The Philadelphia Flyers will once again not compete for the Stanley Cup, and since 2012 they have missed the playoffs 4 times (2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019) and have made it 4 times (2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018). It just seems that there is no hype around this team anymore from the fanbase, and there is a reason for the lack of hype, inconsistency. When was the last time the Flyers were a dominate team in the NHL, making a serious case to win the Cup year in and year out? The last time the Flyers reached the 100 point mark was back in 2012, also it was last time the Flyers won a playoff series. We have been seeing other teams from Philadelphia such as the Phillies, Eagles, and Sixers gaining more popularity from the city. Why are those teams more popular? It is because they are making moves to remain a dominate force in their respective leagues.
What more is there to say about the Eagles, they are Philadelphia’s team. This is a football town after all. No matter what, fans will constantly fill up Lincoln Financial Field to root on the Birds. Now finally that they have a Super Bowl title to their name, they are hungry for more. Carson Wentz is the future QB of the Eagles and can take them to more Super Bowls in the future. Howie Roseman is making sure all the holes are filled and he is doing a great job for how close the Eagles are to the salary cap.
Trusting the Process has gotten the Sixers to near the top of the NBA, and they are going to keep rising. The climb to contention began last year with the pieces of the process finally starting to come together. Joel Embiid is a powerhouse who will dominate the NBA for years to come, and he still has room to grow. Ben Simmons has shown us abilities to become a star, but he has to start getting that shot working for him. Elton Brand has made major moves brining in Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris which are big pieces to this lineup. Expectations are high for the Sixers, and the upcoming playoffs are going to determine what happens during their offseason.
If it was not for what occurred during the offseason, things could be different, but that is not the case anymore. The Phillies last season exceeded expectations by holding onto 1st place in the NL East through the All-Star break, then they had one of the worst collapses to end the season, but the front office was keen on this offseason to fill the holes. How about filling those holes by acquiring 4 all stars in McCutchen, Segura, Realmuto, and Harper? The Phillies waited on this offseason to add the major talent to go along with their home-grown talent. After many seasons of being the worst in baseball and an empty Citizens Bank Park, the Phils have brought the fans back with this offseason. They want to win and they have the team and the money to remain good for years.
The other Philadelphia franchises have developed and brought in talent to make them better. Each front office is making sure that all the missing pieces are filled with the right talent. In the past few years, the Flyers have done none of that. They have pieces to make this team great, but there are too many holes that have not been solved. Ron Hextall, who has developed one of the best prospect pools in the NHL, forgot that there was a team in the NHL that needed help too. Remaining competitive and still building through the draft is a tough job, he has found some nice pieces without having to tank. With Hextall gone and Fletcher in, this will be a big offseason for the Flyers to make make this team a major force.
This is going to be a crucial offseason for the Flyers, there are names that this team could use, but the Flyers should not be “stupid” with their money.
- Players like Provorov, Konecny and Sanhiem are going to be RFA’s and Fletcher needs to assess that first, but signing these kids is not enough.
- The Goaltending issue looks like it will finally be solved. With Hart showing he will be a force, and Talbot looking to take the backup spot next season.
- 2nd Line Center: Patrick does not look ready enough to take on this position yet, but he will be. Someone who can produce along side of Voracek.
- Goal Scoring: Having Couturier reach 30 a season is nice, but we need someone who can possibly reach the 40 goal mark. A pure sniper.
- Veteran Defenseman: A player in his late 20’s, early 30’s who can come in a solidify the defensive core. Play in the top 2/4 pairing to help teach the young players, and make them better. This reminds me of when Timonen was brought in back in 2007.
- Coaching: Scott Gordon has shown some bright signs since being brought in as interim head coach, but the games the Flyers needed to win, they have not won. The Flyers need an experienced guy behind the bench, if we cannot find that Gordon could possibly be the guy next season.
If Chuck Fletcher can fill up the missing pieces of this lineup, we can see a more consistent team next season. All we can do is wait and see what happens, but this offseason is going to be different from years past. The Flyers want to win and this will be the key to helping that fantasy become a reality.
By: Amedeo Grassia (@bud0522)
beerleaguebeauts.com (Photo of Giroux)