SPOILER ALERT: The Philadelphia Flyers kinda suck these days. 2022 will go down as one of, if not the worst year in franchise history. The kicks to the metaphorical scrotum were relentless and came from just about every angle possible. We’ve limited the endless catastrophes down to the five things that really sucked for the Flyers in 2022.
Number 5: Travis Sanheim’s Extension
Whether you like Sanheim the player or not, the contract extension he signed hours before puck drop on opening night was just a poorly timed disaster the franchise will be paying for for the next eight years. With an abundance of left handed defense prospects that are now left in limbo to the short-term financial impact that will severally limit their 2023 offseason plans, it just didn’t make sense to commit to such a mediocre player so early in the year. They should’ve at least waited until the deadline to assess his value in trade scenarios across the league before deciding to lock him up until 2031. Just another example of Chuck Fletcher’s genius at work.
Number 4: Sean Couturier’s Injury
Sean Couturier, who missed most of last season after undergoing back surgery was supposed to return this year, but didn’t even make it to training camp before he missed time and ultimately underwent a second back procedure. The 30-year-old who is in the first year of an eight-year, $62 million extension has only played 29 games in the last two seasons, and after two back surgeries, who knows what version of the player will be there if or when he returns to the ice. There were plenty of very obvious risks when it came to re-signing Couturier, and his extension didn’t even kick in before his career got put in jeopardy.
Number 3: Buying Out Lindblom
Financially, buying out the last year of Lindblom’s three-year, $9 million contract he signed in the 2020 offseason after beating cancer made sense for a cash-strapped organization. The cap hit was fairly high, though originally done out of a good grace move to show trust and solidarity with Lindblom upon his return. Lindblom became a fan favorite player that players and fans alike rallied around, but his on-ice play didn’t return to his pre-diagnosis levels. It came off as the franchise taking away yet another thing most fans could agree on liking and supporting. It was insult to injury when they used those funds to sign Tony DeAngelo and Nic Deslauriers.
Number 2: Missing Johnny Gaudreau
We could argue all day long whether signing Johnny Gaudreau was the right move for the franchise or not, but you can’t tell me it didn’t sting just a little when it was announced he signed with Columbus. Years of teasing a reunion with his hometown team, a squad currently starved for talent, that came right down to the wire, and in typical Flyers fashion they grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory.
Number 1: Ivan Fedotov
There’s been so much negativity surrounding the Flyers, mainly due to their own self inflicted stupidity that it’s totally understandable if you forgot that Flyers’ goaltending prospect Ivan Fedotov was kidnapped by the Russian military before he could leave for North America. Luckily for the Flyers, Carter Hart has been at the top of his game and Felix Sandstrom has made a decent enough backup, so his absence hasn’t been felt quite as hard from an on-ice perspective, but it’s still wild to think that a promising player was taken hostage by a foreign military. Something that would only happen to a Flyers player.
Just in general. Fletcher was slowly but surely losing support from the fans over the last couple years, but his mishandling of the 2022 offseason and subsequent failure of the 2022-23 was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the few stragglers that held out hope. From questionable contract extensions to completely ignoring roster upgrades during multiple offseasons, he has held the franchise in the same muck they’ve been stuck in for years. It’s long past time for him to go, and hopefully 2023 will be the year the Flyers finally part ways with this loser and open a new, more successful chapter of their history.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com