Yeah, it’s Early, but Chuck Fletcher Had Himself One Hell of an Offseason

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

We’re making a concerted effort not to write about Ben Simmons or the Eagles today. Let’s do some more hockey.

Anthony noted in his earlier column the following:

Back in early September, I unexpectedly ran into a member of the Flyers Hockey staff, at a shopping mall of all places, and we talked about the off season at length.

He told me that Chuck Fletcher “gave the coaching staff everything they asked for,” in the offseason, and now it was up to the coaches and the players to prove it was all worth it.

It’s true. This group just looks so much more connected than last year’s group. The chemistry looks a lot better, and they just seem to mesh well on the ice.

Let’s do a brief breakdown of the early results:

 

Departures

Jake Voracek

Zero goals and five assists in six games for Jake, who was shipped back to Columbus for Cam Atkinson. It’s early, but right now that deal is giving off Seth Curry-for-Josh Richardson vibes, and will level off once Jake starts scoring. Voracek is making more money than Atkinson and being less productive right now.

Anthony notes that Jake isn’t a goal scorer, and never has been, which is true. His assist numbers typically double his goal totals. But the Flyers needed goals and not assists, so the deal made a ton of sense for them.

Nolan Patrick

The former #2 overall draft pick has played four games for Vegas this season. He’s scored one goal on ten shots and is averaging about 14 minutes of ice time. He’s currently out with an upper body injury. Some people wonder if the guy even likes hockey or wants to play hockey.

Phil Myers

Sent to Nashville in the Ryan Ellis trade, Myers has been scratched a couple of times and only made three appearances. At best, he’s a third-pair NHL defenseman.

Shayne Gostisbehere

The Flyers attached draft picks just to move Ghost in what amounted to a salary dump. He has four assists and is a -4 in six games for the Coyotes. That’s pretty much what Ghost is these days, a point getter who is liable in his own end.

Robert Hagg

One goal and one assist for Hagg in six games for the Buffalo Sabres. They had to part with him to make the salary for Rasmus Ristolainen work.

Arrivals

Ryan Ellis

Ellis has missed a couple of games with injury, but looks very much like a legit top-line defenseman when he’s been healthy. Four points for him in three games, and already forming a good partnership with Ivan Provorov.

Cam Atkinson

Six goals and one assist in five games. It’s his best start in three seasons, when he put up a career-high in goals and assists. Atkinson has been tearing it up early this year and his shoot-first mentality is the antithesis of what we watched with Jake for all of these years.

Rasmus Ristolainen

He’s been up and down this year. Some good, some bad. I think everybody knew it was gonna be a little rocky with him, since he was coming off an injury and a poor season up in Buffalo. At his best, he’s been physical and willing to block shots.

Derek Brassard

One goal and five assists in five appearances. He’s 15 seasons into his NHL career and looks great reunited with Alain Vigneault. He’s been skating as the second center in Kevin Hayes’ absence and producing on a one year, $825,000 contract.

Nick Seeler

What you want from a role player. He’s filled in for both Risto and Ellis this season, and done an admirable job. The Oleksiak fight and ensuing meme was well-received, and that’s the kind of stuff that puts you on the right track with fans.

Nate Thompson

He’s a veteran fourth line center at this point, and doing what you’d expect him to do. Got a goal last night, which was nice to see. Good teammate to have as backup and somebody with PK value and some intangibles as well.

Keith Yandle

He’s never been a defensive stalwart, but is delivering what was expected of him offensively. Five assists in five games for a guy who is approaching 250 career helpers.

Zach MacEwan

Honestly forgot he was on the team. He’ll probably cede time to Patrick Brown, who hasn’t played yet because of COVID protocol.

Martin Jones

Anthony hated the Jones signing, but he saved 37 of 40 shots in the Boston win and got himself off a good start. Can’t ask for much more than that this early in the season. He makes his second start tonight in his hometown Vancouver.

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