Jake Voracek may have had a down season in 2020-21, but he had been a key offensive player for the Flyers for the past 10 seasons. This is a chance for 21-year-old Joel Farabee (20 goals, 18 assists last year) to break out.
The Philadelphia Flyers kick off the season at 7 p.m. Friday, hosting the Vancouver in the first of a four-game homestand at Wells Fargo Center.
Here are five things to keep an eye on this season:
1. Replacing Jake
2. Hart issues
Carter Hart, the 23-year-old goalie who impressed fans his first two seasons, greatly struggled last season, in large part of a revolving door on the blue line in front of him. Will he bounce back from a 3.67 goals against average and .877 save percentage in 2020-21?
3. A new defense
Out with Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Phil Myers and Erik Gustafsson. The Flyers bolstered the defense by acquiring Rasmus Ristolainen and Ryan Ellis via trade and signing veteran Keith Yandle to boost the power play.
4. Special teams
The Flyers allowed the most power-play goals in the NHL last season, and the unit finished 30th out of 31 teams with a 73.1% kill rate. They hope a revamped defense and addition of forward Cam Atkinson will help solve that problem.
5. Last chance with G?
Claude Giroux, the 33-year-old captain, is entering the final year of an eight-year, $66 million extension signed in 2014 and will be a free agent at the end of the season. Giroux has never expressed interest in leaving Philadelphia, but where this team is by the March 21 deadline and beyond could leave his future up in the air.