Flyer-mania is underway

With talented new additions and promising youth, the only place to go is up for the Flyers.

Back to Article
Back to Article

Flyer-mania is underway

wikipedia

wikipedia

wikipedia

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






 It’s almost October. 

  To many sports fans, that signifies one thing: the beginning of the NHL preseason. After a disappointing season last year that saw them finish with 82 points (a record of 37-37-8), the Philadelphia Flyers, following a managerial shakeup, look to reverse their fortunes and make the playoffs.

  The Flyers weren’t hesitant to make some moves during the offseason. New general manager Chuck Fletcher, who formerly held the same position for the Minnesota Wild, gave up a fifth round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft to the Winnipeg Jets for the RFA (restricted free agent) rights to 26-year-old center Kevin Hayes. The 6’5” power forward was coming off of a career high 54 points during the 2018-19 season. 

  On June 19, the Flyers signed Hayes to a 7 year deal worth $7.14 million per year. Hayes has a lot to prove for signing such a lucrative contract. He’s only broken the 50 point threshold once, and has typically played as a second or third line center. Hayes is now making $3 million more than teammate Sean Couturier, who scored 22 more points and is regarded around the league as a legitimate first line center. 

  Fletcher wasn’t done making moves yet either. Five days before Hayes was signed, on June 14, the Flyers traded fan-favorite defenseman Radko Gudas to the Washington Capitals for defenseman Matt Niskanen, who was coming off a mediocre season. Three days later, on June 18, the Flyers traded a 2019 second round pick and a 2020 third round pick for another defensive defenseman, Justin Braun, who, like Niskanen, was coming off of a poor season.

  Niskanen and Braun add to a defense filled with promise. Shayne Gostisbehere has a strong offensive game but has been inconsistent defensively. Ivan Provorov, still unsigned as an RFA, looks to rebound from a poor 2018-19 season. Travis Sanheim and Philippe Myers got their first full stints of NHL action last year, and looked comfortable in top 6 roles. Sanheim looked especially good, as he scored 35 points, which ranks him second amongst the team’s defensemen.

  Hayes adds to a stacked offense filled with center depth (Hayes, Couturier, Nolan Patrick, and Scott Laughton are all centers). Both wings look set as well, with Jakub Voracek, James Van Reimsdyk, Claude Giroux, and Travis Konecny all scoring over 45 points. There are also solid depth options, like Oskar Lindblom, Michael Raffl, and newly-acquired Tyler Pitlick.

  Goalkeeping looks solid for the Flyers this year, as 21-year-old Carter Hart will start in his first full season with the Flyers. Hart, in his first year as a pro, showed why the Flyers picked him in the second round in 2016, going 16-13-1 with a GAA (an average amount of goals allowed per game) of 2.83 and a fantastic save percentage of .917. After the Flyers’ season ended early, Carter would go on to represent eventual finalists Canada at the World Championships. Hart has been heralded as a future Vezina Trophy winner, and it’s hard not to argue against that after seeing his stellar performances last season. 

    Philadelphia has one of the top prospect pools in the NHL, and two players in particular look poised to make the roster out of camp. 19-year-old Joel Farabee, the Flyers’ first round pick in 2018, scored 36 points in 37 games with Boston College last year and represented the US at the World Junior Championships, scoring 5 points as the US finished second. 

  2017 first round pick Morgan Frost also played at the WJC, but for Canada, scoring 8 points in 5 games to go along with a staggering 109 points in 58 games for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. Other prospects like German “The Germ” Rubtsov and Isaac Ratcliffe have outside chances at cracking the NHL lineup.

  The prospects are already in Voorhees for rookie camp, and the full-time NHLers will report to the Skate Zone over the next couple of weeks to prepare for the season. Despite major offseasons for the Rangers , New Jersey, and Carolina, the Flyers still look like a playoff contender in a stacked Metropolitan Division. 

  With talented new additions and promising youth, the only place to go is up for the Flyers.