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Changes are in Store for the Philadelphia Flyers

May 5th, 2014 at 10:35 PM
By Tyler Ruby

The Philadelphia Flyers will need to make some changes this offseason if they hope to compete with the elite teams in the Eastern Conference.

They can get better across the board, but one position that they don't need to worry about is goaltending, which isn't usual. Steve Mason was fantastic in net during the regular season, and he was even better in the playoffs against the New York Rangers. However, there are a few players who won't be back. One is Kimmo Timonen. No one would be shocked if the 39-year-old defenseman decided to hang up his skates for the final time. This would also open the door for one of their talented defenseman prospects, either Shayne Gostisbehere or Samuel Morin, to move up to the NHL. The smart money is on Gostisbehere as he is more developed as a prospect.

Estebomb / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Also, Steve Downie will be gone. He fell out of favor with Craig Berube late in the season because he would take foolish penalties that cost the team. He won't be missed. Also, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see both Schenns traded this offseason. Brayden Schenn could be the odd-man out when it comes to centers in their organization. Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier are untouchable, and Vinny Lecavalier's contract will prevent a move for him, too. With top prospect Scott Laughton waiting to make his return to the NHL, Schenn could potentially be made available. 

The same goes for his brother, Luke. He hasn't panned out quite like the Flyers had hoped when they originally acquired him from the Toronto Maple Leafs, so a fresh start may be in order.

The Flyers shouldn't make a big free-agent splash, but instead work through the draft and develop their young talent. So while these four players could have played their last game in a Flyers jersey, there are a bountiful amount alternatives to fill their void. 

Tags: Brayden Schenn, Craig Berube, Flyers, Hockey, Kimmo Timonen, New York Rangers, NHL, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Flyers, Shayne Gostisbehere

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