During the last home game of each season, the Philadelphia Flyers hand out a list of team awards. As you will see below, there are six awards that range from team MVP to most improved. The Flyers have a very young and talented core that likely is not going anywhere, and with general manager Chuck Fletcher currently hitting snooze on free agents, we can begin looking at how each guy is going to impact the team. The first way to do this: predict the six team award winners for the 2020-2021 season.
Award: Barry Ashbee Trophy
Significance: Flyers’ Best Defenseman
Predicted winner: Philippe Myers
Look, if we’re being honest, Ivan Provorov could probably win this award every year. He’s the reigning champ of this award, and his nightly impact and consistency are going to be key in the Flyers making any type of deep playoff run. However, Philippe Myers will be the difference-maker in this defense. After the retirement of Matt Niskanen, the Flyers will be looking for one of their young studs to make the next leap forward.
In 2019-2020, Myers picked up 16 points in 50 games, with 4 points in 16 playoff games (including a game-winner against the Islanders). Myers played his first actual season (for the most part) and showed how dominant he can be. His 6’5, 210-pound stature yet remarkable speed makes it tough for opponents to get anywhere behind him, and he is a forced to be reckoned with. Even though he’s still awaiting a new contract, Myers should take his game to the next level now that he has nearly an entire (non COVID) season under his belt for his career totals.
Award: Yanick Dupre Memorial
Significance: Class Guy
Prediction Winner: Kevin Hayes
Kevin Hayes has become an instant fan favorite in Philadelphia. Now, I know that being a fan favorite does not necessarily mean you are the classiest guy in the locker room. However, have you seen what Hayes has done to the Flyers’ locker room dynamic?
Since joining the team, Hayes has brought what seemed like a much-needed sense of humor to the team. Scott Laughton took home the award this past season for one of his two team awards on the year, but Hayes is primed to win it next year. Whether it is cracking jokes on the bench, participating in community service events, or scoring goals on the ice, Hayes is an all-around good guy.
Award: Gene Hart Award
Significance: Work Ethic and Dedication
Predicted Winner: Ivan Provorov
Personally, I really wanted to give this award to Oskar Lindblom, but I’ll save him for later. I know Laughton won two awards last season, but for the sake of this article, we’ll keep it to one apiece.
The Russian machine has played in 337 straight games. Between 315 regular-season games and 22 playoff games, Provy has failed to miss a single game. There shouldn’t have to be much explanation in this one because that alone should show his dedication and work ethic.
If you require more of an explanation, Provy never stopped the grind during the pandemic break. There were reports of his skating at his private, home rink in Wilkes-Barre thanks to his billet family. His motor never stops, and he deserves this award more than anyone if he keeps up his hockey first mentality.
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Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre
Avid Philly fan and future educator
Student at Stockton University