After surviving yet another miserable Philadelphia Flyers season, all eyes are on the front office and their ability to once again attempt to re-tool and salvage the team. While the efforts will probably lead to some exciting trades and new faces on the Flyers, Chuck Fletcher and the gang have some in-house work to take care of first. Assessing the needs of the current roster and making some crucial decisions on the players already wearing orange and black raise more than a few questions.
Number 5: Morgan Frost’s Future
There have been many disappointments about the 2021-22 Flyers season, but high on that list is the play of Morgan Frost, who continued to fail to live up to the lofty expectations he had coming out of juniors. He has two goals, eight points and a -15 rating in 38 NHL games this season and has been just as invisible as the numbers suggest. He’s played up and down the lineup and hasn’t really fit anywhere, and with his entry-level contract expiring and restricted free agent status hitting, one has to wonder if he becomes trade bait during the offseason in the pursuit of actual NHL talent. Do they re-sign him and kick the development can further down the road, or do they part ways with the once-promising youngster?
Number 4: Do They Get A Goalscorer?
There’s many holes the Flyers need to plug this summer, but finding a guy who can put pucks in the back of the net is pretty high on that list. They are second last in the league with just 2.57 goals/game, ahead of only the Montreal Canadiens. Ideally it would come in the form of a young top center, but quite frankly help on the wings would go a long way as well. Especially with Giroux gone, finding a serious boost on offense will probably make or break them next season.
Number 3: Does JVR Come Back?
Of all the players on the current roster, the most crucial when it comes to clearing salary is 33-year-old Jame Van Riemsdyk, who still has one year left at a $7 million cap hit. What Chuck Fletcher opts to do with him will have ripples for the rest of the offseason. Does the team buy him out? Do they trade him? Do they dump his salary? Does he come back?
Number 2: Are Sean Couturier and Ryan Ellis Healthy?
During a season when injuries plagued the entire roster, the last two lingering missing players are the theoretical number one center and number one right-handed defenseman. Couturier is coming back from back surgery and Ryan Ellis has missed the entire season with an unknown lower-body injury. Couturier isn’t yet cleared, he has been spotted at the Wells Fargo Center with the team, while Ellis remains M.I.A. Those are two fairly big holes on the roster and could drastically change Chuck Fletcher’s approach to the offseason depending on their projected readiness for the start of next season.
Number 1: The Next Captain
With Giroux moving on to greener pastures, the captaincy of the Philadelphia Flyers is currently vacant. The role has historically been filled immediately after one leaves, with the last time the Flyers spending a full season without a captain coming in 1992-93 after Rick Tocchet was traded the season before. Does anybody on the roster deserve it? It seems too early to tell, but Giroux did coronate Farabee on his way out the door, and he seems like the next face of the franchise, so even if the captaincy goes unclaimed in the immediate future, the team may already have its next leader waiting in the wings.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com / courierpost.com / si.com