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Snider: Flyers are ‘better, no question about it’

Flyers Practice Hockey

Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider talks during a news conference as the NHL hockey team practiced in Voorhees, N.J., on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. The Flyers open their season at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. (AP Photo/Philadelphia Daily News, David Maialetti) THE EVENING BULLETIN OUT TV OUT MAGS OUT NO SALES


After introducing his club’s three big free agent acquisitions -- Vincent Lecavalier, Mark Streit and Ray Emery -- Flyers owner Ed Snider talked up his team’s chances for next season.

“I go into every season optimistic and excited,” Snider said, as per CSN Philadelphia. “But this is very unique, to have three outstanding players on the podium at the same time that we recently signed. You don’t add three terrific players like that without getting better.

“We’re better, no question about it.”

In Lecavalier and Streit, the Flyers got some veteran leadership -- both were captains last year in Tampa Bay and on Long Island, respectively -- and depth at both center and defense.

“Adding Vinny,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren explained, “I said this, we have Claude [Giroux], we have a couple young centers, we have Max [Talbot] that can play center, and Matt Read.

“Depth at center is huge.”

On defense, Streit is one of the 10 (yes, 10) Philadelphia blueliners signed on for next year, though one of those -- Chris Pronger -- will be put on long-term injured reserve.

That leaves the other nine -- Streit, Kimmo Timonen, Graydon Coburn, Andrej Meszaros, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossmann, Erik Gustafsson, Bruno Gervais and Marc-Andre Bourdon -- to battle it out for playing time (or, possibly, getting shipped out of town altogether.)

In Emery, the Flyers got a goalie that posted a 17-1-0 record last season, combining with Corey Crawford to win the Jennings Trophy in Chicago.

“All he does is win,” Holmgren said of Emery, who expects to platoon with Steve Mason in goal next season.

All in all, the Flyers sounded very confident that last year’s disappointment -- a 10th-place finish in the Eastern Conference -- won’t carry over to 2013-14.

“I feel better than I have in years,” Snider said. “I feel very good about this team.”