Rock Bottom

The Flyers have lost 12 straight for the second time in franchise history. The last time the Flyers lost this many in a row was during the 1998-99 season. This is the darkest time in Flyers history. Sure, the longest playoff drought the Flyers have had ever was 5 seasons from 1990-1994. During that time, however, the Flyers would pick at 4, 6, and 7 from 1990-1992, respectively. They would draft Mike Ricci fourth overall, Peter Forsberg sixth overall, and Ryan Sittler seventh overall. During this time they acquired Eric Lindros, ultimately dealing away four of those five first round picks. They also acquired Mark Recchi who was later flipped to get John LeClair and Eric Desjardins who would both be big names for the Flyers during the 90’s. Early on during the playoff drought, Rod Brind’Amour was brought in. The Flyers of the early 90’s saw a lack of playoff success that hadn’t been seen since they first came into the league over 20 years earlier. But even then, in what was the darkest time for the Flyers, they had hope. They had pieces that would propel them into the feared team they became.

Now, we have the current Flyers. For the past decade-plus, the Flyers have been in and out of the playoffs. There was hope that the promising young players that Ron Hextall drafted would lead us to a beautiful new age of Flyers hockey where they would be dominant again and hopefully end this long Cup drought, but as each shiny new prospect came into the league, it seemed as though each one didn’t live up to expectations. There are a couple exceptions. Carter Hart has shown that, even at the young age of 23, he is poised to be an elite goaltender in the NHL. Joel Farabee has been a great young player, breaking out in his second year, though has been limited by injuries during his third campaign. Ivan Provorov has been good but has not lived up to the expectations of being a bonafide 1D and possible Norris candidate. Travis Konecny showed what he could be in a shortened season, along with Oskar Lindblom, but both have not been able to get back to that level again. But the biggest miss was Ron Hextall’s gaffe when gifted the second overall pick in 2017 when the Flyers were the third best team to miss the playoffs. What was supposed to be a huge moment turned into a nightmare, and would set the Flyers back years.

The Flyers are about to break the cycle of in and out of the playoffs by, of course, missing them consecutively. The problem is that they don’t have a trajectory. Chuck Fletcher went out and had a hell of a summer and brought in guys that would seemingly help the Flyers break their funk. Chuck got a legit 1RD, and got a 2RD that would actually be physical. He also picked up a guy that wants to shoot first in Cam Atkinson while getting rid of one of our biggest cap hits. But it wasn’t enough. Ryan Ellis was the focal point of the additions but has played only four games. Most guys have been alright like Brassard, Jones, Atkinson and Ristolainen. Yandle has been bad defensively but is still the second highest point scorer among D-men, but he is only on a league-minimum deal that expires this season. Most prospects haven’t turned out quite how we thought they would, and right now, Cam York seems to be our only prospect with elite potential. The Flyers are close to the bottom, sixth worst and one point above Buffalo. The Flyers have no hope right now. There is potential to get the first overall pick this year and get Shane Wright, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

By Noah Caplan (@Phlyers24 and @NoahlyPod)
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