General manager Ron Hextall has told fans to be patient with the team, as many of the franchise's top prospects are either in the AHL with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms or with their respective junior league teams in the CHL. We'll get to those prospects later on, but let's focus on the present, this current team.
After missing the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, the team fired head coach Craig Berube and replaced him with a man unknown to many fans in Dave Hakstol. But in the hockey world, Hakstol was one of the best coaches in the collegiate game. He went 289-141-43 in 11 seasons with North Dakota, and went to the NCAA Tournament every year, appearing in the Frozen Four seven times. He's coached current NHL talent including Jonathan Toews, T.J. Oshie, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, and current Flyer Chris VandeVelde. In his stay so far in Philly, he has shown us a lot of forechecking and a lot of energy in practices as well as some preseason games. We'll see if that continues in the regular season.
Here's the complete opening night roster:
DEFENSE AND GOALTENDING
The goaltending situation is a little different, with the addition of Michal Neuvirth as the team's backup, replacing Ray Emery. Neuvirth was shaky at times in the preseason, as well as throughout his career, but he hopes that a stop in Philadelphia as a backup behind a talented goalie can help him get his career back on track. Steve Mason kept the Flyers alive in many games last season, and has done so in the preseason as well.
PROSPECT WATCH - AHL
If you want to check out the rest of the league, read my NHL preview, with links to previews for every division as well! It's a lot of hockey!
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