Flyers

Briere, Hartnell additions help Flyers to best turnaround season

Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers are coming off of a disappointing 2020-21 season where they missed the playoffs after being a top team in the East just one season prior. But some key moves in the offseason have made the Flyers a potential team to bounce back and get back into the postseason. 

Philadelphia is no stranger to getting back into form in just one offseason. It’s happened before in franchise history, where the team was able to make some moves and get back into a contender role. Let’s look at the Flyers’ worst season and their best turnaround in franchise history. 

What was the worst season in Flyers history?

Heading into the 2006-07 season, it was expected that the Flyers would take a step back. Philadelphia had traded Michal Handzus to Chicago, lost Kim Johnsson in free agency and both Eric Desjardins and captain Keith Primeau retired. 

But the expectations should have been lowered. By a lot. Peter Forsberg was in and out of the lineup with a foot injury. The Flyers went 1-6-1 in the first eight games, causing GM Bob Clarke to resign and head coach Ken Hitchcock to be fired. 

 

Those moves did not nothing to change the results in the box score. Philadelphia finished with the worst record in the league that season at 22-48-12. The team set a franchise record in consecutive losses with 10 and at one point, had lost 12 straight home games. They also set the NHL record for the biggest points drop off in a one-year span, going from 101 points the season prior to just 56. 

What was the Flyers’ best one-year turnaround in history?

So the Flyers had the worst one-year drop off, but what about their best one-year turnaround? 

Well, it didn’t take long. The next offseason, the Flyers revamped their roster. They traded for the rights to Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell, who both signed long-term deals. They traded for Jason Smith and Joffrey Lupul, signed Danny Briere and, due to their horrid season prior, got the No. 2 pick in the draft and selected James van Riemsdyk. 

The Flyers went from the worst record in the league to the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 42-29-11. The team’s winning percentage went up in just a year by .256. The team made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins. What looked like a franchise that would be in the middle of a long-term rebuild needed just one offseason to turn the team around.