With the preseason now complete, Philadelphia Flyers coach Bill Barber is at the helm of what on paper figures to be a serious Cup threat. Even so, the team still has some question marks. Here’s a look at some of the major issues the team faces as opening day approaches and some notes on every player who dressed for the Flyers during the 2001-02 preseason.
New Faces Everywhere
The Flyers had a 100 point regular season last year before losing the Buffalo Sabres in the first round of the playoffs. However, few, (either among outside observers or within the Flyers organization itself) believed that the team, as constituted this past spring, was a serious contender for the Stanley Cup.
In the offseason, Flyers general manager Bob Clarke solidified the team in its area of greatest positional weakness– center. With the additions of Jeremy Roenick and veteran Czech Extraleague stalwart Jiri Dopita to add to Keith Primeau, the team now boasts a very formidable trio of centermen. If they can all remain healthy, the Flyers have the makings of three productive offensive lines.
Clarke also added depth on the wings. Arguably, his biggest move was re-signing perennial all-star left winger John LeClair to a hefty long-term contract. The move was not without risk, as LeClair missed most of last season with a serious back injury and, at 32, is at the age where players who play his style (camping out down low in the offensive zone) produce annually diminishing returns. While LeClair will still play a vital role on the powerplay, however, the overall bur Read more»