Snider excited as Flyers introduce Emery, Lecavalier, and Streit

The Flyers' new acquisitions are (from left) veterans Mark Streit, Ray Emery, and Vincent Lecavalier. "If we didn't do anything the rest of the summer, I really like our team," general manager Paul Holmgren said. ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff
The Flyers' new acquisitions are (from left) veterans Mark Streit, Ray Emery, and Vincent Lecavalier. "If we didn't do anything the rest of the summer, I really like our team," general manager Paul Holmgren said. ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff
Posted: July 11, 2013

Ray Emery. Vincent Lecavalier. Mark Streit.

Cynics call the Flyers' three major offseason additions old, older, and oldest.

Optimists say the players have a lot left in the tank and will help the Flyers erase memories of the 2013 campaign, when the free-spending franchise failed to make the playoffs for just the second time in the last 18 seasons.

The trio was introduced Tuesday during a news conference at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers believe they will upgrade a team that struggled from the outset last season.

"If we didn't do anything the rest of the summer, I really like our team," general manager Paul Holmgren said. "I like our chances."

Ed Snider, chairman of the Flyers' parent company, Comcast-Spectacor, said he sensed a revival because of the three new players.

"We kept our nucleus intact; we kept all of our young players and our draft picks," Snider said. "I'm really excited about the season coming up, and I expect big things, quite frankly."

The Flyers will need to cut some salary before the season starts so they can get under the $64.3 million cap.

"We have to put our best foot forward to try to get back in the playoffs and then go from there," Holmgren said. "In terms of competing for the Stanley Cup, I think it's been the same way in the salary-cap era; if you get in [the playoffs], anything can happen."

Emery, who will turn 31 during training camp, is coming off a sensational, career-best season in which he went 17-1 with a 1.94 goals-against average and .922 save percentage for the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. Lecavalier, 33, had 32 points in 39 games with Tampa Bay, and Streit, 35, a puck-moving defenseman, had 27 points (but a minus-14 rating) while helping the New York Islanders land a playoff berth.

Emery, who signed a one-year deal for $1.65 million, finished seventh in the general managers balloting for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the league's best goaltender. He finished one spot ahead of Chicago's Corey Crawford, who was superb in the playoffs.

Holmgren hinted that had Emery not suffered a hip injury that required major surgery while he was with the Flyers in 2009-10, the club may not have lost to Chicago in the Stanley Cup Finals that season.

"If we had Ray Emery that year, who knows?" Holmgren said.

Emery's injury was similar to the one that ended Bo Jackson's two-sport career.

"It was a pretty serious thing," said Emery, who will battle Steve Mason for the starting job. "I'm fortunate the organization put in the diligence to find the best surgery; it's kind of an experimental surgery, and every year it just keeps getting better and better."

Streit, who signed a four-year, $21 million deal, said he picked the Flyers, in part, because they have a good mix of young and experienced players.

"It's a great hockey town, a great tradition," he said. "As soon as I got traded, I was hoping to get something done here and I'm thankful they gave me the opportunity. I think this team really has big potential."

Holmgren said he is a big believer in loading up with quality centers. Lecavalier (five years, $22.5 million), Claude Giroux, and Sean Couturier will give the team strength up the middle, he said.

"It's a fresh start and a great, great hockey market," said Lecavalier, who had spent all 14 years of his career in Tampa Bay.

Breakaways. Erik Gustafsson, who was a restricted free agent, signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Flyers. It gives the Flyers nine defensemen who will battle for seven roster spots. . . . Flyers prospects will compete in the Trial on the Isle on Wednesday, with a 10:15 a.m. water challenge at the Stone Harbor Yacht Club. At noon, prospects Scott Laughton and Sam Morin will hold a hockey clinic at Stone Harbor Elementary School, followed by a 1:15 p.m. autograph session. The prospects will compete in a volleyball tourney at 3 p.m. on the 96th Street beach.


Contact Sam Carchidi at scarchidi@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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