I hate when people say Niittymaki crapped the bed during his tenure in Philadelphia. That's so untrue. Niittymaki was run into the ground by Hitchcock and actually need his hips operated on, but the Flyers were in playoff contention, so they waited until after the season and by then, the damage was done.
As for Nolan Patrick and face offs, Christ sakes, he's 19 years old. Give him another season or two to learn the art of face offs and he'll be fine. And no, you don't move him to the wrong because of that. If you think Frost is going to be the answer, guess what, he'll go through the same learning curve.
Bringing in two veterans and sliding the young guys to the wing won't help because they'll still have to learn how to take draws. Best thing to do is key them take their lumps. That's what Giroux did. That's what Couturier did. It's what Laughton is doing.
You can't cheat development.
Yeah. BSH has referred to it as a "show, don't tell" offseason, and that's basically where I'm at. I'm not saying Hextall should go full Holmgren, trade all the picks and sign all the free agents, but he has the space and the assets to make at least one meaningful move that's something more than signing a couple UFA plugs to fill holes in the bottom 6. He can actually add one or two players with talent. He still needs to be a bit careful with the cap because the young guys will need to be re-signed, possibly to extensions this offseason in the case of Provorov and Konecny, but I would like to see at least one move made for a guy who is a legitimate 2nd line or high-end 3rd line player. Be it via trade or free agency, this is the season where he can and should actually start pushing the team, rather than letting it come up to speed on its own.
I don't know how to break this to you, but down the stretch run into the playoffs and in the playoffs themselves MacDonald/Sanheim was this team's most effective pairing. There was a stretch from march into april when they were one of the most effective pairings in the NHL. Now granted, they weren't playing top pairing minutes or match-ups, but essentially you couldn't ask for more of a second pairing.
Against the Penguins, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that MacDonald was the team's best Defenseman. THis may have been because he was the healthiest one, but none the less... there he was.
At this point, not only do I think MacDonald isn't going anywhere, but I suspect that might not be a bad thing. Gudas and Manning were atrocious. 1/2 of that problem is solved. The other half needs to be moved or sat down to the 7th man role to make room for Morin. The problem I foresee is if he's still around Hakstol has a tendency to play the sucky guys regardless of anything if they're older... Hextall almost has to take that option off his plate, but I guess we'll see.
I'd be fine with Radko as our 7th man if Hakstol could be trusted to dress him only when he needs to.
2 or 3 LW, depending on how Lindblom progresses. I'd prefer 3.
He's missed 8 games over the last 4 seasons combined. At this point, it's like the Pens' being worried about Crosby's concussion history.
Absolutely. What are you planning to do with the extra money? The Flyers are going to have anywhere from 17.5 to 22.5 million in cap room as it stands, with few open roster spots. Morin, Leier, and Hagg need extensions, but they should not be expensive. Even if they were to sign Tavares at 10 per year, as unlikely as that is, they're still comfortably under. Why carry dead cap into following years, when extensions for Provorov, Konecny, Sanheim, etc will start to kick in? It makes more fiscal sense to eat it now.