A response to “Where does staying the course get the Flyers?”
1. It’s been said that the Flyers will never tank because they will always try to be competitive. That’s admirable in its way, but hey gang the losing streak just hit eight.
This was the organization’s POV through the ’90s and 2000s. The last big move the Flyers made to “win now” was bringing in Bryz. That was in 2011. When Ron Hextall came in and Ed Snider died everything changed. The post alludes to the Flyers evergreen plan being that they will always try to be competitive. In fact, the plan over the past 5 years had nothing to do with being competitive during those years, it was to start being competitive this year. Hextall aimed to repair the infrastructure, build up the pipeline, and slowly improve on the ice in parallel to those two top priorities. The root-cause reason Hextall was let go this season was because the investment was supposed to start producing dividends this year and it didn’t. The post conflates a Flyers that brought in Lindros, Roenick, and Pronger with an organization that has only brought in Peter Mrazek because we didn’t have a goalie but the GM felt the players deserved a shot at making the playoffs.
2. Flyers fans, media, and front-office types might not want to do that, as they’ve spent years glibly making fun of the Penguins for tanking in the early 2000s.
Not spent. Used to spend. The Flyers don’t compare themselves to the Penguins. Fans don’t consider the Penguins our rival. Some dipshits still like to call Sid Cindy but aside from that I don’t think anyone except the producer of Rivalry Night is getting keyed up for games against our CROSS STATE RIVAL. Indoors or out. We are well aware we have fallen off the face of the Hockey Relevancy Planet and you don’t have rivals down where we dwell, and you certainly don’ pick fights with teams that can shove Stanley Cup rings in both ears. And one in their pee hole. The Penguins have shifted to an annoyance. But our anger at them is just displaced anger we temporarily unburden from ourselves.
3. They can actually try to be a legitimate contender, or they can continue to be Wild East
This is a false equivalent. It’s lazy too. It also ignores time as a continuum. Chuck Fletcher was the GM of the Wild and the Wild never really produced so therefore the Flyers must be, or are at risk of becoming, the Wild of the East. Time will tell of Chuck Fletcher can actually pull this organization out of the dumpster, but he was not here while we were being the most average franchise in sports over the past 5 years.
4. The Flyers need to answer a difficult question from @twolinepass: What exactly is the plan going forward? (from the Tweet)
Of course man, of course. The Flyers universe is in the same spot every franchise that has missed the playoffs a couple years in a row has been since the beginning of sports. We suck. How do we get better in a way that produces sustainable success? A really interesting miss on this post is that it looks at hockey fandom in a silo, and that’s not reflective of reality, especially in this town. We are not Cleveland in 2017. The town is excited. We’re all hopeful for a second miraculous playoff run after winning our FIRST EVER SUPERBOWL. The Phillies are turning around more quickly than we thought they would and we honestly believe we might land a huge free agent to catapult us back into contention. The Sixers taught the city about the lows and highs of going through The Process. Like any town, the people of Philadelphia are proud. But the post assumes that every fan is yelling SHOOT on the powerplay, thinking “if we just get in the playoffs this could be the year!” But we’re all older man. The younger generation has seen the Flyers make the Cup Finals once and maybe the ECF in 2004. They don’t have the same expectations as the fans who turned old, and the fans who turned old are wiser and have more patience now. We know that if you want to be good you have to be smart. We want that first or second pick this year. We want to get rid of some dead weight before the trade deadline or during the draft. And we want to hitch our wagon to youth. We know we need a new plan but the question is what does it leverage from the plan we’re already in, and what is a brand new addition.
If Giroux’s around to be the elder statesmen that would be awesome because we love him and he’s been good to us. But we’re not rounding GO TO JAIL. We’re at Vermont Ave. looking to hit some double our next turn.
And we know that.