An interesting quote from Flyers owner Ed Snider. The Flyers are certainly no strangers to making huge off season moves. Chris Pronger, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Ilya Bryzgalov were either shipped out or brought in recently.
This makes for an interesting question for the Flyers as their strengths and weaknesses are well known.
Strengths: A strong young core of forwards (And now possibly Defense) and A new found strength in Goaltending.
Weaknesses: A Lack of speed on both Offense and Defense, Lack of an elite puck moving Defender and Lack of a LW sniper capable of finishing Giroux's set ups.
The Flyers also have a dilemma on the 2nd line with Brayden Schenn and Vincent Lecavalier. Vinny was signed to a 5 year contract last season and after a strong start, struggled mightily with injuries, lack of speed and positional / line changes. Schenn on the other hand was a mainstay on the 2nd line while having his most productive season yet despite battles with inconsistency.
Interesting though is the fact that Schenn was not re-signed. This could be because of a number of reasons, I tend to think it comes down to the usual Money/Contract length thing. As an RF, the Flyers could trade Schenn's negotiating rights to another team.
NOW...with all that in mind he's my take on who should stay and who should go.
Claude Giroux - Really Needs no explanation.
Jakub Voracek - His size, speed and chemistry with Giroux make him near untouchable.
Sean Couturier - A future Selke candidate who has the ability to shut down the elite of the elite.
Matt Read - The Flyers' Swiss Army Knife, Read can do it all and
may (Should) join Giroux and Voracek on the 1st line. 22 goals on a defensive 3rd line and limited power play time....Yeah. Oh...and that Cap Hit.
Michael Raffl - Young, Speedy and has the potential to be the new Matt Read.
Erik Gustafsson - Could be the Speedy, Puck Moving defender the Flyers need so badly in a year or two.
Scott Laughton / Shane Gostisbehere - Both are unproven the the NHL level but are elite prospects with Tons of potential.
Steve Mason - The guy has proven to be a legit No.1 Goalie. (I can't believe it either)
The Schenn Brothers - It's time to part ways. Brayden is stuck without a contract and Luke just hasn't panned out. Both still have potential to raise their games (Baby Schenn especially) and would make a nice pair to trade for a top 4 defender....MAYBE a top 2 defender if the Flyers were willing to part with their first round pick. MAYBE.
Hal Gill - Good locker room guy but the game has passed him by.
I don't see the Flyers landing an elite D-Man like Shea Weber or P.K Subban. It won't happen without a major shakeup in the strong young core the Flyers have (Unless Nashville would like Scott Hartnell back *wink*) I actually see Dustin Byfuglien coming over for the Schenn Pairing and a younger, Faster, more inexperienced Defense corps next year with Gustafsson and Gostisbehere cracking the lineup.
Forward will be more of the same for the most part with Lecavalier taking full reign of 2C and maybe (Hopefully) Matt Read playing on the first line while Raffl takes over his spot with Couturier / Akeson
Thoughts? Sound off below.