Welcome to the NHL FanHouse 2008-09 season preview. While other sites are previewing "30 teams in 30 days," we decided to take advantage of the extra time off before the start of the season to bring you all 30 previews over the next three weeks. We're counting down in reverse order of finish from last season in each conference every weekday from now until October 3. Look for an Eastern Conference preview every morning and a Western Conference preview every afternoon. Click here to read them all.
Who's In: A pair of ex-Islanders and no one else who is very exciting; Arron Asham, Bryan Berard, Ossi Vaananen, Glen Metropolit. Unlike last year, the Flyers did not make a big splash this summer, mainly due to cap concerns.
Who's Out: Salary dumps galore; RJ Umberger, Vaclav Prospal (who was a rental), Jim Dowd, Jaroslav Modry, Jason Smith.
What's Changed: Not a whole lot. The Flyers are basically returning the same team that finished sixth in the conference with 95 points a year ago minus RJ Umberger and his 50 points. Jeff Carter, Joffrey Lupul and Randy Jones all received contract extensions to push this team closer to the cap than any other in the NHL, according to NHLNumbers.com. But hey, at least Derian Hatcher's $3.5 mil will only count for one more year!
This team is basically going to stay the way it is for this season unless they unload some money. When they locked up $37 million on six players, you could could kind of see all this coming. Not that they're a bad team -- not at all -- the Flyers just happen to be locked into their current roster for the time being.
Who's on the Hook: I'm not really sure that there is anyone on the hook in Philly. This is a young team that made a lot of moves last summer and reaped the benefits. They're going back out there with about the same team this year and may have improved a bit with another year under the belt of some of their younger players. Honestly, if anyone is on the hook here, it's me for writing such a short preview.
Where They'll Finish: Continuing with the theme of similarities, I would predict a similar result for a similar team. It's going to be a highly competitive Atlantic Division again this year so that doesn't make the going any easier. They should make the playoffs, but it's going to be close. They're looking at finish between sixth and ninth in my book.
Blogs to Watch:
The 700 Level