The Philadelphia Flyers Need to Start Over

by Glenn Kaplan
by Glenn Kaplan

The Philadelphia Flyers made it to the postseason as the number three seed in the Metropolitan Division last season. They were bounced in the first-round in six games against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A lot of people thought Philadelphia was going to go back to the playoffs this season. Instead, they are heading in the wrong direction and the Flyers are one of the worst teams in the NHL. Their record so far this season is 15-21-6 with 36 points so far this season. The Philadelphia Flyers have scored 116 goals and given up 151 goals so far this season.

They fired Dave Hakstol from his coaching duties and Ron Hextall from his general manager duties earlier in the season. Scott Gordon has been the interim coach ever since and they have not played better at all. Philadelphia has lost seven straight games, including a 3-0 loss at home on Monday Night against the St. Louis Blues.

What is more embarrassing for this hockey club is that Jordan Binnington made his NHL debut for the Blues and he recorded a 25-save shutout.

With the way this is looking right now for the Philadelphia Flyers, they will probably be looking for another head coach at the end of the season.

Chuck Fletcher is the new general manager of this hockey team and he will have a lot of decisions to make at the trade deadline this season.

Fletcher might have no choice but to start all over for this franchise. Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux, and others might all be out the door come trade time. It is clear that this time is far from being a Stanley Cup Contender.

The Flyers best prospects are currently in juniors or college right now. Morgan Frost, Matthew Strome, Isaac Ratcliffe, Greg Carey, Wyatte Wylie, Tanner Laczynski, Wyatt Kalynuk, and Joel Farabee are some of their key prospects.

Goaltender Carter Hart was once a top prospect in the system and he is turning out to be the real deal in net. Nolan Patrick was the number two pick in the 2017 NHL Draft and he has not lived up to expectations. In 35 games played so far this season, Patrick has scored five goals and recorded six assists. His plus/minus is -7.

The Philadelphia Flyers will have eight picks in the 2019 NHL Draft for now and it is quite possible they will acquire more picks when they try and make some deals before the deadline.

One of the players this team has to trade is 30-year-old Wayne Simmonds. He has an expiring contract. Simmonds has played in 42 games so far this season and he has scored 12 goals and recorded six assists. His plus/minus is -16. They could also trade Travis Konency, Michael Raffl, or Jordan Weal because those players have expiring contracts. Konency will probably not be touched because he is 21 years old and has a lot of potential.

One player the Philadelphia Flyers should not trade is 29-year-old Jakub Voracek. They would get a lot in return for him, but his contract may not be tradeable. Voracek's contract does not expire until the 2023-2024 season ends. His contract is a cap hit of $8,250,063. In 42 games so far this season, he has scored 10 goals and recorded 22 assists so far this season. His plus/minus is -18.

The Flyers should trade Claude Giroux at the trade deadline. He has not been a good leader during his tenure with Philadelphia. He has five different coaches since being in the NHL since 2007 and that's all you need to know. Giroux is an All-Star this season though with 13 goals and 33 assists. His plus/minus is even in 42 games played.

He is 30 years old and Giroux's contract expires after the 2021-2022 season. His contract will have a cap hit of $8,275,000. The Philadelphia Flyers would get a lot in return for him. A few teams that could trade for him is the Carolina Hurricanes, the Buffalo Sabres, the Montreal Canadiens, the Colorado Avalanche, the Minnesota Wild, and the Vegas Golden Knights.

If they decided to trade him, this team should not have a captain for the rest of the season and wait until the 2019-2020 season to name one.

If the Philadelphia Flyers continue to tank, it is very possible they could land the number one pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and select centerman Jack Hughes. He is only 17 years old and Hughes will turn 18 in May. Hughes is a franchise changing player and that is what this team needs right now.

If they land him this summer, this would be his team moving forward. In 10 games played in the USHL this season, Jack Hughes has scored one goal and recorded 14 assists. His plus/minus is 2. In 25 games played with the U.S. National U18 Team, he has scored 10 goals and recorded 38 assists. His plus/minus rating is even. Hughes played for the USA U20 team in the World Junior Championships. In four games, he recorded four assists. His plus/minus rating was 2.

This team is a few years away from being relevant contenders again.