If the Philadelphia Flyers want a low-risk and high-reward investment tip, it’s securing Ian Clark to coach Carter Hart.
Aside from a defenseman beside Ivan Provorov, the key hire might not be a player. Everyone in the city of Philadelphia should pay attention to Vancouver. They’ve left Ian Clark unsigned. He’s the goaltending coach Carter Hart needs to get back to and evolve past his 2019-2020 form.
Currently, Clark has his fingerprints on the development of Thatcher Demko. Demko, twenty-five, is three years older than Hart, who hasn’t reached the prime of his career. Imagine what Clark could do for Hart by Demko’s age. Clark coached Roberto Luongo and Marc-Andre Fleury throughout a laundry list of other stellar goaltenders. His track record shows his diamond hands for Hart.
Not only Hart, but a rotation of goaltenders can thrive with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers are in a prime position to add a younger goaltender for a backup role. Clark could navigate a prospect or a young free agent while shaping Hart to be the franchise goaltender.
At the moment, Hart shows promising potential. When he puts together his potential, he’s a top guy.
Clark helped a former Philadelphia goaltender win two Vezina Trophies.
Un-Break Our Hart
This season featured more goals scored at a more frequent rate due to a lack of a training camp. Carter Hart wasn’t the only goaltender to fall to pieces this season. He just had the steepest dropoff.
It’s why signing Ian Clark is crucial.
In 2015, the Philadelphia Flyers hired Kim Dillabaugh. Previously, Dillabaugh coached Jonathan Quick to two Stanley Cups, the last before his hire. With a 22-year-old goaltender, Dillabaugh watched Hart slump the hardest he had this season. The Flyers must decide if Dillabaugh is a good match for Hart or if Clark is the future.
Hart has two winning seasons in his three-year career, both with over a 91% save percentage. Clark might mentally correct Hart, especially during pandemic hockey.
“It’s important for a goaltender to close the door on yesterday so they can open the door on today with a fresh mind.”Ian Clark; 2/8/21
An investment this small compared to a player signing could be the steal of the offseason for Philadelphia. His development with Thatcher Demko solidified a starting goaltender role with the Vancouver Canucks. Recently, Demko saved 91.5% of the shots he faced. Chuck Fletcher needs the Hart of 2019-2020, and it could happen for a nominal fee. Hiring Clark isn’t much of a gamble, one that is of the low risk-high reward variety.
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Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre