Making Sense of it All: Part II

Thanks in small part to a couple of 302s, and in large part to another sunny beach day, I am extending the holiday weekend by 24 hours. But fear you shant. Here now is Dan Hershberg, the brilliant mind behind Philly Phaithful and a bit of a Paul Holmgren apologist (Homerist?). These are his words, giving some more much needed perspective to Homer's inquisition. See you on Wednesday.

Sunday, April 8th. 2007. 

Yes, the season ends with a win. But it is a season in which that result was a rare commodity, seven months devoid of peaks and littered with valleys. The Philadelphia Flyers are the worst team in hockey.

Fast forward to 2011. Four seasons, four playoff berths. A memorable Stanley Cup run kick-started by a thrilling shootout win over the arch-rival from the north. A roster full of talented, dynamic young players.

Oh, how quickly we forget. 

A historically bad team becomes a contender in short order and the calls for progress are drowned out by screams for instant gratification. Rational thinking goes out the window. "Sign Stamkos" becomes the phrase that incites the masses. Remarkably, one man can't hear the noise. Or maybe he simply chooses not to listen. Thankfully, this man is the one in charge of shaping the roster. This man is Paul Holmgren.

This is the same man who turned an aging Alexei Zhitnik into Braydon Coburn. Hope retirement is treating you well, Comrade.

This is the same man who used the number two pick on James van Reimsdyk. They don't give do-overs on these picks, ya know.

This is the same man who brought in Danny Briere, Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger. Not Chris Drury, Wade Redden and Michal Rosival. 

Hey, Flyers fans. Maybe we should stop and remember that for a second before we call for the man's head, despite the fact that his choice in barbers leaves much to be desired. 

While were deciding what to stock your shore house with this past weekend, the GM was busy fixing every discernible organizational issue in his path after an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Bruins. Yes, it was broken and yes, it needed fixing.

So you have goaltending issues? Let's get a head on start by acquiring the rights to the best goalie on the market and make sure we sign him before free agency begins. Oh yeah, we'll do it with a manageable cap hit too. 

So you're up against the cap and can't just dump salary for kicks? Ship that tall blonde guy with 11-year deal and non-existent playoff game to Columbus. He won't even need to skate after the first week of April in Ohio–more beach time for One Seven. Who cares if every other team knows we're in a bind, we're getting value. 

So the cupboard is bare? How does the consensus NHL-ready top prospect sound? Should we add a 6'4, 19-year old two-way center with massive upside to our roster with our new 1st round pick? Yeah, let's do that. While we're at it, let's add a few extra draft picks (two seconds, three thirds) to help out that dreadful minor league system. And no more "Versteeg sucks" tweets? Sounds good to me.

So you need to balance out the lineup? Add grit and tenacity from a guy we hated playing against and an aging sniper who has been known to find the twine on the man advantage from time to time. 181 time to times. Throw in an extra top-6 winger for that beach bum and a younger, better version of Scott Hartnell who doesn't fall down and you got yourselves a deal.

You want to moan about the loss of the captain? Nobody–not even the GM himself–would begrudge you that opportunity. Feeling a little overwhelmed because almost half of your roster is skating elsewhere, replaced by a finger-waving Penguin and a former Ranger with a mullet? Trust me, I feel ya.  

But before you feel the need to wax poetic about the glory days of Richie and Carts and a little of Ville and 4th line grinders with an Ivy League education, just remember that all those days ended just as this one will tonight: with someone else drinking out of the silver chalice lined with names of heroes not our own. The goal will forever remain the same and it's about time we started reminding ourselves that the sentiment is shared by everyone. Even those in charge.

P.S. When all else fails, we still have Giroux. 

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46 Responses

  1. Hahahah Laddie Boy, I may be a reform school flunkie, but I still fear that a catholic college boy like you don’t know that “shan’t” is really a contrackshun of “shall” and “not” and thus needs to be used with an apostrofee as I’ve just illistraited. Aye, Boyo, I bet your ma and da are real proud of all they money they spent for that piece of lamb skin, and it ain’t even a profillactick. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

  2. Take it from someone who had a huge coke problem… I’m pretty sure Richards wasn’t worried about being on the 3rd line, he was worried about when he was going to get his next white line.

  3. You guys go right ahead and try to make sense of it all. That way lies madness, and I want to keep what little sanity I have left.

  4. does anyone have an article / proof / discussion about this whole “richards drug use” topic? I read about the Flyers a lot, and have never heard any of this. Please post if you have anything

  5. Me and Richie def had some fun.. That dude snorts nothing less then a 7 inch line.. Man i’m going to miss him and coke

  6. I heard Carter and Richie partied way too much in old city and enjoyed perk 10’s, but this is the first I heard of a coke problem. Carter took over for Burrell in laying pipe around town, no wonder his legs were so weak late in the season. LOL

  7. You better be prepared to back up your statements of accusing Richards of being a drug abuser Kyle.
    That statement is libel at worst and weak dick at best.

  8. I’ve heard the last year that richards had a drug problem but i was ignorant to it and refused to believe it because he was my favorite player. After the trade it seems true. Trust me they had to know they wouldn’t just ship him out like that.

  9. Frank (July 05, 2011 at 01:09 PM), you’re a moron. And that’s a fact, not libel. Laddie Boy Kyle never accused Richards of drug abuse. It was another poster above who made the accusayshun.
    And don’t say I don’t defend you, Laddie Boy, especially while your slacker arse (probably growing bigger along with the man-boobs) takes an extra day off while the rest of us poor basterds toil away at the daily grind. Hahahahahahah

  10. with all those injuries Richards was playing through, how can he not be on pain pills. Who cares he’s outttta here. get gettttttt

  11. Well, if Richards did have a problem with Coke, he should just switch to Pepsi. See? Problem solved.

  12. Hey Andy from San Diego…..
    Why do you care about what these people are saying?
    Also, how could you possibly not like the “Richie” deal? He was terrible…. Nothing but a 3rd line center that the Flyers just got the number 1 prospect for. How many more power play, no-look, backhand pass turnovers from your boy Richie did you want to see? If you start thinking objectively with your big head, you’ll see that Richards wasn’t very good.

  13. Iron Balls,
    I really really hope that Kyle is your buddy in real life.
    Through your comments and the movie that your name references, I am going to conclude that you are in your 40s or 50s.
    Given the fact that you comment on just about every post and refer to Kyle with pet names (Laddie Boy), I am also going to conclude that you have a cyber crush on him.
    Can you confirm either of these as accurate? (I’m just asking but not expecting a comprehensive answer through your awful diatribes)

  14. If you think Richards is “not very good” you need to have your head examined. One disappointing year for the entire team and HE is the one who is no good? Come on. Dude was one of the best two way players in the game, possibly THE best penalty killing forward in the league, and was tough enough to take on other teams’ goons (see: fight vs. Matt Cooke).
    Why do you think LA would have given up “the top prospect not yet in the NHL” if Richards was “not very good.”
    Seriously, they have great technology now to have your head examined.

  15. 60ish points in each of the last 2 seasons, isn’t “very good” or even anything worth raving about from a guy 5-6 years into the league and who should be an elite player by now. Not to mention being the team’s captain with worse leadership skills than my 5 year old niece would leading the US Army. And trading that for hockey’s best prospect? I’ll take that. And if you don’t, I’d say you’re the one who needs the appointment with a neurologist.

  16. Sure Mike Richards was tough enough to take on goons but he was also dumb enough to elbow Patrick Kaleta and run Tim Connolly into the boards when the Flyers were already on the penalty kill. He is a 3rd line center. A good two way player who breaks down each year. 5.75 million a year for the next 9 years is laughable. I’m just glad J.T. isn’t running the Flyers. He’s clueless. I’m just glad I don’t have to watch Richards lose any more fights to Dubinsky. Not sure why he continued to challenge Dubinsky after getting bitch slapped repeatedly.

  17. @Frank,
    Actually I detest the kid. Always overkill with the doofussy sayings like “ZOMG”, “After the jump”, and “For realsies.” And when he gets angry with me, he’s always saying “get off my dick.” Hahahahahahahah
    But I think I’m now getting a little “cyber crush” on you since you complementing me with a low estamitt on my age. You actually gotta multaply it a few times. Hahahahah
    And by the way, Martin and Gottleeb based the movie character on me. Actually, they kind of stole it. But I got a young hotshot lawyer, some guy with the last name Bailey (F. Lee, F. Lou, or F. U., I can’t remember) to square it all away. I got awarded something called “points on the back end”, whatever that means, but I keep getting these royalty checks which makes a nice little addition to my SSDI, so I can live comfortable down here in the 33139. Hahahahahahahah

  18. really fucking moron” Posted by: tom | July 05, 2011 at 03:23 PM
    Hey, I may be a reform skool flunkee, and yeah, I do a lot of shaggin, but I’m smart enuff to know that it should be “real fucking moron”, not “really fucking moron”… So whose the REAL f*cking moron now? Hahahahahahahah

  19. he was insulting your spelling with poor punctuation i believe….also, i know some olde city whores that have told me that they love weed (who doesn’t), but i haven’t heard anything about coke…..

  20. There is some, SOME, truth in rumors. If it was getting around that Richie liked drugs, chances are he did. I agree with everything Kyle said. There is a fair amount of upside in what has gone on these last few weeks. We weren’t going to win a cup with minor chances. I would rather look towards the future than look forward towards a present that can produce nothing more than what we have already seen. It is scary. It is uncertain. It is a change that happened sooner, rather than later. But it is a change that needed to happen sooner than later. 10 years down the line we could have all been crying about how we needed two other players next to Giroux, Van Riemsdyk, and Briere. We have a goalie. We’ve been dying for one since Hextall. Now we’re willing to turn on this team when they lock one up? The Bruins were made up of grit, and good goaltending. That is the make-up of a Stanley Cup team in the league as it is. I believe in Paul Holmgren. I believe in the new Flyers. Be true fans. Stand by your team, even though you may not agree with their moves.

  21. I Hate the be “true fans” argument of just having to bend over and support the team no matter what the FO does. This type of ra ra attitude is what makes a dumb fan. A true fan is allowed to express their displeasure with the team and form an opinion on what the team is doing from your viewpoint. I know I’ve personally criticized Philly teams a lot in the past but when the game starts ill be watching it and fully supporting the team with every play. That is what makes someone a true fan or not, not just blindly supporting the Front Office no matter what.

  22. I’m not a fan of the methods in this team’s transformation, Homer looks like a real jackass. But some of the moves don’t surprise me. If you looked at the cap situation this year and who we have to re-sign next year, the team was fucked. Homer has too many long term contracts with NTC’s and he and the team is starting to pay for it. Carter and Richards, sadly, were the casualties. Hartnell would have been gone over Richards, had he not had a NTC, imo.
    Not sure about most people, but I felt better on 7/1 than I was on 6/23. Saturday ruined that feeling when the Caps signed Vokoun for a measly $1.5M. Had Snider been more patient, maybe 6/23 wouldn’t have had to happen.
    In trying to put a positive spin on this, many have said that this team was in a “win it or bust” type year. Homer decided to blow it up this year, and hope for the best, in the interest of the team’s future. Some of our prospects are gambles, but it’s nice to have some good prospects. Development camp will probably be one of the best in years.

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