Andrej Meszároš finished his first season as a Flyer with 8 goals and 32 points in 81 games and was honored with the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the team's most outstanding defenseman.
Meszároš admits it was a good season for him.
"It was one of my better seasons. Perhaps the best yet."
"I had good numbers in my three years in Ottawa, but then I had two years in Tampa that weren’t so good."
"I got traded to Philadelphia last year and they always set their goal as high as possible. I got a taste of hockey again and it also showed in my numbers. It was a good first season there and now I will try to at least repeat it."
As a team, the Flyers have changed quite a bit during the offseason. The question is, are they a better team now than they were last season?
"I believe so, because of the changes. Though we did lose two very good players in Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Both were young and talented. The team will be slightly different because of these changes, but the goal remains the same; to win the Stanley Cup."
One of the most intriguing additions on the Flyers has to be future hall of famer Jaromir Jagr. Meszároš says he knows Jagr the player, but not Jagr the person.
"I played against him in the NHL before he left to play in the KHL, but that’s all. So we’ve met before, but I don’t know him personally yet."
"But now we’re teammates."
There have already been some speculations about how big personalities like Chris Pronger, Ilya Bryzgalov and Jagr will fit in the same locker room, but Meszároš doesn't see it as a big deal.
"Chris has been a part of the team longer and he led the room last season, the other two are new faces. These are all players with great authority. So they will be respected, plus they have great experience."
"Bryzgalov is the best goalie in the NHL. It's huge for us, especially in the playoffs."
Talk about goaltending in the playoffs, Meszároš offers nothing but praise for the playoff heroics of Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins.
"Boston had an efficient system. I think they were even more dangerous on the road than they were at home. And they had a great goalie in Thomas, who deservedly won the Conn Smythe Trophy. Chara also had a great season. I thought he would win the Norris Trophy. Eventually he didn’t win it, but the Stanley Cup made up for it."
Meszároš himself finished the season with a wrist surgery. He says he's been able to start training by now, though the hand isn't 100% yet.
"I’m training, but I still can’t put full weight on the operated hand. I run a bike regularly."
"I’m going to see my physiotherapist soon. I should be able to train without any restrictions in two weeks."
This report was based off of a Slovakian-language story in the publication Hokej Pravda.