Flyers general manager Ron Hextall wants to add some pieces to a team that finished 33-31-18 and 14 points out of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot this season.

"I'd like to find an upgrade on defense, whether it be a free agent or whatever," he said during a season-ending news conference Wednesday at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. "I'd like to find a skilled forward. That's my wish list. Free agency, trade . . . we'll look at that."

The free-agent market is rather thin, and it includes wingers Matt Beleskey (Anaheim), Michael Frolik (Winnipeg), and Justin Williams (Los Angeles); center Carl Soderberg (Boston); and defensemen Christian Ehrhoff (Pittsburgh) and Cody Franson (Nashville).

Hextall also said he would look to improve the backup goalie position. Ray Emery and Rob Zepp, both of whom were backups this season, can become unrestricted free agents.

The Islanders' Michal Neuvirth and Calgary's Karri Ramo are potential free-agent goalies who could be on Hextall's radar as a backup to Steve Mason.

Hextall is not expected to deal young players such as Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier.

"If we can do something with our personnel to be better in October, we will do it, without question, assuming it's not sacrificing our future," he said. "We're not going to trade young players, we're not going to trade picks, as a rule. But if we can do something . . . free agent, trade, something along those lines, we will absolutely do it.

"Anybody that thinks we're just going to sit here for two or three years and just wait, no, it's not happening."

Injury updates

Center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare will undergo surgery on his right shoulder Thursday and will not play for France in the IIHF world championships, Hextall said. The GM said defenseman Radko Gudas had another surgery on his right knee Tuesday. He and Bellemare are expected to be ready for training camp in September.

Lecavalier dilemma

Hextall seemed baffled by what to do with veteran forward Vinny Lecavalier, who scored a career-low eight goals and was unhappy with the way coach Craig Berube used him.

"It hasn't worked for them, and it hasn't worked for us," Hextall said, adding that the club will not buy out the last three years of Lecavalier's contract. "Where we go from here, quite frankly, I don't know."


The Flyers will have four players play in the world championships in the Czech Republic - Claude Giroux (Canada), Jake Voracek (Czech Republic), Michael Raffl (Austria), and Mark Streit (Switzerland). Mason (Canada) was invited, but the Flyers want him to rest his surgically repaired right knee.