As the heat waves slowly dwindle, and the temperate air lifts, summer begins to melt away. Flyers’ training camp is approaching to whisk away the summer blues. As camp nears, Philadelphia Sports Nation opens its’ mailbag to answer some hockey inquiries.

From David Levenson,
Who do you think was the best acquisition this summer?

The most crucial signing of the offseason will prove to be Mark Streit. The Flyers pitched a fourth-round pick to all but secure Streit’s services before free agency. Streit may prove to be the team’s third or fourth highest goalscorer this year. Streit carried New York Islanders defense, scoring the third-most goals for the team. Streit scored a goal per six games last year. In a full season, this amounts to a formidable 13 goals. Additionally, Streit shoulders a wealthy chest of experience and leadership to draw from. This will undoubtedly help develop younger defensemen on the team. Streit could well replace the point production, and leadership, of one Matt Carle.

From Joe Zimm Jr,
How long until Hexy takes over for Homer? Over-under 1-2 years.

Ron Hextall is undoubtedly being groomed to replace Paul Holmgren. The flyers cannot remove Holmgren, however, until he has a poor year. Holmgren has displayed his financial acumen these last few years attacking free agents such as Shea Webber. Even in a year with cap constraints, Holmgren acquired two of the top names on the market. It should be at least two years before Hextall is in charge.

From Roland Alonzi,
What are the chances the Flyers will look into acquiring Shea Weber from Nashville and what do you think it would take to get a deal done?

Ironically, the Flyers’ own pursuit of Webber last offseason will haunt them. Attempting to price Nashville out of a deal, Homer offered a hefty contract on lucrative terms to Webber. Nashville, confusing Shea Webber with Wayne Gretzky, offered an absolutely ridiculous deal to Webber. This colossal salary cap number will prove indefatigable for Paul Holmgren: it simply cannot fit under the tight salary cap. While the Flyers possess the necessary prospects to tempt Nashville, they cannot afford Webber. At this point, the chances of acquiring Webber are slim to none.

From Mike Lockhart,
What are reasonable expectations for Sean Couturier this season?

A misconception of 2013 is that Sean Coturier’s production dropped off in a conventional “sophomore slump.” After a dazzling rookie year in which he notched 27 points in 77 games, Couturier matched the total; the center recorded 15 points in 46 games. His plus-minus number dropped off significantly, from +18 to -8; however, this is a trend that occurred throughout the Flyers roster due to a poor season. Reasonably, Couturier should produce around 35 points in the upcoming year, with a goal tally between 15 and 20. His contract has now become very trade-friendly with his new two-year extension, so Couturier will be on a short leash this year.

From Yves Lessard,
What’s the situation with Simon Gagne?

Gagne is receiving interest, but wants to remain in Philly. The Flyers also wish to bring him back, but do not possess the cap space to do so. Until Holmgren clears out space, Gagne cannot sign with the team. Gagne has been talking to other teams–one option being a return to the Kings–if the Flyers are unable to make rom for him. Unless a trade or significant release is made, the situation is still up in the air. At this point, the ball is firmly in Homer’s court.

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