• www.corkandcandles.com
  • www.corkandcandles.com

Our Sponsors

Home/SteelFlyers Hockey Videos
SteelFlyers Hockey Videos2020-09-03T18:37:06+00:00

SteelFlyers Hockey Videos

What do the Devils have that the Flyers Don’t?

By |November 24th, 2022|

With Philadelphia Flyers fans not having too much to be thankful for this holiday season, as far as their favorite team goes, some enthusiasts have become jealous, if not downright spiteful, about a particular surrounding area’s teams’ success this season. That team is the New Jersey Devils. A fellow Metropolitan Division club who happens to play their home games a mere 78 miles away from the Flyers at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Now, both of these teams finished last season among the worst in not only their division but the entire league resulting in them drafting from within the lottery. Here is where Philly fans will really begin to get spiteful. Despite, the Flyers finishing last season as the fourth worst team in the league, with them only being able to achieve 61 points (because of their bad luck and the NHL implementing the Draft Lottery back in 1995), the Devils who finished the season with 63 points and entered into the lottery seated as the fifth worst team in the league ended up winning the right to make the second selection overall forcing the Flyers back to drafting in the fifth position. This resulted in the Devils being able to select right-hand shot defenseman Simon Nemec, a player positionally that the Flyers so desperately needed (who has already turned pro and playing currently for New Jersey’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Utica Comets) and Philadelphia having to settle for power forward Cutter Gauthier who while he looks to be an excellent player in his own right is currently playing in the NCAA for Boston College.

Since draft day, these two struggling teams have become polar opposites of each other. While the Devils currently find themselves in first place in the Metro, accruing 32 points in 20 games played. Thanks mainly to them just coming off a 13-game winning streak that came to a questionable end recently in a 2-1 loss to Toronto, where NJ had three goals disallowed or overturned. In Philadelphia, the Flyers are in the middle of an eight-game losing streak that finds them once again amongst the bottom dwellers of their division.

This raises the question, what do the Devils have that the Flyers Don’t?

Health

Well, the obvious reason would be health! The Devils may be playing right now without their significant free agent acquisition from this summer Ondrej Palat, but for the most part, the team as a whole is healthy. The same, however, cannot be said for the Flyers. Once again, this season, Philadelphia is among the league’s leaders in man-games lost to injury or health protocols. With such players as Scott Laughton, and Travis Konecny, recently joining the lengthy list of mangled Flyers players that already consisted of Cam Atkinson, Bobby Brink, Wade Allison, James van Riemsdyk, Sean Couturier, and Ryan Ellis. There’s no doubt in most fans’ minds here in south Philly that with over $32 million in players not currently suiting up for the Flyers, the losses will only continue to pile up.

Competent Management:

But health is not the only thing the Devils have over the Flyers right now. New Jersey has a competent/knowledgeable front office that includes a general manager (GM) in Tom Fitzgerald. Who was previously under the tutelage of Stanley Cup-winning GM Ray Shero (son of Fred, who coached the Broad Street Bullies to two Stanley Cup championships in the 70’s). To gain some guidance along the way, Fitzgerald just offered Hockey Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur a promotion from being an adviser to the team to being named their new Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations. An opportunity that Brodeur was very graciously quick to set ink to paper. The Flyers, of course, have something similar in that regard, with their former player Danny Briere recently being gifted the made-up title of Special Assistant to the General Manager by the Flyers. Still, the two really don’t compare, do they? Brodeur has a REAL job with REAL responsibilities for the Devils, where his three-time Stanley Cup-winning experience has resulted in New Jersey making the right moves this off-season to turn his team around rather quickly. Where Briere, although being more than qualified for the job with him holding a master’s degree in business administration from the very prestigious Wharton School of Finance, is being groomed by someone in Chuck Fletcher whose failures in both Minnesota and in Philadelphia to date can be contributed to his choice to operate under total heterodoxy as far as business decisions go.

Solid Drafting and Development:

You tend to reap the rewards rather quickly when you have the luxury of having competent management like New Jersey does right now. Just take their draft haul from this past summer. The Devils took the previously mentioned Simon Nemec with the number two overall pick. They then selected this writer’s favorite defenseman from last year’s draft class, right-hander Seamus Casey with their 2nd round pick, who has been a points-per-game player this season for the University of Michigan Wolverines scoring 14 points in 14 games played so far. Then the Devils followed that up by taking the top-ranked goalie in the draft, Tyler Brennan, in the fourth round. But this is not the only draft they have seen success in. Of their current forward 12-man roster that suited up for them in their last game, the Devils drafted 10 of those players! Now it’s true New Jersey has been a less-than-stellar group since Brodeur retired. Still, their fanbase at least had the memories of them raising the cup in 1995, 2000, and 2003 to hang on to until ownership could find the right people to place in a management role with the wherewithal to draft key players like Nico Hischier, Dawson Mercer, Jack Hughes, and Jesper Bratt (all of which who are 24 years or younger right now) to bring them back to the point of contention. Not to mention the fact that the Devils currently have prospects like Luke Hughes, Alexander Holtz, and Nico Daws in the system as well. What has Chuck done for the Flyers as far as the draft goes, you may be asking? Well, even though he has been in charge of the teams’ selection process for the last four draft classes, he has yet to have a player who he has taken, directly impact the Flyers lineup. That doesn’t say much about his picks and/or the Flyers’ development program, now does it?

Smart Choices in Free Agency/and the Trade Market

Now let’s look at the other off-season happenings from these two clubs over the past couple of seasons. Set out to make significant changes to the Devils roster for 2021 New Jersey, who had been wisely saving up their cap space for some time, managed to steal defenseman Dougie Hamilton in free agency from the Hurricanes, who is one of the league’s premiere defenders when they signed him to a seven-year $63 million contract. That same year, they went out and traded for defenseman Ryan Graves from the Colorado Avalanche. A player that used to be partnered up with Cale Makar and who led the league in plus-minus in the 2019-2020 season averaging a +40. Then this off-season, their gm, Tom Fitzgerald, was able to not only orchestrate but carry out the perfect plan. While other teams like the Flyers waited until the last minute to try and clear cap space for their shot to obtain one of the big fish of the off-season Johnny Gaudreau (who later signed with Columbus). The Devils took it upon themselves to bring in the two-time Stanley Cup winner Ondrej Palat. Then they went out and traded for goaltender Vintek Vanecek from the Capitals, veteran Erik Haula from the Bruins, and most recently, they just managed to pull off a trade for Penguins defenseman John Marino. None of these moves may have been of the flashy variety that would immediately boost jersey sales, but they are the underrated moves that other teams ’GMs are now wishing they had the hockey sense to make. Then there’s the Flyers, who, after missing out on a big-name target, had to settle for signing defenseman Tony DeAngelo who the team had to shell out $5 million a season to in order to cover up Chuck’s blunder of a trade for Ryan Ellis. A player who, after only suiting up in four games for the Flyers, Philadelphia now finds themselves stuck paying him $6.25 million a season until 2027 simply because Fletcher failed to do his homework before trading for such an injury-prone player.

So, while the Flyers have spent their time trying to rebuild by overpaying the same players that couldn’t get them over the hump before, IE: Couturier, Sanheim, Provorov, Ristolainen, and Braun. As well as following the ideology that failed prospects like Morgan Frost and Isaac Ratcliffe still deserve a second and third chance to prove themselves. The Devils have been able to make a bunch of intelligent draft selections, free agent signings, and trades over the past few years that have allowed them to construct a solid core group of talented youthful players that should bring them success for years to come. All I can say, Flyers fans, is let’s all tell Santa that the only thing we want for Christmas this year is a new general manager!

Prospect Watch: Daniel Hauser

By |November 20th, 2022|

The name I have for you today to keep an eye out for is Daniel Hauser. An 18-year-old who is currently the starting goaltender for the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Winnipeg Ice. Now, if I know anything, I would say I know how to spot a good goaltender in the making, seeing that I’ve played the position myself for close to 35 years and have spent some time helping coach the next generation of the guardians of the blue paint as well. So, believe me when I tell you this. Over the past couple of seasons, I strongly believe that Hauser has been vastly overshadowed by some of his other teammate’s success, such as Connor McClennon, Matthew Savoie, Connor Geekie, Zach Benson, and Carson Lambos, to name a few, and therefore has not yet been given the credit he thus deserves.

That’s all about to change because while his teammates’ accolades over the last couple of seasons may have assured that they were selected in the NHL Draft. Daniel has been posting up some pretty impressive stats of his own. So much so that I would dare say without him in between the pipes the last couple of seasons, I don’t think the Ice would be considered the elite-level prospect factory they are today.

Disagree? Well, in this season alone, Daniel is currently leading the league in wins with a perfect 14-0-0 record. On top of that, Hauser’s play this season has him ranked within the top ten in both goals-against-average (GAA) and save percentage (SV%), with Daniel allowing an average of just 2.42 goals per game and him managing to stop .915% of the shots that have come his way.

Thinking his success this season is a fluke? Well, sorry to disappoint you, but Hauser was also an absolute workhorse for the Ice last season. Playing in an impressive 40 games, he maintained a record of 34-3-1 during the regular season, with eight of those wins coming by way of a shutout. To add to that incredible league-leading win total, he also finished the season atop all other netminders in goals-against-average by averaging just 2.00 GAA that year, which he paired with a .914SV%. This means that at just 5’11 and 17 years old last season Hauser was able to best the highly touted 6’6 19-year-old goaltender, Sebastian Cossa (who also played in the WHL last season) in every statistical category there is for goaltenders, and that’s saying a lot considering the Detroit Red Wings took Sebastian in the 1st round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.

What is equally, if not more impressive, is that Daniel has been able to maintain these numbers over this season and last, even though he commonly has to go up against conference rival, and the consensus’s pick to be the number one overall selection this summer Connor Bedard. Who this season alone is averaging well over two points a game.

How does this youngster that doesn’t quite fit into the NHL’s stereotypical goalie mold of 6’3 and 225 pounds manage to win all these games? Well, it starts with Daniel always maintaining the proper position to ensure his angles to the shooter are sharp so that he gives the opposition as little of net to shoot at as possible. Also, Hauser excels at moving post to post, which is helpful considering when Daniel is in the butterfly, he is unable to cover the entire goal mouth like most larger goalies manage to do with ease. To counteract that, Hauser has learned the art of movement. He did so by learning to utilize the butterfly slide and or push to his advantage. Daniel does this so seamlessly that although to the untrained eye, it may appear as though it is effortless. I assure you that every other goalie (myself included) who has spent countless hours on the ice working on trying to master this technique would disagree.

So, in closing, while it is true Hauser does play for an excellent Winnipeg Ice team, perhaps after reading this article, you won’t be so quick to give his teammates playing in front of him ALL the credit. Hopefully, I’ve opened your eyes to why Daniel should at least be considered a contributing factor to his clubs’ accomplishments over the last few seasons. I mean, it’s no coincidence that during the combined 62 regular season games he’s played for the Ice over the last three seasons, Hauser and his team have only managed to be defeated just three times in regulation!

The Flyers’ Effort is there, but Sadly the Talent is not

By |November 17th, 2022|

After being dealt their fourth consecutive loss Tuesday by the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets, it is becoming increasingly more apparent to fans that this team is not destined to sustain themselves atop the Metropolitan Division as they did at the start of the season. Instead, their early success should merely be attributed to the Flyers’ new head coach John Tortorella demanding the most from his players out of camp, where he made sure that his new team would at least be able to skate with the opposition out of the gate. Since then, though, the Flyers lack of skill (thanks to injuries and poor choices made by management) has managed to catch up to them.

How could it not right? With over $29 million in players currently out on Short or Long-Term IR, I think most would agree it is almost impossible to replace that kind of production. Especially since most of them are players like Cam Atkinson, Sean Couturier, James van Riemsdyk, Ryan Ellis, Bobby Brink, and Wade Allison, which are considered top six talents on a team like this. Don’t get me wrong, though; the team has tried, but having no star prospects in the system to call up doesn’t help the situation either. I mean, with Torts being stuck with replacements like Morgan Frost, Tanner Laczynski, Egor Zamula, Hayden Hodgson, Max Willman, Jackson Cates, Kieffer Bellows, and Olle Lycksell all only scoring a combined 8 points on the season. I don’t know how Philadelphia has managed to win as many games as they have to this point. In fact, with the current amount of injuries, it almost seems fitting that the Flyers should just now be referred to as the Philadelphia Phantoms.

That said, it doesn’t mean that the Tortorella effect is not currently working. Although this team has shown that they lack the type of pure talent that is needed to stay competitive throughout a rigorous 82-game NHL season, they have somehow managed to produce the effort required to keep them in a game or even pull out a hard-fought win against a much better opponent once in a while.

As it would appear is all Tortorella can ask from his rag-tag bunch of players right now, as evidenced by his recent quote.

“You can boo us. You can talk s*** about us. I will back those guys because they are trying. If it were an effort problem, then it would be a different story. So, those are things I have to coach; those are the things I have to be fair about when building this team. I’m very pleased with the effort. I don’t give a s*** what people think about out here” -John Tortorella.

So, the reality is that the current Flyers roster is what we thought they would be under the tutelage of John Tortorella. They are a team reminiscent of the good old days when the players wearing orange and black were at least respected. They may not win as many bouts as their fans may like them to this year, but at least the people who are paying their hard-earned money to come to the games can once again count on the fact that the Flyers will come to the rink every night and play with a ton of effort and a lot of heart. For on any given night, you know that Tortorella is going to squeeze every last ounce of effort out of his players which maybe, just maybe, will result in a win.

Steel’s Corner: Pittsburgh Steelers vs New Orleans Saints

By |November 16th, 2022|

            Folks, I want to talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers vs New Orleans Saints. I know what you are thinking, here we go another salty article about the Steelers. Well, this is not going to be one of those so sit back and take it all in. Keep in mind that the opinions expressed in this article are my own and is just that, my 2 cents.

            At 3-6 coming off the Bye-Week the Steelers laid out an impressive win against a team that perhaps plays with more reckless abandon than the Steelers when it comes to the yellow hankies littering the field for an unprecedented number of accepted penalties against the New Orleans Saints. This was by far the best outing for Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada, with over 200 yards on the ground, and only one that is right one accepted Illegal Formation penalty for the Steelers. Now I do not know about yinz, but that is impressive considering what the offensive output of this team has been throughout this season so far. So, for this to be the best so far for “Safari Hat Matt” is really saying something. Not to mention that Kenny Pickett did not turn the ball over.

            Welcome back (on a snap count) TJ Watt to a much-maligned Defense, since going down at the beginning of the season with a torn peck. Also welcome to the team Mr. Damontae Kazee who in replacement of Minkah Fitzpatrick, out with an emergency appendectomy, managed to snag a timely interception of Saints QB Andy Dalton. Now I am going to say that the Defense overall played much better with TJ Watt on the field as Alex Highsmith was able to shed some double teams and get home to the QB for two sacks against the Saints. It was almost like they did not miss #39 Magic Minkah Fitzpatrick out there. New Orleans were held to being one-dimensional, with the Steelers Defensive line taking Alvin Kamara, the Saints leading rusher, out of the game all together forcing QB Andy Dalton to put it on his arm.

            Gosh special teams played well, the offense did not turn the ball over, nor did they get penalized for the usual 5-6 Illegal Formation/Down Field/Shift calls that have beleaguered this team so far this season. Kenny Pickett had one of his best days as the starting QB for the Steelers in my opinion. He made smart plays and seemed a little more on the same page as everyone else. Not to mention that Najee Harris with 20 carries for 99 yards and Jaylen Warren 3 catches 40 yards and 9 carries for 37 yards each had phenomenal days. The O-Line was getting some blocks and doing enough to allow the running backs to get to the second level. This combined with TJ Watt lacing it up and the Defense spending 35% less time on the field, plus finally putting some pressure on the opposition’s QB made this game a good team win! Now if we could only have a Bye-Week and Pigeons every week then the Steelers could win a few more.

            Oh, come on you knew this was coming…this is the part now when I tell you what scared me during this game. Oh and a few other points as well. But let’s get to the scary part and that was the hit that Running Back Najee Harris took at the end of the long run. Looking at the tape, it is clearly a helmet to helmet hit, the crown of the helmet was used and the defender left his feet. Harris was hit squarely in the chops during the play and even went to the Blue Tent for a few minutes. To me these are the things that need to be removed from the game. Running Backs are not allowed to use the crown of the helmet and it should be that way across the board. I feel that that play would have been a “targeting” call on the defender and it was not called. I am seeing this more and more across the NFL and it is not the correct technique for tackling. You always keep your head up, wrap your arms and drive to the ground, not leading with the crown of the helmet. These need to be called and need to be addressed as these could lead to major injuries not only to the Running Back but also to the Defender.

            After watching the tape, you can clearly see times the Steelers offense being blown off the ball and or missing blocks or assignments and there are a lot of things that still need to be improved upon in the coming weeks. This was not a perfect win by any stretch of the word but a win is a win and those are what this is all about. This may not be the year for the Steelers, but at least we can hope for improved play over the next coming weeks, at least I hope so!!

A Look at what’s been going on Down on the Farm

By |November 14th, 2022|

As the leaves have begun to fall and the first quarter of the NHL season is nearing a close, I think it’s high time we look at what’s been going on down on the farm.

AHL

That means our first stop should be Lehigh Valley, where the teams’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Phantoms, currently finds themselves sitting in 7th place in the Atlantic Division with a .500 record of 5-5-1. Much like the Flyers, although making a valiant effort night in and night out, the Phantoms have commonly found themselves getting out skilled by much more talented players on the opposition. With that said, there have been a couple of bright spots along the way. Defenseman Cam York is one of them. After a less-than-impressive camp, Cam found himself relegated back to the minors. Since then, York has made the most of his increased ice time and power play opportunities. So much so that Cam, through 11 games played, has scored three goals and six assists for nine points. That is a 0.82 points-per-game pace for the still-developing Flyers’ blue-line prospect.

NCAA

Next, we will look at the National Collegiate Athletic Association, better known as the (NCAA). Where a particular Flyers first-round pick from this summer (Cutter Gauthier) has managed to get off to an excellent start playing for Boston College after missing the first few games. In fact, he currently is scoring at a 1.14 points-per-game pace netting five goals and three assists for eight points in just seven games played. Could it be a one-and-done season for Cutter? Man, I sure hope so. We all know the Flyers could use someone with his skill set right about now.

CHL

What do you say we now head up and over the border to see which Flyers’ prospect may be making a name for himself in the Canadian Junior Leagues this season, shall we? Ah, and do I have one for you. We all know Chuck hasn’t been the best GM, but one thing he has managed to do right during his tenure is find some diamonds in the rough late in drafts. His latest example of this is a player he just happened to stumble upon in the seventh round of this summer’s draft. When he took a chance on a 5’9 forward named Alexis Gendron from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey Leagues-Blainville-Boisbriand Armada by selecting him 220nd overall. Now, what caught Chuck’s eye may have been his ability to score, seeing that last season Gendron scored 30 goals and 16 assists for 46 points, but what may have kept other teams gm’s away was Alexis’ lack of defense, as he finished last season with a -21 average. All I have to say to you is what a difference a year makes; this year Gendron, who already has fourteen goals and nine assists for 23 points in 18 games, is not only averaging a 1.28 points-per-game, but he presently finds himself a +3 as well. So, not only is Alexis’ defense getting better, but this 18-year-old is currently projected this season to reach 51 goals and 33 assists for 84 points! Not too shabby for a 7th-round pick, huh?

These are just a few of the Flyers’ prospects playing well down on the farm this season. Now, who knows what the rest of this season may hold for the lackluster Flyers, but at least we can say the future looks bright.

The SteelFlyers Podcast “So you are saying that there is a chance??”

By |November 12th, 2022|

Also Available On

Episode Description

SteelFlyers All Sports Network Presents:
The SteelFlyers Podcast Season 2 Episode 14

So you are saying that there is a chance??

* Steelers
– Coming off the Bye week against the Saints
– Saints are banged up in the trenches and this could be a win for the Steelers after a long rest
– Kenny Pickett needs to play better
– OC needs to be better, O needs to be better
– Welcome Back TJ!!! So long Bos!

* Flyers
– After 13 games 7-4-2 not bad
– Cam Atkinson skating with team in CBJ
– New players playing well (Sedlak)
– Hart looks great and needs to play more

PSU
– Penn State gets a victory in windy Indy!
– Sean Clifford and offense explode for 45
– Defense holds Hoosiers to 17
– PSU going to a Bowl game but can they put in a bid for a playoff berth?

*Phantom Phacts
– 3-5-1 to start the season
– Injuries to the Flyers have influenced the roster for the Phantoms
– Cam York has looked good since coming back from injury!
– Up on the ThunderBirds at the end of the 1st right now!

Cannot thank you enough for listening and checking us out.
Check us out on Spreaker as well!! www.spreaker.com/show/the-steelflyers-podcast

Now you can find the SteelFlyers podcasts on Amazon and IHeart radio!
THANK YOU to The Overview Effect for providing the great music on this episode!
Please follow me on twitter at @Steelflyers52.
You can also follow me on Facebook as well as the web site at www.steeflyers.com.

Your Host, SteelFlyers

SteelFlyers

SteelFlyers

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Get In Touch

Fletcher’s Follies that will Haunt the Flyers long after he is Gone.

By |November 9th, 2022|

Despite the team winning some games this season because of the one wise decision Chuck Fletcher has had to date in hiring John Tortorella as the team’s new head coach, most fans would agree that the current team’s General Manager has done an unsatisfactory job up to this point. Given that, this same group of fans would probably be right to assume that Chuck Fletcher is most likely on a very short leash, considering that the team has been grooming former Flyer Daniel Briere to be his successor for some time now. But what most people haven’t taken the time to comprehend yet is just how long Fletcher’s follies will continue to haunt the Flyers long after he is gone.

Here are some examples of what I’m talking about.

The Kevin Hayes Signing

These long-term effects started early in Fletcher’s tenure, with him trading for and eventually signing the then soon-to-be unrestricted free agent center Kevin Hayes formerly of the Winnipeg Jets. There’s no doubt that Tortorella has Hayes playing better right now and that the team needs all the depth at center they can get, given their current injuries, but Fletcher may have gone a little overboard here. Why Chuck signed Hayes (a player who, to this date, has never even been able to eclipse the 50-point plateau) to a seven-year deal worth $50 million is beyond me. Because of that gross overpayment, the Flyers are locked into paying Kevin an annual average value or A.A.V. of $7,142,857 for the next FOUR years. For comparison, that’s the exact salary the Winnipeg Jets are currently paying their NHL All-Star Kyle Connor, who had 47 goals and 46 assists for 93 points last season.

The Rasmus Ristolainen Trade

Ah, yes, how could we forget Chuck coughing up the Flyers’ 2021 first-round pick to acquire defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen from the Buffalo Sabers? I get the want to do so because the team needed to get more physical on the back end, but did he really need to give up the 14th overall selection that year to acquire a defenseman who, to date, is a -176 for his career? Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, Chuck re-signed the 28-year-old blue liner to a FIVE-year deal worth $25.5 million this offseason. This is coming after a season where Ristolainen (who has played ten seasons in the NHL) put up the least amount of points since his rookie season, where he only played in 34 games. This particular head-scratcher has the Flyers stuck paying Ristolainen $5.1 million until the end of the 2026-2027 season. Don’t get me wrong, I love Risto’s physical play, but there’s a reason why he’s currently in Torts doghouse. I mean, come on, Chuck, you’re telling me that Rasmus deserves to get paid more than Tony DeAngelo, who has managed to come over this season, and in a concise amount of time, has managed to already solidify the hole left behind by Ryan Ellis on the top pairing?

Ryan Ellis

Speaking of Ryan Ellis, who could forget Chuck making that infamous three-team trade that sent defenseman Philippe Myers, and the often injured Nolan Patrick packing, only to get back an already injury-prone 30-year-old defenseman in Ryan Ellis? A player, mind you, who at the time had six years left of the eight-year $50 million deal he signed with the Nashville Predators. On top of that, Chuck went through all this only to have Ellis play in a whooping four games for the Flyers before receiving a possible career-ending injury. Who would have thought this would happen, right? Well, anybody, who would have taken the time to look at Ryan’s medical chart before agreeing to a trade for him, that’s who. Before Ellis even stepped one foot off the plane at Philadelphia International Airport, he was already considered damaged goods. My degree is not even in the medical field, but I could see that this guy only managed to play in all 82 games once in his ten-year career before being traded to Philly. Didn’t this deal seem too good to be true at some point, Chuck? Or did you really think that you suckered the Preds into giving up a top-pairing defenseman for a non-physical 6’6 defenseman (Myers) and a former second-overall pick with an extended history of concussions? Because of this trade, the Flyers cannot spend $6.25 million of their allotted cap space for the next HALF DECADE. You can’t blame Ellis, though; would you retire if someone was going to be paying you $6.25 million for doing nothing for the next FIVE years?

Giroux Trade

Then you had the failed exodus of the Flyers longest-tenured veteran Claude Giroux last season. With both parties agreeing it was time to part ways, one would think that with Giroux being the prize of last year’s trade deadline, Fletcher could have gotten back a monumental haul from a team in need, but no, that was not the case. Instead of Chuck being able to sway Claude (who held a full no-trade clause) to agree to be traded to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Colorado Avalanche or the Boston Bruins, who were both chomping at the bit to acquire his services for their postseason runs. Fletcher had to settle for a much less lucrative deal from the Florida Panthers, which contained an underachieving Owen Tippett, a conditional first-round pick in 2024, and a third-round selection in 2023. Now, I like Tippett and the eventual early-round choices, but this trade did not bring us back the kind of kickstart we needed to commence a rebuild. Such as acquiring a future first-pairing defensive prospect like Justin Barron for Giroux that Colorado was rumored to be offering up. Instead, this team is left with no real star player and no hope for the future.

Overpayment to Coots

Next up on the laundry list of Chuck’s awful decisions that will continue to haunt the team long after he has been given his pink slip is his unethical re-signing of the team’s 29-year-old center Sean Couturier. Chuck agreed to pay Sean a massive eight-year contract worth $62 million. First off, why Fletcher decided to give a ten-year veteran an eight-year deal that will see to it that the Flyers will be paying him an excessive amount of money until the end of the 2030 season when Coots will be the ripe old age of 37 is beyond me. But what may be worse still is that Chuck gave Sean (a player who has only been able to play in a combined 74 games over the last two seasons and no games yet this season) a full no-movement clause for six out of the eight years of this contract. Now, I get the Flyers currently have no face of the franchise, but that doesn’t mean Fletcher needed to pay that much for a defensive center who is already five years removed from his career high in points of just 76. Don’t think this signing was that bad? Let me remind you before Chuck made this decision to resign Couturier, who he called “A premier player who was deserving of a premier contract,” the Flyers were set to have a considerable amount of cap space opening up with Claude’s $8.275 million coming off the books after that season.

Underserving Contract Gifted to Sanheim

Now, we all know Chuck is a creature of habit. So once again, right before the start of this season, with some money now burning a hole in his pocket, Chuck thought, why not hurry up and overpay another player who had a contract that was not set to expire until the end of this season. That player was none other than 26-year-old Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim. I have no clue why he felt so compelled to do this because Sanheim (who is thought to be an offensive defenseman and was already set to be paid $4.675 million for this year) put up a messily 31 points last season. In Chuck’s mind, I guess that translated to him needing to give Travis $50 million over the next eight years, which, if you do the math that, works out to $6.25 million a season. A $1.575 million raise for a player who is scared to throw a body check and, this season, has only managed to amass 1 point in 11 games. Folks that means starting next year, Chuck has signed Sanheim until 2031, and if that wasn’t bad enough, he gave him a full no-movement clause until 2026 and then a 12-team no-trade clause until 2030. I’m sorry, but why is Chuck handing out no-movement clauses like crazy? I thought these clauses were supposed to be set aside and only used when inking the team’s elite talent. You know, the type of player in the past that a GM would be immediately fired for if he got rid of them. Man, I guess there goes any hope of signing a key free agent this off-season when impending free agent James van Riemsdyk’s $7 million cap hit comes off the books.

No draft pick made by Chuck has yet to make the NHL everyday roster.

All of Chuck’s decisions discussed up to this point in this article will leave irrefutable damage to this franchise for the foreseeable future as far as the cap is concerned, but let’s now analyze how his drafting has set the team up as far as young talent goes. Upon his arrival in early December of 2018, Fletcher looked set, being as though he had been gifted with such great young talent as Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, Carter Hart, Nolan Patrick, Morgan Frost, Isaac Ratcliffe, Joel Farabee, and Jay O’Brien all being taken by his predecessor Ron Hextall over the last few drafts. To date, about half of those players have turned out to be key contributors to the club. One of which is Jay O’Brien (who has been a points-per-game player in the NCAA for a number of years now). Chuck has still yet to sign him. Be that as it may, let’s look at how Fletcher’s draft hauls stack up to Hexy’s. Sure, some impressive players have been selected under Chuck’s watch with names like Cam York, Bobby Brink, Ronnie Attard, Tyson Foerster, Emil Andre, Zayde Wisdom, Elliot Desnoyers, Connor McClennon, Samu Tuomaala, Cutter Gauthier, Devin Kaplan, and Alex Bump. Still, the real question is, have any of them made a name for themselves playing in the NHL yet? The answer is NO! Through four draft classes, Chuck has not been able to hit on one player who has been able to step into the NHL everyday lineup, including his fifth overall pick from this summer, Cutter Gauthier. To me, folks, that is sad. The best Chuck has been able to do so far is Cam York, who has played in 33 NHL meaningless games after the team has already caulked the season up as a loss. Still, even he currently finds himself once again playing in the AHL after a less-than-impressive preseason outing.

I don’t know, guys; call me crazy if you must, but as good as Tortorella has this team playing right now, I don’t think we’ve seen the worst from the wheeling’s and dealings of Chuck Fletcher’s past. Chuck’s absent-minded decisions have left the team with little to no cap space for the next ten years. Then when you add to that his choice of slow-developing draft picks, you’ll see the Flyers forced (as they have been the past couple of seasons) to finalize their roster with other team’s waiver wire players for years to come. Get used to mediocrity, my friends.

Tortorella and his Bad News Bears have surprised many people thus far, but how can he Ensure their play will be Sustainable?

By |November 2nd, 2022|

I think after their play in the last couple of seasons, and what was considered to be a less-than-impressive off-season haul by management; fans around the tri-state area had already concluded before the season even commenced the best thing that could happen to their Broad Street Bullies this year was to lose as many games as possible. This, of course, would better their chances at drafting prized prospect Connor Bedard this summer.

But then came the start of the season, where the Flyers surprised many people by winning four out of their first five games. Their early success could/should be attributed to their new bench boss’s military-like tactics throughout their camp of tearing them down only to build them back up the way he wants them. With their new head coach able to do so, it appeared that all of this team’s prior trials and tribulations might just be a thing of the past. In fact, with Tortorella being able to restore/instill in his band of misfit players that hard-nosed brand of hockey this city has come to know and expect from this team, they have collectively been able to bring back the fans to the Wells Fargo Center.

The only question now is, might their play/success be sustainable? With no true star in sight after Claude Giroux’s departure last season, the Flyers currently don’t have that one elite talent they can count on down the stretch to carry them through a rough patch. They don’t have their star goaltending prospect Ivan Fedotov whom they signed this off-season to fill in for an extended period of time in case Carter Hart gets a little banged up during the season. And once again, because of the number of long-term injuries already accrued this season, the team has looked as though they won’t even have the bodies needed to endure an 82-game season, let alone the talent.

So, what DO they have, you might be asking? Well, for the first time in a long time, this team has HEART! Torts has this team of (by league standards) no namers playing a full 60 minutes of hockey. They are finishing their checks, causing the other team to create more turnovers. They are also playing better defensively, which has attributed to Carter Hart regaining his confidence in the net. In doing so, this unyielding bunch of players that everyone had counted out has been able to compensate for their loss in production from players like Sean Couturier, Cam Atkinson, James van Riemsdyk, Ryan Ellis, Bobby Brink, and Patrick Brown being out to due to injury by having players like Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, and Kevin Hayes step up their production in their teammate’s absence.

But these are not the only players making a difference. The team has been getting production from some unlikely places as well. The fourth line, which is generally made up of fighters, and penalty killers, has been bringing it as of late for the Flyers. With players like center Lukas Sedlak’s wheels allowing him to drive the net, tough guys Wade Allison, Nicolas Deslauriers, and Zack MacEwen have been able to net a couple of dirty unexpected goals.

Like the good old days, Philadelphia has made their opposition earn a win this year. Doing so has meant that said teams commonly leave the arena with a couple of new bruises and possibly fewer teeth! Now, while the Flyers may no longer find themselves at the top of the Metropolitan Division like they were just a week ago, they have shown this season that they will demand respect!

To sustain this level of success and respect from the league, though, I believe Tortorella needs to ride his hot goaltender. To this point, I think the Flyers have been coddling Hart. Yes, I know he is only 24 years old, but he was both drafted and is currently being paid as though this team expects him to be “THE GUY.” So, why not let him try? Before this season, the Flyers always ensured that Hart had a cushion. Signing veteran goalies like Brian Elliott and Martin Jones, who have not only previously held starting gigs on other teams for several years but were successful in doing so as well, with Elliott formerly acquiring a William M. Jennings Trophy and Jones a Stanley Cup for their efforts. These past transgressions however, left Hart to date with a career-high of only 44 starts. Which equates to him starting in just 53% of the teams’ games played. This season, Philadelphia simply cannot do this because their backup option this year is Felix Sandstrom, who to date has only started in seven NHL games and has been able to win NONE of them! Therefore, to stay competitive this season, the Flyers cannot expect to throw something like 38 games to chance by allowing Sandstrom to play as a 1A option in net. I mean, given that his NHL career averages are a less than impressive 3.21 goals against and a mediocre .907 save percentage, most would agree that he doesn’t even belong in this league yet. Do I expect Hart to play 79 games this season as Grant Fuhr did back in the 95-96 season? NO. But I think his play this season thus far is worthy of him being allowed to play somewhere around 60-65 games like the Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Predator’s Juuse Saros, or Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck are asked to do most seasons. Especially given the fact this season that the Flyers have 15 back-to-back games.

Take it from this old goaltender; pulling Hart out of the net every other night when he has been playing at the level, he has could mess up his groove and concentration. Besides, it’s not like he is a 35-year-old goalie who has had multiple knee injuries trying to stay around for one more chance at a cup. He is a young and able body who only has this season and next to prove his worth to this team before possibly being given the boot for the next goalie the franchise feels compelled to ruin. So why not let Hart at least try to be that franchise goalie management said he would be while Torts is here to make sure the defense in front of him will do their part?

The SteelFlyers Podcast “Going through a rough stretch with patience tested!”

By |November 1st, 2022|

Also Available On

Episode Description

SteelFlyers All Sports Network Presents:
The SteelFlyers Podcast Season 2 Episode 13

Going through a rough stretch with patience tested!!

* Steelers
-Penalties are killing us on top of the crappy play calls
-Kenny Pickett
-Coaching, falling short of the Standard

* Flyers
– Better than expected start
– Injuries are hurting
– New players scoring
– Hart looked good

PSU
– #16 PSU gets crushed by Ohio State at home AGAIN
– Sean Clifford not so good this week
– Defense were?
– PSU needs to win at least one more to be Bowl eligible

*F1
– Red Bull wins constructors, maybe
– Predictions for next season
– F1 Catching on in US with 3 races

Cannot thank you enough for listening and checking us out.
Check us out on Spreaker as well!! www.spreaker.com/show/the-steelflyers-podcast

Now you can find the SteelFlyers podcasts on Amazon and IHeart radio!
THANK YOU to The Overview Effect for providing the great music on this episode!
Please follow me on twitter at @Steelflyers52.
You can also follow me on Facebook as well as the web site at www.steeflyers.com.

Your Host, SteelFlyers

SteelFlyers

SteelFlyers

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Get In Touch

Tortorella is doing his part; now it’s time for Flyers Management to Step up and do theirs

By |October 21st, 2022|

Like his tactics or not, the Flyers new head coach John Tortorella’s Stanley Cup-winning experience and intolerance towards players’ excuses or inability to buy into his system whole heartedly is refreshing and proving to be quite effective so far this season. Currently, his new band of misfits (known as the Flyers) finds themselves surprisingly out to a 3-1 start after coming back from being down 2-0 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, followed by a hard-fought loss in their last game to the Panthers. Now in this writer’s mind, the outcome may have been different in the latter if they just left their 24-year-old supposed franchise goaltender (Carter Hart) in net to play back-to-back contests against both of these playoff teams from the sunshine state, but I digress.

So, in my mind, with Tortorella currently holding up his end of the bargain by winning games with an injury-riddled group of previously underperforming-mediocre players at best, there is just one thing that needs to be done. And that is that the team’s management needs to step up and do their job! Think about it, when was the last time the Flyers drafted a generational talent? You know, a player who puts up or close to 50 goals and 100 points every season?

Now, remember I said DRAFTED. Sure, the Flyers have had those types of players before, with guys like Eric Lindros, John Leclair, Mark Recchi, and Tim Kerr all coming to mind. But they did not draft any of those players. Lindros, Leclair, and Recchi came to the Flyers via a trade, and Kerr was an undrafted free agent. Not to mention the fact that they were all acquired before the salary cap era that was introduced back in the 2005-2006 season. Today’s game is different; teams don’t have an unlimited budget to go out and buy a cup-contending squad anymore. And the fact that this team’s management has been so resistant to change how they have done things for so long is probably why this organization hasn’t achieved its yearly goal of raising Lord Stanley’s Cup since the 70s. For years the powers at be for the Flyers repeatedly went out every free agency/trade deadline and got a 30+ -year-old use-to-be superstars to come play for them. Such names include a 32 year Peter Forsberg, 33-year-old Vincent Lecavalier, 34-year-old Jason Smith, 35-year-olds like Chris Pronger and Paul Coffey, or how about 39 year old’s like Adam Oates and Jaromir Jagr. All of these players are already or, in this writer’s mind, future Hall of Famers, but by the time the Flyers convinced them to come play for them, they all were either too injury-prone or not as spry as they used to be, and thus unable to produce like they once did.

To the current regime’s credit, though with the decision/inability to not bring in Johnny Gaudreau via free agency, management seems to have finally realized that to build a winning franchise in today’s NHL, you must at least secure the foundation and a couple of cornerstone pieces through the draft. Then and only then can you bring in a couple of alluring pieces from free agency that will complement what you already have in the locker room. Some examples of this from around the league are the Penguins drafting Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Kris Letang before they could go on their run. It took Edmonton drafting Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl before they became relevant again. Tampa Bay took a while to rebuild before they became the powerhouse they are today. The Lightning achieved their recent success by making intelligent selections over the years, like Steven Stamkos, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, and Brayden Point. Or how about the current Stanley Cup Champions the Colorado Avalanche. It took them drafting guys like Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, and Gabriel Landeskog before they found themselves trending upwards.

Such a feat is easier said than done, of course. As made evident by the fact that the last time the Flyers had a player hit the 100-point plateau, it happened to be Claude Giroux back in 2018, when he tallied 102 points. Sadly though he only managed to achieve this level once through his 15 seasons playing in Philadelphia. Before that, if you look back through the Flyers’ history books, the last player that the team DRAFTED that was able to do that was Bill Barber, who, like Giroux, was only able to reach that achievement one time during his career as well when he netted 112 points during the 1976 campaign. This is sad because Bill was drafted FIFTY years ago, in 1972. The only other player drafted by the Flyers in their history to score 100 points in a season while wearing the Orange and Black was Bobby Clarke, who managed to hit the mark three times in the ’70s. Oh, and if this bit of information wasn’t depressing enough, folks, the only Flyer ever drafted by the team that was able to score 50 or more goals in a single season was Bill Barber during that same 1972 season when he finished that year with 50 goals exactly. If you find yourself questioning this, remember that both Rick MacLeish and Reggie Leach, who each achieved this plateau while playing for the Flyers, were drafted by the Bruins.

So, what point am I trying to make, you might be asking? Well, with the Flyers’ last Stanley Cup banner now being raised some 47 years ago. It is high time that this team’s management put some emphasis on the things that really matter when trying to build a contender, such as scouting and player development, to name a few. For the Flyers, these jobs have been (throughout the team’s history) gifted to their past players, with no thought process being placed on just how qualified or skilled they might be at this new position.

In saying that, I do believe management has done a better job of drafting as of late, especially with the selections of power forwards like Cutter Gauthier, Devin Kaplan, and Alex Bump, all being taken in this last draft. But be that as it may, I feel the Flyers are still too reliant on other leagues and their coaches to develop their prospects for them. I get not every player is going to be ready to start in the NHL upon being drafted or, for that matter, the year after. Still, I do believe if a team thinks a player is good enough to be signed to an entry-level contract, then they should, at that point, be brought into play for one of the teams’ minor league affiliates. The thought process behind that then being not only should the players start to learn their big clubs’ systems, but they then will also be allowed time to develop chemistry with the team’s other signed prospects so that when they do get the call up to the big show, they will have at least some kind of familiarity with each other already. Disagree with me? I ask you, what do Joel Farabee, Noah Cates, Jackson Cates, Wade Allison, Bobby Brink, Ronnie Attard, Cam York, and Tanner Laczynski all have in common? They all spent time playing in the NCAA, then upon turning pro, they all spent little to no time playing for the Phantoms before making the Flyers roster. Now compare that to Morgan Frost, Isaac Ratcliffe, and Yegor Zamula, who signed their entry-level contracts and went to play for the Phantoms. These players have been professionals for 3-5 years now and are still struggling or only beginning to make an impact for the Flyers.

In summation, the foundation for this team has a severe crack in it, and until it is fixed, the Flyers will be nothing more than mediocre at best. Tortorella has performed miracles so far, but he can only do so much with what has been given to him. Without question, management has to do better in the future. Again, it’s been 50 years since the team drafted a 50-goal scorer; that’s embarrassing! I mean, come on, it’s like the great Ronnie Milsap once said, “Even fools get lucky sometimes.” Now the only question is when will some of that dumb luck come the Flyers way?

Flyers’ Tortorella is doing A LOT with very Little

By |October 16th, 2022|

Who would have thought that after two games into the season, the Philadelphia Flyers would be undefeated and sitting on top of the Metropolitan Division? Possibly only the team’s new Head Coach John Tortorella that’s who.

With most of this team’s players having to endure a training camp as they have never experienced before, this new-look Flyers squad may just be a blast from their franchise’s past. Since day one of training camp (where there wasn’t a single puck in sight), Torts has been able to tear down this group of jaded/lackadaisical players who flat-out lost the will to win over the past few seasons; and somehow, in only a few short weeks was able to restore the drive and self-confidence in each one of his players that got them to this level in the first place.

How did he do it, you may be asking? Through hard work and a little elbow grease, that’s how. Taking it back to the basics, Tortorella has managed to do just what he has been preaching about since ownership brought him to Philadelphia. By making sure, this team would be harder to play against. Gone are the days when the Flyers would go down by a goal and simply give up. No longer will not finishing a check be acceptable. Not clearing the opposition out from in front of the net is no longer an option. Go ahead and not get in the face of an opponent after they lay a dirty hit on one of your teammates; that is, if you want to find yourself playing your next game in Lehigh Valley. This group has become something it has not been in years- a TEAM! A group of individuals that come together to achieve a common goal. Now, Tortorella’s tactics may not be innovative, but they are effective! And in this writers’ mind, John’s brash way of telling the players (and media alike) the cold hard truth is refreshing. In summation, he holds people accountable, which is something you must appreciate.

The fans were right to expect more, with inflation making it a struggle for the average person to be even able to afford the cost of admission to a game (let alone a cold brew and something to eat while there); they demonstrated a mass exodus last season when the team appeared as though they were no longer even putting forth an effort. Follow that by a lackluster off-season by management, and the general consensus was that WE (the fan base) would be in for a long season. But under this new regime behind the bench, I believe fans will find a way to make it work to be able to attend these games even though they know that it may take this team a few years before they can return to perennial playoff contenders they once were.

Through these two games, you can see that this team is determined to play a full 60 minutes of hockey every night. Because- despite a lengthy list of injuries, no real star in sight, and no captain yet to be named- this team (for the first time in years) is playing with HEART! With Philadelphia currently playing the game the right way, you can now see this team utilizing a forecheck. For the first time in a long time, the Flyers are standing up the opposition at the blue line by laying an open-ice check instead of just lazily trying to poke-check them as the other team skates right on by (like in years past). They are also playing a better defensive game where they are actually helping out their still young netminder Carter Hart by clearing the porch so he can see the shot coming in, as opposed to their prior method of joining the other team in screening Hart like they did so last year.

This new coach has accomplished all this by calling out his teams’ so-called leaders upon his arrival and thus has gotten results such as a reemergence of the offensive-minded Travis Konecny we used to know, who scored 24 goals for three consecutive seasons. Also spotted this season is that gritty 6’5 216 pound center we thought we were getting in Kevin Hayes when management signed him to that massive contract a few seasons ago. Or how about James van Riemsdyk who is out there skating like he does NOT have cement blocks for skates for the first time in his career?

Now, I do live in reality and realize that the outcome of games may go a little differently for the Flyers over the next week or so when they have to face off against genuine playoff contenders like the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Florida Panthers, and the Carolina Hurricanes. Still, I believe the majority of the fan base will be okay with a couple of losses as long as their team continues to put forth the kind of effort that Tortorella has seemed to reinstill in them. You know that Flyers brand of hockey that fans had come to know and expect from the team’s predecessors- those who worked so tirelessly in the past to earn the leagues respect for anyone wearing the Orange and Black.

The SteelFlyers Podcast “SteelFlyers witnesses the start of the Pickett Era!!”

By |October 8th, 2022|

Also Available On

Episode Description

SteelFlyers All Sports Network Presents:
The SteelFlyers Podcast Season 2 Episode 11

SteelFlyers witnesses the start of the Pickett Era!

* Steelers
vs Jets (Home)
– After a very poor first half Kenny Pickett comes onto the field
– O-Line showing some life and Najee Harris with 18/74
– Mike is right, we are seeing improvement, how little it may be
– Defense let the team down as the Jets march down and score to win.

* Flyers
– Team is 0-4 in preseason
– Coots could be back sooner rather than later
– TK & Hayes have looked good with limited action
– Injuries are coming and Torts takes over the team
– First game is 10 days away!

PSU
– Happy Valley er, I mean soggy Valley as it rained all over Northwestern chances of victory against #11 PSU
– PSU Defense is getting better and better each week, as the defense clamps down on the Wildcats
– Singlton had the drops for about a quarter or two but then was reinstated back into the game
– Sean Clifford played the whole game and TD pass to Strange

*F1
– Singapore was Perez race with his great start pulling away from LeClerk before turn 1 in a heavy rain delayed race.
– Ferrari get 2nd and 3rd on the podium!!
– Verstapen building on his lead and looks to be running away with Drivers Championship!!

Cannot thank you enough for listening and checking us out.
Check us out on Spreaker as well!! www.spreaker.com/show/the-steelflyers-podcast

Now you can find the SteelFlyers podcasts on Amazon and IHeart radio!
THANK YOU to The Overview Effect for providing the great music on this episode!
Please follow me on twitter at @Steelflyers52.
You can also follow me on Facebook as well as the web site at www.steeflyers.com.

Your Host, SteelFlyers

SteelFlyers

SteelFlyers

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Get In Touch

Title

Go to Top