Philadelphia Flyers: Offseason Checklist

Mar 25, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (14) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (14) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

With the Philadelphia Flyers taking an early vacation, Ron Hextall and Co. must decide the future direction this club is heading in. Do they blow up the roster or buy into their talent?

Ron Hextall will be a busy man this summer. Besides holding onto the second overall pick in this year’s upcoming draft, he has promising goalie Oskar Lindblom coming to the organization along with a growing log jam on defense. Let us look at what’s on the schedule for the Philadelphia Flyers’ fearless leader:

1. Figure Out the Goalie Situation:

As of right now the goalie depth chart looks a little crowded with Anthony StolarzOskar Lindblom, and Michal Neuvirth. Stolarz and Lindblom are viewed as the goaltending tandem of the future for the club which leaves Neuvirth as the most expandable.

There are a handful of teams that are looking for an upgrade in net such as Edmonton, Carolina, Calgary, and Toronto. all four teams have assets that will make it worth the while for the Philadelphia Flyers.

2. Add a Dynamic Winger

The Flyers need to add a high profile scorer in the worst way. It has been their M.O. for awhile now. Maybe Hextall can persuade Colorado GM Joe Sakic into trading captain Gabriel Landeskog for the second pick, or maybe even steal Johnny Gaudreau from Calgary. Sam Reinhart from Buffalo is another option worth seeking.

If trading the second overall pick is out of the equation the Flyers can always dive into free agency right away for a chance for T.J. Oshie, granted he doesn’t re-sign. The problem with Oshie is that he is on the wrong side of 30 and could be looking for a contract that pays him $6 million a year. That would be a problem for the cash strapped Philadelphia Flyers.

3. Say Goodbye to Coots, Read, and Giroux

As much as these three (mostly Giroux and Coots) have become some of the faces of the franchise for this club, they must leave, starting with Sean Couturier. The young shut down center is a star in his own defensive right. he holds a career 50.7 Corsi percentage while posting a career best Corsi of 54.8% this past season.

Since the arrival of Dave Hakstol, Couturier has seen his offensive zone faceoff draw percentage rise from mid to high thirties (32-39%) to mid fourties (42-45%). He still logs most of his faceoffs in his own zone, but he also won 55.2% of his 213 total faceoffs. That is a very good commodity to have in the league.

Matt Read on the other hand needed to go yesterday. He had a phenomenal Corsi percentage at 54.5%, but his role with the team is not cutting it anymore. As a sniper, he put up 75 points in 222 games over the last three season is unacceptable.

Since the 2013-2014 campaign he has put up more than 10 goals only once. Yes, you read that right, ONCE. Realistically you won’t get much for him, but Hexy did get a 3rd rounder from Boston for Zac Rinaldo so you never know.

And finally, our captain, Claude Giroux. His possession numbers are solid with him sitting on a 53.6% Corsi rating, along with him winning 55.9% of all his faceoffs. What is truly terrifying is his point production. Since the 2013-2014 season his numbers have been dropping at an alarming rate. For a “superstar” making $8 million a year, i expect more than 58 points in 82 games, and you should as well.

4. Move a Defender

Writing this i thought it was a little absurd, but the more i looked into it, the more it made sense. Gostisbehere, Provolov, Gudas, Hagg, MacDonald, Morin, and Sanheim. They are realistically your seven defenders heading into next season unless Brandon Manning happens to be resigned.

The odd man out here is Morin. It is very unfortunate to say, but his play, especially at the end of the season, for the Phantoms was underwhelming. He’s still young enough and has enough potential that you could fetch a decent return for him.

5. Enter Full Rebuild Mode

The time is now. This team is not constructed to win now, or even the foreseeable future. As we develop our goalies and blue chip defensemen our main priority should be getting young forwards who can skate, score, and check. In a league where scoring is hard to come by, the Philadelphia Flyers are in need of a primer scoring threat, and we just don’t have one.