Flyers 2015-16 Redux: Defensemen – Part 2


Flyers Insider Tim Panaccio continues his 2015-16 reviews with Part 2 of his breakdown of the Flyers' defensemen. Part 1, featuring Michael Del Zotto to Andrew MacDonald, can be seen here, while the goaltender edition is here

Brandon Manning
Age: Turns 26 this June 4
Stats: 56GP, 1G, 6A, 7 Pts., +2, 16:31 MIN
Cap hit: RFA who earned $625,000 last season
His facial resemblance to a young Mike Richards is simply uncanny. When training camp arrived last fall, many had Manning penciled in as a seventh or eighth defenseman. Cap issues that hurt Andrew MacDonald went a long way toward helping Manning, who earned a top-six spot from the get-go with Michael Del Zotto. He also played with Radko Gudas and Shayne Gostisbehere, proving he could be paired with a number of players and still play capably. Manning has shown he’s an NHL defenseman. That said, however, the Flyers have young bucks who have more talent pushing in the background. Regardless, he should be on the roster next season.

Evgeny Medvedev
Age: Turns 34 Aug. 27
Stats: 45 GP, 4G, 8A, 12 Pts., +5, 18:49 MIN
Cap hit: UFA who earned $3 million last season
Another Russian experiment that failed for the Flyers, and they’ve had several in the past six seasons. Medvedev looked the part as a potential European “gap fill” find. He had a strong camp, then suffered a concussion in late October and never was quite the same player the rest of the season. His strong, accurate point shot disappeared and his defensive play became horrendous. In the second half, coach Dave Hakstol benched him for 17 of the final 19 regular-season games. He wasn’t going to be re-signed. In late April, Medvedev was charged with DUI plus possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. That alone would have sealed his fate, if nothing else.

Nick Schultz
Age: Turns 34 on Aug. 25
Stats: 81GP, 1G, 9A, 10 Pts., -1, 17:56 MIN
Cap hit: $2.25 million
Once again, Schultz quietly had a strong season while leading the club with 174 blocked shots and played his 1,000th career game in January. Without his efforts in the playoffs, the Flyers’ team goals against average would have been even higher as he led the way with 20 blocks in six games. Schultz is one of those guys who plays within his means while garnering little attention. Nothing really stands out with him. He spent most of this season again paired with Mark Streit, then Luke Schenn when Streit was injured. Expect Schultz to be on the roster, as Ron Hextall likes his calmness on the ice.

Mark Streit
Age: Turns 38 on Dec. 11
Stats: 62GP, 6G, 17A, 23 Pts., -1, 21:52 MIN
Cap hit: $5.25 million
Were it not for his pubic plate detachment injury in November, Gostisbehere never would have been here. When Streit went out of the lineup, he was the first-unit quarterback on the power play. Ghost took his job and never looked back. Streit was never the same player after his return. His feared shot from the point was gone. He almost seemed afraid to shoot the puck hard and reinjure himself. Streit had 30 power-play points in 2014-15 and just eight this season. The Flyers should have tried to move him at the trade deadline because he can still be an effective PP guy for some team. With Ghost and Del Zotto, there’s no room for him. It is expected the Flyers will try to trade Streit this summer to create both cap room and roster space — possibly for impressive propect Ivan Provorov — but his cap hit is an issue unless the Flyers eat salary. Streit played his 700th NHL game in March and has more than 400 points in his career.

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