Can Philly Bring Home the Gold?

Bob Clarke is making a big statement this year by not going after any big named free agents. Clarke seems to think that Philadelphia has what it takes to win the cup. Are the Flyers good enough to advance to the finals and win? Do they have what it takes to beat teams like Detroit and Colorado in a Seven games series? Are the making a mistake by standing idle while many of their rivals are improving.

Bob Clarke has made a few mistakes in the past 6 months that are going to cost the Flyers in the long run. It starts with the Adam Oates trade in which the Flyers gave up a considerable amount for the classy center. Problem is the Flyers didn’t even bother to sign him. It seems to me that Clark would have been better off trading for Lecavalier. The Second mistake Clark has made was trading away Boucher. Boucher will be a top goaltender in the years to come, and we are all going to wonder why we ever gave him up. The third mistake that Clarke is making is by doing nothing in free agency. Do you really think that Philly can beat Detroit or Colorado? I don’t! Not only that but Flyers are going to have to compete with a much improved Rangers team this year. How can we be happy with them acquiring Holik and Kasper? Who would have ever thought that Kasper and Lindros would ever be teaming up (on the Rangers)? It would have been worth signing Holik just to prevent the Rangers from getting him. He is just the type of player they need, and he will get them into the Playoffs. Clarke has taken a team that was deep in center and made it weaker. If Premo or Roenick get injured next year, the Flyers don’t have a center who can replace them. It would at the very least have been worth keeping Oates, we already paid enough for him.

While Flyers have decent arsenal of weapons, they lack the strength needed to beat teams like Detroit and Colorado. To be honest they are going to have a hard enough time beating teams in the East. They won one playoff game last year, yet Clarke seems to think they have a stanley cup team. While it is true that coaching was a huge reason for their failure of a season, I still think they lack some weapons. Flyers need a left winger. Selanne would be a perfect fit on this team. His size and speed would compliment LeClair nicely. Amonte is also another possibility. He would be great on a line with Roenick. However it is obvious that Flyers are not going to make any moves this year to better their team. Unless Flyers surprise everyone and make a few moves, they are going to have a hard time competing in their division this year. I am sure Hitch***** will do a better Job then Barber, but I am not expecting him to take this team all the way in his first year. From the way it looks now I expect Flyers to be knocked out of the play offs in the second round, third if they are lucky. What do you all think about the Flyers?


32 Responses to Can Philly Bring Home the Gold?

  1. aaron says:

    I think just throwing money at ppl isn’t going to build you a team. I think Clarke is making a statement to his team, “You’re it. Get it done.” I think that it doesn’t matter how many ppl they sign, if the players don’t get it, they don’t get it.

    BTW, Oates has destroyed two Stanley Cup contenders in two years. Why do you want to keep him again? He’s addition by subtraction.

    Observe: benched in the playoffs w/ Washington. When Philly got him, their offense collapsed. Bravo. I’m sure everyone in the league wants him.

  2. bcuffari says:

    Clarke is not making maistakes by not signing free agents. He is stayin put. Believe it or not, hate the Flyers or not, hate Bob Clarke or not, this team does have what it takes.

    Why would we have signed Oates when he obviously didn’t want to play for us. All the players on this team conflicted with his style, besides Gagne. He signed with the Ducks so he could feed Kariya the puck.

    I don’t think bringing in Hitch***** was the answer either, I don’t think he is the right type of coach for the players the Flyers have. We don’t have enough consistent scoring threats, in order for our players to be dangerous, they can’t be sitting back playing defense, they simply don’t have the speed and skill to play the wait and pounce game.

    They need to be in the opponents zone, wearing them down with physical, aggressive play.

    They don’t have the skill to be a wait and pounce team. Hitch***** will bring them to the play-offs, but he would bring any team to the play-offs, as he is a great coach. They won’t choke in the play-offs, but they won’t do all that well. They’re not gonna fall apart and embarrass themselves.

    Cechmanek has what it takes, the difference between him and Bouch is that we know Cechmanek is going to play well, we don’t know what Bouch is going to do. You can’t invest your future into a player that is a head case, just can’t do it, no matter how big the upside is.

    I think Handzus was a very good pick-up. Clarke isn’t as bad as everyone thinks, I mean i will even admit now that he is not the best GM in the world, but it’s not his fault we are not winning. He does do his job, I have said this a million times, his job is to get the players needed to win the Stanley Cup. Everyone thought he did it last season, all the experts, all the fans, and himself, it was just an unstable lockerroom. Barber’s head was not in the game, it was in his family business.

    All the players that had bad seasons last year, you will see have better campaigns than last season. Primeau, Recchi, Leclair will have a worse season cause he sucks, and Handzus will surprise the hockey world.

    My two cents on the Flyers up to this point.

    Just for the record, I will miss Rusty, I think in the long run it was the better move to make, Woywitka will help this team a lot in the future, and will be able to learn from Johnsson when he comes up.

    Cuffari

  3. bcuffari says:

    Of course, look at the Rangers, ya can’t buy a team. I mean there are exceptions with the Redwings and everything, but Clarke is making a bold statemet by doing that. I think it’s a smart move, the team will have no reason to beg for a change on the team, he is telling them if they want a change on the team, it’s going to be witht he players. They already said Hitch***** is staying for the duration of his contract.

    Cuffari

  4. Chandlerisback says:

    I agree.

    Clarke has screwed this team up.

    BrindAmour….Hlavac…Lindros….Manderville…Boucher…Ouellet….Richardson…

    the LeClair signing…the terrible deal for Oates….Keeping Desjardins… Going through all these coaches…dealing Niinimaa…..being a prick to Nelson when he had cancer….and most of all being a baby in the Lindros ordeal

    hes not even close to a good GM

    until he goes the Flyers wont win it all

    http://www.clarkemustgo.com

    an interesting site u all should see.

    Thats My 2 cents

    Ill b here til wednesdy…be sure to tip ur waitress

  5. Flyers_01 says:

    I think Philly has as good a shot as anyone at winning the cup this year. The talent is there but the cup isn’t won in July.

    Paying Holik what the Rangers are paying him is NOT worth it to the Flyers (or any other team in the NHL). Holik would’ve been a nice addition but not at the price the Rangers ended up paying.

    Boucher may or may not have a great career. Noone knows. He is very inconsistant.

    Amonte may still be an option, who knows? But I do know that the Flyers aren’t going to overpay him just to get him.

    What I really want to know is who is going to end up with Derrick Morris?

  6. ooJUXEoo says:

    Well Salane would never work here anyway, Leclair is a natural LW, so they wouldn’t play together anyway. Salane is all offense, the Flyers have become extremely defensive minded. I agree with you that they need…..something. You can’t clear out millions in payroll with getting rid of Oates, Boosh, Dopita, Fedotenko, Tocchet, and now Richardson, and not get a major improvement via FA. This doesn’t make sense to me. They definately need a wing….Brendl will not impress yet again. My only wonder is if there is a trade in the works for improvement on wing of Defense.

    JUXE

  7. titans says:

    Clarkey Clarkey Clarkey…how is it you always find new and creative ways to wreak havoc on my Flyers? If it’s not spending 9 million a year on a guy who can’t score 25 goals a season anymore, or trading a good player for a rapist, then it’s not doing anything after your team gets it’s nuts kicked in yet again in the first round of the playoffs. Yea Clarkey you picked a great time to be “fiscally responsible” Clarkey are there any depths you won’t sink to to ruin the Flyers?

  8. canadian_hockey_rules says:

    I would like to start off by saying I HATE Bob Clarke. He still thinks he is back in the 70’s when players played with broken bones and they didn’t believe in concussions.

    However on the other hand I would like to commend him on his dealings during the FA season. They got their new coach and he is not going out and trying to buy a winner . Cups should not be bought but earned. Develop players or make trades for them to make your team better but don’t profit off other teams devotion to young players.

    In conclusion the Flyers are not ready to make a return to the depths of the playoffs but perhaps the players (which they have fairly good talent already) will have renewed confidence in their team and make a better run than their Political defeat. (Senators)

  9. ClarkeRules says:

    Titans, you typically amuse me with your homer Flyers attitude. But please, never bring up Manderville again. He’s a good player I’m sure, but it’s not like he’ll be the difference between winning the Cup or not. Manderville was a healthy scratch constantly before Clarke traded him. It was a favor for the guy to go to the Penguins because he wasn’t playing for the Flyers. That was Barber’s decision not Clarke’s. So Clarke traded him for a bum(Tibbets). Big deal. get over it. In two years when Pitkannen is on the team I’m sure you’ll be crying the blues over Fedotenko too. Give me a break. Wait to see what they do under Hitchhelmut before you cast your stones.

  10. ClarkeRules says:

    Finally, someone notices that the Flyers seemed to be clearing payroll. I thought for sure that would lead to an unexpected signing of a big UFA. But alas, it seems as though Clarke has told the truth for once. I’m disappointed.

  11. Freezer says:

    Clarke must figure he had the horses all along. He just didn’t have the right coach. That’s why he has done so little. What else can it be? Perhaps a brain tumor?

  12. mikster says:

    WOuld you pay Holik $8.5? Is there a big difference between 8.5 and 9?

  13. ooJUXEoo says:

    Yea, WIP 610 in Philadelphia said upwards of 10 million was cleared. How do they not go after a wing or big name Defensemen?

  14. calflyers says:

    i heard “suter” was a possibility

    this will be a very interesting year !

    (not much offense, but if they WIN, that’s all that matters i guess!)

  15. bcuffari says:

    Only two players Clarke was completely wrong in trading on that list………. Brindy and Oullet. He was right in thinking Neilson would cause a distraction, i know it sucks that he had cancer and that had to happen, but it was the right decision, it’s just an excuse Clarke haters use against him. McGillis is just as effective and important on the blue-line as Niinimaa is, just in a completely different way.

    When it comes to the Lindros ordeal there are two decisions he could have made, the first one was to let Eric Lindros and his dad (his agent) control the entire organization, or for Calrke to put his foot down and not let one playe decided the fate of a team.

    Let’s look at both sides of the coin here people.

    Cuffari

  16. TC_4 says:

    It’s pretty sad that your a Philly fan Brian, and still don’t hate Bob Clarke. Would you deal Niinimaa for McGillis and a second rounder? I don’t think Dan is bad, but I would much rather have Niinimaa, espically at that time. McGillis was struggling along in Edmonton, and Niinmaa was probably one of the 5 best players 25 and under in the league. I’m not knocking your comment, it’s just that you have to be frustrated with Clarke if your a true Philly fan.

  17. FlyersZombie says:

    are the Flyers even playing for gold? I thought the Stanley cup was silver. Maybe they should start playing for that. All these guys are PROS, they play hockey for a living.

    Bob Clarke is just some dude,I could care less who the new guy is that comes in. I would probably make some dumb moves too. MANDERVILLE was the dumbest trade I ever saw in my whole entire life. What ever happened to him?Is he playing in Pittsburgh next year or what?

    God I hope so.

    Well July 1st has come and gone,just like a lot of the free agents I thought the FLY GUYS might pick up. Mostly Holik Guerin and Amonte. Looks like Amonte will be signing with the Leafs.

    I hate it I really hate it.

    I would sign 1 big free agent every year to get what it takes to win. DON”T give me these speaches on how teams have to build their team,that theory went out the window when Detroit bought it this year. HULL ROBAITIE,HASEK,BLAKE. Holy shit, I bet the Rangers will win it next year.HOLIK KASPAR,RICHTER is back,LINDROS,BURE damn they look good on paper.

    I think that the Flyers will win the cup in 03-04 season,free agency next year they will probably run wild with,plus trades and all that. They have some young defensive talent coming up too,and some offensive prospects to watch for too. I think the Phantoms are going to be one kick ass squad.

    As for the big club,I am looking for CLarke to make some sort of trade to get a winger.

    FLyers are real deep at center. Primeau,Roenick,Murray,MacNeil,Handzeus, Brendl,even Gagne and Leclair can play center.

    But the wing is where they are hurting,Gagne Recchi,Leclair,Williams are going to be a big key to the success of how this team wins. They got to put up some big numbers. I think PRIMS and JR need to feed the puck to these 4 and let them have at it. I want them to lead the league in assits like Oates and JR did last year.

    Cechmanek can make the saves,McGillis and McAllister can smash people and Desjardins and Johnsson can assist in the scoring dept.

    I can’t wait to watch all 82 games

    They will Make the playoffs,I have high hopes for them,but I will have even higher hopes if they start to do well,and pick up some more scoring help.

    keep your stick on the ice,and never stop watching hockey

    peace

  18. titans says:

    It’s not so much the fact that they traded Manderville, it’s that they got that total looser/Rapist/horrible waste of life Billy Tibbits. Why bring a cancer like that into your locker room?

  19. amok says:

    Blake’s on Colorado.

    And yes Detroit did sign some free agents, but Yzerman, Fedorov, Lidstrom and others have all been Wings for life..

    And lastly, if I were a Flyers fan I wouldn’t be too concerned. They’ve got a damned good team.

  20. big_booty says:

    Other than the signing of some career minor-league centerman whom I’ve never heard of, there has been nothing but quiet from the Philadelphia organization since the draft. This can be interpreted one of two ways.

    First, Bob Clarke might be sending a message to his club. The club they have now is stacked with talent, despite all the rumblings and grumblings from the fans, and if there is another first-round exit like last year’s, heads will roll.

    Second, it could be a money issue. This has to do with the team’s parent company, Comcast. Comcast underwent a huge facelift this past fiscal year with the merger with AT&T. While Comcast now will control almost all cable communications on the eastern seaboard, they also took on a lot of debt that AT&T had accrued over the past couple of years. Comcast does not need one of its subsidiaries, namely the Flyers, to lose money. They want the team to operate on a profit, or at the very least break even.

    That being said, I think it is a very smart thing the Flyers are doing right now. Bob Clarke said that they would not be active in free agency, and he is sticking to his guns while freeing up a boatload of salary (about $10 million). Clarke is lying in wait until things calm down, then he will probably explore some trade scenarios.

    As for “mistakes,” well, let’s actually think about those.

    “It starts with the Adam Oates trade in which the Flyers gave up a considerable amount for the classy center.”

    Did they give up alot? Sure, but they could afford to. I’m sick of talking about this, but at the time, it was a great deal. Three picks and a prospect for the league’s best setup man? C’mon, anyone would have done that deal. That trade was made to win and win at all costs. Pierre Lacroix was thisclose to trumping Clarke, but blinked. As I said before, Detroit fans would have been shitting their pants if the Avs got their hands on Oates. And if you’re going to call this trade a mistake, you might as well do the same for the Kasparaitis deal with Colorado. The Avs gave up a couple of pretty good young players to get Darius, and now have nothing to show for him.

    “The Second mistake Clark has made was trading away Boucher. Boucher will be a top goaltender in the years to come, and we are all going to wonder why we ever gave him up.”

    Trading Boucher was not a mistake, it was a necessity. I like Boucher, and I wanted to see him succeed in a Flyers sweater. The fact remains that the team gave him every chance to play and he couldn’t do it consistently. He could never quite grasp the brass ring, even though it seemed that Clarke was giving him a boost most of the time. Face facts. Cechmanek is the better player, and one of the top five goalies in the league. You cannot say how Boucher’s career will turn out, he might not even beat out Sean Burke.

    “Not only that but Flyers are going to have to compete with a much improved Rangers team this year. How can we be happy with them acquiring Holik and Kasper?”

    Trust me, I’m not happy about Holik. I really wanted the Flyers to go after him. But in the end, they weren’t going to pay him more than Roenick, their #1 center. As for Kaspar, he’s not as good as most people think he is. Honestly, while the Rangers might have spent a tone of money, they didn’t improve themselves all that much.

    “Clarke has taken a team that was deep in center and made it weaker. If Premo or Roenick get injured next year, the Flyers don’t have a center who can replace them.”

    No. Wrong. This team is fine at center. Roenick, Primeau, Handzus, and Murray is a pretty good group. Simon Gagne is also a natural center playing wing. Guillaume Lefebvre can step up from the minors as well. I’m not worried about our depth at this position.

    “Flyers need a left winger. Selanne would be a perfect fit on this team. His size and speed would compliment LeClair nicely. Amonte is also another possibility.”

    Maybe. I know that Clarke really wanted Amonte at the deadline, but Mike Smith refused to trade him. I don’t know if Clarke would make a play for him now. LeClair went under the knife again for his back, and that frightens me. They called it minor, but there is no such thing as “minor back surgery.” Depth-wise, there is LeClair, Williams, Ranheim, Brashear, Fedoruk. Selanne? Not at what he’s asking to be paid.

    “I am sure Hitch***** will do a better Job then Barber, but I am not expecting him to take this team all the way in his first year.”

    You shouldn’t, but there is reason for optimism. Hitch is a great coach, and his staff is, I believe, second to none. Hartsburg is a defensive genius, he will be working with the blueliners and get them to play their system to a T. Fleming is a matchup guy, his strength is seeing game situations evolve and making the correct adjustments. The team hasn’t had this much structure behind the bench for a long time.

    I was an advocate of a team facelift (again), but not at what it is costing in this free agent market. It seems to me that for now, the Flyers are doing the right thing by doing nothing.

  21. big_booty says:

    Brind’Amour:

    Since the trade – Brind’Amour: 47g 78a 115pts -16

    Primeau: 60g 78a 138pts +24

    Hlavac:

    Couldn’t crack the Flyers top two lines, and refuses to play good hockey without Petr Nedved and Radek Dvorak.

    Lindros:

    Got rid of a locker room cancer who wasn’t even playing for a goal-scoring winger, a puck-moving d-man, and a highly-rated prospect. Held out for the best deal.

    Manderville:

    Nine nights out of ten he was a healthy scratch. Traded to free up a roster spot and salary.

    Boucher:

    Inconsistent. When given the oppurtunity, couldn’t step up his play and claim the #1 job outright. Bitched about being a backup, traded for another backup and a damn good two-way center.

    Ouellet:

    Still a project whose development had stalled. Let in long shots from beyond the blue line and had the tendency to go down to early and get beat high. At least two more years from being a full-time NHL goalie. Traded for the league’s best assist man. Will be stuck behind Olaf Kolzig.

    Richardson:

    Another move to free up a roster spot for a youngster, saving about $2 million. Not a big drop-off with Bruno St. Jacques, who is just as big and strong, but can handle the puck when needed.

    LeClair: Former 50 goal scorer signed to a huge contract. Prevented the rest of the NHL from signing him. Jury still out on this one, pending a healthy next season.

    The Oates deal: Made out of necessity. Draft picks were extra – #1, #2, and #3 given up, but team still had a #1, #2, and #3. See Ouellet description above.

    Desjardins: We’ll see how he plays under Hitchkock, although I would personally like to see him gone.

    Coaches: Changes needed to be made, and they weren’t always the right ones. Clarke has admitted as much.

    Niinimaa: Was terribly inconsistent in his second year. Made bad defensive decisions, positioning was poor, and most outlet passes were giveaways. Traded for the bigger, stronger, and steadier Dan McGillis, a hitter and defender who clears the crease and kills in the corners. Just what the Flyers needed.

    Neilson: Clarke only wanted what was best for him and his health. Neilson wanted to come back as soon as his chemo was over with, and Clarke was only following the advice of Neilson’s doctors, who said it was still too soon. Clarke wanted Neilson back after his cancer had been totally beaten, and as of today it still plagues the coach.

    Lindros ordeal: Was not “being a baby,” but finally stood up to the incessant whinings and demands of a spoiled brat and his parents who tried to do his GM job for him. His ranting to the media was unecessary, but he was only venting his frustration at the situation.

    Spend your two cents elsewhere, your arguements hold no water.

  22. Jonathane says:

    I would agree with reason number one and two, but I might also add a third, in that I think Hitch***** is still studying the team. I think that he is wanting to have a training camp and see who he can salvage and whom the Flyers will jettision. In addition, the Flyers are a big payroll team. With a possible lock out coming in two years and then possibly some form of salary cap, some teams are weary of adding more money to the payroll. I think that he entered into some clubs thinking.

    I agree with you on the sick and tried part of going over the deal, however we are destined to disagree on your use of the words “great deal.”

    I contend it was not a “great deal”, rather an expensive gamble that did not work out. I also disagree that trading three picks and a top prospect for the leagues best set up man is not something that anyone would have done. Anyone desperate, yes, but not anyone. Sure the trade was made to win at all costs, but when after making that trade you are blown out in the first round, it looks really bad.

    I think Lacroix backed off, because he felt the price was way to high. Additionally I do not think with Oates playing in Colorado it would have made a difference.

    As far as Kaspar goes, all along I have called that a mistake for Colorado as well. Kaspar helped the Av’s in that Hartley shortens his bench rather quickly and with the Bourque retirement, and Klemm moving on to Chicago he needed NHL defensemen. Still the lack of action on Lacroix’s part in attempting to keep Kaspar also points to someone who thinks that it wasn’t the best move to make.

    I wouldn’t agree that trading Boucher was a necessity. Again I would have liked to have seen each battle it out in training camp. but its done, so there is nothing to be gained from that.

    As for the last bits, about the only thing I would say is that Hitch***** isn’t a great coach, but he is one of the better in the league and I would also not call his staff second to none. But those are little point.

    Best of luck to ya…

    —–

    “You can’t win, big_booty. If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

  23. titans says:

    Oh come on dude! Do you really think for one split second that the Brian Robins C.E.O. of Comcast gives one iota of thought about the Flyers financial status? The team lost 7 million dollars this year. Thats literally like 7 cents to you or me. The Flyers could loose 100 million and it would’nt mak a dent in Comcast’s books, debt or no debt . Let me assure you Ownership above all else wants a winner, and they ain’t gonna get it any time soon with Clarke sinkin…um…er running the ship.

  24. titans says:

    Ignore that cuff’ it was meant for Booty’s post not yours. Sorry

  25. aaron says:

    And w/ the Red Wings, they simply built onto a solid nucleus that they drafted or had had for a few years. It isn’t the same as haphazardly throwing a team together and saying “win me a Cup”

  26. Flyers_01 says:

    6.5 mill tops and only then if I was desperate for a 2nd line center.

  27. J3D9B says:

    oh yeah. Manderville is a Pen :) Great penalty killer. One of the best fourth liners I’ve ever seen. Tenacious forechecker, damn is he a pain in the ass! Gotta love him. A criminal with no sense of team for a player with a heart bigger than himself. Great deal for Patrick!

  28. J3D9B says:

    Great well thought out comment. All of these ppl seem to think that buying a team like Detriot and New York does is a good way to build. Let the team develope some chemistry throughout the season, and fill in the holes with trades as the season progresses.

  29. big_booty says:

    Good point about Hitch still studying the team. I couldn’t understand why he was so high on Primeau and Desjardins at first, I guess he will find things out as he goes on.

    Don’t kid yourself, though. Having Oates in the Colorado lineup would have made a huge difference.

    The Boucher trade was necessary. One of the two goalies had to go, and in the end it was the one who just couldn’t get it done.

    You’ll see about Hitch and his staff.

    “If you could be turned, you could become a powerful ally.”

  30. bcuffari says:

    The only thing that frustrated me about Clarke was the fact that he wouldn’t got for European players, he has changed in that facet though, he only wants to win now. He will make different decisions when his job is in jeopardy than when he controlled the whole organization at one time. I think Hitch***** will develop the power eventually and become GM.

    Cuffari

  31. FlyersZombie says:

    yea but when you fill those holes,fill them,don’t create more holes and try to fill them next year,it don’t work that way….

    go flyers,kick some ass

  32. aafiv says:

    Anyone who thinks that Clarke treated Lindros poorly is a complete ass.

Leave a Reply