There are a lot of things I miss about hockey, but what I miss the most is being able to talk about new and exciting moments on a daily basis. While we're all at a standstill, waiting for that moment where games can resume, I figured it would be fun to do a mailbag and discuss some of the bigger topics surrounding the Flyers at the moment.
Let's get to it!
With the core we see the Flyers building, is there any chance we go after a big name in free agency?
I’m going to say no — if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, but there are a few reasons why the Flyers don’t have to stress about free agency … and that’s not even breaking down their very limited cap space.
What’s important is locking up those few smaller pieces moving forward. One of the strongest assets from the Flyers this season has been the spaced out level of contribution from each player, each position and each line. In years past, if Claude Giroux wouldn’t get on the board, chances are the night ended in a loss. The captain can go games without tallying a point and others are ready to step up.
The team aspect has truly been an exciting one to watch develop from the start of training camp. In addition to Travis Konecny’s electric season, one of the strongest years of Sean Couturier’s career and solidified depth — why try to throw in a curveball when things are finally starting to click?
Do you think the Flyers would try to bring back Derek Grant or move forward with the center battle next year?
Grant was a very solid addition at the trade deadline for the Flyers and found instant chemistry with the team. Collecting 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists) in just seven games isn’t something that goes unnoticed.
If anything, bringing him back would only elevate the competition further — imagine how fun the battle for a center spot would be come training camp. Nothing would be handed out, they would have to battle it out and earn that spot. Who’s the hungriest?
This is a good problem to have — going from no depth down the middle to a plethora in just a short amount of time.
How quickly do you envision Wade Allison fitting into the Flyers lineup? And in what role?
Allison has always been an intriguing prospect since joining the organization in 2016 — and there’s a really strong piece about him that was recently put together by our own Jordan Hall. (Seriously, go read it after this, it’s fantastic.)
The soon-to-be 23-year-old has such a strong hockey IQ, but that means nothing if you can’t apply it to your game. Luckily for him, that’s no problem.
It’ll be interesting to see how his game translates to the NHL and just how quickly that could happen, but I don’t see it taking longer than a season or two before it does. Adding him as a middle forward would instantly elevate the already strong depth that has been created.
Who do you think was the front-runner for team MVP before the season was halted?
This was something that a few of us had discussed earlier in an End-to-End. It would be a disservice to Couturier if he was not awarded the Bobby Clarke Trophy.
He was also awarded it in 2018-19 and if anything, he’s just grown in every aspect of his game. He is the lifeblood of the Flyers and I haven’t seen a two-way forward drive play this successfully in a long time. Couturier would not have just won the team’s MVP … I strongly believe he would have collected his first Selke Trophy as well.
Of all the big Western Conference teams, who would you most want to see the Flyers play in the finals?
I think what the Vegas Golden Knights have been doing since their team entered the league just a few years ago is thrilling. They broke the mold for what was considered a “Standard” hockey game. It was fun, fans got involved and it didn’t just become a game — it was a whole experience.
Thinking of the Golden Knights vs. Flyers in the finals just seems electric — imagine Philadelphia fans completely taking over the famous Vegas Strip while cheering on their favorite team.
How the actual ice would hold up in Nevada during summer is a different story, but it would be great to find out one day.
The way the team was playing when the season was halted, is it realistic to say they could have won the cup?
From the very beginning of the season, I felt like this team was special. While it didn’t feel as exciting in the opening weeks — and rightfully so, since there were new systems to be learned and new faces to meet — when the Flyers returned from their west coast road trip the first week of January, it was almost as if they activated a new level of intensity.
Every game was important, every two points crucial. Even after wins, they didn’t focus on what they did right, it was all about what they can do better the next time they go out there.
The Flyers by far were the hottest team in the league when play stopped over a month ago — and it seemed like everyone around the league was starting to finally take notice that they weren’t just trying to sneak into the playoffs anymore. They were ready for a run that ended in the cup. And I truly believe that with the momentum they had, it was going to tun into something memorable for all of Philadelphia.
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