Mercifully the 2021-22 Flyers season ended and judging by the number of empty seats at the Center most of us probably were unaware of it. Now the work of fixing the Flyers is underway again for Chuck Fletcher and the crew in South Philly. Since being hired as the 9th GM in the history of the Flyers on December 3, 2018, Fletcher has been the face of the worst team of the four majors here in Philadelphia over that span of time. Let’s pretend Barry Trotz is the next Flyers coach.
5 Head Coaches have prowled the bench for the Flyers during Fletcher’s ten-year with the sixth on the way sometime this summer. Questions about lack of character, identity, direction, vision, and heart have been the keywords that have described Chuck Fletcher’s rosters over that time. With another summer upon us (presumably his last if Fletcher and the Flyers don’t show drastic improvement), Fletcher will attempt the retool don’t say rebuild the Flyers for the 2022-23 NHL season.
Where to start
The roster is obviously the place to start, right? No, it’s not. When you have a lack of an identity as a team you need to start with establishing identity and that begins and ends with the coach. The Flyers need to develop what they want as an identity and then find the coach that could provide that. Recently Barry Trotz was fired as the HC of the New York Islanders and since that news broke the prospect of him being the next HC of the Flyers has been all the rage.
But does Trotz provide what the Flyers are looking for? An architect of both the revival of the Nashville Predators and the New York Islanders, Trotz has been down this retool road before. As the HC of the Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals Trotz has been to the top of the mountain.
He certainly possesses the swag and the resume to be the savior of the Flyers. The main question is does he want the drama that retooling the Flyers is going to come with and does Fletcher have the stones to be all in making that vision a reality. For the sake of this article let’s say he does, and Barry Trotz is the next HC of the Flyers.
What identity does he bring to the Flyers? disciple, heart, loyalty, work ethic, and anger are the words I was once told by a player that played under him. Those are the words of what you get with Barry Trotz. Do the Flyers currently have the roster to fit that? If you said anything other than no, then it is time for a long rest with some reality check time mixed in. Simply put the Flyers are soft, and weak. They are no way at all a team that currently fits what Barry Trotz will provide them.
So now the next step is the roster. Below is the Flyers roster is broken into three categories. One players need to be gone right now but would provide no return value for many reasons. Two players need to be traded and could provide value in return. Three Players remain to retool this team. Finally, four players need to be added to make Barry Trotz’s vision, and Identity of the Flyers complete.
- C- Patrick Brown
- C- Nate Thompson
- *C- Max Willham-
- RW- Linus Sandin- *
- *D- Ronnie Attard-
- D- Kevin Connauton
- D- Keith Yandle
- *D- Igor Zamula-
- G- Matin Jones
- G- Felix Sandstrom- *
- RW- Bobby Brink- *
* Denotes players that should remain in the organization but returned to Leigh Valley
The above-listed players currently do not match what the Flyers under Trotz will be looking for. They also would provide no return value in trades because the majority of them are on one year’s deals, or they are just not that good.
- LW- Oscar Lindblom
- LW- JVR
- RW- Travis Konecny
- D- Travis Sanhiem
- D- Provy
- C- Morgan Frost
These players do not the Trotz future, but they also should provide adequate return trade value. Salary cap relief counts. Each one of these players at one time was considered a vital piece of the Flyers’ Future. We have seen the reality of that statement. Simply put they don’t fit here for what needs to be done under Trotz. Not to say that they are not valuable to some other GM or team they just simply do not fit here.
- 1) LW- Farabee C- Coots RW- Atkinson
- 2) LW- C- Hayes RW-
- 3) LW- Laughton C- RW- Tippet
- 4) LW- N. Cates C- J. Cates RW- Allison
- 1) D- Ellis D-
- 2) D- D-
- 3) D- Risto D- York
- 4) D- Seeler
- G1- Hart
- G2- Fedotov
As you can see there are plenty of holes to fill on the roster. These players match what Trotz will expect from his team.
So, let’s fill in the holes of the Barry Trotz vision. Line two left-wing Johnny Hockey end of story. Then line two right-wing Phil Kessel. Line three Center Filip Forsberg.
The Defensive pairings look like this
D1-2 Jacob Chychrun (trade 5th overall pick to Arizona for him and throw in Provy)
D2-1 Nick Leddy D2-2 Kris Letang
Ok, Ok I got it I can dream, can’t I? But this is what a Barry Trotz team needs to look like in order to maximize the value of the type of HC he is.
Let’s pretend Barry Trotz is the next Flyers coach
If Barry Trotz does become the HC of the Flyers an aggressive retool needs to happen in order to bring the max value of Trotz. One like I listed is not that far from reality. Unless Fletcher sees a similar retool then don’t bother bringing in Trotz instead bide your time until the Flyers fire Fletcher sometime next summer. Then maybe we can all dream of better times for the Orange and Black. Let’s pretend Barry Trotz is the next Flyers coach. It could be fun.
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.