The Flyers are signing off this morning after another unsatisfying season.
They again failed to make the playoffs, the general manager was fired, and the head coach followed suit. Along the way they gave Carter Hart his long-awaited NHL debut, enjoyed a late resurgence, ripped off a couple of nice wins, and then ultimately failed to climb out of the hole they themselves dug.
It’s Chuck Fletcher’s world now. Time to find a new coach. Time to add some pieces to the roster. Time to get some jam back in the building.
The GM spoke on break-up day, and said the following in a 36 minute media availability:
- On Joel Quenneville: “Disappointed, but happy for Joel. Less than 48 hours since the end of our season, and the process of identifying the next head coach of the Flyers will start today.”
- Scott Gordon “remains a strong candidate” for the job.
- He had not talked to Quenneville recently. He says the team is just starting the process of finding a new head coach (which is obviously just a generic line, of course they have a shortlist of candidates).
- Team will be active in trying to make improvements. Can’t control marketplace and trade market. He thinks the club has a lot of good players right now.
- The biggest concern is giving up too many goals per game, mentions that team was 29th in goals against. “You have no chance of making the playoffs if you’re giving up that many goals.” He doesn’t think it’s an effort issue.
- Thinks the team has some bad habits that need to be recognized, that’s a focus in training camp, an opportunity to implement changes when practice time is ample.
- On the coaching search, he mentioned experience and a sharing of philosophy, plus intelligence and communication as desirable traits. “It’s a host of factors. Certainly experience is part of it.”
- He will work with the head coach on naming the assistant coaching staff. They’ll work quickly on that after making a hire.
More after the jump:
- Team needs “a couple more proven players, for sure.”
- Shayne Gostisbehere has had better years than this one. He reiterated that this was a different type of season for the players, with a lot of change in the front office and coaching ranks. That’s harder for young players to adjust to, while veterans might be able to handle it better.
- “Anybody should be considered to be tradeable,” said Fletcher, when asked whether or not his attitude had changed after the trade deadline. He originally said everybody except Claude Giroux was expendable. “Everybody has a price.”
- He thinks the defense is pretty good. Penalty kill improved as the year went on, goaltending was better. There were games where the defense struggled, had some puck management issues, forwards sometimes making the game tough on the d-men.
- “We’re not good enough right now,” he said, which I think we can all agree with.
- “Not fair” to single out assistant coaches, but they work hard and communicate, special teams started slow then became much better.
- No surgeries lined up right now, though he said some guys might go in for follow-up procedures, says the group is relatively healthy going into the summer.
- “Too early to say” whether anybody will be bought out, though Fletcher said he is not a big fan of going that route. He has, however, made buyouts in the past (Thomas Vanek)
- He does not think this is an elite free agent market (Karlsson, Panarin, S̶t̶o̶n̶e̶ Duchene probably the top three UFAs).
Here’s the full video of Fletcher’s comments:
— x-Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 8, 2019