So if you think back a few months, I wrote a prediction piece of what the Flyers 2021-22 opening night roster would look like before the offseason had even started. For those that need a breif refresher, the lineup would’ve looked like-
If you want to full reasoning, salary cap breakdown and trade suggestions, you can check out the original piece here.
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Sam Reinhart
Joel Farabee – Kevin Hayes – Wade Allison
Zach Hyman – Morgan Frost – Jake Voracek
Oskar Lindblom – Scott Laughton – Tanner Laczynski
Ivan Provorov – Dougie Hamilton
Cam York – Seth Jones
Egor Zamula – Justin Braun
So… half credit? The original article was published on May 26, long before Chuck Fletcher had thrown the first stone of the offseason. It was clear the main goal should’ve been flipping as much of the roster as possible, and in that sense, he succeeded, it just wasn’t quite as dazzling.
If you remove the names, that’s two new forwards, two new defenseman (plus two rookies) and a new goaltender. Which is pretty close to what actually happened, just instead of Sam Reinhart, Zach Hyman, Dougie Hamilton, Seth Jones and Jonathan Bernier, they brought in Derick Brassard, Nate Thompson, Ryan Ellis, Rasmus Ristolainen and Martin Jones.
Obviously it’s a lower caliber of additions than the original, but it’s also a different approach. Fletcher’s real world additions were not only about fixing the team on the ice, but also building a better squad off the ice too. He looked for leadership and, yes, veteran presence to provide an inproved on-ice product, but also a guiding light in a locker room that has long since gone stale with the same voices.
The Flyers main goal was to obviously improve the defense, and it’s possible the route they actually took could pay off better than the original prediction. Going with two top guys in Hamilton and Jones definitely makes the defense top heavy, but relying on two rookies who may not be quite ready to make the leap could be a source of struggle.
How about a real prediction now that we know what the roster will look like, including the injuries to Kevin Hayes and Wade Allison-
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Travis Konency
Oskar Lindblom -Morgan Frost – Joel Farabee
James Van Riemsdyk – Derick Brassard – Cam Atkinson
Scott Laughton – Nate Thomspon – Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Ivan Provorov – Ryan Ellis
Travis Sanheim – Rasmus Ristolainen
Keith Yandle – Justin Braun
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)