Now that the offseason is upon us, Chuck Fletcher and the Philadelphia Flyers have to start delivering on what is expected to be an aggressive retooling. With teams still in the playoffs, I don’t expect a ton of trades to be going on, but the Nick Seeler signing kicked things off.
The 2022 NHL Entry Draft will be the first big stop of the offseason for the Flyers and opens the opportunity for change. But as seasons switch over, the Flyers are going to be parting ways with some veterans they thought would help them out in the short run. The 2021-22 season didn’t go as planned partly because of the lack of production from the following, so the Flyers will create space and go in search of some new players to fill their spots.
As part of the retool, the Flyers are looking to get younger. That starts with Keith Yandle. There is next to no chance he is returning to the team next season after how the end of season went. The Flyers kept him in the lineup until he broke the consecutive games played record, but then pulled him from the lineup 11 games short of 1,000. This wasn’t a very classy move considering the team wasn’t playing for anything at that point and it definitely caused a rift between him and the organization as current and former players alike say it was a disrespectful move and sends the wrong message of loyalty.
Some say it was the right decision because of how bad of a season Yandle was having. I can’t agree with the lack of production from the 35-year-old, but there were other ways of going about it. The Flyers had just signed Ronnie Attard after his college career had ended and needed to get him into the lineup. But with late-season injuries to some defencemen, players like Seeler and Kevin Connauton stayed in the lineup more than Yandle when they could have just dressed seven defencemen or have him play 10 minutes a night.