The Philadelphia Flyers’ 2022-2023 campaign ended on a high against the Chicago Blackhawks last Thursday.
The Flyers went through changes in their first season of the John Tortorella era, slightly improving from last season. At the end of the season, they finished seventh in the Metropolitan Division and 26th in the NHL. There is a long way to go until the Flyers are in the playoff mix again, but Tortorella started to build a new foundation, earning fourteen more points from a season ago.
This offseason, the Flyers embark on a new era. A new front office will presumably be formed around Daniel Briere, the likely general manager. Dan Hilfterty takes over today as the CEO of Comcast Spectacor. Roster changes will spark a rebuild. Briere wants to be aggressive after a failed ‘aggressive retool’ last summer. It’ll take time, but it’s important that the rebuild is done the right way.
Ahead of the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery, the Flyers have the seventh-best odds to win the ‘Connor Bedard Sweepstakes at 6.5%. The Anaheim Ducks have the best odds at the first overall pick at 25.5%.
Anything can happen at the NHL Draft Lottery. In 2017, the Flyers jumped to second overall with more unlikely odds. Briere plans to be aggressive in the offseason with hopes of moving up in the first round. Whether the Flyers win the lottery or not, the rebuild will begin with a solid start. A top-ten pick in this deep draft class means whoever is selected will be critical to the future core.
Bedard to Flyers benefits NHL
On ’32 Thoughts: the Podcast’ yesterday, Elliotte Friedman said, “the NHL would be very happy if Connor Bedard ended up in Philly.”
In prior history, the Flyers were always a team willing to do whatever was needed to remain competitive in the quest for the Stanley Cup. In the last decade, they’ve struggled to keep pace with the best teams in the NHL, or even in their division.
The Flyers are the eighth most valuable NHL franchise, according to Forbes. This season, they ranked 26th in attendance at 90.3% capacity. The discrepancy from franchise value to attendance is unfamiliar to the team’s history.
Additionally, the Flyers missed the postseason for a third season in a row. It’s the second longest postseason drought in team history. Fortune needs to bail out the Flyers, and Bedard could be the cherry on top of a fresh rebuild.
Bedard is the most talked about prospect since Connor McDavid, and could change the future in Philadelphia. He won’t make the Flyers a contender right away, but he’ll fit as a franchise-changing forward with the crop of blooming talent. The youth movement in Philadelphia shined in the regular season and more players in the system are competing for their chance to become full-time NHL players.
Chances are slim of Bedard wearing a Flyers sweater in 2023-2024, but there is a possibility. The NHL Draft Lottery takes place on May 8th at 7pm. One franchise will win the jackpot.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)