The Philadelphia Flyers continue to lose, which isn’t bad considering the draft odds at stake. Chuck Fletcher has to to prepare himself for this offseason. By preparation, I mean he has to give the reins to Daniel Briere. He’s better suited to turn this storied franchise around.
Currently, the Flyers have the fourth best odds for the top overall pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Their placement seems set, but the Seattle Kraken, three points behind Philadelphia, have a game in hand and could potentially pass them. There’s a need to play hard and see what the prospects can do. Bobby Brink, Noah Cates, and Ronnie Attard are being evaluated by Mike Yeo and the front office brass, but where do they fit? Fletcher has shown a lack of commitment to youth, signing Keith Yandle while keeping Cam York in the AHL.
Flyers Must Extend MacEwen
Zack MacEwen is one of the few highlights of the Philadelphia Flyers this season. He brings a certain grit and hustle that wasn’t replaced after Tyler Pitlick. On some nights, MacEwen was the best Flyer on the ice. He has a high compete level on the fourth-line. MacEwen can electrify and energize the bench, displaying toughness that’s been missing since Wayne Simmonds.
He’s beloved in the locker room, and probably is the kind of player Philadelphia needs. MacEwen is unintimidated by any other enforcer, which includes Simmonds, Tom Wilson, and Zdeno Chara in 2021-2022.
His tenacity is the embodiment of what it meant to be a Flyer (and supports the Flyers Warriors.) MacEwen doesn’t quit and he is worth every bit of an inexpensive extension. As Teddy KGB would say, “pay that man his money.”
The Kids Are Alright
A top priority for the Philadelphia Flyers is extending Owen Tippett and Morgan Frost. Both will be restricted free-agents, but the extensions need to happen soon. Expect a bridge deal to be offered to both; neither have the sustained NHL experience to warrant a typical extension. The Flyers don’t need a Jesperi Kotkaniemi situation, where another team swoops with an offer sheet higher than the players’ value.
Frost is a middle-six fit at center. With Tippett and Noah Cates, Frost has been productive, scoring two goals and an assist in his last five games. For Frost, finding a groove after Claude Giroux became a Florida Panther was extremely important to his production. He had a very solid performance against the rival Pittsburgh Penguins. He might’ve secured a spot on the roster in 2022-2023.
Tippett continues to put pressure on opposing goaltenders. He is driving the offense. The shots haven’t translated to goals, but it isn’t from a lack of speed or creativity. Tippett have five points through twenty games with Philadelphia. He’s played with multiple teammates on different lines, but seemingly settled with Frost and Noah Cates.
“Tipper played one of the best games that you’re going to see a guy play without scoring a goal.”Mike Yeo; 4/27/2022
“The Kids Line” is starting to gel. The Flyers will keep Frost and Tippett, then the next head coach will be tasked to optimize that potential. Other restricted free agents Philadelphia should tender include Wade Allison, Tanner Laczynski, Hayden Hodgson, and Linus Hogberg.
(Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)