- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
COACH Peter Laviolette (3rd season)
LAST SEASON 47-23-12 (2nd in East); lost in second round to Bruins
KEY ADDITIONS G Ilya Bryzgalov, RW Jaromir Jagr, C Max Talbot
KEY LOSSES C Jeff Carter, LW Ville Leino, C Mike Richards
AFTER WATCHING HIS team crumble in the postseason (yet again), largely because of uneasiness in net (yet again), the man upstairs finally made the call. "We are never going to go through the goalie issues we've gone through in the last couple of years again," Flyers owner Ed Snider told The Philadelphia Inquirer in May.
And with that, the Flyers went after goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, a 2010 Vezina finalist in Phoenix. But signing him to a nine-year, $51 million contract required some belt-tightening. So in two of the boldest moves of the NHL off-season, Philly traded a pair of centers, captain Mike Richards (to the Kings) and Jeff Carter (to the Blue Jackets), to free up cash. "We [were] a little bit overloaded in the middle of the ice," G.M. Paul Holmgren said. "We're a different team—much different—when you move those two guys, but I like our team."
In addition to the youngsters they received in dealing Richards and Carter, the Flyers picked up Jaromir Jagr and feisty center Max Talbot. With all the new faces, the forwards may take some time to develop chemistry, but a formidable defense in front of Bryzgalov, led by new captain Chris Pronger (left) and Kimmo Timonen, should have Philadelphia pushing for the top spot in the East.