With the 2023-24 NHL Regular season bearing down on us. The Flyers will open the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets on October 12th in Columbus. We here at EOP will spotlight a Flyers player every week. This week we will look at two Flyers players. Travis Konecy and Wade Allison.
After a breakout of a season in 2019-20, Travis Konecny and the Flyers both had high hopes about his future. In 2020-21 Konecny and the Flyers both fell off a cliff. In that COVID shortened season Konecny struggled offensively scoring only 11 goals, 23 assists, 34 points, and a minus 5 rating. The Flyers were still all in on Konecny. He signed a six-year contract for 33 million dollars with an annual salary cap hit of 5.5 million a season before his breakout 2019-20 season.
The Flyers were hoping that the struggles of 20-21 were just a blip. In 2021-22 things went from concerning to too bad for Konecny. He posted 16 goals, 36 assists, and 52 points in 79 games. The biggest concern for the Flyers was Travis’s minus 23 rating he posted that season. Questions concerning his work ethic, motor, and drive to overcome adversity started to creep into the media. Something had to give.
In 2022-23 the Flyers and Konecny both underwent significant change. The Flyers hired no-nonsense coach Joh Tortorella. This had all the makings of a make-or-break situation for Travis Konecny. He responded with a huge bounce-back year. Showing his willingness to change and take criticism to improve his game. In 2022-23 he posted 31 goals, 30 assists, 61 points, and a minus-12 rating. There were times during the season that Konecny and Tortorella butted heads. He was a healthy scratch a few times.
Konecny responded as a veteran who should he learned from his mistakes and was not a distraction to the team showing immense growth. A talented scoring forward that can play either as a center or on the wing; plays with the bite and intensity of a guy who is willing to do anything to win a game.
Should He Stay Or Should He Go
Possesses dynamic skating ability that allows him to accelerate rapidly with each step, incredible hockey sense, electrifying puck handling skills, and a lightning release on his shot; when you put this skillset together with hard-nosed determination, proactiveness in all three zones, and a physical willingness to grind and persevere, you get a game-changer who can be extremely difficult to play against.
If the trend continues Konecny is a very important piece for the Flyers future. He could be a cornerstone of the future, or he could provide the organization with a sizeable return in a trade. The Flyers hope that Travis is part of the future of the Flyers. If his growth last year is any indication the future looks very orange for Travis Konecny.
Two things pop into your head when you think of Wade Allison, massive potential, and injuries. When he’s been healthy enough to be in the lineup, Flyer’s power forward Wade Allison has shown himself to be an effective forechecker with a nose for the net. The challenge with Allison’s career, both at the collegiate and professional levels. has been that he has to play an aggressive style that walks — without crossing — the line between being assertive in putting his body on the line and taking excessive risk of injury.
2022-23 was Allison’s first full NHL season and rather bouncing back and forth between the AHL and NHL Allison was given maximum opportunity to be a Flyer. They saw the potential, but they also saw the risk. Despite missing 19 games due to injuries, Allison, who celebrated his 25th birthday on Oct. 14 was given a huge opportunity to be a building block for this team.
One of the biggest areas that head coach John Tortorella has harped on with Allison is for the power winger to play a straightforward north-south game. Tortorella wants Allison to get in deep on the forecheck, grind along the boards down low, and attack the net directly whether he has the puck or is looking for a pass or rebound opportunity.
A well-liked figure in the locker room with a way of expressing himself that’s often direct-to-the-point with a bit of an offbeat sense of humor underlying it, one thing that Allison takes very seriously is his competitive drive. He’s never been shy about coming to a teammate’s defense or responding if challenged himself.
Allison reminds fans of a long-forgotten era of Flyers hockey. He goes full speed into players and the boards, he comes to the aid of teammates, and he is a f@@@ing Flyer. The two biggest areas of concern with Allison are his demonstrated development as an offensive and defensive player, and his ability to identify and mitigate the risk vs. the reward in his playing style.
If he continues to develop in those two areas Wade Allison is a huge part of the new era of Orange.
Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.