Last season, the Philadelphia Flyers had copious injuries. The depth of their organization was a key factor as to how the Flyers managed to sustain a successful season. The next three Flyers in our series all have NHL experience. One played minimum minutes, another was just recently signed, and the third has played in the Stanley Cup Finals. Look for these three to play at some point this season if there are injuries.
24. Brandon Manning (D): Manning burst onto the scene last year after a couple of injuries has taken place to the Flyers’ blue line. Though he did not score or record any points while playing 4 games for the Flyers, Manning looked good controlling the puck. Manning was also able to play some sound defense. Look for the 22-year old Manning to continue to grow and develop his game even more.
23. Bruno Gervais (D): Gervais signed with the Flyers in the early stages of free agency. Gervais’ deal is worth $825,000. He is, at best, a 3rd-pair defensemen. But, for this season, I feel that he will be the Flyers 7th or 8th best defensemen, because they are deep at that position. Gervais will likely be an extra defensemen who will be able to fill a slot on that 3rd defensive pairing. In 381 NHL games, Gervais has 81 points.
22. Michael Leighton (G): Everyone remembers Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals. Many Flyers’ fans remember Leighton for giving up the game winning goal in overtime. Not many remember that Leighton played a key part in the Flyers returning to the championship round. After replacing Brian Boucher in the second period of Game 5 in the second round series against the Boston Bruins, Leighton begun a shutout streak that last 172 minutes and 55 seconds. I believe that Leighton was a great re-signing by Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. If Ilya Bryzgalov begins to struggle during the season, look for Leighton to stay fresh and compete at a high level off the bench for the Flyers.
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