The Flyers are currently doing their season-ending press availability, with players speaking to the media this afternoon. Alain Vigneault and Chuck Fletcher spoke earlier.
In between, we got Comcast Spectacor Chairman & CEO Dave Scott, who doubles as the Flyers’ Governor. Talk about a title. He gave a lengthy introduction and then proceeded to answer five questions before the session ended, which pissed off some scribes:
The capper on a miserable #Flyers season was Dave Scott ducking out of a Zoom when the going got tough.
— Dan Gelston (@APgelston) May 11, 2021
Since the media availability was short, I’ll just share the whole damn thing, courtesy of the Flyers and their commendable PR staff:
I just want to start by recognizing Chuck and Alain. This is my eighth season with the Flyers and I don’t think we’ve had better alignment looking back as to what we have now. You look at ownership. You look at the front office. You look at the staff. I think we’re in a good place and we’ll be ready to move forward. Starting this year, we were all so optimistic going in. You look at where we were March 1st, I think we were #1 in the East, highest point percentage and then to get knocked out of the playoffs by the Devils on April 29th if I remember right. It’s just not an acceptable level of performance, period. We’ve all talked about it. We’re not happy with where we are. There’s been frustration. There’s been anger. This is where we sit. It comes down to accountability and we’re all accountable for the success of this team. That starts with me, ownership, the front office, the coaching staff and the players. Where we sit, I can’t help but feel for our fans. I’ve talked about this publicly. They deserve so much more. The city of Philadelphia deserves so much more. We deserve a winning hockey team. At this point, the season is over and we’re picking up our head. I think Alain said it best, it’s time to reflect a little bit about where we’re going. Certainly we have the resources to put something pretty good together this summer. We have the time. Not easy in a cap world, but I’m confident that Chuck will be creative. We’ll figure a way to improve as we look to the next season.
You say the Flyers are in a good place right now. What makes you say that?
I still believe that we’re a much better team than our record shows and I think we’ve got some great talent to build around. We’ve got the veterans and we’ve got these young prospects coming up. I look at what Joel Farabee did last night, getting to 20 goals, it makes me feel optimistic about where we’re heading.
Why do you think Chuck will be more aggressive in this offseason compared to the previous offseason?
We talk every day and talk about the challenges and what we need to do about it. I think AV said it a couple times during his conference that we’re all looking to normalcy, kind of a full 82 game season. I think it’s going to make a big difference. I think we know what we need to do and I think you’ll see we’ll take the right action.
How do you show that the collapse in March and April was unacceptable and there is accountability without making major adjustments?
I think you’ve got to go back again and look at the last two season. They’ve been very different for the hockey world. Playing in the bubble last year, we were thrilled to get within a game of the Eastern Conference Finals. Didn’t quite make it. This season was a little different, shortened season. Playing everybody eight times. It was just a different format. Some teams did better with it than others. I really believe that Chuck, he hasn’t even had a full 82 game season yet. He came in late in the 2018-19 season and then we hit the pandemic. I still remember AV coming in last year. We all went to Prague last year and won. We came back. We had a big celebration with ownership and really the front office, the players, the coaching staff and significant others. He talked about a new era with the Flyers. We’ve all bought into that. The pandemic hit and things didn’t go the way we wanted them to go. It’s a new day now. I think we’ll pick up our heads and lean in. Make some adjustments and look forward to the next season.
Does that make it more imperative to get it right this offseason?
We have to get it right. As you guys know, it wasn’t just one thing. Chuck talked to it. AV talked to it. It starts with goaltending, defense, scoring went down. It wasn’t just one thing. It is important to get this thing back on track.
Were you disappointed with what he did in the offseason and how things transpired?
I wouldn’t say disappointed. I could tell you it wasn’t a lack of effort. There were a lot of conversations with different teams, trying to get some things done. We weren’t able to get everything done that we would have liked to gotten done. Matt Niskanen left a big hole and we weren’t able to fill that hole. I can tell you it wasn’t a lack of effort on Chuck’s part.