The Flyers are, unfortunately, not the greats they were in previous seasons. Being sorely last in the Metropolitan division last season and facing much adversity throughout the season and off-season, it is hard to say there is much hope for the Philadelphia team moving forward. Unless there are major overhauls made in coaching from John Tortorella and a massive change in team morale and leadership, there is little to be said on the Flyers’ behalf this season. Despite these outstanding negatives, there are some bright spots to illuminate for the Flyers, albeit small ones.
The most notable move the Flyers made this off-season was the hiring of long-feared head coach, John Tortorella.
Tortorella in a press conference following his hiring, described his plans to instill a stronger structure for the Flyers. There’s evidence that he can, indeed, pull that off. Evidence for that lies within his previously coached Blue Jackets. In the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Tortorella’s Blue Jackets won their first playoff series in franchise history by eliminating his old team, the Tampa Bay Lightning; also being the first time that the Presidents’ Trophy-winning team failed to win any playoff game despite the Lightning matching the record of 62 regular season wins. Showing that Tortorella is capable of overhauling an inferior team to a playoff series winning team.
Despite this, the Flyers have a major loss of their captain, Claude Giroux to free agency. Losing one of their main sources of team morale. The Flyers need to focus on improving their offense, talent, speed and skill in order to take on the higher class teams in the NHL. It’s not that the Flyers don’t have potential. They have young players that could make a bigger impact if given the opportunity. However, it is only up to time to see if the young Flyers can possibly help to improve the team’s standings this season.
The Flyers had a massive re-signing streak this off-season in hopes to develop their existing young talent, many of which being short term contracts. Their most notable free agent signing of the off-season being left-wing Nicolas Deslauriers from the Minnesota Wild and defenseman Tony DeAngelo from the Carolina Hurricanes.
Deslauriers’ last short season with the Wild proved to have little production on his end. With 3 goals and 0 assists in 20 games played. However, he seems excited and hopeful to play with the Flyers and his past defensive skills should come in handy. DeAngelo on the other hand, had a productive season with the Canes. Scoring 10 goals and 41 assists in the regular season and 1 goal and 9 assists in the playoffs, DeAngelo went from being a bottom tier player with the New York Rangers to a slightly better one in Carolina. However, it is hard to say how he will fare in the Philadelphia crowd, but his addition to the roster may or may not be the Flyers’ downfall or rise, if coached right.
Despite these off-season moves lacking weight or bombshell quality, the Flyers could possibly shock us this season. If Tortorella’s coaching is as good as stated and if the Flyers can hold up against the bottom half of the Metropolitan Division, there might be room for improvement. If not this season, then future ones. It is expected that the Flyers will not be making an appearance in this year’s playoffs. Yet, if good moves are made throughout the season, a better Flyers could be in our not so distant future.
Sources for lines here.
Joel Farabee, Sean Couturier, Cam Atkinson
James van Riemsdyk, Kevin Hayes, Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton, Morgan Frost, Owen Tippett
Nicolas Deslauriers, Patrick Brown, Zack MacEwen
Ivan Provorov, Tony DeAngelo
Travis Sanheim, Rasmus Ristolainen
Cam York, Justin Braun