Connect with us

Philadelphia Flyers

Fans Feeling (Slightly) Upbeat About Flyers’ Moves And Rebuild



Cutter Gauthier at World Championships.
Cutter Gauthier at World Championships

Slowly, you can feel it. It’s reflected in emails, comments on this Flyers blog, conversations with golf buddies. Maybe it’s more of a feeling than something tangible. But it’s there.

It’s there with great caution and with a healthy dose of skepticism, too. We’re Philly, after all. It’s our birthright.

Flyers fans are starting to feel a little OK about the Flyers. There still is plenty of anger, sure. But there is a little hope, too.

There are plenty of doubters, and that’s understandable. The Flyers haven’t made the playoffs in three years and only once in five years. Flyers general managers haven’t distinguished themselves recently. Fans remember. We’re Philly, after all.

Fans aren’t wildly confident yet about the Flyers’ future — nor should they be. Fans aren’t proclaiming hockey superiority for their Flyers, or predicting the Stanley Cup in the next year or two … or three.

But over the last six weeks, the Flyers have made steps that appear positive — with a major caveat that it only has been six weeks and the next hockey game that means something is nearly four months away.

Rebuilding Under Way

Fans seem to like the rebuild, they like that the Flyers declared that’s where the team is and they like that the Flyers are acting like a rebuilding team.

After firing general manager Chuck Fletcher, the Flyers still needed to do something, to do anything. They hired Keith Jones and promoted Daniel Briere. They fired three from their hockey operations staff. In-house folks were promoted.

They hired three-time Stanley Cup champion Patrick Sharp. We don’t know what it means in the long run, but it’s a sign the new management team knew change was necessary.

So far, fans are happy with Briere. They particularly like the Ivan Provorov trade — it was time to move him — and the return it yielded. Fans see Briere as knowledgable and are thrilled about the extra first-round draft pick and the young defensive prospect they got from the Kings, Helge Grans.

Cutter Gauthier, last year’s first-round pick, was a star at the World Championships for Team USA. Everyone knows the World Championships aren’t the same as a Stanley Cup playoff series. Rosters aren’t full of top-six forwards or defensemen. The very top players stayed home.

But Gauthier, a 19-year-old, was more than competitive, had a knack for scoring goals and he clearly belonged on a big stage playing with and against men.

Future Flyers

Fans are pumped about the No. 7 overall pick in a draft that appears to be laden with talent. The Flyers also have the No. 22 overall pick.

Some Flyers players are linked almost daily to possible trade scenarios. Kevin Hayes, Tony DeAngelo reportedly are trade candidates.

So are Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton and maybe even Carter Hart.

When considering a trade, there are two simple questions to ask: Is there anything a player provides that the Flyers can live without? Is a player worth more on the team or what they bring back in a trade?

Fans are ready to move on from Hayes and DeAngelo but are hesitant to trade Konecny, Laughton or Hart. This is the sense I get is after the Provorov trade — fans trust Briere to do the right thing. Not everyone is going to like every transaction, but there is some confidence in the front office.

Before Nick Foles became iconic, someone wrote me an email saying, roughly, if the Eagles ever win the Super Bowl the celebration will be brief. The next morning, the emailer wrote, WIP callers will be complaining about a missed tackle in the second quarter, or some such nonsense.

OK, the Eagles won the Super Bowl and I don’t recall any complaints about a missed tackle. But the email’s Negadelphia vibes were well taken.

Just as the NFL is better as a whole when the Cowboys are good, Philadelphia sports are better when the Flyers are relevant.

And right now, some Flyers fans think that’s where the team is headed. They’re not all-in yet, and some still are angry, but many fans feel better about the Flyers than they have in years.

Get PHHN+ today!

Get PhHN in Your Inbox

Enter your email address to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.

Flyers Cap Info

Copyright © 2023 National Hockey Now and Philadelphia Hockey Now. In no way affiliated with the Philadelphia Flyers or the National Hockey League.