Thin NHL Roster Dooms Philadelphia Flyers' Season

By Sean O'Brien
Philadelphia Flyers Peter Laviolette
Tom Szczerbowski – USA TODAY Sports

Unreasonable people believe that facts magically appear out of nowhere. Those who are rational understand that everything begins somewhere. With those cogent facts in mind, it’s time to review where this Philadelphia Flyers‘ season went awry.

Obviously the continued (and likely permanent absence of Chris Pronger) is a problem that this organization’s defense hasn’t recovered from. But “Prongs” was originally injured in the fall of 2011. So, how long should it take general manager Paul Holmgren to make the necessary adjustments?

Anyone who follows the money trail, via capgeek, knows that the Flyers sit at the top of the expenditures pile. A quick check of the National Hockey League standings reveals that “Homer’s” roster ranks at the bottom of the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia is also laying with the bottom teams in the entire League.

This imbalance will initially be addressed by the time the trade deadline arrives on April 3. Expect some higher-salaried players to be moved, regardless of how many points the team is able to capture between now and then.

As the reader has noticed, the name of only one player (Pronger) has been mentioned in this feature. That’s intentional.

Until the Flyers address their lack of defensive depth, the crease will remain at risk and the forward lines will continue to be pressed into full-rink duty.

Laviolette’s coaching style and schemes do work, as we saw during the 2009-10 season. So, it will be very interesting to see if Holmgren is able to revamp his team with thoughts of a future playoff run in mind, and if he believes that this coach is still the man that he wants to drive his orange car.

Follow Sean on Twitter @SeanyOB, Facebook, Google+ and read his blog Insight.

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