At the end-of-season press conference, and for much of the offseason, the Flyers focus was on injured players returning healthy. The so-called plan has already backfired before the team even takes the ice for training camp.
On Wednesday, you saw that the current regime is incapable of handling a rebuild. They insisted upon an aggressive retool for a fast fix, not the necessary rebuild needed. Now it’s time to start that rebuild anyway, but focus on the front office that has so clearly set the Flyers back.
The Flyers acquired the rights to defenseman Tony DeAngelo from the Carolina Hurricanes along with a 2022 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick, a 2023 third-round pick, and a 2022 fourth-round pick. DeAngelo will reportedly sign a two-year extension with an AAV of $5 million.
Last week, the hockey world was rattled by the firing of Barry Trotz by the New York Islanders. As the Flyers coaching search continues, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported in his 32 Thoughts column that Trotz is a “top candidate” of the Flyers.
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 final 15 games for the Flyers will serve as a chance to evaluate. They will provide a look at some new faces entering the lineup in the last couple of weeks and maybe even a new face or two to come down the road. It is a way to take inventory going into the offseason – what does the team already have and what does it need even more of on the roster moving forward?