Are The Flyers Better? Should They Have Made Those Trades?ShareThis
Well hey, remember me? It’s been awhile folks, and for that, I apologize.
Since we last talked (I think when Dubya was still in office), a few things have happened during the NHL’s off-season.
I don’t remember exactly what, but I’m pretty sure the Florida Panthers hired some actual NHL players, the Philadelphia Flyers had some grenades explode in the middle of their dressing room, and the Sabres found their long-misplaced wallet.
Since there’s not a ton of news in the hockey world these days, let’s talk about those things, one at a time, of the course of this week. Started with the most compelling story….
These are not your grand-pappy’s Flyers
Actually, that header for this section sucked. These aren’t even your Flyers from last season. I’ll save the full overview paragraph, because by now you know the gist of what happened, so…Cole’s Notes: cornerstone guys that would ensure the Flyers would always be at least playoff-level-good Mike Richards and Jeff Carter got traded for a whole bunch of “yeah that guy’s pretty good’s” and the right to overpay a very good goaltender in Ilya Bryzgalov.
Oh, and they signed Jaromir Jagr.
…Wait, what? Seriously? Hm.
Anyway, the team has gone from the decades-long philosophy of ”if your team is good enough, you just need a living goaltender to win” to “goaltending is obviously the most important position on the ice.”
Here’s an uncommon opinion: I don’t hate what they did.
Detractors of the trade will cite that they were in the Stanley Cup Finals just a couple years back with a similar looking team, and that’s fair. But let’s keep in mind it’s not like they mowed through a Conference that they were clearly the best team in. They just got hot at the right time, as teams occasionally do.
The picture going forward for this team, is that they have to get by some mighty fine teams at the top of their conference, and they didn’t feel like what they had was going to be able to do it.
Philly never seemed to be able to get past the big moments in the past (save for the comeback against the Krejci-less Bruins). Something was just…off. Whether it was in the dressing room or on the ice, there was something missing…. They always just seemed good, yet rarely great.
If that’s how they felt in the front office, which they clearly did, I’m okay with them heading in a new direction.
I don’t think there are many people out there making the case that they won’t be good next year, it’s just a matter of if they’ll be better or not. They’re still well-stocked up front, on defense, and finally, in the net. The past two Stanley Cup champions have relied heavily on depth throughout playoffs, and I think they got better in that regard.
They still have enough play-makers to score, and in the dressing room….sometimes too many cooks spoil the broth when it comes to leadership. Whether the guys like him or not, having less people that’ll openly resist Chris Pronger’s occasionally overbearing form of it is a good thing. He’s dragged teams to the Final before, and he can do it again.
You can’t really know until you see them play but I’m curious…what do you think?