Revisiting off-season Flyers predictions
Prior to the Stanley Cup Final and free agency, I threw out 19 predictions involving the Flyers and the rest of the NHL. Well, it’s been roughly 2½ months, and we’ve witnessed some major developments. Time to see which predictions were right on and which were off the mark:1. The Los Angeles Kings will defeat the New Jersey Devils in six games to win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.
The Kings won in six games.2. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick will win the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP.
Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe3. The first teammate captain Dustin Brown will hand the Cup to will be Anze Kopitar, not Mike Richards.
Brown handed the Cup to 12-year defenseman Willie Mitchell, who won his first Stanley Cup at the age of 35. 4. In the event I’m wrong about the Devils, the first teammate Zach Parise hands the cup to will be Patrik Elias.
N/A 5. Since we’re on the subject of individual awards, here’s the rest:
Hart Prediction: Evgeni Malkin / Winner: Malkin
Vezina Prediction: Henrik Lundqvist / Winner: Lundqvist
Norris Prediction: Shea Weber / Winner: Karlsson
Selke Prediction: Patrice Bergeron / Winner: Bergeron
Adams Prediction: Ken Hitchcock / Winner: Hitchcock
Calder Prediction: Gabriel Landeskog / Winner: Landeskog 6. Flyers forward Claude Giroux will receive more votes than Nashville’s Pekka Rinne and will grace the cover of EA’s NHL 13 video game.
Giroux beat out Rinne by just a small fraction of votes. 7. Unfortunately, Chris Pronger will not be medically cleared to return to the Flyers and will still be dealing with post-concussion symptoms.
Pronger’s medical condition has remained the same according to general manager Paul Holmgren 8. As a result, the Flyers’ captaincy will be handed over to Giroux over 37-year-old Kimmo Timonen.
Still to be determined, but I still believe Giroux is the clear favorite to be the next Flyers captain 9. Holmgren will trade the team’s first-round pick in the upcoming draft and the Flyers won’t make their first pick until the third round.
Missed the mark here. Holmgren held on to his first-round pick and drafted center Scott Laughton 10. Predators GM David Poile, who currently doesn’t have a first-round pick after the trade for Paul Gaustad, will acquire one when he trades the rights to future UFA Ryan Suter to an Eastern Conference team in an effort to keep Suter from signing with the Detroit Red Wings or another Western Conference team.
Looking back this would have been Poile’s best move, as Suter seemed intent on signing with good friend Zach Parise. Instead, the Predators lost Suter and received nothing in return. 11. The Edmonton Oilers will trade the No. 1-overall pick for more experienced veteran help.
Wrong. The Oilers kept the No. 1-overall pick, and selected the No. 1-rated North American prospect, Nail Yakupov. 12. The Flyers will not re-sign future UFA defenseman Matt Carle, who will get $5 million/season from one of three teams: Colorado, Detroit or Tampa Bay.
The Flyers lost Carle who signed with Tampa Bay for six years, $33 million for an average annual value of $5.5 million. 13. By July 2, Holmgren will have added a depth forward, a top-four defenseman and a backup goalie through free agency/trades.
It wasn’t quite by my July 2 deadline, but after the first week of free agency,Holmgren had signed a depth forward (Ruslan Fedotenko), traded for a starting defenseman (Luke Schenn) and signed a back-up goalie (Michael Leighton). 14. The Flyers will also acquire a player who previously played with the organization.
Fedotenko 15. The Vancouver Canucks will discover how hard it is to trade a goaltender signed through 2022, but Mike Gillis will somehow unload 33-year-old Roberto Luongo for little return to one of the following teams: Chicago, Columbus, Florida, Tampa Bay with Winnipeg as a dark horse.
Clearly this has not been the case as Luongo is still property of the Canucks. Ultimately, I believe he will be dealt to Florida. 16. After the Rangers’ inability to score during the postseason, GM Glen Sather will finally pull trigger and acquire Columbus forward Rick Nash.
Nash was traded to the Rangers on July 23 for three players and a first-round pick. 17. Despite the Devils’ success this season, Zach Parise will not return to New Jersey. I believe he’ll settle with one of the following five teams: Minnesota, Philadelphia, NY Rangers, St. Louis or Ottawa.
Parise left New Jersey for Minnesota where he signed a 13-year, $98-million dollar contract. 18. A gut feeling, but the Buffalo Sabres will shake things up and it could lead to the trade of goaltender Ryan Miller.
Miller wasn’t dealt, but Sabres management shook up the roster trading their No. 1 center Derek Roy to Dallas for Steve Ott and Adam Pardy. 19. Devils assistant Adam Oates will be named coach of the Washington Capitals.
Oates was named head coach of the Washington Capitals on June 26. A few more predictions moving forward …
20. The Flyers will sign an unsigned free agent defenseman. My hunch is Carlo Colaiacovo, Michal Roszival or Chris Campoli.
21. Labor negotiations will force a lockout, and the NHL season won’t start until early December, just in time for the hoopla surrounding the Winter Classic, a game the league desperately doesn’t want to lose.
22. If there’s a shortened season, it will benefit defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who will re-sign a one-year contract with the Flyers.
23. If Scott Hartnell has a solid start to the season (whenever that may be) Paul Holmgren will lock up the LW for four or five more years. E-mail John Boruk at email@example.com