Five Things The Flyers Can Do To Return to Playoffs in 2024-25

New York Islanders v Philadelphia Flyers
New York Islanders v Philadelphia Flyers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

So close. The Philadelphia Flyers almost made the playoffs this year. But let's be honest, that word means nothing in the real world. I have told my students in my class when they say that their work is "almost done." Nobody wants to be "almost paid" at work or "almost have a good time" at a party. What we want is an absolute, not an almost. What we want is our Flyers back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Here are five things the Flyers can do to get back to hockey's promised land.

Sign Sean Walker as a Free Agent

The Flyers started going downhill after trading Walker away at the deadline. He was their best defender and the unit suffered after he was gone. By all accounts, he enjoyed his time here in Philadelphia.

If he wants to come back, I'd sign him to a two or three-year deal. I know young guys are waiting to come up, but they could learn a thing or two from him. You can always trade him for another stash of picks later on and continue to help out the process of getting younger and better. However, this team needs him and his abilities.

Get the Goalie Situation Sorted Out

This is not a knock on Sam Ersson. I believe he has earned the starting role for next season. Is he the long-term answer? Maybe, but he needs help. He can't start all 82 games. There are other goalies to consider. Carter Hart is a free agent and it is probably best to let him go. Ditto Felix Sandstrom. Cal Petersen is starting to find himself in Lehigh Valley again. Keep him there as it is cheaper than a buyout.

Ivan Fedotov only appeared in a few games this year. He needs to learn the transition from European hockey to North American hockey. He is also a free agent. It'd be worth signing him as a backup for now. The team also has Carson Bjarnason, Alexei Kolosov, and Yegor Zavragin waiting.

If another team signs Fedotov in free agency or the Flyers don't think he is ready, they could turn to the free-agent market and sign a decent veteran backup so Ersson doesn't get burned out again. A guy like Antti Raanta, Anthony Stolarz, Alex Nedeljkovic, or Martin Jones could fit the bill on a one-year deal.

Re-Sign Travis Konecny

The Flyers have a lot of young forwards who are playing well. They have to know that the team is invested in them. One of the ways to do that is to re-sign the one playmaker they have. This team needs to lock up Travis Konecny for the next four or five seasons. If he has no interest in doing it, trade him and load up with picks and prospects. I for one feel that he loves playing in Philly and wants to be here long-term. Sign him now.

Fix the Power Play

Kevin Legowski delved into this in great detail, so I am not going to delve too much into this. But we all know he is right. This team had opportunity after opportunity to score on the man advantage this year and the last few years and failed miserably. Just imagine what could've been had they scored on some of those. How many games wouldn't have gone into overtime and then lost? How many games that they lost could've gone into overtime?

Consider that this team missed out on the postseason by a measly four points. All we need are two or three games to lock that up. We could've done that. Fix this power play problem. We have the talent. I don't know if it's a confidence thing or someone waiting for the "perfect time" to shoot. It's gotta get solved.

Sign a Big Name Free Agent

I know the Flyers and going through their version of "The Process". I know there are no easy fixes. However, this team lacks a big-name clutch player. Yes, we don't want to lock someone up who is going to burden this team down with a big, immovable contract for years and block a potential stud from getting play time.

At the same time, we can't have a team with all young players without someone who could guide them. Signing a guy like Sam Reinhart, Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Marchessault, or Jake Guentzel or taking a chance on an RFA like Seth Jarvis or Matin Necas could be the big boost this team needs. These guys all have big game experience and some are Stanley Cup winners. They could help someone like Konecy become the team leader he needs to be or help Owen Tippett, Morgan Frost, or Joel Farabee with their game.

This team is not far from being where they need to be. Hopefully, next season will end this playoff drought.