Newly crowned, or not so newly crowned General Manager Chuck Fletcher, leads the Flyers organization in what is one of the most critical offseasons in recent memory. The Flyers have many holes to fill to become contenders once again, and it’s not just the holes they have to fill. It’s the household cleaning that comes along with it. For example, the orange an black’s RFA’s in Travis Sanheim, Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov, Scott Laughton, and Ryan Hartman.
Fletcher did state to the media yesterday in his closing presser that he has had prior discussions “With Some” of the RFA’s agents, and that Fletcher would like to take care of these “Sooner, rather than later.” He would like to know exactly how much cap space he would have for free agency, after re-upping all, or most of the RFA’s.
Flyers GM Fletcher touched on a variety of topics to include, “I’m usually not a big fan of buyouts,” to, “We would like a veteran defenseman, more scoring forwards, and a goalie for Hart. We will be active to improve the team. Everyone is tradeable.” This is the blueprint for the offseason in roughly a few sentences. Claude Giroux also stated on Sunday, “I will play any position to help the team win. I am happy to play center. At this point, I feel like I help the most at wing, but I will play anywhere.” Fletcher did say that it’s hard to state if Patrick is a bonafide number two center at this point in his career, with him being so young. This may signal that he is looking to add a 2C this offseason.
The new GM in Fletcher stated, “I did not inquire about Coach Q. The coaching search will begin today. Gordon did a nice job.” This signaled that Coach Q had his eyes on signing with the Florida Panthers regardless, and I have credible information from sources that this was in the works for a period of time.
Fletcher spoke at length about breaking out of bad habits and thus correlating that to the lack of offense. For instance, waiting around for something to happen in the offensive zone, forwards making it tough on the defense by spreading out the puck in the offensive zone, and breakouts. Interim Head Coach Scott Gordon elaborated on this as well stating, “They play 5-on-3 below the hash marks, there is no room to be able to take pucks to the net. They have to get it up to the upper portion of the zone and get bodies up there, that makes it harder for them to defend, then the stuff down low will open up.”
He is absolutely right, however, it is imperative that Fletcher adds tougher board battlers, and this will extend plays in the offensive zone. The St. Louis Blues killed us in board battles, and they won the last game convincingly 7-3. Isaac Ratcliffe and Matthew Strome will help eventually in this area, but they will both most likely go to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms to start their Professional careers.
Below is a list of possibilities for this offseason targets to rectify some of these issues that are mentioned:
Bruce Boudreau ?
Could the Flyers pry Darryl Sutter to come out of retirement from coaching?
Another twist is if the Toronto Maple Leafs suffer an early first round exit again in the Playoffs. Could Mike Babcock become available?
Kevin Hayes- 6’5,” 216 pounds
Matt Duchene- 5’11,” 195 pounds
Brock Nelson- 6’3,” 212 pounds
Top 4 Defenseman
Jacob Trouba- D
Charlie McAvoy- D 2 days ago he turned down an extension with the Bruins
Patrick Laine- F
Mitchell Marner- F
Mikko Rantanen- F
The Flyers will make a few splashes this offseason, whether that’s via free agency or trade, trust me it will get done. This organization knows what a loyal fanbase they have, and moves will be made. What moves? Who knows, all I can say is that moves be made.
Fletcher said that Wade Allison will return to WMU for his Senior
Mandatory Credit: Jose F. Moreno