Philadelphia Flyers: It’s Time to Move On From Robert Hagg

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 16: Robert Hagg #8 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on during warm-ups against the Detroit Red Wings on February 16, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 16: Robert Hagg #8 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on during warm-ups against the Detroit Red Wings on February 16, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The 24 year-old defenseman has struggled defensively through most of this year and General Manager Chuck Fletcher must find a way to move on from him this offseason.

Nobody on this 2018-19 Philadelphia Flyers roster has fallen off quite like Robert Hagg. At the start of the season it seemed Hagg was poised to take the next step in his development, scoring seven points in the first 13 games of the campaign.

Since then, Hagg’s netted just 13 points in the following 67 games played, and while that’s set a career high in points for the young blue-liner, the drop off in production can’t be overlooked. Offense hasn’t really been the issue with Hagg, though. For a guy who’s known more as of “defensive” defenseman, he uh, isn’t very good at defending in his own zone.

Among Flyers players who have played at least 500 minutes of time on ice at even-strength, Hagg has allowed the second most Scoring Chances Against and High Danger Scoring Chances Against on the team, only trailing Ivan Provorov. You may look at those stats and think Provorov struggles just as much, if not more, but he leads the team in time-on-ice while Hagg sits sixth. Provorov also creates more offensively to help even out his Scoring Chances For and High Danger Chances For percentages, while Hagg ranks dead last on the squad in both categories.

Dig a little deeper into the surface and you’ll see just how much Hagg struggles in zone coverage. Looking at his unblocked shots rates against at 5v5 on hockeyviz.com, the 2013 second round selection surrenders the most shots from right in front of the net. Hagg is supposed to be known as this physical type of hockey player, so you’d think he’d have the ability to outmuscle the opposition away from an obviously dangerous portion of the ice, but no. It’s clear he’s a liability on defense and Fletcher has to find some sort of way to get rid of him this summer.

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With guys like Philippe Myers and Samuel Morin already in the NHL, another solid defensive prospect in Mark Friedman waiting in the AHL, and the possibility of the Flyers adding a Top-4 defenseman this offseason, Hagg needs to be the odd man out. Am I completely sold that Morin is better than him at the NHL level? No, but I’d rather see Morin actually hit and move people over Hagg ineffectively sealing them into the boards.