Dear Owen Tippett,
Welcome to Philadelphia. We’re happy to have you.
There’s so much I want to say to you, but I’m not sure how to begin. It’s easy for anyone to say the next player has “big shoes to fill” after the captain leaves. But in my opinion, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
You’re the centerpiece in a trade that sent the longest-tenured captain in Philadelphia Flyers history and the second player in franchise history to reach a thousand games with the club to a different city; you shouldn’t be tied to him otherwise.
It isn’t fair to say you have to fill Claude Giroux’s shoes. Other players on this roster, like Scott Laughton, Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes, and Cam Atkinson, need to fill in the leadership void created this weekend. You’re part of a new era, and this team needs to find its identity. You and Hayes hit it off pretty well; we love it when Barry Trotz is frustrated.
Be authentic. Bring passion and desire, and the city will fall head over heels in love with you. It worked for a different redhead who wore 28 on his sweater.
We know you play with a high motor and can be the scoring threat this team missed in years past. If you play your brand of hockey night in and night out, I don’t doubt you will become a fan favorite here soon enough.
Your new team is retooling. We have some young pieces like Carter Hart, Joel Farabee, Cam York, and Morgan Frost alongside some veterans like Couturier, Hayes, and Rasmus Ristolainen. Chuck Fletcher and Daniel Briere have confidence in your game. You’re a valued part of the future.
Don’t let the present state of the Wells Fargo Center fool you – the barn can transform into a certified “Electric Factory.” Philadelphia is a hockey town. All we need is reassurance. Help give this fanbase something to talk about, and you will see that firsthand.
Flyers fans care (a lot.) Don’t worry about carrying the weight on your shoulders from this trade. Give it hell, bury a few goals, heck, maybe fight a player or two. Philadelphia is a fantastic sports city, and if you put the work in, the blue-collar nature of the city will embrace you like no other.
Welcome to Philadelphia, Owen Tippett. We’re off to a great start. I think you’ll be just fine.
(Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)