The Philadelphia Flyers are one of the teams that have made the biggest changes this offseason. General manager Chuck Fletcher was very active this offseason to improve the Flyers in all areas of the game. After a few years of middling moves (with Kevin Hayes and Matt Niskanen being the most notable additions), Fletcher put his stamp on the Flyers this summer. And he had to.
After making a few big splashes early on in the summer with Ryan Ellis, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Cam Atkinson, Fletcher tied up some loose ends recently with Travis Sanheim and Sean Couturier signing new contracts. The Flyers also signed another depth veteran in Derick Brassard this week.
Fletcher spoke about the Couturier extension and the offseason as a whole on Thursday afternoon.
Fletcher has been open about his feelings on last season throughout the summer. He didn’t shy away from those comments on Thursday afternoon.
“At the end of last season I vowed that we would make changes and it was unacceptable, and I think I was true to my word,” Fletcher said. “We were aggressively looking to change our team and we feel like the areas we needed to improve upon, we have … We like to think we’ve upgraded our club and time will tell.”
“The goal was pretty straightforward, just to get better. I can’t live through another year like last year. It took years off my life and everybody else’s,” Fletcher laughed.
Many Flyers fans felt the same way, Chuck.
After being one of the best teams in the league from November 1st onward in the 2019-20 season –– and then earning the No. 1 seed in the bubble ––, the Flyers fell flat in the shortened 2021 season. The downward spiral started in March and they couldn’t find their way out of it.
That led to this offseason. An offseason of change both on and off the ice for the Flyers.
The offseason additions have injected some new energy into the Flyers. Cam Atkinson has already endeared himself to the fanbase. The defense should be much improved with Ellis, Ristolainen, and Keith Yandle. And the team should be a better group all-around with the experienced veterans in the fold.
“There’s certainly a high level of excitement around the team right now,” Fletcher said. “In speaking with several of our veteran players, including Sean Couturier, everybody’s very excited to get back and put last year behind us and have success this season.”
That excitement is something that the Flyers needed. Last season was downright dreadful and Fletcher knows it.
The Flyers are excited to get started and we’re just seven short weeks away from the season opener on October 15th.