Ryan Ellis is not the first defense savior for the Flyers that did not materialize. Once upon a time, Shea Weber was a Flyer….for about five seconds.
Ryan Ellis has made it longer than five seconds, but the disappointment tastes very familiar in the mouths of long time Flyers fans. With the Weber signing, we were after years of struggles, being promised the world. A defenseman that could hit, hard, who would defend our net and had a shot that was so hard it broke records. We should have known it was too good to be true.
I remember the day that the Flyers signed Weber to the $110 million, 14 year offer sheet. My heart sang. I remember just as vividly when I got the word that the Predators had matched the offer sheet, crushing the hearts of Flyers fans en masse, mine included.
Fast forward from July 2012 to July 2021. Gary Bettman, who may be Satan (don’t sue me…) has made the type of offer sheet that the Flyers offered Shea Weber impossible, but Chuck Fletcher worked some big changes to help the Flyers floundering defense and to improve team chemistry.
In came Cam Atkinson (squee!), Rasmus Ristolainen, Derik Brassard…..and Ryan Ellis. While I was sad to see the departure of Ghost and the move of The Church of Hagg, Ellis made it all better. He was a defensive stud, even if he had a down season in 2020-21. Ellis was going to be the one, the cornerstone of a solid defense to compliment the franchise goaltender that Carter Hart promises to be.
Ellis, who celebrates his 31st birthday on 03JAN, has played four games in a Flyers sweater. He has five points in those four games, and has somehow wound up on the NHL’s Covid Protocol List despite not being anywhere near the team in months.
Sadly, Ellis has been nothing more than a mirage. Much as Shea Weber before him, Ellis was indeed too good to be true. The Knight in Shining (ok, heavily bearded) Armor that was going to deliver on all the promises those before him had not brought to fruition. He was hope, and hope can be cruel. Hope can make you think that there is something to believe in when all you have is just a mirage. Smoke and mirrors that is going to dissipate just when you truly believe that your day has finally come.
I have never been a “burn it all down, tank and burn it all down” kind of fan, but I am beginning to wonder if it is time. A complete fresh start. Burn. It. Down. This is a team that went from the Expansion Joke in 1967 to lifting Lord Stanley’s Silver Chalice in 1974…they did it once, they can do it again. Burn it all down.
By: Phyllis Ceci (@flyersfan1129)
photo credit: inquirer.com