I was at a Center City function recently and Ray Didinger, one of the area's most respected journalists, was asked which of Philly's four major sports teams would be the next to win a championship.
After a few seconds of deliberation, Didinger replied:
"I'd say the Flyers. Their core group is young and they're just going to keep getting better."
Will it be this year?
Probably not. The Red Wings look head and shoulders above the rest of the NHL.
Still, there is reason for optimism in Flyersland. They retain a strong nucleus from the club that reached last year's Eastern Conference finals.
That said, there are numerous questions as the club begins training camp Saturday. (The club's prospect camp starts tomorrow.)
Has Simon Gagne recovered from a concussion?
Will Marty Biron be able to carry his strong postseason play into the regular season?
Are Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen recovered form postseason injuries?
How much will the club miss forward R.J. Umberger and assistant coach Terry Murray?
Can rookie Claude Giroux make an impact?
Who deserves to be named the captain (Mike Richards? Timonen?)
Will Danny Briere be moved to a line that includes Richards and Gagne?
Should the Flyers put an enforcer on Gagne's line to offer him some protection?
Et cetera. Et cetera.
If you have other questions that you think are imperative, feel free to fire away.