NHL 2012 Stanley Cup: Why the Kings and Flyers Are a Possible Matchup

Two of the most talked about teams in the NHL over the past three years, and maybe even two of the more overrated teams, but is this the year that the Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings actually represent their conferences next June?

I do not want to make it sound like I am overzealous with the whole spectacle of the Flyers' decisions that resulted in blockbuster trades and signings that were made by the teams on Thursday, however, I do believe that several team weaknesses were addressed through them.

The difference between the Flyers and rebuilding teams such as the Oilers, Islanders,  and Avalanche, is that Philly already has its foundation. In other words, despite trading away two franchise centers, Paul Holmgren did not exactly blow this team up.

Philadelphia still has elite veteran leadership and high calibre talent in Chris Pronger, Daniel Briere, Kimo Timonen and Scott Hartnell. They also have young but highly experienced players in Ville Leino, Braydon Coburn, Claude Giroux, Kris Versteeg, Andrej Meszaros, Matt Carle, and even newly acquired Wayne Simmonds, who have all had significant playoff exposure.

Therefore, the Flyers already have a head start.

Most rebuilding teams start from scratch and acquire some of the missing leadership and experience during their young talent development, so it usually takes a few years for them to have a complete package to become a contender.

The Flyers are even more of a contender now, after signing one of the top five goalies in the league, Ilya Bryzgalov. Goaltending was clearly the biggest, and perhaps the only weakness of Philly in the 2011 postseason, but now, the void has been filled.

Giving up Mike Richards and Jeff Carter will definitely cause the Flyers to take a hit in the goal scoring department, but they are still a deadly offensive team with toughness from top to bottom. By all means, they will still be amon...

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