Ray Emery

Flyers' defensive prospects give the team hope

As the Flyers get ready to open training camp this week, they do not look nearly ready to capture their first Stanley Cup since Gerald Ford was in the White House.

Yeah, it's been awhile.

But although this team isn't expected to challenge for a Cup it last won in 1975, there is an air of optimism that second-year general manager Ron Hextall has generated.

Hextall is working his way through Salary Cap Jail his predecessor left him in a difficult situation and he will have some money to spend after contracts expire (or are bought out) following this season. He also has a promising group of defensive prospects who are knocking on the NHL door.