Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher provides updates on injuries, prospects & more

i-gNHD3jV-X4-2

A heartfelt response

Before answering a question about how the pausing of the league schedule has impacted his team, the Flyers GM took a moment to recognize the ridiculously tough work and tremendous efforts that all in the medical field are currently displaying.

“Well before I answer that question, I want to acknowledge the obvious that we’re in different times right now and want to certainly mention that our entire organization, and certainly my family and I, we want to thank all the people working on the front lines of this pandemic, the doctors, nurses, hospital workers, our first responders and everyone working hard to keep our essential services operating for the benefit of all of us. I certainly want to mention that before we start talking about the small piece of the world that I work in, which is ice hockey.”

I feel like it’s only right that we echo that sentiment. Yes, a world without sports is less than ideal. But this is so much bigger than that and there are medical professionals and volunteers risking their lives in order to contain the spread of the virus and aid those who have it. If you can find some time to show appreciation for that work, please do. Whether it’s a charity donation, a flower basket for someone you know, or something similar. Let’s all pull together in a time that’s trying to ensure we all stay isolated.

Nolan Patrick’s return

Nolan Patrick’s return has been up in the air for quite sometime now. But after practicing for three days straight prior to the trade deadline, there was at least reason for some cautious optimism. Before that, Patrick had been sat on the “long term injured reserve list”.

With such a long pause ahead of us, it was expected to bring a silver lining to the rehabbing of Nolan Patrick who seemed to be edging his way towards a return. Chuck Fletcher gave an update on Patrick during his conference call.

Nolan’s returned home. Generally speaking, he’s feeling well in terms of where he has been over the past few months. That’s hard to say what exactly it will mean when we do come back to play. He’s been trending in the right direction all along. I don’t know if that would have a positive or negative impact other than obviously, the benefit of time that he will have to continue to heal and get back.

“Trending in the right direction” may be a phrase that makes every Eagles fan in existence roll their eyes, but that’s not the case here. Patrick has clearly been making progress, but it’s also encouraging to hear Fletcher remaining grounded and balanced in such a time of uncertainty. It’s obviously way too premature to put dates on expected returns, but if the season does re-ignite, it will be interesting to see how close Patrick is to an NHL return.

ELC SZN

The Flyers made two moves last week, bringing Tanner Laczynski and Wade Allison in on entry-level contracts.

Allison played 26 games this season and scored 23 points. It was his third-best season with Western Michigan University. His best was his sophomore season.

Laczynski meanwhile played in 36 games this season, tallying 34 points. This was his second-best season, his best, being his sophomore year. Laczynski was drafted in 2016 in the sixth round, 169th overall.

What does the future hold for the pair of young studs?

I don’t know if they need a year or two of seasoning. These are players that will be 23 years old next season. They both have put a lot of time in it at the collegiate level. They both have size and strength attributes that typically takes a 19 and 20 year old kids a lot longer to acquire. They’re men. They are good hockey players. I expect that they’ll challenge for spots right away. Whether they can make it, time will tell. They’re players that are very close to being able to step in and play.

That sounds exciting to say the least. If Fletcher is expecting them to challenge for spots immediately then that definitely re-enforces the move to get those ELC’s penciled in sooner rather than later.

Injury progress

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this break in play has been the impact it will have on those players currently dealing with injuries. The Flyers, despite surging past the best the NHL had to offer, were bitten by the injury bug. They shrugged it off reasonably well, but that doesn’t mean that players weren’t impacted.

Fletcher brought good news to the table when asked about those affected.

Myers is doing well. Over three weeks now post injury, he’s doing very good. I believe he would have been cleared to play prior to the end of the regular season as originally scheduled. Thompson’s issues have resolved. He’s cleared to play. JVR’s finger is healing really well. He’s still needs a little time before that is fully healed, which is kind of what we expected when we announced the initial time frame, I believe of 4 to 6 weeks. It would have been somewhere either just as the playoffs started or with the first week of the playoffs. I think he’s still trending that way. Everybody’s doing well and feeling better. That’s all positive.

Kevin Hayes

And finally, some love for Kevin Hayes. The 6’5 center signed a seven-year deal worth $50M and would become the engine that the Flyers feed off. He wore the ‘A’ in his Flyers debut and it was easy to see why, with the former Ranger setting the tone through aggressive play and hustle on both sides of the Ice.

Yeah, he’s a beauty. I think we all knew he had a strong personality, but you are right. He’s had a very positive impact on our franchise. He’s played very well. He plays a very important role on our team in that second line center spot as well as power play, penalty kill, even strength, 3 on 3 and even shootouts. He’s had an impact in every area that a player can have an impact in. He’s a good teammate. He’s a really good human being. He cares about winning. He cares about the people in the organization. He cares about the fans.  You can’t make that stuff up. His personality is who he is. He’s a real fine human being.

It’s safe to say that Fletcher appears happy with his investment.

Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre

More from our Sister Sites