2022 has come and gone and it has given us some memorable moments and some that would like to be forgotten. From franchise players departing from the Flyers to drafting new players who may be the next coming of a superstar. A new head coach has come to set a new standard.
2023 indicates a new start and potentially a new beginning. Let’s take a look back at some of the highs, lows and tear-jerking moments from 2022.
Philadelphia Flyers: The good
This is the best thing that could have happened for the Flyers and their young players. This franchise has become accustomed to first-round exits, missing the playoffs and overall mediocrity over the last decade. John Tortorella is here to change that.
From his first media availability, you could tell just how excited Torts was. Torts seemed like a different guy than we saw in Columbus. The big difference under Torts with this hockey club is the willingness to not only play the right way but be competitive. With all the injuries and lack of star power on this roster, this team continues to compete and stay in hockey games.
This team seems to start putting things together and the guys who should be developing continue to get better under Torts. Before we move off of Torts, here are some of his best moments in interviews before he got to Philly.
The emergence of young players
Something that has hurt the Flyers in the last decade was drafting poorly and having draft picks that do not pan out. This year, it seems like a lot of those players are really stepping up for the Flyers. Owen Tippet, Morgan Frost, Noah Cates and Cam York have been big pieces to this Flyers team rebuilding strategy. These four players have taken advantage of being called upon by Torts to not only try to lead the way and be difference-makers, but also get to the next level.
Tippet and Cates both impressed last season when the Flyers acquired both of them. Tippet came here from the trade with the Florida Panthers for Claude Giroux. Cates signed his ELC after he finished his collegiate career at Minnesota-Duluth.
Tippet has been great at times this season and last season showed flashes of what he is capable of. When Tippet can put his skills together, he is a dangerous player in all three facets of the game. From the defensive end, neutral zone and offensive end, Tippet possesses skills for all three zone.
Elite skating, quick and soft hands for the puck, a rocket of a shot, and a high IQ for the game. Tippet’s playmaking abilities have become more prevalent. Since coming to the Flyers, Tippet has played 53 games scoring 16 goals and assisting on 11 goals.
He set career highs in goals and will surpass his highs in assists and points this season. Tippet is going to be a big piece of this puzzle being put together by Torts and Fletcher. Tippet as of late has had a hot stick. If he keeps going, there isn’t a reason why Tippet can’t be the sniper the Flyers have been looking for.
Noah Cates was drafted in the 2017 draft alongside Morgan Frost and Nolan Patrick. Noah Cates is slowly becoming a big piece in this puzzle like Tippet. Cates has jumped from the 4th line center to the top line because of his drive and willingness to play the right way. Cates plays on every facet of this team’s special teams. You can read more about Cates here.
York started the year in Lehigh and really gained a lot of confidence in the process. Torts sent York down there for him to become the player he wants him to be. In fact, Torts recently was asked to compare York to Zack Werenski and Torts had nothing but respect for Werenski and said York has the ability to become a great Rover just like him.
York’s ability to create offense and defend is something most young players don’t have together. Typically, young defensemen can only either defend or create offense. Mix that in with York’s skating ability and slick hands, it makes him quite dangerous. York can potentially be the top pairing guy Provorov has been waiting for.
While Frost has been very up and down this year, it seems like as the season has gone on, he has grown in confidence. We are finally seeing what Frost is capable of. The big thing is seeing the consistency there and his play continues. If that happens, then Frost is potentially your top-line center of the future. With 7 goals and 7 assists this season, the Flyers have been able to rely on Frost at times this season and Torts sees good things for his future.
Travis Konecny’s return
The return of Travis Konecny to his 2019-2020 form has been a very welcoming sight for this club. His confidence has been at an all-time high and has been shooting the puck when he should be. Konecny’s currently on pace to score between 35-42 goals.
This was Konecny’s first Short-Handed goal. He has 18 goals and 17 assists in 31 games. This resurgence has been huge not only for Travis himself but for the future of this team.
You know a guy is feeling confident and playing at the top of his game when he is scoring goals like this. Konecny’s overall game consists of speed, skill and a lightning-quick release. Add in his finally formed 200-foot game that he was working on to become strong enough to be consistently used at an NHL level makes Konecny not only a goal-scoring threat but also makes him poised to become a superstar.
Carter Hart has been incredible this season and bounced back from last. While we sat here last season watching Hart try to keep this team in games, this season has been different. Call it the Torts effect, but Hart seems more confident than he ever has before.
Hart has seen an insane number of shots this season and will most likely surpass any amount he has seen previously. In 27 games, 26 of them starting, Hart has seen 840 shots and made 765 saves. Hart’s .911 SV% and GAA of 2.89 has been more than impressive for him to bounce back this season.
The Flyers have looked for their goalie of the future and Carter Hart in the second half of 2022 has found himself to be poised to be the guy. Now all Chuck has to do is get Hart some offense in front of him to score some goals and Hart could be more than just the guy.
The title of captain was vacant with the departure of longtime captain Claude Giroux. The question was who would step up? With Ryan Ellis, Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson all being sidelined, the question remained as to who the next captain of the Flyers would be. Scott Laughton was the first one to answer the call by Torts as he became the only player to wear a letter on his sweater.
With Scott Laughton leading the way, the rest of the team began to understand the assignment. Travis Konecny and Kevin Hayes were scratched against the Sharks early on in the season. Travis Konecny took it with a grain of salt and began to find himself. Konecny began to lead by example and eventually, others fell into place.
Tony DeAngelo has come into this team with a lot of questions from the fanbase. A lot of those questions have been answered.
DeAngelo has been phenomenal for this young defensive core. DeAngelo became the powerplay quarterback this team has been searching for. DeAngelo also has helped Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim find their games and allowed them to become confident in their abilities.
The return of the Flyers Carnival
The Flyers Carnival is back! Unlike any other event at the Wells Fargo Center, the Carnival gives fans a different experience with the players. With Carnival games in the middle of the Arena where the ice usually is. With time slots for you to meet your favorite players, this is the perfect chance to get the picture or autograph you have been wanting! You can find more out here,
Buy your tickets below!
Torts love of animals
One thing Torts has brought here is his love of animals. Flyers Charities and Torts teamed up to bring a dog of the week that needs to be adopted. Every week a different dog is selected to be in the spotlight! Being a rescue owner myself, I know how much these dogs need a home and how much love they have to give still!
Follow Flyers Charities on Twitter to see the dog of the week, every week.
The Phillies and Flyers took time to hang out with each other this year. Every team seemed to be hanging out at other sports events. We saw Harden at the Eagles game, Some of the Sixers at the Flyers games. Union players at the Flyers games. It has been amazing to see. The Flyers even brought their niche for the Phillies to their player-of-the-game trophy.
One Phillie legend even went to Twitter with some praise for Nic Deslauriers
The Flyers went as far as to all wear Phillies jerseys during the Phillies World Series run.
It’s not unknown for athletes to wear other teams in the city’s jerseys, but with the teams of Philly doing it, it means so much more.
There was nothing like being at the Wells Fargo Center when Bryce Harper hit the game-winning home run that would eventually send the Phillies to the World Series. While it was Bedlam at the Bank, it was mayhem at the Farg!
In case you were wondering about that day at Citizens Bank Park, watch this episode of the Standard to see more!
Reverse Retro 2.0 with Cooperalls
This needs more pictures and videos than words to explain.
Philadelphia Flyers: The Bad
Claude Giroux’s departure
To this day, it still hurts seeing the longest-tenured Philadelphia ATHLETE leave our city. Giroux was such an amazing player and tried to get us a cup. Unfortunately, the closest Giroux got as captain was a 2nd round exit. Giroux never had the complimentary superstar goal scorer or the shutdown goalie, yet he still tried.
Whether it was his 100-point season and being robbed of the Conn Smythe by Taylor Hall or seeing his best friend Wayne Simmonds being traded away, Giroux carried this team and gave back to this city.
Whether or not you would like to believe it, Philly is home for Giroux. Philly raised Giroux. Giroux and this fanbase will always have that special bond and as most of us know, it wasn’t his fault we never got over the hump.
The franchise kept tagging for a rebuild but never truly rebuilt this roster until 2019-2020 and when all seemed like it was finally put together, the world was shut down. When Giroux played in his 1,000th game, everyone knew it was his last. Yet the fans still cheered him on.
In some of the Flyers’ groups, you could see pictures of Panther Giroux jerseys and fans supporting him and sending him love. There is no denying it, Giroux will always be a Flyer.
Start of a rebuild
This is one of the hardest things any sports fan has to watch. As Philadelphia Sports fans, we are used to the words “rebuild”, “trust the process”, “there’s always next year” etc. Of all the teams, the Flyers are the only ones who have never really had a true blue rebuild.
The Flyers and the organization have been stuck in the same cycle. Big bodies, somewhat skilled players and scoring goals by committee. While missing out on Johnny Hockey hurt. It isn’t the end of the world. The Flyers have a lot of youth to build around who not only are learning to play the right way but are developing.
Give a lot of credit to Lappy down in LV. The team is playing better than they have in the last couple of years and the kids are sliding into roles that suit them. This is something the Flyers haven’t done well for a long time and it’s about time to begin having homegrown talent!
Hextall put the Flyers in a tough spot and Fletcher didn’t do much better with certain contracts, but there is one thing Fletcher does extremely well and that is draft. In this new age of hockey. It’s about speed, skill and goal-scoring ability. In order to obtain that.
The Flyers had to throw the book of their usual team-building molds out the window and start from scratch. Tippet, Konecny, Frost, Provorov, Gautier, Brink, Forester, Sanheim, York, Hart, Cates, Farabee, Attard, Zamula, and MacEwen are guys you are expecting to be a part of this future core. They are all under 26 years old.
If this team can pan out these young guys and build solid vets around them including Couturier, Laughton, DeAngelo and Atkinson, they can be leaders in the locker room. As much as it sucks, it’s time to step into the new age of hockey and start from scratch.
Missing out on a hometown star sniper
Johnny Gaudreau was set up on a silver platter for the Flyers to go out and sign. While not everyone wanted the contract he was given, there is no denying this team could use a superstar like Johnny Hockey. The one silver lining to him not being here has been his ability to score goals this season. Johnny Hockey only has 10 goals in 35 games. While having 27 assists on a bad team is not something to overlook, the goal-scoring needs to be addressed.
The Flyers currently have a scoring-by-committee going and should have MULTIPLE double-digit goal-scorers this season. Not to mention the resurgence of TK, but could you imagine Johnny Hockey and Travis Konecny being centered by Noah Cates or Sean Couturier with Atkinson being on a 2nd line still? It will always be a what-could-have-been situation for Johnny Hockey in Philly, but it may have been the right move to help the rebuild.
Three 10-game losing streaks
This is something you never want to see once, let alone twice, but three times in the span of a single year? This speaks volumes to the construction of the roster, injuries and earlier on in the year, the coaching staff. The last 10-game losing streak under Torts was one due to injury. This team is currently playing at a better clip, but if this team experiences another 10-game losing streak, then maybe the question needs to be asked about Fletcher continuing to be the GM here in Philly.
Philadelphia Flyers: Tear-Jerkers
Claude Giroux’s 1,000th game
On a night surrounded by trade rumors and what could be, Claude Giroux played in an emotional farewell game to the fans, and what better than in his 1,000th career game as a Flyer? The last time a game was this emotional for a player was most likely Wayne Simmonds in the Stadium Series game. What really made you shed a tear for that game was Giroux mic’d up. What better to get you choked up all over again than by hearing Giroux mic’d up for his last game in the Orange and Black?
On a night surrounded by the Phillies making it to the World Series, Oskar Lindblom’s return to Philly was filled with a lot of love and support from the fans. Lindblom jerseys were worn all over the Wells Fargo Center. Tears were pretty evident in both the Fans and Lindblom as it was an emotional ride for him. Oskar may be a Shark, but he will always be a Flyer!
Claude Giroux’s return
After their first matchup, Giroux was ready to come to the Wells Fargo Center to take on his former team and club that drafted him.
It was an emotional night for both fans, players and Giroux himself.
Only a few players command this much respect from the city and Giroux will always be one of them. Once our captain, always our captain.
Flyers sign Zacary Wertz
Flyers sign Zachary Wertz to a one-day contract to fulfill a make-a-wish. The boys showed Wertz around and give him one amazing day.
Stick taps to the Flyers for allowing Wertz to live his dream. Watching the Flyers take Wertz under their wing for the day and treating him like a little brother is one of the top 5 moments of the year for me. The Flyers don’t have to give back to the community, but they enjoy doing it! This just showed a different side to these players and something amazing for the fans to witness.