A compass as we all know is a way to tell which direction we are traveling. Pretty simple and to the point. Direction is an essential part of life. We are continuously heading in a direction sometimes it’s the wrong direction and sometimes it’s the right direction. Make no mistake about it we are always heading in a direction. Which way do we go?
With an opportunity to show the hockey world which direction they were heading with unrestricted free agent formerly of the Calgary Flames and South Jersey native, Johnny Gaudreau aka Johnny Hockey who was all in about joining his hometown team, and the blank check statement issued by Dave Scott back in December 2021. Flyers fans worldwide waited with bated breath for the aggressive retool to kick into high gear. Which way do we go?
As the Flyers limped down the stretch of the 2021-22 NHL season many things about this team became clear. Lacking high-end talent or a super duo that standard by which all Stanley Cup teams are measured. It takes two to climb the mountain in the NHL. At the end of the 2021-22 season, the Flyers have no super duo or high-end talent to speak of.
Defense wins championships the Flyers have failed miserably in this very important aspect of Hockey team building. Ivan Provorov has come up short of the expectations we had for him. What we have is a player who constantly passes the buck and never holds himself accountable. Ryan Ellis was brought in to add presence and experience. What we got was an uncertain future.
The forward of a good Hockey team provides the spark or the jump to a team. They are the snipers, and finishers, grinders, the heart, and the soul of a hockey team. They know their roles and fully embrace them. The Flyers have a collection of overpaid, and underdeveloped players. All of this and more make up the forward room of the Philadelphia Flyers.
John Tortorella was added to the mix as the next bench boss an already well-known reputation for hard-nosed hockey a trait that has endeared him and alienated him all at the same time to fans. His reputation is a lot of things the one thing it is not is that of a rebuilding coach. Torts is the sort of coach that injects that final piece of motivation to push a team to the very limits of their potential and provide them the extra needed for the final drive. Which way do we go?
“We have a blank check” is a statement that seems to be a major issue for most Flyers fans. Back in December 2021, Dave Scott provided the direction that this was not acceptable and that a quick turnaround was the way the team was going. What we have seen is not the truth. All lies. The Philadelphia Flyers fanbase is a proud minority in the Philadelphia Sports market and they wear that like a badge of honor on their sleeve.
Buried behind the other three professional major sports teams has always been something of a rallying point for the Orange and Black faithful. The Flyers as a franchise are about to endure a very painful off-the-ice moment in the next two years. At the end of the 2023-24 season and ending at the end of the 2024-25 season both Stanley Cup Championship panels on the Stanley Cup will be removed from the Cup. Their fifty-year run completed this will leave the Philadelphia Flyers and their fan base completely off the Stanley Cup. Which way do we go?
The Flyer’s plan of attack this off-season has provided no sense of a direction. Is it a retool with the acquisition of DeAngelo, Tortorella, and the trading of an abundance of mid-round future draft picks, or is a rebuild with the noninterest in Johnny Hockey, the release of Oskar Lindblom, the signing of journeyman players with no needle moving ability? Which way do we go?
Winning the cup was not going to happen but it would be a clear sign of which direction we are headed as a franchise. It would have checked some boxes like replacing the production lost with Giroux, a new face of the franchise, the first half of a super duo, generating real interest back into the hockey team, and giving the loyal fanbase something to grab onto. He wanted to play for his hometown team make no mistake about that he wanted to come home instead he ends up in the hockey hotbed of Columbus Oh paired with Jake Voracek. Failed on so many levels. Which way do we go?
Which direction do we go?
Where are we is it a retool or a rebuild? Rebuild or retool move. DeAngelo is a retool move, and the trading of draft picks is a retool move. The release of Lindblom, the signing of lower-tier free agents to plug holes, the not-in on Johnny Hockey, the losing our place on the Stanley Cup rebuilding. Alienation of the fanbase is a tool move. Lying is a cowardly move. Compasses are easy to find just look in your next box of Cracker Jax. Which way do we go?
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.