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Carchidi: Flyers Need to Take Lesson from Chicago’s Rebuild



Chuck Fletcher, Philadelphia Flyers
General manager Chuck Fletcher and the Flyers did very little before the trade deadline on Friday afternoon. Photo: AP.

Some NHL teams know how to rebuild.

The Philadelphia Flyers are not one of them.

Chicago is.

The Blackhawks have accumulated high draft picks, tons of them, while being in strong contention in the Connor Bedard Sweepstakes.

That’s the way it’s done.

Last year, the Blackhawks had three first-round picks and two seconds. This June, in a very strong draft, they will have two first-rounders and four second-rounders.

In a four-year span starting in 2022, they will have had nine first-round selections and 10 second-rounders.

Again, that’s the way a rebuild is done.

In the next three years, Chicago will have six first-round selections and eight second-rounders, while the Flyers will have four first-rounders and one second-rounder.

Chicago is 21-35-5 this season and has the league’s second-fewest points, but it is looking to the future, not the present.

The Flyers, on the other hand, are 23-28-11 and have the eighth-fewest points. They wanted to go on an “aggressive retool,” and gave up three draft picks (second-, third-, and fourth-rounders) to Carolina for Tony DeAngelo. That was a year after they traded Robert Hagg and first- and second-round picks to Buffalo for Rasmus Ristolainen.

That is not how a rebuild is done.

In this year’s deep draft, the Flyers have just one pick in the first two rounds. No NHL team in the bottom 12 has fewer picks in that span.

Emulate this guy

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher, 55, needs to take a page out of the book of his Chicago counterpart, GM Kyle Davidson, 34.

The Blackhawks have 10 picks in the first five rounds this June. Since Feb. 22, he has made nine trades and added seven draft picks, including four first- or second-rounders. Chicago has a whopping 24 picks in the first five rounds of the next three drafts.

Leading up to Friday’s trade deadline, Fletcher made two deals of NHL players and got pick a fifth- and sixth-rounder.

Sigh. Deep breath. Sigh.

At his media availability Friday, Fletcher said he was creative in trying to deal James van Riemsdyk, but there were just no takers.

Obviously, he wasn’t creative enough.

Look at the players traded around the NHL up to the deadline, and you will find several who offer less than what van Riemsdyk brings: experience, power-play skill, a big body in front who creates havoc.

Yet, he’s still here and will walk to free agency in the summer.

The Flyers missed a chance to add some much-needed draft capital.

“I didn’t know what the market would be, but I thought there would at least be some offers that we would have to consider or not consider,” Fletcher said. “So it’s the nature of the business, I guess. It is what it is.”

Dave Scott, Fletcher’s boss, couldn’t be happy with the unsettling developments. Scott did not immediately respond to a request to talk about deadline day

Fletcher was also unable to deal Nick Seeler — the GM said he got lots of calls from teams who were interested in him — or Justin Braun.

So the Flyers’ Great Rebuilding Project didn’t exactly start the way fans had hoped.

Fletcher goes back to the drawing board. He might want to make a phone call to Chicago’s Davidson.

After Dismaying Day, Flyers’ GM Points Finger at Himself

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