Winning over a fan base that has been starved 40-plus years for another cup is something not every GM can do. Chuck Fletcher has taken over this seemingly thankless job from his predecessor Ron Hextall. Here is five moves I think Chuck Fletcher can make this year that will win over the fan base and put their faith in him.
5. Scoring Winger:
Yes, I get that we have James Van Riemsdyk and Wayne Simmonds, but as of now JVR is not producing at the rate we were all hoping he would. That could change but I think we need a legit 35-40 goal scorer that is consistent. As far as Simmonds goes, he very well could be walking after this year so they can’t count on him. Enter the St. Louis Blues, word is they are about to start their fire sale and Fletcher would be crazy not to try and swing a deal.
Possibilities: Vladimir Tarasenko, Mark Stone, Artemi Panarin
4. 2nd Pairing Veteran Defenseman:
The Flyers need a legitimate defenseman who is going to shut things down as well as mentor some of the young core. Let’s face it, MacDonald and Gudas are not it. Provorov and Ghost are the future of the defense and will hopefully turn into Keith and Seabrook 2.0. Having said this I do believe they could actually get one of the two here.
Possibilities: Duncan Keith or Brent Seabrook, Jake Muzzin or Alec Martinez, Alex Pietrangelo
3. 1st or 2nd Line Centre:
As of right now they have it with Giroux under centre again and Couturier shoring up the 2nd line. But I believe and I may be one of the few that thinks Giroux should go back to wing. If we can, say, pry Ryan O’Reilly from St. Louis or maybe even Matt Duchene from Ottawa, then they are set up for the future. In my opinion, Nolan Patrick will eventually be our number 1 centre. How long it takes him to get there is the question.
Possibilities: Ryan O’Reilly, Matt Duchene, Artem Anisimov
2. Waiving or Buying Out Contracts:
This is an easy one. Get rid of guys who don’t contribute much on the ice and do more harm then good. My personal favorite and I’m sure everybody else would agree as well, is Andrew MacDonald. I’m not sure what Chuck Fletcher needs to do but he should do whatever it takes to get rid of him. His constant turnovers and the ability to get beat at any given moment is frustrating to watch as a fan. Michal Neuvirth is another story as well, very streaky and injury prone, he can no longer be depended.
Possibilities: Michal Neuvirth, Andrew MacDonald, Jordan Weal, Jori Lehtera
1. A True #1 Goaltender (Bridge Goalie):
This should be no surprise to anyone as they haven’t had one for 30 years now. The Flyers carousel of goaltenders is pretty similar to the Cleveland Browns quarterbacks. We need a quick fix for about 2-3 years max until Carter Hart is ready. So who’s out there? Jimmy Howard is a possibility if Detroit lowers their asking price (1st Round Pick). Another name being floated around right now is Jonathan Quick, which 3 years ago would be incredible, but the fact is he is starting to become injury prone as well. I’m going to throw a name out there who I always believed was very good, plays a ton of games and will steal a game for you here and there, Mike Smith. The question is if Calgary is willing to part with him or not? I believe with the emergence of David Rittich it is possible. What if we send a package of Simmonds, Stolarz and a 1st for Mike Smith and James Neal. Who says no? Calgary gets a high 1st round pick, a back up, and one of the best power forwards in the game. Flyers get the bridge goaltender and a scoring winger. Neal is having a down year but put him with Giroux and you got yourself a great tandem.
Possibilities: Jimmy Howard, Jake Allen, Mike Smith
All in all there is a lot for Chuck Fletcher to accomplish while being here and certainly lots of fixes he needs to do before making the Philadelphia Flyers a powerhouse they once were. I believe he makes these moves, obviously the players could be different or they could go a different route to get these players as well. But one thing is for sure, change is coming and it’s likely coming fast. I also purposely left off one thing he could do to win every Flyers fan’s hart. #FireHak!!!
Like it needed to be said.
By: Jay @Flyers49ersGuy
photo credit: philly.com