What’s Wrong with the Flyers?
The Philadelphia Flyers are having another terrible season. A team that was one win away from an Eastern Conference Final appearance just a few years ago are now in the basement of the league.
So what exactly is wrong with the Flyers? The team is banged up, so it makes sense that the team isn’t playing up to the top competition, but it gets more in-depth than just injuries.
Injuries are always a drawback, but the team doesn’t have the talent to make up for the missing players. The Flyers aren’t well-built.
The Flyers have struggled with drafting for almost a decade with not many prospects reaching their full potential.
Players taken after their picks have turned into stars in just a small amount of time. Jason Robertson, Sebastian Aho, and Cole Caufield have all turned into some of the league’s best on other teams.
Another reason is the management, especially Chuck Fletcher. He spends A LOT of money and he’s been trading high draft picks over the last few years. The Rasmus Ristolainen trade cost the Flyers a 2021 first-round pick, 2023 second-round pick, and defenseman Robert Hagg.
Ristolainen has underperformed for what was given up for him, but instead of trading him to get some missing draft picks back, Chuck Fletcher extends him last season for five more years. Ristolainen will make $5.1 million per year.
The Flyers are at the bottom of the league surrounded by teams who haven’t spent a lot of money, but the Flyers have almost none available to fix themselves with.
Local New Jersey product Johnny Gaudreau was heavily favored to go to the Flyers this past offseason in free agency, denying a huge deal from the Calgary Flames. The Flyers are so tight to the cap and Chuck Fletcher has zero leverage in trades that the team couldn’t create room for the superstar, letting him go to the Columbus Blue Jackets instead.
The fans were furious then, and now they are calling for Chuck Fletcher’s firing. Some are now calling for the team to be sold.
So what should they do?
The first step to recovery in life is realizing there is a problem. As soon as Flyers’ management realizes they are having serious issues, they can start rebuilding for a bright future.
It all starts with the draft. Despite the Flyers recent blunders in the annual entry draft, they can only build a foundation by making as many good picks as possible.
In the last draft, the Flyers selected Cutter Gauthier with the fifth overall selection. Gauthier is the kind of piece the Flyers can hope will be in their top six forward group for years to come.
Philadelphia needs to continue to make selections like this to build out a young core they can rely on for the future.
The Orange and Black also need to offload and more importantly stop signing bad contracts.
At this year’s NHL trade deadline Chuck Fletcher should be looking to flip any of his high AAV guys for whatever draft capital he can get.
There is a lot wrong with the Flyers, but nothing is going to get better before the organization commits to resetting and focusing on a better tomorrow.
Anthony Desher is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maclain Young is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.