Isaac on Flyers: The Wait is Over, the Puck Drops!
VOORHEES Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds has read the critics, heard that his team is supposedly not going to make the playoffs — for the second straight season — and he couldn’t care less.
“We have belief in ourselves. If anyone else doesn’t believe in us, that’s their problem,” Simmonds said. “We know what we have in this dressing room and we’re going to strive to be better. We gotta grow as individuals to grow as a team. I think everyone in here is striving to be the best player they can possibly be and from that the team gets better.”
(Listen to Steve Coates analyst on the Flyers Radio Network preview the Season)
That’s what general manager Ron Hextall is hoping for, to “improve from within.” There hasn’t been a ton of improvement externally. Adding defenseman Evgeny Medvedev, forward Sam Gagner and backup goalie Michal Neuvirth makes the team marginally better, but the roster is otherwise the same from last season.
Even the lines aren’t much different under rookie coach Dave Hakstol than they were under Craig Berube last year.