Flyers need better depth at center
Take away Claude Giroux and the Flyers' centers struggled mightily last season.
Giroux collected 13 goals and 48 points in the lockout-shortened, 48-game campaign.
The other players who spent some time at center - Brayden Schenn, Danny Briere, Sean Couturier, Max Talbot, Adam Hall and Scott Laughton - combined for just 23 goals in 178 games.
Prorated over an 82-game season, that's an average of 10.6 goals for the non-No. 1 centers.
And, so, yes, the Flyers are relying heavily on free-agent signee Vinny Lecavalier, the team's second-line center, to shoulder some of the load.
Lecavalier has scored 20 goals or more in each of the last 12 full seasons.
General manager Paul Holmgren has especially liked how Lecavalier has looked with winger Wayne Simmonds on his right side.
"The two of them seemed to have some chemistry right away," Holmgren said earlier in training camp. "They both like to control the puck down low. They move around and maybe there's something there."
In addition to production from Lecavalier - who, in essence, takes the place of Briere (six goals in 34 games), now with Montreal - the Flyers need third-line center Couturier (four goals in 46 games) to emerge. Schenn, who had eight goals in 47 games last season, will begin the season at wing.
- Sam Carchidi