The Philadelphia Flyers are in flames. The morale is at an all-time low and the finger pointing from the Flyers’ faithful has begun. Some demand action from the general manager Chuck Fletcher a couple weeks ahead of the trade dealine, while others want the head of head coach Alain Vigneault served up on a silver platter. While it’s easy to put the blame on one person, the reality of the situation is there are multiple spots where this levy is breaking and a complete collapse on all fronts is occurring.
Alain Vigneault delivered a quote after Saturday’s loss that is rather interesting-
“If I could put a finger on it, I’d have fixed it already“
It’s a subtle jab, but it’s one of a man who feels as though the solution to what ails them is not currently on the roster. And it’s not the first time Vigneault has hinted at his displeasure with his current setup.
Vigneault has never been afraid to throw hints at players through vague media quotes. Before the team took a nose dive, he would throw hints he was unhappy with the defense, questioning the work ethic of Phil Myers, telling Provorov he needs to step up, and flat out saying the depth on the blue line isn’t there. The head coach obviously knows his team, and it shouldn’t take a genius to realize how bad this team has been this year.
Chuck Fletcher supposedly was one of the hardest working GM’s this past offseason when looking for a defenseman, yet he walked away with nothing to show for it. He signed Erik Gustafsson, who was a well known risk at the time.
We’ll never know what goes on behind closed doors within the organization, but from an outside perspective it sure feels like the coach and general manager aren’t on the same page if the coach is deduced to making cryptic statements through the media that sound like pleas of help.
Yet, AV isn’t a stranger to calling his players out. He questioned Giroux’s conditioning during the offseason, has taken shots at JVR and TK for underperforming over the past year, and has politely danced around Carter Hart’s underwhelming season. According to Rangers fans, using the media to light a fire under his players is normal behavior for Vigneault.
So, are the comments to the media just a tool in Alain Vigneault’s arsenal or is he putting his cards on the table for his GM to read? We as fans may never know for sure, but given the state of the Flyers these days, AV taking pot shots at Fletcher’s lack of action shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The organization is quickly turning into a soap opera and since no change seems imminent, we’ll just have to tune into this week’s episodes to watch the drama continue to unfold.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: usatoday.com / nhl.com