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Friday, September 7
Updated: September 10, 11:35 AM ET
 
Flyers: Spotlight shifts from Lindros to Roenick

By Rob Parent
Special to ESPN.com

Flyers at a glance
Camp schedule:
Sept. 11: Flyers Skate Zone (Voorhees, N.J.)
Coach: Bill Barber (2nd season, 31-16-7-2)
General manager: Bob Clarke (7th season - 2nd stint with team)
So finally they rid themselves of the Big E. Big relief?

Unquestionably.

No longer will the Flyers have the Lindros-Clarke feud at the top of their daily agenda. In its place will be daily rumblings about a team that spent its summer addressing every roster need. If free-agent prize Jeremy Roenick can help free agent re-signing prize John LeClair return to form, the talk next spring will be about Stanley Cup expectations.

The Big J.R.: So Roenick has been brought in as the playmaking savior at center for yet another team. The question now becomes can he win in the postseason with this one? Not since his early days in Chicago has Roenick been part of a team that's done anything significant in the postseason. That's not entirely his fault, but as one-half of the Phoenix accounting team of Roenick-Tkachuk, at least half the blame for four straight first-round ousters from 1997-2000 fell directly on his shoulders. The Flyers are deeper than the Coyotes ever were. Maybe that's all the more reason for J.R. to feel pressure.

The unknown star: Everyone in Philadelphia has been buzzing about how good draft-day acquisition Jiri Dopita is. Has anyone not employed as an NHL scout ever seen him play? From several scouts who specialize in European observations to officials from the several teams that tried to lure Dopita over, he has been regarded as the most talented player in the world not in the NHL. Philadelphia awaits the proof.

The Lone LeClair: Back problems all but wiped out John LeClair's season. He says he's healthy, and a five-year, $45 million contract made him wealthy. Now it's time to start paying dividends again -- but without Lindros' help. For this to happen, club president Bob Clarke started off LeClair's rebirth by signing Roenick to be his personally appointed Lindros replacement. J.R.'s playmaking skills should complement LeClair's uncanny ability to jam pucks through goalies. On the other side of that line, the soon-retiring Rick Tocchet will be placed, but keep your eye on Pavel Brendl. If this top ex-Ranger prospect works himself into shape, he could work himself into a supporting cast role on a dreamy second line.

Flyers 2001-02 preseason schedule
Date Opponent Time
Sat., Sept. 15 at Washington Canceled*
Tue., Sept. 18 at Washington 7 p.m.
Thu., Sept. 20 N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 21 vs. N.Y. Islanders at Sovereign Bank Arena, Trenton, N.J. 7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 22 New Jersey 3 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 23 at N.Y. Rangers 5 p.m.
Tue., Sept. 25 Washington 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28 N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 29 at New Jersey 1 p.m.
*Rescheduled for Sept. 18





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