Let's face it... Flyers fans are in for an awkward season.
There is no way around describing what this 2014-15 Philadelphia Flyers team is. You can say they're a team in transition.
The word transition is not something that owners like to use or that fans like to hear. But it truly is the perfect way to explain this Flyers team.
It is not shocking at all either that the Flyers would end up this way. Ron Hextall was promoted to general just this spring, so he himself is still trying to make the team his own. He was left tied up with a few mistakes made by previous GM Paul Holmgren, and has been unable to reverse moves that were made prior to his promotion.
In a move many saw coming for months, even after a public dismissal last week, Flyers assistant General Manager Ron Hextall has been promoted to General Manager, and Paul Holmgren has been promoted to President. This was announced in a news conference on Wednesday morning.
Holmgren had issued a denial of any organizational movement after the series loss to the New York Rangers, but in those five days since, that organizational movement indeed occurred.
Hextall, 50, takes over this position after serving this past season as Assistant GM. He had previously served as Assistant GM for the Los Angeles Kings, playing second fiddle to former Flyers scout Dean Lombardi.
If you go back into the early episodes of the TCL Flyers podcast, you'll hear me proclaim Ray Emery as the Flyers' starting goaltender in 2013-14. Why? He had shown an ability to be competitive after suffering avascular necrosis in 2010. He also proved to be a valuable backup on a juggernaut Chicago Blackhawks team that won hockey's greatest prize.
Steve Mason, that other guy, played well during his seven-game tryout at the 2013 season's conclusion. Prior to that, I, and many others, fell into the trap of thinking of Mason as the sad sack goalie from The Buckeye State with undersized pads who produced a record fit for the NHL's version of a discard pile.
General Manager Paul Holmgren released a statement around 4:30 p.m. Thursday detailing that Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo will miss approximately six weeks with a high ankle sprain suffered in Wednesday's 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
After missing the past few games with what was classified as an upper body injury, Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren updated Matt Read's health status on Wednesday evening. Read will miss time with post-concussion-type symptoms.
For a guy who was a healthy scratch just five weeks ago, Michael Raffl has made the most of the opportunities presented to him since returning to the lineup on Nov. 27.
In fact, December may have been the best month in the 25-year-old’s professional hockey career.
During the final calendar month of 2013, Raffl notched 10 points (2 G, 8 A) in 14 games played, including his first career NHL goal against Ottawa on Dec. 9. Prior to the beginning of December, Raffl had just one point in 14 games played.
Okay, someone has to say it: the Philadelphia Flyers are building wrong.
Going back through the last five Stanley Cup winners (2009-13) and the Flyers Eastern Conference Champion team in 2010, there is a huge discrepancy when comparing the make-up of those teams to the Flyers of 2013.
The winning teams being talked about are the 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins, 2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks, 2010-11 Boston Bruins, 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings, and 2012-13 Blackhawks.
(Photo: Chicago's Patrick Kane just realizes he scored the game-winning goal of Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, beating the Flyers.)