the past couple days.
Sources close to free agent goaltender Tim Thomas state that the 39-year-old netminder is "intrigued" by the young nucleous of the Flyers, but is unsure of whether or not he is a fit for the Flyers. Thomas' agent, Bill Zito, made clear that he isn't entirely sure where Thomas is leaning in regards to his future destination.
And a source in Philly said the Orange and Black remain “uncertain” as well.
Just one day after buying out Ilya Bryzgalov, the Philadelphia Flyers are already being linked to a netminder that could replace Bryzgalov.
According to Josh Rimer of Sportsnet, the Flyers are discussing a potential deal involving Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller. It is unclear what stage the talks are currently in but it appears that there is significant interest from both sides.
Miller posted a 17-17-5 record with a 2.81 goals-against-average and a .915 save percentage during the 2012-2013 season. Over his career, the American goalie has a 269-164 record with a 2.59 goals-against-average and a .915 save percentage. The American netminder made $6.25 million this past season and carries a similar price tag to Bryzgalov.
Miller was the 138th overall pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft out of Michigan State and has played with the Sabres for all 11 seasons of his professional career. The former Spartan was a member of the silver medal United States team in the 2010 Winter Olympics and was the MVP of the tournament.
On Tuesday, the rumor mill concerning the Philadelphia Flyers blew up.
Not only was it confirmed by ESPN's Pierre LeBrun that forward Danny Briere would be bought out, but conflicting reports about goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov's security with the team surfaced, as well as trade rumors involving Anaheim's Bobby Ryan and Los Angeles' Jonathan Bernier also came to the forefront.
Talk about a crazy day.
All of this coming on the heels of a reported deal struck with the New York Islanders to acquire their former captain Mark Streit. Streit signed a bloated four year pact worth a grand total of $22 million. Following that deal, it signaled change. There is writing on the wall...but for whom?
If, for example, both Briere and Bryzgalov are bought out, that unlocks about $12 million in cap space. The Flyers are currently above the new cap ceiling of $64 million by $7 million. These moves would not afford a ton of room, but it would at least be something.