“What should the Flyers do?” That is the ultimate question. Winless in their last seven, power play that ranks near the bottom of the NHL, a leaderless team without direction, a GM who falls on the “power play hasn’t been good since 2014-15” sword hockey team? That was a lot, but that is your 2021-22 Philadelphia Flyers (8-9-4).
Factor in the 25-23-8 2020-21 Flyers whose power play ranked near the bottom of the NHL, was leaderless, lacked direction, and posted a 33-33-12 record over the last 11 calendar months, and we have an ole fashioned emergency on our hands here in the Del Valley.
The question now is what to do next. Let’s explore that, shall we? First and foremost, let’s get over the “Hextall” effect once and for all it’s done and over with the players that have been drafted are drafted and they are here so with that off the table what is next. That is the question that I hope keeps Chuck Fletcher up at night. So, with nothing happening from the GM in terms of trades or a coaching change or anything I’m going to play GM and explore possible scenarios.
Fire AV and the whole lot of them. A good case can be made that the message is falling on deaf ears. The team seems flat and disinterested on the ice. The message is not being received and the coach has seemingly lost the players. Making a move with the coaching staff is probably the most obvious and aside from doing nothing the easiest thing for Fletcher to do. Take the 2019-20 St. Louis Blues they had the worst record in Hockey at Christmas 2019; fired their head coach, promoted Jordan Bennington from the AHL, and Wala a Stanley Cup Championship six months later. I’m not saying that is going to happen with the Flyers but who knows.
We all remember the exit presser when Fletcher and AV said were not going to make excuses and then went ahead and made excuses. Fletcher then changed out about 25% of the roster. The results are the same. Coaching? Perhaps.
A CHANGE IN LEADERSHIP
Warning…… Warning…….. The following can cause me to be voted off the Flyers Island. The captain of any Hockey team has a responsibility to enforce and back the coach. So, what does our Captain do ST Claude as he is referred to herein Philly has been the face of this inconstancy and has seemed to escape it relatively unharmed why?
Is it because as he has fallen victim to a wasted career where the Flyers failed to pair him with a true partner one that could have taken us all the way, do we feel sorry for all that he gave and all that he didn’t receive, or is it that he deserves the respect that he has earned over his 15 years in Orange and Black? I guess it is a combination of all. But the captain has a job to do on the ice that is above scoring goals it’s backing the coach and holding his players accountable and guess what ST Claude hasn’t done that for years. A change may be nice.
BRING ON THE TRADES
The first thing that comes to mind is trade? Trade what? We don’t have anything to trade. Oh, I believe we do. Hextall failed miserably in drafting a super duo or drafting a complement to Giroux. What he has succeeded in was drafting a boatload of role players. If you look around at the haps of the players Fletcher sent packing this summer and recently Ghost, Voracek, Friedman, NAK to name a few and they are succeeding in their roles with their new teams. So, I believe we have great trade capital.
There is young talent on this team. In order to be successful and turn this around some of that talent is going to have to be traded. If you look at the recent history in the NHL it’s always a duo of elite players surrounded by good role players that win cups. Crosby/ Malkin, Kane/ Toews, Gretzky/ Messier Lindros/ LeClair, etc, etc. Around those players are players like TK, Frost, Lindblom, Provy. It’s addition by subtracting and it’s the only way this team is going to get better.
WHOSE CONTRACT IS WORSE COURTIER OR JVR
That is a great question and a very simple answer they both suck. Thankfully JVR will be soon moving on he is in his 4th year of a 5-year deal and the end is near. Courtier is a different situation. A newly minted 8 years 62 million deal this summer this could be the new JVR, McDonald, Pronger, Bryzgalov contract. Coots is having a dreadful start to the season. He will likely be the next captain, but he is not the player we should be building around. Both these contracts were bad gives in their own rights and we are stuck with them.
All the talk is about firing AV and his staff, or trading players why is Fletcher so immune to the state of this team. He is the GM and it’s his vision on the ice. He will not make excuses while at the same time making excuses, but his Hextall did that card is running low. And with his very own “quarterback factory” drop now in the books it is officially open season on Fletcher. He seems to coward at the right moment he seems to blame everyone in the room but him without blaming everyone in the room but him. His time is running out, very soon Fletcher will have to make “the move” that will define his time here and there will be no one to blame but himself, and excuses to be made.
No, it’s not signing Allen Iverson, but wait a minute……… never mind. The bottom line is this all the above applies right now its all on the table every option needs to be investigated because you know what it’s us who continue to suffer. I was two years old the last time the Flyers won the cup, I’m 48 now do the freaking math Chuck. “What should the Flyers do?
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.