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2022-23 Postmortem--Transition or Trap?


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I pledged to get the ball rolling on this subject.  This may be more vent than assessment.  




Jordan Hall's assessment is level-headed:

Flyers vs. Blackhawks: OT win gives way to offseason full of unknowns, inevitable change - NBC Sports Philadelphia


From my vantage, it's easier to be more upset with this version of the Flyer's than last year.  As Hall notes, we were objectively better--six more wins, 14 more points, than 2021-22.  Subjectively--the improvement and coaching change increased expectations.  You knew last year's play was 2006-07 redux.  I suspect many of us thought this year could be a .500 club.  But it wasn't.  Long-term, this may be a pivotal year for the franchise.  Short-term: Sub-par hockey with lots of roster uncertainty.  




We didn't rotate 8 goalies.  Carter Hart is a solid netminder, but I wonder if he has peaked or been burned out?  Ersson looks good.  On paper, this is probably not a big area of concern.




Frost, Konecny, and Tippett are probable keepers.  Laughton is a solid bottom-six dude.  Allison shows promise when healthy.  As I wrote a few night ago--the rest are a blur. 




A few years back I  thought this was going to be team strength.  Now I see it as perplexing and overpaid.  The "new" Risto is a defensive d-man but offensively neutered.  Sanheim--an enigma.  Provo--I think the franchise either accepts him as B+/A- dude or move on.  Seeler--probably a bargain worth keeping.  Will Attard or Andrae help out?  To be determined.




I suspect Ellis is effectively done. That leaves Cam and Coots.  What will we get from two players who've been out a season plus?  With Cam, possible pain is limited via contract.  Coots--a different story with a big price tag.  Another question: How does Danny frame the rebuild? Two years...three?  The longer he (realistically) sees this, the more likely we could see a Konecny or Hart trade.  Seriously, maybe you get assets or draft picks knowing those two could be late or post-prime by the time they have a strong supporting cast.  


On a parallel track--subtraction may be more complicated than given credit for.  TDA may be easy.  Hayes? Other?  Can't say.  Fletcher gave up picks to dump Ghost.  Briere may not want to follow in Chuck's footsteps.  




Torts is a de facto Assistant GM and will be around (I think) for his contract.  Briere probably understands the depth of the problem and knows the Flyers "will be tougher to play against" when they have more high-end talent.  Bone-headed deals aside, this team needs to improve its drafting.  Our first round picks haven't materialized as hoped and while we've found some apparent gems in the lower rounds, they may not be game changers.  We may look back at this year like a lanced and disinfected boil--the pain needed before healing.  But it would not surprise me if 2023-24 shows only marginal improvement because of the deep rot from a decade+ of mismanagement and bad long-term contracts. 






Edited by Howie58
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Tortorella said in March. "But for me, the next step with this organization is you don't start adding players until you subtract players. I think there needs to be some subtraction here. Those will be in discussions at the end of the year."


(from the article @Howie58 linked to)


Unload as many overpriced, under-performing veterans as possible. The names are obvious and the Flyers won't get much back for any of them but that's okay. The hole that management dug the past 5 years is pretty deep. But at least now it appears they've stopped digging.


Who's ever left - watching a young team come together in the next few years is fine by me.

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