Flyers decline options to sign Dowd, Berard.

According to 610 WIP, the Philadelphia Flyers will not sign veterans Jim Dowd and Bryan Berard.  The announcement came during the Flyers – New Jersey Devils preseason telecast, and implied that both players did not show enough during training camp to warrant a signing for the upcoming season.

Dowd was the fourth-line center for the Flyers all of last season, was invited to tryout a month before training camp started, in what seemed like a generous favor by the Flyers front office.  Berard on the other hand was an invitation of the legitimate type.  Knowing that their blue line needed some firepower, the Flyers brought in offensive defenseman Berard to fill in the puck-moving vacancy in the d-corps.  Berard showed some flashes off his ability on the power play and made a solid run at the open defensive spot.  However, according to sources, Berard did not impress many Flyers’ officials with his play in his own end.

The dismissing of Dowd and Berard means coach John Stevens may already have an idea of who his starting fourth-line center and 6th defenseman will be come the season opening Oct. 11.

Steve Downie has made an excellent case for the center position and Ryan Parent, Lasse Kukkonen and Luca Sbisa are still contending for the final spot defense spot, with Parent the likely frontrunner.

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