Lost Time The Hextall Effect Or Fletchermania  

Back in the summer all of Flyer’s nation awaited what the aggressive retool would look like.  With salary cap restrictions, and hard-to-move contracts we all highly anticipated what magic Chuck Fletcher would wield.  The prize is Johnny Hockey, John Gaudreau.  What we got was Tony DeAngelo, Nick Delaurier, Justin Braun Part 2, and an assortment of straight-to-the-AHL players.  To sum it up we got confusion.  Still waiting. Is the lost time the Hextall Effect or Fletchermania?

Two months into the 2022-23 season and guess what we are still waiting for.  The Flyers sit at 9-12-6 and are every bit what their record says they are.  They are competitive, they are chippy, and they do battle their buts off.  At the end of the day though just not enough horses in the barn. Injuries have certainly played their part in all of this.  At one point during this early season, 36 million dollars of Flyers money was on the IR.  Through all this John Tortorella has shown remarkable patience and dedication to turn this all around. They are still waiting.

The Plan?

Now it does not take a Guinness to see that the Flyers are tanking without saying they are tanking.  Before you can utter the word process just pump the brakes.  The Flyers are making up for lost time and perhaps lost resources.  The 2022-23 version of the Philadelphia Flyers looks very similar to the 2022-23 Leigh Valley Phantoms if you see this don’t worry you aren’t losing your mind.  The reason you shouldn’t think you are losing your mind is that the two teams are one and the same.  

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There has been and will continue to be a steady revolving door between the Delaware and Leigh Valleys. The Flyers are trying to compensate for over seven years of missed player development opportunities.  Since the end was diagnosed for the Flyers back in 2014, the stocking of high draft capital began.  Those draft picks were placed in the hands of Flyers great Ron Hextall who came back to Philly after a very successful stint as the Assistant GM of the Los Angles Kings and the architect of two Stanley Cup Champions. 

Hextall  

As the GM of the Flyers Hextall was tasked with correctly using all the high draft capital while simultaneously putting together an NHL product on the ice.  As the assistant GM of the Kings, the draft and the scouting department were his major responsibilities. The result was of course less than stellar.  In those days the Flyers were bad but not bad.  They had a core of veteran players they had a ½ of the super duo combo which was required to win the NHL. 

What it came down to was Hextall’s and the Flyers’ unwillingness to totally commit to a rebuild.  Their unwillingness to identify back then that the team was not put together properly. Their unwillingness to commit to proper player development.  The result is 9-12-6 in 2022-23.

The Flyers fan base is just like any here in Philadelphia we are inpatient and very dedicated.  We accepted the amassing of draft capital, but we wanted to remain competitive well as you know you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  

The Here and Now

After the disasters of the 2020-21, and 2021-22 seasons we have arrived at this point.  You can feel lied to, you can feel used that’s ok.  But remember to also feel liberated because we finally have arrived at the rebuild.  This season will be tough it will be frustrating, but it will also provide the building blocks for a true return to greatness.

The revolving door between the Valleys is something that has been long overdue there is no timeline on this there are no guarantees on this there is only an opportunity to make up for some lost time.  Is the lost time the Hextall Effect or Fletchermania?  

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

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.

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