"Eyes on the Enemy" is a continuing bi-annual series on the NY Rangers Blog giving fans updates on the Rangers closest rivals. Part 2 of the Olympic version of 'EotE' will focus on the Philadelphia Flyers. Any contract figures listed below are courtesy of capgeek.com
Standings: 30-23-6 (27 ROW) One point behind NYR for second in Metro; Two points ahead of Detroit for final wild card spot.
Record vs. NYR: 1-1-0 ( NYR @ PHI 3/1; PHI @ NYR 3/26)
Available Trade Deadline Cap Space: $2,929,573 (LTIR)
After just three disastrous, non-competitive games to start the season in which the Flyers were outscored 9-3, the team fired head coach Peter Laviolette and inserted long time assistant Craig Berube to watch over the team. The Flyers didn't find immediate success with the coaching change, falling to 3-9 by the end of October and scoring just 20 goals in the process. Even captain Claude Giroux wasn't immune to the team's struggles. Giroux, in the first year of his $66 million extension, went scoreless in his first 15 games before finally finding the back of the net.
The Flyers managed to turn their season around reaching .500 by the end of November, primarily thanks to goalie Steve Mason who turned in a 1.94 GA/.938 SV% performance with the team going 6-2-2 in his starts. Mason fell back to earth a bit in December and was struggling badly in January, but that didn't stop the Flyers from rewarding him with a new 3 year, $12.3 million extension on 1/18.
The Flyers haven't been an active trade deadline team under Paul Holmgren's tenure as GM because he has opted to re-sign players to long (sometimes too long) term deals with many of their acquisitions, even if it meant sacrificing the teams' salary cap health by doing so. They do have one trade chip they could play; Andrej Meszaros and his expiring contract have been in and out of trade rumors since the start of the season and could be in play once the Olympics end. Barring an out of character blockbuster trade or moving Meszaros, the Flyers will likely remain quiet on deadline day once again.
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