The Flyers are 1-5 to start the season. This is the 2nd season in a row where the Flyers are off to a poor start and the fans are restless. Needless to say, the organization is restless and it’s shown for 38 years.
To begin, we can pick any moment in Flyers history dating back to the 1969 when Flyers’ Chairman Ed Snider ordered then GM Bud Polie to change the team to which would make them the “Broad Street Bullies.” Unfortunately, it seems like the Flyers are stuck in 1970s and refuse to change their culture. This is evident as recent as last week when Snider blasted the media by saying “We don’t need a culture change, we know what we’re doing.” Well, I have no idea what they’re doing but I can tell you what they don’t have and that would be patience.
I’ll begin with the 2006/2007 season. The Flyers fired Coach Ken Hitchcock along with GM Bob Clarke and hired Paul Holmgren, and John Stevens. The Flyers promoted both within the organization which seems to be their motto. Homer began building his team for the future and it looked like the Flyers could actually see a “rebuilding” phase. Instead, the moves Homer conducted made him look like a genus and the Flyers went from worst to the Eastern Conference Finals. But the Flyers failed to beat the Penguins. That would be where the “rebuilding” phase ended and the Flyers would emphasize the word “Retooling” and refused to “rebuild.” Why you might ask? Snider was quoted in an interview once saying, “We don’t rebuild, we retool.” This is further proof that he does not have any patience.
The Flyers refuse to be patient with any of their players. I’ll go back to 2005. Here is a list the Players the Flyers gave up on because they either didn’t reach their potential yet and they refused to wait, or they traded them for older veterans who’ve already won and are passed their prime.
Patrick Sharp (05): Won the cup with the Blackhawks in 2010 and 2013.
Denis Seidenberg (06): Was traded for Petr Nedved and Won the Cup with the Bruins in 2011.
Michal Handzus (06): Was traded for Kyle Calder and Won the Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013.
The Flyers in (08): traded Alexandre Picard and a 2nd round pick for Vinny Prospal who was solid only to trade him back to Tampa at the end of the season and only gained 7th Rd pick and a conditional 09 pick. That’s a loss to me.
Scottie Upshall (09): Traded along with a 2nd round pick for Dan Carcillo who had a career 41 pts over 3 seasons. Note: The Flyers decided not to resign Carcillo and he ended up winning the Cup in 2013 with the Blackhawks.
Luca Sbisa & Joffery Lupal (09): Both along with two first round picks were traded for 35 year old
Chris Pronger who played only 1 full season with the Flyers. Pronger played two more injury plagued seasons before sustaining an unofficial career ending concussion. This was a classic “We must win now” Trade.
Simon Gagne (10): Traded for Matt Walker, won the Cup with the Kings in 2012.
2011’s First Rounder and 2011’s 3rd Rounder : These were traded for Kris Versteeg who was later traded for a 3rd rounder. This was a horrible trade and a classic “We must win now” Trade.
Mike Richards (11): The Flyers traded away their franchise face and captain due what Holmgren described as “An offer he couldn’t refuse.” However Richards, the good player he was, was immature and the Flyers refused to help him grow into a mature Hockey player so they shipped him off to the Kings for unproven Prospect Brayden Schenn and Gritty Power forward Wayne Simmonds. Richards responded to the trade by helping the Kings win the Cup the following season.
Jeff Carter (11): Although, I like Jakub Voracek and have a personal hatred for Carter because of my off ice encounters with him, he was the Flyers Goal leader for several seasons (29,23,46,33,36). He also responded to his trade by winning the Cup the following season with the Kings.
Sergei Bobrovsky (12): The Flyers finally found the goalie of the future and first home grown goaltender since Ron Hextall. However, despite playing solid through the regular season in his rookie year (28-13-8) He had a poor performance in the Post Season mainly due to Coach Peter Laviolette’s goalie carousal. Ed Snider refused to be patient and forced the Flyers to sign Illya Bryzgalov to an outrageous contract for 9 years thus making the guarantee that Bobrovsky wasn’t in the Flyers future plans. Bobrovsky responded by winning the 2013 Vezina Trophy. (Note, the Flyers would buy out Bryzgalov 11 months later.)
James Van Riemsdyk (12): JVR had a hard time finding his role and development with the Flyers. Injuries weren’t kind to him in a season where the Flyers made it a make or break season. He was traded for Luke Schenn and in the 2012 season, JVR has his best ratio for points vs. games played. He scored 18 goals.
The Flyers refuse to sit and wait and let the team get to know one another and develop. Instead, year in and year out, the Flyers give up youth for veterans who are passed their prime. Three examples would be the 2013 offseason where the Flyers signed 35 year old Mark Streit, 38 year old Hal Gill and 33 year old Vinny Lecavalier. The Flyers want to win it all every year and that’s a given however that’s not a reality. Winning takes planning, development and yes you guessed it, patience. The Flyers don’t have any of this. Building and developing takes a couple of years, but if you’re patient enough, you can win it all and have the glory. Flyers fans have been thirsty for 38 years, but until Snider eases up and Paul Holmgren is fired, fans may grow to become just like the Flyers. Impatient.
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