5. Philadelphia Flyers
- 2014-15 Finish: 7th Place
Has there been a more disappointing team in the NHL the past few seasons than the Philadelphia Flyers the past few seasons?
Stuck in salary cap hell, the Flyers have had a difficult go of it the past three seasons missing the playoffs twice. During that time Flyers brass may have put too much stock in some of their young players who did not develop. There were also some questionable deals like Luke Schenn for James van Riemsdyk. Maybe it will still payoff but JVR is a top six forward the Flyers could use.
But that was then, this is now.
The Flyers do have two talented forwards in Claude Giroux and breakout start Jackub Voracek. The Flyers will also look once again for some of its younger players to develop this season and propel themselves into the playoff picture.
One thing is for certain, the Flyers, after years of searching have solved their goaltending issues. The acquisition of Steve Mason in Apirl of 2013 has proven to be one of the better moves made by any team. Acquiring a young number one goalie for virtually nothing (Michael Leighton and a third rounder) is the type of move than can pay dividends for a decade. Even against the cap ceiling, the Flyers were able to sign Michael Del Zotto last season for a song. With the Flyers Del Zotto enjoyed his best season since his rookie campaign, which prompted a nice two-year extension.
The Flyers are really a hard team to predict. They seem to have these slow starts every year that get them behind the eight ball. Then they pick things up and go on runs. A lot will have to do with how well their defense plays. This team could surprise and finish higher than expected, or could go the other way.