UPDATED: December 14, 2006

 Icing by Lug.

Plight of the Flyers.

Watching the Philadelphia Flyers since the beginning of the season I’m beginning to believe the Flyers are stuck in the past. They have lived off of the notion of the Good Ole Boys Club one year too long. Only time will tell if they will right the ship and make a run for the playoffs. As of right now it doesn’t look good.

Good Ole Boys Club

There comes a time when loyalty will only take you so far. The Flyers have always been the type of team to try to win on there owns terms and they have almost succeeded a couple of times in the last decade. Yes, you need to have size on your roster but size will not win you the ultimate prize. But, there comes a time to realize they need to step up and conform to the way the N.H.L. is these days. Speed is of the essence, along with veteran leadership, you need a solid balance of both along with size. You can not field an A.H.L. team and wish to compete in the N.H.L.; it’s just not going to happen. All of these changes should’ve occurred two years ago, since Mr. Snider was part of the Rule Change Committee, he should have seen how the changes were going to affect the game. He should’ve also paid attention to the other teams to see how they were building their teams. Every team around the Flyers got faster except his own team. Who’s to blame? I would blame, the whole management, coaching, and scouting staff. Now who’s paying for these mistakes other then themselves, it’s the fans. With one of the most loyal fan bases in the league, I believe they deserve better.

Youth Movement

Finally the Flyers have a few prospects they should be proud of but is it too late? I don’t think so but a lot of it depends on how the young guys can handle the new found pressure that’s on them compared to last year. There only a year older with very little veteran leadership. With waiving of Nedved, this is a clear sign that the team is in a rebuilding stage. They have had a chance to pick up Bondra, Allison and LeClair for very little. Which doesn’t makes sense to me, because you want to build a team with youth but also with veteran depth. Why throw the young kids to the wolves when you don’t have too? When this happens and these kids are used to winning all the time all the losing is going to do is create resentment. There not going to learn how to play the game the right way if they don’t have enough veteran leadership to learn from. You can not learn from a fellow rookie, it’s not the way to build a team. Pick up a veteran or two to bring a stabilizing force to the locker room. The youth movement deserves it.

Injury Concern

Is it just me or does the team have a dark cloud over them? I don’t understand how all these players are healthy playing on another team but once they get on the Flyers they mysteriously get injured and now are hurt for a long period of time. I think the Flyers lead the team on concussion awareness and groin pulls. I think management needs to really look at the training staff and see if they are pushing the player’s bodies too hard. To the point when they are in the game, there bodies are so wound up they can snap very easily. I remember back in the 80’s, when Pat Croce was in charge of the players and once again the Flyers led the league in injuries. I believe if it wasn’t for the injuries they could’ve won at least one cup in the 80’s. The training staff is from the same school and they learned from Croce. Now, I’m not calling for them to be fired but it’s something to look at because as a fan I’m tired of seeing half the team injured. Along with I think they should change the way medical records can be discussed. I believe any team who is looking to sign a free agent should be allowed to talk to their previous team medical staff. The best example where this could’ve helped them out would be with Mike Rathje.

I also believe they should be revamping their scouting staff (Pro) for them to prepare a little better for their games. It just seems to me they are not prepared for some games. You should coach a team knowing the other team’s strengths and weaknesses, and should have a game plan to beat them with your own game. This is the N.H.L. not pee wee; I would expect the team to be more prepared, especially for shootouts. UGH….

Thank you for reading my column, any comments or questions you can reach me at ll16tom@yahoo.com.

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The opinions expressed on this page are of the author, and in no way reflect the views of the NHL, it teams or players. All material in Icing by Lug copyright 2006 Spector's Hockey. Reproduction of this material in whole, or in part, without consent by the author or Spector's Hockey is prohibited.