Flyers Mania

booty’s (no, not big_booty) take on the gigantic goalie Cechmanek, and flyersrule94 continues the judgement to be made on Bobby Clarke.Please, if you don’t know anything about the situation, don’t even bother reading the article. I want to hear people’s honest opinions, not ramblings from those who hate the Flyers.

This offseason, the Flyers traded Brian Boucher to Phoenix for Michal Handzus and Robert Esche. This cleared the goalie controversy, with Roman Cechmanek getting the nod as the full time number one. However, players and fans alike were angry over Cechmanek’s outburst during their first-round playoff series against the Senators. There were rumors that in practice the next day, players were firing shots at Cechmanek’s head because of their anger at him. When Ken Hitchcack was brought in as coach, he made it clear from day one that he was going to stick with Cechmanek. So now, people are saying that Cechmanek has to earn back his teammates’ trust in order for Philly to succeed.

My take on the whole situation is that Cechmanek is a damn good goalie. After his first year, I had no faith in him following the 8 – 0 shellacking Philly got when they were eliminated from the playoffs by the Sabres. But he followed that up with more outstanding play in the regular season, being in the top 3 in GAA and save% this past year. He also played his ass off in the playoffs when it seemed that the rest of the team didn’t care. So after this past year, I have much more faith in him. But still, in most peoples’ minds, he remains a question mark. I personally think he’s going to do very well under Hitchcack, who won a Cup with Eddie Belfour as his number one. I think Cechmanek is a much better goalie than Belfour, but that’s just my opinion. I’m not claiming Philly will win the cup, but I think their chances are pretty good, not great, but good.

As for Boucher, I liked him, and he was definately a fan favorite in Philly. But the guy was just too damn inconsistent. I’ve heard some people on this site talk about how great he is, but those aren’t people who have watched him play. Some of the goals that guy used to let in were just ridiculous. So I want to know what you guys think. Please, nobody say something like “Cechmanek sucks.” The guy is definately a good goalie, but where this team goes largely depends on how good he is. I’m very optimistic about the Flyers this coming season, and I can’t wait until the season starts.

flyersrule94 writes:

Bob Clarke – Bad G.M. or Bad Rep Label?

This is article is about Bob Clarke. And just to let you all know beforehand, I am not a Bob Clarke fan by any means, I am a diehard Flyers fan giving my opinion of our GM. And if you break it all down he probably should of already been fired. But Im not here to solely criticize him, only to analyze his doings over the past year or two.

Don’t get me wrong. I hate Bob Clarke, I really do. I think he is a horrible GM. But he is 100% right with what he said in this interview. 100%. The damn Philly reporters think they are the greatest in the world. They can dish it out but they cant take it. They criticize people who have more talent then they could ever dream of having and when the players come back and criticize them for being assholes and idiots, they get mad. Too bad. You want to dish it out, DEAL WITH IT. Clarke is right. This is not like this in any other city, but Philly. I’m not even close to a Bob Clarke fan, Im a diehard flyers fan, but Im happy that Bob Clarke did this interview and got this off his chest. I mean really how many 100 pt seasons do u have to have before u get some respect. Team like Anaheim and Calgary dont get nearly criticized as much as philly does. And it has nothing to do with small market teams.

Now on to him as a GM. He has done a lot of Bonehead things over the last couple years. I dont think anyone would disagree with me on that. But he has done some good. Handzus will make a great addition and even though Cechmanek isnt the answer, unfortunately, because Im a big fan of Boucher, he wasnt the answer either. But that was the best Bob Clarke could do with that situation, and Handzus will make a great contribution at both ends of the rink this year. Signing Gagne was a smart move as well, he cant risk losing him, he is one of the two best players on this team (Roenick) and he needs to be kept in philly, he has two much upside to be even considered to be dealt or let go. However for the good, thats as far as it goes this year. although last year, bringing in Roenick and Weinrich, a solid defensman who played well all year and of course everyone knows J.R. were great moves. Getting rid of Dopita was a must and he did that. But that is it for the good doings of Bob Clarke.

Now the bad. Starting last year, Hlavac for Brashear was good short term, but horrible long term, they could of got a decent enforcer for a little bit cheaper but clarke decided to give away a young talented winger instead. Boggles my mind. Then what boggles my mind even more was the Oates trade, which needs no explaining because everyone in the hockey world knows about that. Also letting Richardson go was the dumbest thing clarke did this offseason. Hes the most physical defenseman on the team, aside from McGillis and he is a solid defenseman who plays consistantly all year without a single complaint. Now I agree St. Jaques has to come up this year but not at Richardson’s expense. Without a doubt it should of been Therien. Therien is a guy that is 6’4 (approximately, not exactly sure) 220 something pounds and is afraid to hit, afraid to get hit and afraid to go into the corners. Enough said on that. Flyer fans know what i am talking about there. And last but not least the biggest mistake of all was the hiring of Ken Hitch*****. Great coach, great coach, no mistake about it. But he doesnt suit this team. He is totally different. He has a similar coaching style as Herb Brooks. The only problem is the flyers arent going to care, they wont respond to him and no results will come other than the destroying of the locker room morale as if it wasnt bad already. Clarkie, The guys you needed were either Pat Burns or Ted Nolan, real hockey fans know what Im talking about there and why. Those guys are players coaches and thats what suits this team. Thats why they responded so good to Neilson, unfortunately Clarke screwed him over as well. Clarke, after this year, you wont have the coach excuse. Lets see what you throw at us next offseason. Maybe it’ll be the trainers, the equipment managers, or even the Conditioning Coaches fault?

In conclusion, Bob Clarke has not always made the right move or the right decision, but the reporters have no right to get pissed of when the man fires back after being heavily criticized for so many years yet he continues to have his team in contention for the Cup every single year. I know many people will have a different opinion than me, but let me know what you think anyway.