It wasn't the free agency splash that most fans were hoping for, but the Philadelphia Flyers did make some moves. The Flyers came to terms with forward Ruslan Fedotenko and defenseman Bruno Gervais on contracts. After losing out on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, these signings will probably bring little consolation to fans. However, both are pretty good players that will add depth as this team continues to grow. In addition, neither is going to cost the Flyers a lot of money.
Overall, these signing should help the team.
The 33-year-old Fedotenko will fill the role of Jaromir Jagr in terms of being a veteran forward that can mentor the young stars. He has experience in this city, as he played for the Flyers for a couple of seasons in the early 2000s. He also brings championship experience, as he won a Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009. Fedotenko isn't going to do anything explosive on offense. In fact, it's asking a lot for him to match the scoring output that Jagr had in his one season in Philadelphia. That said, he can still be a valuable player in terms of leadership.
Meanwhile, Gervais has close ties with Flyers forward Max Talbot. The two are best friends, so he should have no problem fitting in with the team. Gervais is expected to be the sixth or seventh defenseman on the team. His role probably won't be defined until the preseason. This might be a depth signing, but we all know how important those can be. The Flyers lost several defensemen to injury last season, so I'm always a fan of getting a little insurance.
I don't think these are the last two moves that the Flyers will make. I fully expect the team to look at adding another forward and perhaps another defenseman. Until that happens, these signings will do just fine. Depth and leadership are hallmarks of any successful teams, and the Flyers did a nice job of addressing them here. These aren't player whose jerseys will fly off the shelves, but they will help the Flyers just the same.* - Mark Paul is a Philadelphia resident and lifelong Flyers fan.