Flyers Further Shake Up Line-Up

Published on July 1st, 2011

Jaromir Jagr

Free agency started today and the Philadelphia Flyers made a huge splash signing some surprise free agents and letting some other ones go.

Their biggest signing was of Jaromir Jagr, a winger with 1,599 NHL points and two Stanley Cups on his resume.  He has played in 1,273 career NHL games over 17 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers.  He was part of Pittsburgh’s 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup championship teams, where he was a teammate of current Flyers assistant coach Joe Mullen.  He also has won a Hart Trophy as NHL MVP, an award for which he was a finalist five other times; five Art Ross Trophies as the NHL’s leading scorer, and three Lester Pearson Awards as the league’s top player as judged by his NHL peers. 

Jagr at 39 years old is clearly past his prime but could still be an offensive weapon for the Flyers especially on the power-play.  His last season in the NHL in 2007-08, he recorded 25 goals and 46 assists for 71 points while appearing in all 82 games for the Rangers. 

They also signed center Max Talbot and defenseman Andreas Lilja.  Talbot won a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009 scoring his team’s only 2 goals in the decisive Game 7 victory in the Stanley Cup Finals.  He is a quality defensive forward who should give a boost to the Flyers’ penalty-kill and chip in with the occasional goal.  Lilja, like Jagr and Talbot, has also been on a Stanley Cup-winning team.  He was a member of the 2007-08 Detroit Red Wings that won the Cup.  He should provide some depth for the Flyers on the blue-line.

The following players departed Philadelphia via free agency:  forward Ville Leino, forward Dan Carcillo, defenseman Sean O’Donnell, and goalie Brian Boucher.

Leino was the most significant as he was the engine that drove the Flyers’ top line of himself, Scott Hartnell, and Daniel Briere.  His play-making ability will be difficult to replace.

The Flyers also traded winger Kris Versteeg to the Florida Panthers.

Since the end of the 2010-11 season, the Flyers have revamped their team.  6 of their top 12 forwards are gone.  Besides the three who departed today, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Darroll Powe all had been previously traded.  The Flyers also acquired and subsequently signed coveted goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to a huge contract last week to give some stability to the team in the crease.  The defense, their main strength last season, is the only unit that had no major overhaul.  Their top 5 defensemen remain.  It is only July 1st and the Flyers have already made a plethora of moves.  Is GM Paul Holmgren done or just starting?

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