The Flyers will open their preseason on Monday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. against their most heated rivals, the New Jersey Devils. Their regular season will be opening on Oct. 4 against the Calgary Flames at 10 p.m.
Having picked up veteran forwards such as Daniel Briere, Joffrey Lupul and Scott Hartnell, there are many options to integrate them with centers such as Mike Richards and R.J. Umberger. The Flyers have a few more weeks to organize their new line-ups, including new defenders JohnSmith and Kimmo Timonen, both former captains.
Daniel Briere was picked up as a free agent, with a new multi-year contract by General Manager Paul Holmgren.
“We are extremely pleased to add Daniel to our roster and eager to get him into our lineup. We look for big things from him. Offensively, he is a player capable of doing a lot of things,” Holmgren said about the new addition to the team according to NBC10.com.
Hartnell and Timonen were picked up as teammates, both from the Nashville Predators.
According to NBC10.com, Holmgren said, “Both these players are going to be unrestricted free agents on July 1. This was an opportunity to get our foot in the door a little sooner. We are extremely excited about adding these two players to our roster.”
Left wings Geoff Sanderson and Todd Fedoruk left the team to the Edmonton Oilers and the Dallas Stars respectively. Former Flyers captain Peter Forsburg left the Flyers in February in a trade to the Nashville Predators. This left the position of captain open to many players, old and new. Briere, along with defenders Smith and Timonen, are all possible contestants for the captain position. All three were captains or assistant captains with their previous teams, and have the experience to lead a team.
Along with the experienced players acquired for the upcoming season, Holmgren and the Flyers have picked up a few entry-level players from lower leagues. Forwards Josh Beaulieu and Claude Giroux and goaltender Jeremy Duchesne have been signed for entry level contracts. Beaulieu moved up to the NHL from the Ontario Hockey League and Duchesne from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“Josh Beaulieu and Jeremy Duchesne are two players who just finished up strong seasons in juniors. Duchesne was impressive in net in taking the Val-d’Or Foreurs to the finals in the QMJHL, while Bieaulieu established himself as a tough, checking forward while playing in the London Knights in the OHL,” Holmgren said this about the new players. “Claude is a fine young man and we are happy to have him signed. We look forward to his progression as a player.”
Permanent lineups and placings will be decided during the Flyers hectic preseason from their roster, which is filled with potential players. They anticipate their first match of preseason in hopes of making it to the Stanley Cup playoffs this year; a feat which they had failed to accomplish in their previous season.