It’s been 37 years since the Flyers have won the Stanley Cup.
37 long years, full of goalie controversies, missed opportunities, and failed expectations. Of coming so, so close, and falling so, so far.
Now, it hasn’t all been bad. There have been many highs to combat the many lows the Flyers have faced. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s been 37 years of failing to reach the ultimate goal – winning the Cup.
Of course, the Flyers are not the only team who have not won a cup in a long, long time. Hell, there are six active teams in the league that have never even reached a Stanley Cup Final. But the Flyers seem to be the only team who are constantly planning for the short-term solution instead of the long-term effect.
The ‘win-now’ mentality that the Flyers possess is great, in theory. The organization, the players, and the fans are all hungry for the Cup. But it doesn’t happen overnight. A team needs to be built, and developed, and players need to learn and grow together under a system to find success.
The core group of the 2009-2010 Flyers team, the team that made it all the way to Game 6 of the Final, had been playing together for several years. After the 2010-2011 season, that team was blown up, and the Flyers failed to make it past the second round of the 2011-2012 playoffs. They failed to even make the playoffs this past season.
Flyers management is always after the quick fix. But a team is not a leaky roof. One piece will not get the job done, no matter how shiny and new it seems. There are 23 players on an active roster for a reason; they all must come together in a cohesive way to be successful.
Instead of trading away young talent for a veteran presence (with no knowledge of how that veteran will fare under a new system), the Flyers should take the time to develop said young talent instead. Instead of changing goaltenders seemingly more frequently than a person changes their sheets, let the goaltenders you have (who aren’t even bad) continue to learn under a system and a set defense for more than just a few months at a time.
It isn’t about getting the job done now. That hasn’t worked for the Flyers once in the past 37 years. It’s time to focus on getting the job done, period, and focus on building a strong team that, in time, will finally reach the ultimate goal and bring utter joy to a city that bleeds Orange & Black.