Top 5: Excuses Nobody Wants to Hear From the Flyers This Summer

There’s very few thing the Philadelphia Flyers organization loves more than excuses. As the franchise stands at the precipice of a very important offseason with an incomplete and inexperienced front office leading the way, big things are expected from them but their ability to deliver is still unknown. If things don’t go well, the excuse machine will fire right back up, but does anybody really want to hear the shallow justifications for their inaction?

Number 5: Injuries

It’s no secret the Flyers have battled more than their fair share of injuries over the last few seasons. In fact, they lost 452 man-games to injury during 2022-23, the fifth most in the NHL. They had over 500 last season as well. Though rather than overcome the adversity, they use it as a crutch and opt to roll over and die instead. Like no other team has ever had to deal with a couple injured players along the way. Maybe the knack for acquiring and/or signing aging players and players with an injury history hasn’t been the smartest battle plan in the first place?

Number 4: Moral Victories

“We lost… but” has been a beat to death line from the Flyers for a lot longer than most of us would care to admit. Who needs actual victories when imaginary victories are so much easier! Now with interim GM Danny Briere seemingly intent on a rebuild, moral victories may once again take center stage. It’s ok for there to be positive takeaways during a losing season, but at some point, there needs to be palpable progress made towards the team becoming competitive again. Championing a player showing on-ice improvements only for that momentum to never be capitalized on by the front office in the form of building a legitimate roster is really dumb and will never get the team anywhere.

Number 3: It’s Not “Go Time”

This is a Hextall-ism if ever there was one. It’s a simple phrase that has arguably done more damage to the organization and fanbase than anything else. Basically, it’s the idea that the organization can’t add a single outside upgrade until the team is ready push for a Cup. Now, how does a team push for a Cup without adding talent? That part of the equation has yet to be seen. “One player isn’t going to change things, so they shouldn’t bring anybody in at all” has been a popular battle cry from the fans every summer to convince themselves that they don’t need to add talent to an otherwise talent-starved roster. Building a roster constructed solely of underwhelming in-house talent hasn’t worked for nearly a decade, but it’s not “go time” so they can’t consider outside talent yet. And the hamster wheel continues.

Number 2: Sean Couturier the “Free Agent” Addition

Who needs to sign actual free agents when Sean Couturier is expected to return to the lineup after missing 22 months after two separate back surgeries! The “in-house” free agent additions were a Chuck Fletcher go-to excuse for his terrible track record when it came to making legitimate additions to the roster. In fact, Couturier was supposed to be the big returning player last season too… that is before he tweaked his back and required a second surgery. Couturier will turn 31 mid-way through the 2023-24 campaign and he’s missed nearly two years of play, so even if he does come back, it’s best the expectations for him are kept low. But hey, 34-year-old Cam Atkinson is expected back next season too. The embarrassment of riches is just too impressive!

Number 1: Dance Partners

One of Chuck Fletcher’s most used excuses was the “it takes two to tango and nobody wanted to be my dance partner” tale. Essentially, the Flyers wanted to make moves but nobody was interesting in buying what they were selling. While there is probably some level of truth to that, it always felt like an excuse for Fletcher to do just the bare minimum and when it failed he threw his hands in the air and gave up. Not only did Danny Briere work with Chuck Fletcher when he was making those excuses, looking at the roster and potential trade candidates this summer like Kevin Hayes, Tony DeAngelo or Ivan Provorov it could easily be believed that they’ll try and fail to move all of them, and Briere can revert to his bestie’s favorite excuse.

By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)


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