Welcome to the 2015 – 2016 Metro Division Season Primers.
In a season filled with unpredictability, Philadelphia Flyers made one of the most out there moves of the offseason hiring NCAA Head Coach Dave Hakstol. The Flyers are in an interesting position after hiring a coach right out of the NCAA. It has only happened three times in the NHL, and the last coach to do so was the late Bob Johnson who was hired out of Wisconson to coach the Flames in 1982.
Johnson won a cup with the 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins, so Hakstol will hope to replicate the success of Johnson.
Notable Additions: D Evgeny Medvedev, F Sam Gagner (love you sam), D Radko Gudas, G Michal Neuvirth
Notable Departures: D Nicklas Grossman, G Ray Emery, D Andrew MacDonald (AHL)
The decision by the Flyers to sign Andrew MacDonald to a six-year, $30 million extension last year is one they have already begun to regret at his is now serving his time down in the AHL. Moves like this are why the Flyers are often criticized in the media, and just shows how unpredictable the team truly is. Nobody expected Hakstol to be hired by the team, but they feel he is the right guy for the job.
The addition of 33-year old KHL’er Evgeny Medvedev is one that again, was unexpected. He has looked good for the team in the preseason so it will be interesting to see how his regular season turns out and whether or not he is able to keep up to the faster NHL game.
LW C RW
Michael Raffl (1.100) – Claude Giroux (8.275) – Jakub Voracek (4.250)
Matt Read (3.625) – Sean Couturier (1.750) – Wayne Simmonds (3.975)
R.J. Umberger (4.600) – Brayden Schenn (2.500) – Sam Gagner (3.200)
Pierre Edouard Bellemare (0.713) – Ryan White (0.800) – Chris VandeVelde (0.713)
Vincent Lecavalier (4.500)
Mark Streit (5.250) – Radko Gudas (0.992)
Yevgeny Medvedev (3.000) – Nick Schultz (2.250)
Michael Del Zotto (1.300) – Luke Schenn (3.600)
Steve Mason (4.100)
Michal Neuvirth (1.625)
Offensively, the team will look for Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couterier to lead the way. Like their offseason moves, this team could be very unpredictable this season. I do feel that this is a weak roster, and there is definitely a chance for them to end up being one of the basement teams in the NHL by the time the playoffs roll around.
A bottom finish would certainly help them as they do need some more prospects to complement their growing group. Down the road Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, Scott Laughton, Sam Morin and Shayne Gostisbehere will one day lead this team back to it’s glory days.