Very clearly the weakest point on this year's Flyers team has been the defense. Not the strongest defensive corps to being with, the Flyers were struck with injuries, forcing the Flyers to call up a bunch of young prospects who are not ready at all for the NHL.
Anyways, I think it is interesting to look ahead at the next few years at who the Flyers have locked up.
Luke Schenn is signed on for the next three years with a cap hit of 3.6 million per year. I think this is great value for Schenn. His relCorsi is 6.4, which is good considering he faces some of the tougher match-ups.
Timonnen is signed on for one more year at a 6 million cap hit. He's 38 right now, so the end has to be in sight for the Finnish defenseman. He still has been a valuable defenseman this year (Highest Rel Corsi on the team for defenseman and faced the second toughest opponents after Luke Schenn). I'd love to have him sign on for a few more years but it would have to be at a reduced cap-hit (6 million per is too much for a 40 year old defenseman).
Coburn is signed for 3 more years at 4.5 million per. To me this seems like a bit to much for Coburn.
Grossman is signed for 3 more years as well at 3.5 million per. While I have always thought Grossman was a bad defenseman from watching him play, the numbers show that he constantly plays against high quality competition in defensive situations (lots of defensive zone starts). How he performs against these tough assignments is not as easy to decifer. Last year his Corsi values were awful, however, the two previous years in Dallas he faced rediculuosly strong opponents (Rel Corsi QoC was very high) and his personal Corsi numbers were pretty good considering the tough assignments. For me the jury is still out on Grossman.
Gustafsson is an RFA after this year, and I believe the Flyers should definitely keep Gustafsson. He moves the puck well and anytime I watch him he has shown to have a tremendous stick in defensive situations.
Mezarros is to be paid 4 million next year in the last deal of his contract.