Addressing the state of the Flyers and the Andrew MacDonald conundrum

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Hello Philadelphia. I’m here today to tell you that despite the “A” on Andrew MacDonald’s chest, despite the fact that Oskar Lindblom is a Phantom, and most surely despite the fact that Brandon Manning is playing over Sam Morin and Travis Sanheim, we will all be ok.

I’m not going to sit here behind my rinky dink Lenovo laptop and say that everything is perfect. Nothing ever is. However, I will sit here and preach patience. More patience than in years past. It will take time to get things right, but it will all be worth it in the end.

If I were a “true professional”, those past 2 paragraphs were how I would have started this article. However, I’m not, and that’s not how this article is going to begin. So without further ado, here is the actual beginning to my article, “State of the Flyers Union Address.”

Listen up, I’m just as pissed off as the rest of you are right now. I mean, what in the big blue and green world was Hakstol thinking, first off, by putting an “A” on Andrew Macdonald’s chest, and second off, by starting him AND Brandon Manning over Samuel Morin and Travis Sanheim?!

No Andy, A doesn’t stand for Andrew in this case. It stands for Allentown, where you belong with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. I mean, COME ON! This guy has consistently proven that he is no more valuable than a bottle of warm water sitting on the bench. He blocks shots. That’s why we have a goalie. Sure, maybe his leadership skills are what donned him the “A”, but he should be a leader, he’s the oldest blue liner the Flyers have.

Quite honestly, I think that is the only reason Hextall kept MacDonald up with the Flyers, is because he is the true veteran that a young core of defensemen can look up to if need be. Well they shouldn’t. The only thing the younger players should admire about MacDonald is the fact that he is getting paid 5 million dollars a year to play like absolute garbage.

https://twitter.com/Rgudas3/status/912512780498083841

Yea gang. Garbage. That’s not all though! The worst part about all of this is that A-Mac is playing at the expense of younger and more talented kids like Samuel Morin and Travis Sanheim. Sanheim, arguably with the highest ceiling of all defensive prospects, is the one getting the shaft because he played like a man possessed in the preseason, but has nothing to show for it at this point. (Editor’s note: Sanheim did play vs. the Kings. I wrote this article before the game. Deal with it.)

Samuel Morin is another prime example of talent being wasted at the NHL level. In the game against San Jose, twice Labanc was next to the net and put one through. Who, oh who could have prevented him from camping out in front of Elliott. I wonder what big bodied defenseman would have been able to sweep the porch…

One day, and it’ll happen this year, Morin, Sanheim, and Hagg will all be in the lineup at the same time. People get injured, it happens. People get sent down to the Phantoms every now and then, and yes, I’m looking at you MacDonald. Those three will all find their way into the lineup one night, and Flyers fans all over the country will rejoice. I know how happy I was when just Hagg made it, I can only imagine the amount of excitement when Morin and Sanheim crack the same lineup.

Now let’s get on to the subject of Oskar Lindblom. This isn’t as complicated as it seems. At the beginning of camp, he was virtually a lock to make the Flyers, myself, Jamey Baskow, Brandon Sommerman, and Austin Mitchell all agreeing that Lindblom would be one of the 12-14 forwards the Flyers keep up with them. However, as we all know, nothing is set in stone at the beginning of camp, unless your name is Andrew MacDonald and you’re making way too much money to send down.

Lindblom had every chance in the world to assure him spot in the NHL. What most of us didn’t know was that Taylor Leier wasn’t about to give up his chance at cracking into the NHL on a more permanent basis. Sure, he has spent some time with the Flyers last year and played pretty well, but was always a fill-in and was sent back down as soon as the person he filled in for was healthy. So now we have no Oskar Lindblom, but a motivated Taylor Leier. Leier proved in the preseason that he isn’t messing around. He is here to play.

So with that being said, we have a total of five rookies on the team right now in Robert Hagg, Travis Sanheim, Samuel Morin, Taylor Leier, and the one and only Nolan Patrick. This is a young team, younger than most years prior. This is a motivated team. The veterans know their clock is ticking with the amount of kids coming up through. The rookies know that their time to shine is within reach. It’s the most excited I’ve been in recent memory.

In summation, what I can assure you fine Philadelphia Flyers fans, is that Ron Hextall and Dave Hakstol will come to their senses. They will hear what the people have to say. They will act accordingly to our demands and requests. Our youngsters will get their time to shine and that time is now. We, as Philadelphians, should be rejoicing. We will get what we want, and what we want will lead us to the promised land sooner rather than later.

That right there was the way I would have ended this if I cared what people thought of me or what my opinions are. Sorry to let you down, but I could care less. Sure, I want to give you guys quality articles that really trigger the sense of intrigue in your minds when you read the headline. I want you to see a headline and say, “Hey, that looks like a great read. I’m going to check it out.” Let’s be realistic here, not all of us have time to read these things, and I totally get that! So now, I leave with how I really wanted to end this article.

Okay Dave. It’s time to wake up and smell the dirty hockey pads. MacDonald isn’t cutting it. He never was. Manning isn’t either, but he’s a more serviceable 7th defenseman than A-Mac. Give us what we want, because we all know it’s best for the team. As for you, Mr. Hextall. I have nothing but respect for you and what you do, but come on man. What is it that you possibly could see in Andrew MacDonald that makes you want to keep him on the Flyers? That’s a serious question, because I would love to know the actual reason you have for keeping him up in the NHL.

I totally understand the Lindblom move, and Hextall was right. Getting sent to the AHL is not a death sentence. It’s a learning opportunity because this is his first year in North American and he should have a year or so to adjust to the game. Sure, he might end up getting called up when players go down with an injury. When that happens, we’ll see what the kid’s got.

The team looks good. Honestly, all we ask is get rid of MacDonald.

We all want to get rid of Andrew MacDonald.

Seriously though.

Kyle is going to stop watching you guys if MacDonald is still on the team after awhile.

Now Zach may be on to something here…

Erik, I hope you’re right. For now though, we wait and see how this all turns out. Hopefully for the better and not for worst, but as Flyers fans, we prepare for the worst. If we do that, we won’t ever be disappointed. I’m just kidding, we’re always disappointed. Regardless, here’s to another Flyers season fellas. Let’s enjoy the good times, curse the bad times, but most importantly, let’s all bitch and moan until MacDonald is a Phantom!

 

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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