As it currently stands, the Flyers have a 2.3% chance of making the playoffs. That is not great. And if you’re not going to make the playoffs, the year is basically scrapped. With projected top picks Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel entering the draft upon mountains of hype and potential, it can be tempting to scrap the year yourself and make a run at them. But will the Flyers do that? Absolutely not, according to GM Ron Hextall:
“We’re not going that direction. You can’t sit and say, ‘OK, we’ll not win any games and we’ll get McDavid or Eichel.’ It’s not the way it works. … You don’t dictate necessarily where you finish because you owe it to your fans, you owe it to hockey, to try to win every game.”
Hextall, in tossing aside any tank-talk, mentioned organizational “credibility” — a sticking point for many against the Sixers’ strategy — often called “integrity.” “We have to be cognizant of the future,” Hextall continued. “We’re not going to give up a draft pick to make us a playoff team. If we can’t do it with the guys we’ve got, we’re not mortgaging our future to try and sneak into the playoffs.” And in one fell swoop, Hextall disregarded the Sixers’ plan and the potential Eagles strategy. Additionally, he’s brushed aside the Phillies’ plan by not solely employing players in their 30s.