New Year’s Resolutions: Flyers
I’ll keep this simple – the Flyers are not a Stanley Cup team. Maybe they would be if Shea Weber worked out, but he didn’t. But that’s okay.
Despite their elite firepower and offensive depth, this team is not close to where it needs to be on the back end. Losing Matt Carle hurt (don’t start with me, idiot Flyer fans), and Chris Pronger is irreplaceable.
Even though Kimmo Timonen is a warrior and has been this team’s glue for a surprising number of years, he’s on the decline. Brayden Coburn is a nice player and Andrej Meszaros and Nick Grossmann help fill out a roster, but those guys can’t be counted on to shut down a top line come playoff time.
So the Flyers need to do what they do best – draft.
Wait to pounce on an elite defenseman (like Weber) and don’t try to force a Cup run. Paul Holmgran dealt a second and a fourth for Sasquatch Kubina. The dude has not been relevant or reliable in years, and was scratched in the postseason.
Trades like this are the reason the Flyers have the league’s worst farm system, and the most frustrating part of following this team. The Flyers draft really, really well. They don’t often miss in the first round and have remained competitive for a long time despite drafting toward the end of the first round. It’s an incredible feat. But the club has unfortunately viewed draft picks as disposable, and it’s hurt.
So if/when the NHL comes back, enjoy Claude Giroux. Enjoy Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Jakub Voracek, and the litany of quality young players that will continue to develop into an incredible team. Just don’t expect the Cup this year, though one might not be too far away.