Dale Money | May 18th, 2019
It was a disappointing 2018-19 season for the Flyers. However, what’s done is done, time to put last season aside, and look forward.
They ranked 18th in the NHL in goals this season with a total of 241, a rate of 2.88 goals per game. They do indeed, still have some nice weapons, including players like Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, and Jakub Voracek. Giroux, as usual, continues to lead the Flyers offense admirably. Scoring above a point-per-game and maintaining durability, totaling 85 points in 82 games played. Couturier put another 70-plus point season, finishing second behind Giroux in scoring. There was no doubt, many that thought, last season was a mirage but credit to him. He has certainly proven himself as a true top-line center. Having not played with Giroux on the wing.
The Philadelphia Flyers are widely expected to be active in both the trade and free agency markets. They will almost certainly offer Scott Laughton, a contract? He’s still young, a good penalty-killer and is coming off the best offensive season of his career. He produced a modest,12 goals and 32 points in 82 games, but that was on a third line with Wayne Simmonds and Michael Raffl. Looking at bringing aboard, Mats Zuccarello wouldn’t be a bad idea. Not an elite player but a player, that is impressive at creating offense. Before being shipped off, at the trade deadline to Dallas. Zuccarello performed consistently, producing 37 points in 46 games. Unfortunately the first game, he played in after being traded to the Stars, he was injured, which kept him sidelined, until just prior to the playoffs.
But give him his due, he brought his A game when it counted. Contributing 11 points in 13 games, which was tied with Tyler Seguin, for most among Stars in the playoffs. Given his age, he isn’t looking that huge contract, but he’s likely played his way into a raise. I reckon he would be a great player, to add if that is Dallas doesn’t bring him back.
In a season where the Flyers, had set up a revolving door, with its goaltending position. Where they used eight guys over the course of the season and ranked 29th in goals against. There was a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Carter Hart during and after a two-month stint in the American Hockey League, in which he did a fantastic job in development. He was tops in Flyers goaltenders, in wins with 16 in 31 games, with a 2.83 GAA. As of now, look for Hart to be at least share the starting duties, for Philly to start next season. It remains to be seen whether he quickly becomes a full-fledged No. 1 goaltender.
They have four of their five goaltenders, going into 2020, as free agents. Including Michal Neuvirth, Brian Elliot, and Cam Talbot. How are they going, to sort out that dilemma? Do they bring back a player such as Brian Elliot, who is now 34 years of age. Or decide to go in a different direction. They’ll be looking for someone, that can be a mentor for Hart, along with supplying that solid production for the time being.
Theirs a couple, of guys, I think they may decide to look at, as potential suitors. Semyon Varlamov had a relatively solid season. Starting 49 games, with a 20-19 record, which included a pair of shutouts. With Philipp Grubauer, having to lead the Avalanche, in this year’s playoffs, where he had a pretty solid campaign, It would appear, they may have now found their number one guy. He is still young enough at 30 years of age, and solid enough to offer, what the Flyers are after. How much is he going to be expecting, is the question, he was making, five and a half million last season.
Another option could be someone like Petr Mrazek, who has a bit of history with the club. Having played in Philadelphia, in 2018 for a small time, before being shipped off, however, I think a lot of, fans would be okay with the move. Given how well he performed, when he was with the Carolina Hurricanes, last season. Having helped lead the Hurricanes, to a Conference final, before eventually bowing out to the eventual winners, Boston. He’s still young at 27 and should command a reasonable salary.
Read our other 2018-2019 NHL Season Reviews:
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