The 2023 offseason provides a crossroads for the Philadelphia Flyers, who are in the middle of a front office overhaul and an on-ice product filled with young players that planted positive seeds for the future. Interim GM Danny Briere will have his work cut out for him regardless of the path he takes the organization down, and there are some obvious questions the need to be asked when it comes to their approach to the summer.
Number 5: Are They Actually Rebuilding?
Danny Briere has been unafraid to use the word rebuild… but that doesn’t necessarily mean a proper rebuild is coming. As we learned quite well from the Ron Hextall-era rebuild and later from Chuck Fletcher’s aggressive retool, the GM can preach whatever message he wants, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he follows that path through his actions. Briere’s getting thrown right into the deep end and the 2023 offseason will be critical for him to lay the groundwork for whatever scheme he’s cooking up. Whether a rebuild or not, action towards his end goal better be taken, because straight up lying to the fans out of the gate isn’t necessarily a smart play by the rookie GM.
Number 4: Do They Add?
Despite the continued message of a rebuild under Danny Briere, the Flyers actually had a season filled with on-ice positives for the first time in years, and there is plenty of reason to make a run at a notable outside addition or two to insulate the young guys on the roster. Now, that’s counterintuitive to the whole idea of a rebuild, which is where things get messy. Bringing in even one above-average player would go a long way for a roster starved of talent. Can the Flyers get out of their own way just once if it means bettering the team?
Number 3: Roster Subtractions?
Head Coach John Tortorella has continually referenced roster “subtractions” he foresees this offseason, though he hasn’t specifically called anybody out by name in that group. It’s left the imagination to run wild as to who exactly he’s taking shots at, but when Tortorella takes a stand on something like this, you have to imagine moves will be made. How earth shattering? That’s the big question. Based on some of the players most notably in his doghouse- Tanner Laczynski, Wade Allison, Tony DeAngelo, it may be nothing worth getting worked up about, but if he wants to part with, say, Joel Farabee, things will get far more interesting.
Number 2: Will Briere Leave His Mark?
Danny Briere’s first offseason as an NHL GM just so happens to coincide with the most tumultuous time in franchise history. He’s taken a hard stance preaching a rebuild, which theoretically means at least part of a roster teardown should be coming. Though after the last two general managers failed to live up to their word, and Briere’s lack of experience to be making such big claims, there’s naturally a seed of doubt that significant change is coming for the Flyers. Whether it’s a rebuild or retool, adding or subtracting, will Briere actually make his mark during his first season as GM or is it more of the same status quo in Philly?
Number 1: Who Becomes President?
Even though Danny Briere still has the interim tag attached to his GM title, it seems like just a matter of time before that’s removed, meaning the new hire will take the team president role. There have been quite a few names throw around as potential candidates and they range from underwhelming to flat out unappealing. Most of the rumored names are former Flyers with little to no front office experience or track record of success in management, which isn’t exactly the home run addition the team is desperately in need of. Hopefully someone eventually comes along with a proven record that the Flyers will be smart enough to bring into the fold, but an underwhelming, inexperienced president presiding over an underwhelming, inexperienced general manager doesn’t paint a bring picture for the future of the Philadelphia Flyers.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com