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Bailey: Flyers Missing Playoffs is a Good Thing

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The Philadelphia Flyers are 0-6-2 in their last eight games as they continue to collapse. (Photo: AP)

With three games left in the 2023-24 regular season, the Philadelphia Flyers’ playoff hopes are virtually nil. And that’s OK.

The fact that the Flyers overachieved this season in the way they did speaks volumes about the team’s character and the organization’s direction. They haven’t lost sight of the rebuild, either.

By now, we’ve all grown accustomed to the word “meaningful” being thrown around by head coach John Tortorella and other members of Flyers management. Although their performances of late certainly don’t indicate it, the Flyers did play in meaningful games in March and April. That’s an accomplishment for a team that’s gone absolutely nowhere in the last few years.

After their last two losses, the last three Flyers games of the season are virtually meaningless. But, when we keep things in perspective, missing the playoffs is actually a good thing.

There are a few reasons for that.

First and foremost, regarding the rebuild, the Flyers currently hold the 12th overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft based on points percentage. If Seattle, which is 11th, wins some games to end the season, the Flyers will move up a spot.

That gives them a 3% chance of winning the No. 1 overall pick after everything that happened this season. Imagine that.

Or, let’s say the Flyers stay put at No. 12. They can still draft a high-impact player despite not being in the top-10. Tij Iginla would be an excellent Cutter Gauthier replacement, while a center like Konsta Helenius could be a potential No. 1 center and two-way beast at the NHL level.

Then there are top defenders like Zeev Buium and Adam Jiricek, who can help the Flyers build a deep blueline, which is required by any Stanley Cup contender.

Oh, and the Flyers have Florida’s first-round pick this year and, potentially, two second-round picks, depending on the conditions of a trade with Columbus. Don’t let a few months of good hockey make you forget that.

As for the players on the team and the organization, missing the playoffs because of this monumental collapse should be fuel for next season. In theory, guys should be coming back next season pissed off and motivated to make the playoffs.

If they don’t? Well, they never had what it takes to win the Stanley Cup anyway.

Missing the playoffs should benefit the Flyers in the long run, but like with anything in life, there are no guarantees. It’s in the hands of the team now.

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