So here we are. We’re three games into the season and the Flyers are 0-3. Not the start the players wanted. Not the start the organization wanted. It’s definitely not the fans wanted, yet we are here and we’re frustrated. Before we go firing the coach or firing the GM (which I’m in favor of) simple changes can be made to help right this ship before it sinks.
First off let’s see where things went wrong. I’m going to go all the way back to July when Homer had a chance to trade Brayden Coburn (4.5 Mil) and get a prospect or a pick. The Flyers all off a sudden have an abundance of defense now and moving him not only would have made some room for a young player like Gustafsson who’s a solid 5th/6th man but it would have taken 4.5mil off the books!
Second, the Simon Gagne situation, which left some people scratching their heads including Gagne. This wasn’t a rumor or myth but Gagne’s agent and Homer did have an understanding, given the cap situation. Gagne couldn’t be signed for a reported 1.3-1.5mil contract until the season began so Pronger could be placed on LTIR. Instead Homer had a change of heart and thought he could sign Dan Cleary to replace him (to a much larger contract). Instead that came to bite Homer in the rear. Cleary, seemingly used the Flyers to get Detroit to offer him a contract (which he denies) and decided to say no to Philly leaving the Flyers without a solid two-way player. Homer then decided not to revisit the option of Gagne and sever ties with one of the organization’s most beloved players.
Third, he did not give Scott Laughton a chance. When it seemed that the rookie beat out the others for a roster spot, he was scratched for the opener in favor of Jay Rosehill. (Rosehill has a life time of six points through an eight year professional career.)The following day instead of giving Laughton his nine game window, it was slammed shut. Laughton was sent packing and he headed to back to Juniors for another year. For what it is worth, Laughton has nine points in three games so far on his Junior team.
nstead of fixing an aging team and finding younger defense, Homer signed 35 year old Mark Streit. However, from what I’ve seen I think it’s a good signing as of now. But 38 year old Hal Gill who is labeled as the eight defenseman, was signed and is only going to action if an injury occurs.
Before this becomes a rant of the GM, I’ll get to my original point and say that all the Flyers need are simple changes.
First and foremost I’ll tag Brayden Coburn. He’s the worst of all the defenseman. He was brought to the Flyers because of his potential, not because of skill. He has not lived up to his potential and he’s had six years to do so. A change of scenery is what Coburn needs. There are plenty of teams asking for a defenseman.
If you trade Coburn, you have a defensive corps that would look like this:
Mez the younger, faster and more offensive mined defenseman is paired with the teams’ best defensive defenseman.
Schenn, the hit machine is paired with a puck carrying and big bodied defenseman that is Streit.
The same reasons would apply the Grossman-Gustafsson pairing.
Those are simple changes to help make your defense better.
Next you move Max Talbot down to the fourth line. He’s a clutch player that’s great for the penalty kill but he’s not your everyday third line player. You put him on a line that should look like this. Rinaldo-Talbot-Newbury (If he stays up). You take your fourth line which is commonly known as the “Checking line” and form a line that can create offensive chances and still check.
The Flyers’ lines should look more like this:
These are easy changes that would provide a spark and create some offensive chances.
Next, you have to consider reassigning your power play responsibilities to another assistant coach that is not Craig Berube. For the last 4 seasons, he’s been in charge of the Flyers Power play. It’s been terrible. I think the Flyers need to cut ties with their assistants but that’s not here or there. A new face needs to be behind the special teams because scoring on the power play is what can make a difference in hockey games.
The Flyers don’t have to blow this team up or make coaching/GM changes yet. These simple changes can be just what the Flyers need, before things get really ugly.