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Holmgren talks new additions

GM says Streit, Lecavalier and Emery make the Flyers a better team
Friday, 07.05.2013 / 6:08 PM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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Flyers Inside Out
Holmgren talks new additions

The Flyers went into the offseason looking to upgrade on offense, defense and in goal.

They did all three things and stayed at about the same spot under the salary cap. That’s some good cap management by Paul Holmgren and his staff.

After buying out Danny Briere, they brought in Vincent Lecavalier – at a cap hit $2 million less.

After buying out Ilya Bryzgalov, they brought in Ray Emery. He and Steve Mason, the other goaltender who will battle for the No. 1 spot on the team, combined make $2 million less than Bryzgalov’s cap hit.

And while they paid big money for Mark Streit on defense, having not had to part with the defensemen already on the roster as many thought, The Flyers were able to use those savings from the other areas to upgrade their defense.

“We made a couple tough decisions with Danny and Ilya but I think we improved our team a lot,” Holmgren said. “We added a very good puck-moving defenseman who is going to help our team a lot and bring a lot to our back end. We added one of the better players in the NHL in my opinion in Vinny Lecavalier. Having him play in the middle for us either with Claude [Giroux] or with Sean [Couturier] as a 1-2-3 punch makes [both players] better just by him being there. Maybe he can play right wing or left wing with one of those guys from time to time. It gives us more looks and more options for our coach to try.

“Adding Ray to go along with Steve Mason solidifies our goaltending position and improves our team a lot. More importantly, we were able to keep our good nucleus together and we didn’t have to dismantle it.”

If anything now the Flyers are dealing with a surplus on the team now as they have excess talent both at forward and on defense – and Holmgren is adamant that he has a good defense, despite many opinions to the contrary.

“I want to add that we really like our defense,” Holmgren reiterated. “ We’re counting on [Braydon Coburn] and Andrej Meszaros and Nick Grossman to bounce back and have the kinds of years we expect them to have. We’ll be in good shape.”

Holmgren wouldn’t say that he signed Emery to be the No. 1 goalie, nor would he say that he signed them to be a backup. Holmgren is counting on the pairing to work in tandem for much of the season with one of them emerging as a starter at some point.

Holmgren added that the Flyers are really close to the salary cap and would be limited on further movement unless a trade possibility arose that made sense.

He did talk about the possibility of trading for Bobby Ryan, who was moved Friday from Anaheim to Ottawa for two prospects and a first round draft pick.

It was a steep price to pay, and one Holmgren wasn’t willing to consider, although he admitted he had talked to Anaheim a few times in the past 18 months about a possible deal for Ryan.

Finally, Holmgren denied a report that the Flyers were close to re-signing Simon Gagne and said that he didn’t think they were anywhere near getting a deal done anytime soon – if at all – with the popular Flyer.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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