Flyers Notes: Next Coach, Underrated Name to Watch at Trade Deadline and Giroux
The Flyers season has gone off the rails. They have already fired their coach and currently sit in last place in the Metropolitan division and have to make a decision on their longest tenured caption.
With 35 games left in the the season, the orange and black have be thinking about who their next coach will be to lead the team in the 2022-23 season.
So who are some of the names they might be thinking of? ESPN National NHL reporter Emily Kaplan had 20 questions for the second half of the season and one of them discussed some possible coaching candidates for next season.
The Flyers are giving Mike Yeo the job for the rest of the season, but given the mess in Philadelphia, it's hard to imagine them not going full reset entering next season and hiring someone else. (Rick Tocchet and ESPN's own John Tortorella are the names I've heard most connected there; remember, it's the old brain trust of Paul Holmgren and Bobby Clarke who are making most of the high-level decisions.)
Two of the names Kaplan brings up are former Flyers Rick Tocchet and 2004 Stanley Cup winning coach, John Tortorella, who is currently working for ESPN. She also mentions that Paul Holmgren and Bobby Clarke are making most of the high-decisions, not Chuck Fletcher.
One Name to Watch at the trade deadline (other than Claude Giroux)
The Flyers might be busy at the deadline, with most people focusing on what might happen to Claude Giroux, but Kaplan gives a underrated name to watch ahead of the March 21 deadline - Rasmus Ristolanien.
The Flyers probably overpaid for Rasmus Ristolainen, but he's 27, and is a hard-nosed, physical defenseman who has been in the league for nine years and has yet to play for a winning franchise (yes, it's a bit skewed as his first eight years were spent toiling away in Buffalo). Put Ristolainen around a winning organization in a more sheltered role, and he could be the perfect sixth-defenseman addition who carries a team through.
Keep an eye on Claude Giroux
Giroux is still a huge story to keep an eye on, as he has a no-movement clause in his contract, that he has given no indication that he'd be willing to waive at this time. So would the team think about moving him? At this point, it seems they are willing to work with Giroux, if in fact he wants to be moved.
Kaplan lists Giroux has the biggest name moved at the deadline.
Claude Giroux is the longest-serving captain in Philadelphia Flyers history. He has spent his entire 15-year career with the organization. He'll be playing for a new one this spring, with hopes of finally winning a Stanley Cup after coming so close in 2010. If Giroux is comfortable playing for a team in the West (he has two young kids and location will be a consideration) then you might just see him on the Colorado Avalanche this spring. Oh my.
35 games to go and a ton of questions to be answered in what appears to be a lost season.