The Flyers will be back in 39 days, helping to ice away the pain of the most miserable Phillies season in more than a decade.

When they take the ice at Budweiser Gardens on Sept. 15 for their first preseason game in London, Ontario, the Flyers' new-look lineup will be bigger (Vinny Lecavalier), savvier on the blue line (Mark Streit) and more athletic in net (Ray Emery).

Unlike last summer, it's impossible to say the Flyers won't enter the upcoming season as a better team than the one that skated off the ice in shame last April.

Spending $45 million on three players will help do that for you.

Yet, when the Flyers finally hit the ice for that exhibition against the Maple Leafs, their best offseason pick-up won't be skating around.

Ron Hextall doesn't play anymore. And that's not a knock against Lecavalier, Emery and Streit - two of whom were among the surprise signings of free agency. None of them, though, were as shocking - or impressive - as adding Hextall to the front office.

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