Flyers general manager and Comcast Spectacor CEO Dave Scott addressed the media in a “state of the team” address. Dave Scott did not hold back at how bad it has been this season as the Flyers find themselves in the middle of a 12 game losing streak.
“I don’t want to sugarcoat it. We’re in a terrible spot right now. We’re sick of losing. This isn’t what anyone signed up for.”
When it turned to Chuck Fletcher he decided at first to put lipstick on a pig. Congratulating defensemen Keith Yandle on breaking Doug Jarvis’ iron man streak. Ironically Yandle set the record in the same game where the Flyers set the franchise record for most consecutive losses. But hey! Congrats Keith!
The Flyers biggest trade bait is going to be its captain Claude Giroux. Giroux is, and has been the best player on the team for quite some time but he is scheduled to be a free agent at seasons end. Giroux will get dealt. It’s just a matter of to whom. Fletcher was asked about whether or not he has talked to Giroux and his agent Pat Brison about waiving his no movement clause.
“I have a very good relationship with (Pat Brison) and G. (insert a bunch of unnecessary compliments to Claude Giroux as he deflects on the question.) Claude has a no move clause in his contract. Ultimately that will be his decision. Were two months to the deadline so the best way to put it is we will continue to have conversations and ultimately a decision will have to be made one way or the other but that will be Claude’s decision.”
Giroux however figures to be the first domino in a series of moves in order to change and overhaul the team.
“Everything is on the table. Were, right now, really focused on trying to win some games and get better. The math is daunting. But if this (losing) continues we will look to do what we can to get better at the deadline.”
Fletcher was then asked if he is ready to admit that major changes need to be made in order to look at a rebuilding approach.
“I dont think theres any question we need more top end talent. I think we have tried to address that in the last few years. Adding some players with some skill sets that we need. I do think there are players here that can be part of a winning core. But we need to add more pieces. That will be the focus going forward. I do believe we have good pieces. And when guys like Couturier and Ellis come back I think we are a significantly better hockey team. We need more top end talent but were not going to trade 20 players on our team and get 15 picks every year. That isn’t the right approach.”
Dave Scott then interjected:
“I don’t see this as being a 4-5 year rebuild at all. I don’t think Chuck does either. We have a really good core and it starts with Couturier, Hayes, Farabee, would love to have Ellis back. We have a core group to build on. I think as we look at the reality of it, 2-3 pieces would be great. Maybe a little more. But the core is great.”
As the Flyers tailspin continues, there is clearly a hesitation to fully committing to blowing it up. Starting the presser off by congratulating a guy on breaking a record is a good example of “time and place.” Telling the fan base that your core is good, when the core features overpaid players as well as often injured ones, is a bold move. It just seems like the Flyers brass is terrified that by committing to a full rebuild they might lose the casual fan. But the problem is, the casual fan has been gone a long long time ago.