Published On: Sat, Aug 20th, 2016

Flyers look within to address scoring woes

Share This

Eric Hartline / USA TODAY Sports

Unable to acquire a top-six scorer this summer, the Philadelphia Flyers are confident that the answer may already be part of the team.

The Flyers had hoped to add offensive help this offseason, but their additions have been limited to winger Dale Weise and center Boyd Gordon.

Weise signed a four-year, $9.4-million deal with the Flyers on July 1. The 28-year-old split last season between the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks, combining for 14 goals.

In 15 games with the Blackhawks, Weise tallied a single point. He scored a career-high 29 points with the Canadiens in 2014-15.

Gordon, meanwhile, is a noted penalty killer and faceoff specialist, but can’t be looked toward as a scoring threat. In 65 games with the Arizona Coyotes last season, he scored two goals. The 32-year-old has never reached double-digit goals at the NHL level.

“In a perfect world, you bring in a guy who’s an elite scorer, but those guys don’t fall off trees,” Flyers general manager Ron Hextall told “When you can’t do that, you tend to look at depth scoring, and we felt we added depth scoring for our lineup.

“We’ve got to get better from within. It’s on a number of our players to be better hockey players than they were a year ago.”

The Flyers scored just 214 goals last season, ranking 22nd league-wide. It marked the franchise’s lowest full-season goal output since 2002-03.

Philadelphia will look for improved performances from its existing stable, namely wingers Brayden Schenn and Jakub Voracek.

Schenn, 24, who recently signed a four-year extension with the club, notched career highs in goals (26), assists (33), and points (59) last season. The expectation is that he can reach another level.

“Brayden is a very good young player who has continued to get better and we hope he continues to get better,” Hextall said.

The team also expects more from Voracek, whose production slid a staggering 26 points, while his goal production was half that of his previous season. The Flyers signed Voracek to an eight-year, $66-million deal last July.

“Typically after a guy signs a big contract there’s more expected of him from himself. As an organization, we signed a good hockey player and we didn’t expect him to be any more than he was, (but) there’s a certain burden that comes with that,” Hextall said. “I’m sure there will be a lot of growth from Jake from last year.

“Sometimes you’ve got to struggle or maybe not play up to your potential to realize what you’re doing to play your best. He learned some valuable lessons last year.”

The Flyers were eliminated in six games by the Washington Capitals in the opening round of last year’s playoffs. Philadelphia has missed the postseason in two of the past four years.

Source link

About the Author

Like us on Facebook