It should come as no surprise that patience and stability are part of the formula to winning a Stanley Cup. If only the Flyers could figure that out.
Since the 1990s, there have been few constants in the Flyers’ locker room. From the goalies – seven starters in seven years – to players, even coaches have not been immune to the carousel. Aside from Fred Shero, not one head coach has survived more than four seasons behind the bench. In case you were wondering, Peter Laviolette is entering his fourth season. Player leadership has suffered as well. Since the 2005-06 lockout, five players have worn the captain’s patch for the Orange and Black.
The Flyers are one of the most successful teams in NHL history. They have the fourth best all-time winning percentage in N.H.L. history. They have made eight appearances in the Stanley Cup Final – winning in two of them – and have made the conference finals more than any other team in the league. But who will remember that twenty years from now?
My first post on this website went into detail about the stability of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins. Both of these teams have had their core intact for five years. Bruins’ coach Claude Julien and ‘Hawks coach Joel Quenneville each have six seasons with their respective teams.
Quick fixes and patchwork have been this team’s motto for too long. Look at all the “what-ifs” had this team stuck with their young guns – i.e. Patrick Sharp & Justin Williams – and not traded them away. Imagine how this team would look if the team had not shipped Sergei Bobrovsky to Columbus.
History is destined to repeat itself in some way. Back in the 90s, it was the coaching carousel. In the past few seasons, it has shifted to the goal crease. There are signs of the team breaking away from this. The young core of the team remains intact for the third straight season. It will all depend on how this team starts. Should they make the playoffs, Laviolette’s job may be safe, but if they miss the playoffs for the second straight year, the cycle will continue.
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