That headline would put a permanent smile on my face had it been true. And really, the Sixers probably deserve more compensation, like a “whiz-with” cheesesteak from Dalessandro’s on Henry Avenue.
But, enough with the comic relief, let’s get down to brass tacks.
This past week Philadelphia sports fans witnessed two amateur drafts in the NHL and the NBA. The Flyers and 76ers took their turns choosing which young players they feel will eventually lead them to their respective championships. What was impressive was the steps the Sixers new GM, Sam Hinkie, took in order to build what he thinks is a championship caliber franchise. His plan stands in stark contrast to the reload mentality that has existed within the Flyers franchise even before Paul Holmgren took over. A mentality that has to be directly attributable to Flyers chariman Ed Snider.
Sam Hinke has the nuggets, the gusto, THE TESTICULAR FORTITUDE to do something that the Flyers have needed to do for a long time now, A COMPLETE TEAR DOWN. Hinkie sent the best player the 76ers had last year in the 23 year-old Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for the 6th overall pick in the 2013 draft and a protected 1st round pick in the 2014 NBA draft. The Sixers selected Nerlens Noel with the pick acquired for Holiday and Michael Carter-Williams with their 11th overall pick. It’s not really important though who they picked but that it shows that Hinkie has a vision for the future of his franchise. And in that vision, he understands that in order for there to be new growth, there needs to be a fire.
Sometimes in order for a franchise to improve, that franchise must be willing to be bad. Phillies fans were constantly taking jabs at Ed Wade when he was the Phillies general manager but had to eat crow when players he selected in the MLB draft gave this city its last Championship team in 2008 when they won the World Series. Players like Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard, and Cole Hamels were selected by Wade during a period in Phillies baseball that was hard to watch but allowed the franchise the opportunity to improve through the draft. Ed Wade understood that the Phillies couldn’t take on unnecessary payroll by overpaying veterans, something current Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. loves to do. Wade’s approach to improving the Phillies through the draft and being frugal with salaries ultimately succeeded even though for some reason Pat Gillick seems to get all the credit for the team’s success in 2008.
In recent days the Flyers have been linked to certified crazy person and Stanley Cup winning goaltender Tim Thomas. The news that the Flyers are actually interested in this guy deeply disturbs me. He has been out of professional hockey for a year now after taking a hiatus, is 39 years old, and if you were concerned with how much of a distraction Ilya Bryzgalov was with his mouth hole, Tim Thomas might be even worse.
I Stand with the Catholics in the fight for Religious Freedom.
“In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
– by Martin Niemöller, prominent German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor, best known as the author of the poem First they came….
That was something Tim Thomas decided to share on his Facebook account which coincided with this explanation of why he didn’t visit the White House when the Boston Bruins visited after winning the 2011 Stanley Cup. So in addition to possibly seeing this knucklehead in Orange and Black the Flyers also decided to sign 36 year-old defenseman Mark Streit to a 4 year deal. So right now the Flyers have a geriatric blue line, no idea who their starting goaltender is going to be, and no clue what the identity of this team is.
This Flyers offseason has only reinforced my argument I’ve been making to my fellow Flyers friends that Paul Holmgren has become a completely incompetent GM. His one moment of clarity was when he went all in on Chris Pronger. That turned into a Stanley Cup Finals appearance but once Pronger got concussed, the team seemingly fell apart at the seams. After striking out with highly sought free agents Ryan Suter, Shea Weber, and Zach Parise it seems like Holmgren is panicking. He knows that if the Flyers don’t end up making the playoffs again this year that he will be likely out of a job.
Unfortunately with Ed Snider still as Flyers chairman, I don’t foresee a change in philosophy when it comes to the Flyers. This is why I want them to make this trade for Sam Hinkie. I hate to use the cliché but the Flyers need someone to think outside of the box. The Flyers cannot afford to run this team any longer like they’re playing NHL 13 with trade override turned on. I’m willing to wait for a Stanley Cup. I won’t accept beating the Penguins in the playoffs as a consolation prize to having a parade down Broad Street anymore.
And then this just happened.
Source says 5 year $23.5 mill for Lecavalier as a Flyer. checking on that
— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) July 2, 2013
Good thing we have all that cap space.