Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Flyers Enter 2008 Exhibition Schedule

The Flyers started training camp last weekend and even had their 1st preseason game last night. I didn't watch it, because it wasn't on TV, but the Flyers did attempt to webcast it.

For whatever reason, I couldn't get it to work, but I applaud the idea and hope they can get the kinks worked out of televising NHL games over the internet.

Just off of the top of my head, here are 10 storylines to monitor as the Flyers progress through their camp and preseason schedule:

1.) How will Simon Gagne play as he gets back into the grind of the NHL schedule? Will he play tentatively, or will he come back as the 40+ goal scorer we've seen in the past?

2.) How will Mike Richards adjust to the burden of the captaincy?

3.) Will Jeff Carter earn his new contract? You can argue he is slightly overpaid right now, but might be a bargain by year 3 of his deal if his upside is what everyone believes it to be.

4.) Which young Flyer prospect will make the team out of camp? Steve Downie or Claude Giroux?

5.) Can Scott Upshall stay out of John Stevens' doghouse?

6.) Of the gaggle of defensemen that GM Paul Holmgren acquired during the off-season, which ones will make the team?

7.) Can Braydon Coburn build off of his success from last year?

8.) Which goaltender is Martin Biron? The one benched in favor of Antero Niittymaki during stretches of the regular season or the one that practically stole a playoff series from Montreal all by himself?

9.) How much will the Flyers miss assistant coach Terry Murray, who did a great job with the defensemen last year? Murray has moved on to become head coach of the LA Kings.

10.) This team could very easily have missed the playoffs last year and it would have probably resulted in John Stevens' firing. If the Flyers struggle in the first half of the year, will the Flyers fire Stevens?

One more important item: Tim Panaccio, formerly the Flyers beat writer for the Inquirer, is now blogging over at HockeyBuzz.com. According to what I read over there, Panaccio took a buyout from the Inky. Panaccio was always one of my favorite writers (even when he covered the Eagles beat for the Inky), so I'll look forward to checking out his work over at HockeyBuzz.

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