Philadelphia Flyers: ‘Leadership’ Highlights Teams’ Future

The Philadelphia Flyers front office must seek progress in leadership; coaching staff, players alike

The 2016-2017 NHL playoffs have begun without the Philadelphia Flyers. Already, we can see action taking place in order to address the reputation of the boys on Broad Street.

After the Thursday press conference with the Flyers brass, GM Ron Hextall declared:

Are we disappointed? Damn right we are!

It is apparent that inconsistency, predictable play-making, and lack of production offensively across four lines is what left the team stranded after 82 games of the regular season. Per http://www.capfriendly.com, the team ranked as the 6th highest cap hit across the league with $73,546,558. With many of the top spending teams now vying for the Cup (Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Calgary, San Jose, Chicago; etc) it is debilitating knowing bloated contracts (Andrew MacDonald), inconsistent players (Matt Read), and overly relied on players (Michael Raffl) allowed for so much room for error.

The GM also spoke to the inconsistency of the teams’ leadership group by subtly saying:

The number one part of leadership is backing it up.

Also on Thursday, the team announced they are not bringing back the teams’ power-play coach Joey Mullen. This is understandable in a sense if you watched the habitual performance of both units all year. The team ranked 14th this year with a 19.5% success rate.

Recently, though, on Philly Sports Talk, Tim Panaccio made an interesting point by saying:

They just fired their best power-play coach they’ve had for the last ten years Joey Mullen… ten years he was here. Five of those years they were a top five power-play… That’s a bad move on my part.

What lies ahead after the imminent shake-up?

Conclusively, we can look at a few stats that serve as areas of opportunity. Only 1 of the 2015-2016 top scoring players on the team (out of 8) performed greater statistically this year. That one player being the $8.25 million-dollar Jake Voracek. (55 points improved to 61 points) Furthermore, the top 10 goal scorers on the team last year combined for a total of162 goals compared to the 149 this year; an 8% decrease.

The numbers don’t lie and neither does the expressiveness that captain Claude Giroux gave us this past Tuesday.

There were times during the season that I was playing really good, and then it kind of dipped down a little bit. It’s not about excuses, it’s about making it happen. I’m frustrated at myself and how I played, but I’m not going to back down. I’m not going to pout about it. I’m going to go back to work and be the player I can be.

How will the opening within the coaching staff allow for a refresher on offensive? What will having guys like Valtteri Filppula, Jordan Weal & even Mike Vecchione for a full year provide going forward? How about having over $13 million in cap space to be able to make some impactful moves post-Holmgren era?