Several months ago, the Philadelphia Flyers announced they would make an “aggressive retool” in the offseason.
Maybe they were talking about the coaches and others connected to the team, and not the players.
The roster looks very similar to last season, when the injury-riddled team put together its second-worst record in franchise history.
But the coaching staff has been drastically changed, and more alterations appear to be in the works.
The Flyers haven’t confirmed it (yet), but I’m hearing that long-time equipment manager Harry Bricker was let go.
Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher denied a chance to comment.
Last season, the Flyers wore T-shirts during a pregame warmup to honor Bricker’s 2,500th pro game.
Bricker has worked for the Flyers from 1991-96 and from 2000-22. He was with the New Jersey Devils when they won the Stanley Cup in 1999-2000 and has a ring to prove it.
He also had a stint with the AHL’s Hershey Bears, starting when he was in high school. His dad worked for the Bears as an arena security guard.
When Peter Forsberg was honored by the Flyers for going into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014, he mentioned how Bricker stayed with him from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. one Thanksgiving, trying to help him with skates that would alleviate his foot problems.
Bricker was that dedicated to his job.
The boys are warming up in new t-shirts to commemorate Flyers Equipment Manager Harry Bricker’s 2500th professional game worked. Congrats, Harry! pic.twitter.com/HHHibEaPzq
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 12, 2022
Don’t be surprised if Jimmy McCrossin, who is the team’s director of medical services, and assistant trainer Sal Raffa are soon not part of the club. Both are suing the Philadelphia Flyers after being diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening blood disorder.
The men allege their conditions came from exposure to chemicals used in the Zambonis at the team’s Voorhess practice facility.
“Every day is a gift,” Raffa told Philly Hockey late in the season.
In April, the Flyers said in a statement that the trainers’ claims had “no merit.” They said they could not comment further because the matter was in litigation.
McCrossin and Raffa continued to work for the team through the end of the season.
Rumors are circulating that they will be replaced. A source close to the situation wouldn’t confirm or deny it when contacted Sunday.
Top Pennsylvania Online Casinos and sportsbooks are betting heavily against the Flyers next season, too.