The Philadelphia Flyers are seemingly putting faith into their younger players to take steps forward, and it’s one-hundred percent the correct move from the team.
Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher spoke to the media a couple of days ago to address the eight signings he made on the first day of Free Agency and had some interesting things to say. He stated that bringing in those eight players improves the depth of both Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms while saying it upgrades their character level, as well. Fletcher went on to mention that “it’s not a smart thing to box these kids out” and how the team has “eight players on the NHL roster that haven’t come close to hitting their peak.” Those comments fair and away interested me more because of just how true they are.
The eight players Fletcher was likely referring to were Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, Nolan Patrick, Travis Sanheim, Oskar Lindblom, Carter Hart, Philippe Myers, and one of Shayne Gostisbehere, Scott Laughton, Samuel Morin, or Robert Hagg. Relying on the young talent to further develop their game as an NHL player is a much better plan than replacing them with older veterans, especially with the amount of skill they all possess. It’s a matter of fact that if those eight players can’t improve upon last season, the Flyers won’t move the needle much in terms of getting back into the postseason. Putting some of the weight on their shoulders while adding talent to go around them was a smart decision from Fletcher and so is giving prospects a chance to make the squad out of training camp.
I’d rather provide players like Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee, Isaac Ratcliffe, and even a German Rubtsov with the opportunity to earn the vacant third line right wing spot over signing a guy like Thomas Vanek on the free agent market because their ceilings are higher than what someone like him could bring at the moment. Now, Fletcher didn’t rule out the possibility of making a deal with a cap-strapped team to bring somebody to Philadelphia, but with the Flyers having salary cap issues themselves, I think allowing a prospect to win that position has a better chance of happening.
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I don’t see a reason as to why Provorov, Konecny, Patrick, Sanheim, Lindblom, Hart, Myers, and whomever that eighth individual Fletcher had in mind shouldn’t be able to enhance their games next year. They have an established Head Coach and experienced presences on the ice to help them move in the right direction.