Keith Jones and Scott Hartnell represented the rebuilding Philadelphia Flyers at Fan Fest 2023 at Xfinity Live on August 26. The booming “Let’s Go Flyers” chant from fans in front of the 97.5 The Fanatic stage represented the hunger that Philadelphia has for a return to Stanley Cup contention.
Flyers in Rebuild
Jones played parts of three seasons for the Flyers at the end of a long NHL career. He became the President of Hockey Operations in May. The newly-constructed front office faces an uphill battle in the rebuild.
The organization has fallen from its position as one of the proudest in the NHL. They’ve won one playoff series in the past 11 seasons, and they’ve failed to qualify for the playoffs in three consecutive seasons. The excitement surrounding a franchise perennially in contention has faded away.
However, Jones knows that the rebuild will help the beloved Flyers return to the conversation in Philadelphia sports.
“We’ll get more orange here in the next couple years…Me and Scotty, we’re similar, we love all Philadelphia sports teams, and we want to make sure that ours is back in the conversation. We recognize where they’re at, but our guys are going to do a lot to get us back in the conversation and also be a lot more visible.” -Keith Jones
The organization has confidence that young NHL players like Joel Farabee, Owen Tippett, and Carter Hart can take the next step in their development to become star players. Top NHL prospects Matvei Michkov and Cutter Gauthier have also inspired optimism for the future.
How does the organization plan to construct a roster tough enough to wear the Flyers logo? Jones didn’t have to look very far to find a former fan favorite who fits the mold.
“We’re going to make sure we build with a lot of guys that have the heart that Scott Hartnell had.” -Jones
“Let’s Go Flyers!”
Anthony Gargano coined the idea of “4-for-4” Philadelphia sports fans.
“It really meant, you follow everything Philadelphia. It’s just your hometown, and it’s a state of mind. It’s who you are. If you’re 4-for-4, you can’t root against me in another sport. That’s horrible. You’re rooting for my misery. How can you be my brother with the Eagles and root against me with the Phillies? It makes no sense.” -Anthony Gargano on 97.5 The Fanatic
The Cuz spoke at Fan Fest about how the Flyers falling out of the conversation has hurt the city’s attitude. One of the four franchises hasn’t done enough to draw their fan base to the arena. He told Keith Jones that things have to change.
“This is our city, and I have missed the Flyers. I miss the relevancy of the Flyers. I love the Flyers, man. That’s part of our soul, and that’s what you’re entrusted to bring back, brother.” -Anthony Gargano
A rowdy crowd of Philadelphia sports fans started a thunderous “Let’s Go Flyers!” chant as Keith Jones and Scott Hartnell got ready to exit the stage.
Times have been tough in the world of the Flyers. However, Philadelphia fans will always come back quickly for a winning team. Can the organization rebuild its way to their first Stanley Cup since 1975?