Flyers fans will always remember where they were on June 23, 2011 when two of the biggest trades in team history took place.
In some ways it feels like an eternity ago, while in other ways it feels like just yesterday. But forget who and what left Philadelphia that Thursday afternoon two years ago.
The only thing that still matters most today is the acquisition of the 1st round draft pick that became Sean Couturier and the acquisition of 21 year old Brayden Schenn.
The trades changed the face of the franchise, and suddenly the Flyers became a team of youth with not only two but three of the best rookies in the NHL during the 2011-12 season thanks to those trades and the slick signing of college free agent Matt Read almost exactly three months prior.
That trio of rookie forwards shined in Philadelphia throughout the 2011-12 season, and the future was looking bright. But unfortunately what happens to even the best players in the NHL after a stellar rookie season is the dreaded sophomore slump.
(Sean Couturier. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
It's going to be a longer off season for the Flyers than they're used to.
Among the topics heading into the off season is the job security of head coach Peter Laviolette. In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren reassured the safety of his head coach.
Via Sam Carchidi's article this morning:
"I haven't even thought along those lines," Holmgren told The Inquirer in a phone conversation. "I think it's been a difficult year because of the situation. We haven't had our whole team all year. I don't blame the coaches.
The Flyers cannot seem to get any proper momentum going.
Despite building a mini two-game winning streak, the Flyers lost another key player to injury which will keep him out for a while. Max Talbot suffered a broken leg at the end of the second period of the Flyers 5-4 win against Washington and will be out indefinitely.
With just over a minute to go, Talbot collided with Capitals defenseman Mike Green. The replay made it look like Talbot was cut on the back of the leg with Green's skate but the Flyers said after the game that wasn't the case.
The Flyers look to ride off the momentum of a huge 3-1 win over Boston. But they host a hot Washington team that comes in winning four of its last five games. Both teams are on the outside looking in right now. They will be desperate for these two points.
If a player's offensive production includes two goals and three assists in 14 games, it's easily assumed that is the stat line of a fourth line forward.
For the Flyers, it was top-liner Scott Hartnell.
The struggles continued for Hartnell, who found himself demoted in the third period of a frustrating 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Monday. It's safe to say the demotion was a long time coming for Hartnell, who hasn't been the same player that led the Flyers with 37 goals.
(Pictured: Scott Hartnell battles with Matt Carle. AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Heading into Sunday night, the Flyers had allowed seven straight goals, blowing a 4-1 lead to Pittsburgh to lose 5-4 on Thursday and then getting shut-out 3-0 to the Bruins on Saturday.
Speed and an inability to have a physical presence in front of the net cost the Flyers the game on Thursday. Saturday's loss was three minutes of embarrassing hockey in which they were again out-worked.
Compound those two losses with the 4-2 loss to New York on Tuesday in which the Rangers scored three unanswered to win and the Flyers found themselves on a three-game losing streak and three games under .500.
Hosting the last-place Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, the Flyers needed to drastically change something.
(Pictured: Wayne Simmonds fights with Mike Weber in the first period after Simmonds' hit on Tyler Ennis. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)