Everything Else

We continue our look around what the Hawks might be able to pry loose via trade this summer, and our lonely eyes turn to The Iladelph. This one isn’t as clear as some others, where the Flyers aren’t actively shopping Shayne Gostisbehere. But they’re also listening, desperate for some forward help. That’s why they’ve traded for the rights to pay Kevin Hayes, who sucks, but it would be truly Flyers to get the jump on negotiations and fuck them up anyway.

So first off, would the Flyers actually part with Ghost Bear? Possibly. He’s been passed on the depth chart by Ivan Provorov, and it might soon be that Travis Sanheim does as well. They’ve been waiting for Robert Hagg and Samuel Morin forever, and there’s a couple other kids down in the system as well. It’s something of a strength to trade from for them.

And Ghost Bear has earned himself the title of a power play specialist. Your first reaction is to say that he’s just younger, more mobile Erik Gustafsson. Except that younger and more mobile is something we’ve wanted Gus to be for his entire stay here, so I’m not sure that’s anything worth complaining about.

But yes, Gostisbehere has racked up the power play points in the past, with 33 two years ago, and 23 the year before that. That doesn’t mean he’s a total nincompoop at even-strength, with 23 points this year and 32 the year before that. Ghost Bear might always be haunted by his rookie year where he put up 17 goals in just 64 games. But he shot 11% that season, which is astronomical for a defenseman and really shouldn’t be expected again.

That said, Gostisbehere’s metrics at evens are pretty good, well above the team-rate in Corsi the past three seasons and above in expected goals the past two. The caveat here is that Ghost Bear is punted in the offensive zone to start his shifts most of the time, so he should probably carry a higher rate than the team.

The drawback to Ghost Bear is that he doesn’t help out the defensive game much. And while he’s brilliantly skilled and mobile, it’s unclear if he can consistently skate or pass his team out of trouble when in his own zone. He wasn’t asked to do it a whole lot in Philly. Again, perhaps paired with a really good defensive partner you’d have a nice dynamic, but right now the only player the Hawks have that qualifies as that is Connor Murphy. It’s a nice thought, but a Ghost Bear-Murphy pairing sounds like a really nice second pairing and doesn’t solve your top of the rotation problem.

Is he gettable? Probably. Rumors have the Canadiens hot on his ass and dangling Andrew Shaw and/or Paul Byron to get him. Certainly Brandon Saad would be more than that, though if that deal straight up makes you queasy I get it. The Flyers are desperate for any kind of second line help, and Saad would definitely qualify as that. Fuck, maybe you catch the Flyers being the Flyers and convince them that Anisimov is that, especially if they can’t sign Hayes. It’s a longshot, but dumber things have happened.

Does he help? That’s a harder case to make. Again, the Hawks are fiending for mobility on the back end like no one else. This would make Renton’s withdrawal look like a cold. But Ghost Bear might be more of what they have, somewhat wayward in his own zone. If he had proved to be a carry-the-mail type, you’d be in on this 100%. But he might just be like Gustafsson, where you’ve got to get him to the offensive zone another way before his real effectiveness is apparent.

Like we’ve said about just about everyone we’ve previewed, he’s better than almost everything else the Hawks have on the roster now. But is he such an improvement? He would make Gustafsson expendable and you probably can fetch more for Gus than you give up for Ghost Bear simply due to the contract. Ghost Bear is also 26, so he may have some improving to do but he’s also not so far away from his peak that you can picture him being significantly more than he is. Again, this feels like another half-measure.

Everything Else

Like most of our friends, we don’t know where @FlyGoalScoredBy came from, and we’d rather not. Because then someone would have to be held responsible for his creation, and the penalties for that are too harsh to think about. 

By the time people read this the Flyers might have fired Dave Hakstol and hired Joel Quenneville. What is the general problem with Hakstol when it’s obvious the Flyers have no goalie?

I made a note of how Coach Q would be such a perfect fit for the Flyers, yet it will never ever ever happen. The Flyers are like some inbred family that can ONLY hire someone they’re related to. I’m surprised we don’t have “Coach Dan Carcillo” yet.  My biggest issue with Hakstol is his player usage. The Flyers are clearly in a long rebuild and have been for a long time, but their GM and coach always trot out these slow, old “vets” like Dale Weise, Jori Lehtera, and whatever a Christian Folin is. Play the kids Dave, it won’t matter with these goalies.

The Flyers were going to move forward as much as Konecny, Patrick, and Lindblom developed. How’s that going so far?

In short: well! I think everyone would love more consistency out of Konecny, but its a minor gripe. Patrick has started the season off very well and is putting on a solid two-way game. He looks more and more like a top pick now that he’s over a year removed from hernia surgery. Lindblom is just spicy. Feels like once he figures out the NHL game a bit more especially maneuvering around the offensive zone he’ll be lethal. These three are extremely important for the future.

Is Ghost Bear good? We know the power play numbers, but the metric suggest otherwise. Is he passed on the depth chart by Provorov and Hagg?

Ghost Bear is the best Flyers defensemen. He’s got that jackhammer of a shot, skates exceptionally well, owns three very beautiful doggos and is one of the only sources of personality on this team.  Protect the Ghost at all cost. Provorov is a scoop of strawberry ice cream. Ghost is a scoop of fudge ripple with walnuts and whipped cream.

How far away are we from Carter Hart?

Ron Hextall is frustratingly the most patient man in all of professional sports.  He’ll keep Hart in the AHL for as long as humanly possible. For right now, Hextall looks smart, as Hart hasn’t exactly been dominant down there.  He’s been fine, but not performing like an elite prospect. Hextall clearly was punting this year when he decided to roll our Brian Elliot and Michal Neurivrth’s bloated corpse as their goalie tandem. Hextall will not be rushed. I bet we see Hart end of the season if they are out of the playoff race for a few games, or in training camp next offseason.

Where should the Flyers be finish when all is said and done?

They’ll be exactly where they always are.  90-94 points. Struggling to get a playoff spot, hoping not to get their doors blown off by Pittsburgh or Washington. It’s a team stuck in the middle because their GM didn’t blow the thing up and do a full rebuild. The Flyers right now are like the early 2000 Leafs (sorry, do Blackhawks fans know hockey existed before 2008?).

 

Game #17 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

We now move to the eastern portion of Pennsylvania, a state which answers the question “Hey, what if we had TWO St. Louises?”. An entire state arguing over which gas station has better food. A state so in love with college football that it is willing to overlook decades of systemic child abuse in the name of a statue. A state with the two most horrific English language accents imaginable. A state whose Appalachian hilljackery was the nail in the electoral coffin a year ago. And Philadelphia is its crown jewel, with the Flyers bearing no small responsibility in fueling the city’s long standing sports psychosis. And based on their current trajectory, the Flyera aren’t going ameliorate that any time soon despite there kind of being a plan.