The Philadelphia Flyers are now mathematically excluded from the playoffs.
Posted at 11:35 a.m.
For the first time since 1994, they will miss the detail for a second consecutive season.
Obviously, that wasn’t the plan when Chuck Fletcher replaced Ron Hextall as Flyers general manager in December 2018. Instead, Fletcher was meant to take this club full of talented youngsters to the next level.
But the Flyers have missed the playoffs three times in the past four years, while sacrificing their first-round pick, 13and in total, in 2021, second round in 2019 and 2022, third round in 2020, by increasing its payroll with Kevin Hayes and Ryan Ellis, 31, again injured and under contract until 2027 to 6 million per year.
Fletcher also traded Ryan Hartman to the Dallas Stars in 2019 for Tyler Pitlick. This one just passed through Philadelphia. You saw him briefly with the Canadiens last week, before he got injured. Rem Pitlick’s cousin had been sent to Montreal by the Flames to balance the salaries in the Tyler Toffoli trade.
The Dallas Stars didn’t believe in Hartman either. He found himself in Minnesota where he now occupies the position of first center, at 27 years old. Hartman has 50 points, including 27 goals, in 65 games, en route to a 34-goal year.
But let’s stop dwelling on the past. What will Fletcher and the Flyers do from now on? Fletcher buys time, and probably temporarily saves his job, by announcing a reset.
Captain Claude Giroux has just been traded to the Panthers for a (late) first-round pick in 2024, young winger Owen Tippett and a third-round pick in 2023.
Tippett, 23, drafted 10th overall in 2017, the year of Nick Suzuki and Ryan Poehling, had 14 points in 42 games with the Panthers. He has one assist in six games since arriving in Philadelphia. He will probably be at a crossroads next year. Fletcher also picked up third- and fourth-round picks for Justin Braun and Derick Brassard.
The Flyers’ end of the season will serve to build the future of the team, Fletcher told reporters recently. We’ll see how Fletcher adjusts to his new role and whether he’ll be more patient than during his Minnesota reign and this one.
That’s probably why we decided to transfer young forward Joel Farabee, a first-round pick in 2018, from wing to center and increase the use time of another first-round pick, this time in 2017, Morgan Frost. With Sean Couturier returning next year, and the presence of Kevin Hayes, the Flyers will have options at this position.
The 2019 first-round pick, 14and overall (one spot ahead of Cole Caufield), Cam York was also recalled from the American League recently and coach Mike Yeo is using him in the first pair with Ivan Provorov and the first wave on the power play.
Other good young people are waiting in the wings. 2020 first-round pick Tyson Foerster impressed in the American League last year with 17 points in 24 games at just 19, but suffered a serious shoulder injury early in the season. He has just returned to the game and has been loaned to his junior club to get back into shape.
Bobby Brink, a winger in the mold of Cole Caufield, is expected to join the Flyers after his collegiate season. The 2019 second-round pick leads the NCAA with 56 points in 39 games.
In goal, 23-year-old Carter Hart isn’t having such a bad season. He gives more than three goals per game, but his save percentage of .909 indicates a certain composure in the circumstances.
The Flyers will also have the opportunity to draft early this summer. If the session were held today, and without a lottery, they would hold the fifth overall pick.
Let’s see if Fletcher, but also the owners of the Flyers, will be patient in order to build a solid club for the long term. The shortcuts didn’t work, that’s obvious.
A well-deserved contract for Joshua Roy!
Among the 19 French-speaking Quebecers drafted since 2003 by the Canadiens, only two, Guillaume Latendresse and Maxim Lapierre, have had a lasting career in the NHL. But both were traded by the organization at age 25 or younger. Trevor Timmins may have finally managed to find his best during his last draft with the Canadian. Joshua Roy, fifth-round pick, 150and in total, has just signed his first professional contract with the organization. At only 18, he now has 92 points in just 50 games in Sherbrooke in the QMJHL. He had amassed 35 in as many games last year. Such a production does not guarantee a grandiose career in the NHL, but is nevertheless a very encouraging sign for the future, especially since the young man dominates at 18 and not at 20.