The problem with each of these possibilities is that they are rooted in hope. Hope that the injured players return as advertised and stay healthy. Hope the young players take that big step everyone has waited for. Hope that you can perhaps manufacture some hockey trades or free-agent signings to plug in the holes that the team is lacking for speed and skill and make it all work.
Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher held his end-of-season availability on Tuesday, first confirming that Mike Yeo would not be returning as head coach of the team. He also discussed the meaning of an "aggressive retool," how youth factors into the future, and some injury updates.
It wasn’t all that noteworthy to hear players speak of the frustrations of the season, the losing streaks and such that made this a historically bad season for the Flyers. There were a few players that addressed it in a way that rang through louder than others.
The offseason will present its challenges for a team in need of an overhaul and massive improvements at every level of the organization. There will be plenty of stories to come as next season’s team is constructed. For now, here’s one last look at the 2021-22 season with five takeaways from the season.
It’s not about whether Owen Tippett has the ability in him. That’s what got him drafted 10th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft. It’s about if he can consistently have noticeable performances like the one in his Flyers debut on Sunday, especially if the opportunity for ice time and an increased role is there.
Giroux took his lap around the Wells Fargo Center ice, waved to the crowd, and darted off the ice, only to return for a curtain call, another final lap around as he was named first star of the game, and exited up the tunnel. His teammates all lined up to hug him. The emotion started to show. This felt like the end of an era.
At this stage of the Flyers season, now 55 games in with 27 still to go, the results are essentially meaningless. It’s not about wins and losses at this point. Despite that, when a head coach addresses playing with passion, accountability, and having a winning attitude as areas of concern, it raises eyebrows. He’s not the first to do it either.