The Flyers Need a Go-To Guy

Philadelphia Flyers v Columbus Blue Jackets
Philadelphia Flyers v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

There are several reasons the Flyers barely missed the playoffs this year. For one, the Flyers struggled mightily on the power play this year...and for the last several years. They overworked rookie goaltender Sam Ersson as the season winded down. However, they didn't have much choice. Would you rather have Cal Petersen in the net?

One of the overlooked reasons the Flyers struggled, and have for the last few seasons, is that they lack that "go-to" guy. The last player that had that kind of mojo was probably Claude Giroux. You could probably throw Wayne Simmonds into that mix as he tried to get the team to ride the "Wayne Train" to victory. In the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, Daniel Briere was that guy.

The Flyers have had their fair share of clutch performers. Every generation has them. Sometimes, we are blessed with a few at a time. The Broad Street Bullies had Bobby Clarke and Bill Barber. In the 1980s, there were Tim Kerr and Brian Propp. That was followed by Eric Lindros and John LeClair. Other players, like Simon Gagne, Jeff Carter, and Mike Richards, have had their fair share of clutch moments.

Travis Konecny is a great player. He is one of the best forwards in the Metropolitan Division. He has the opportunity to go down as one of the all-time great Flyers. However, he has yet to be that clutch guy. He may grow into that role in time, but he is not there yet. Owen Tippett, Joel Farabee, and Tyson Foerster are all young enough that they could become that guy too.

The NHL salary cap is expected to rise to almost $88 million. That'll be a rise of a little over $4 million from what it is now. The Flyers could make a run at a high-priced free agent like Steven Stamkos, Sam Reinhart, or Jonathan Marchessault. Maybe one of their prospects will be able to make that big jump.

Philly has some talented players. They can field two or three steady lines with a strong fourth line. However, despite their talent, they need that guy they can all ride to victory. Maybe this is what has stymied them on the power play. I don't know. Until they can get that guy, they will continue to drop games they should win. The Flyers need a clutch performer. Once they get him, this team's fortunes will change quickly.