Analysis of How the Flyers 2010 Were Built
You hear it all the time, build through the draft and let the team grow up together. The Flyers of the 70s and 80s were built this way, however in the 90s they became focused on winning now and built mostly through free agency and trades. This team is built in a very interesting way. All of the star players except for Pronger and Timonen are products of the draft.
In the draft the Flyers have produced Carter, Gagne, Giroux, Richards, van Reimsdyk, and Boucher (plus a trade to reacquire). Through trades they Flyers have, Carcillo, Hartnell, Leino, Carle, Coburn, Parent, Pronger, Svyret, and Timonen. Free Agency gives the Flyers Asham, Betts, Briere, Laperriere, Emery, and Powe. Finally the waiver acquisitions of Leighton and Krajiec complete the roster. This gives the Flyers a crazy balance between the draft and other areas of building.
Holmgren has done a nice job correcting a long time glaring issue with the Flyers. For years virtually every Flyers was left handed. This problem still exists on the blue line with exactly ZERO players that shoot right handed. However the statistics up front show the balance is 8 lefties with 5 righties. Much better balance and before you pass this off, this becomes key in the offensive zone with point of attack on the power play especially. If all the players are the same hand, then the attack comes from one side of the ice. By having balance, the point of attack can be switched quickly forcing the other team to cover twice the area. Still don’t think it is important, look at the Penguins powerplay. Almost all lefties and they struggled all year to be consistent. I just wish the Flyers could have a 3rd pair defender that has a right handed shot. It would help a lot on the penalty kill from the right wing corner. Now Pronger and Timonen have to play that side on defense.
My one complaint about the Flyers is their ability to produce NHL defensemen through the draft. Quick name the last consistent Flyers defenseman to play in the NHL… I am not researching the answer, but I believe it is Chris Therien. They need to add someone that can teach the position to the AHL guys and translate it to the NHL.
Rule Change Suggestions for the NHL
I love the NHL more than any other game; however there are some really weird rules that I would love to rid of to make the game even better. Not only am I going to complain about the rules, but I will also offer my suggestion for the change.
1. Goalie Trapezoid – the goalie should be able to play the puck anywhere behind the net. The zone has created strange plays where the goalie can’t get to the puck because some mysterious force field. Just only allow the goalie to play shoot the puck forward to his own blue line, if the puck goes into center ice by his team then the face off comes back to the defensive zone. This allows the slick goalies to play the puck since they have the skills. You can even allow them to shoot the puck across the blue line on the Power Play to add to the advantage.
2. Puck over the glass is automatic 2 minute delay of game – this should be official discretion. There are so many times during the year and playoffs where this “automatic” rule gets applied where it was not the intent of the player. The refs are able to determine intent for the “Intent to injure” rule, why not here also? I would say that 95% or more that the player was not trying to shoot the puck over the glass. If this becomes a problem have all the glass configurations become the same height uniformly across the NHL.
3. Break the other stick for a slash – this one is just flat out stupid. These sticks break if someone sneezes on the ice. If the slash is not reckless, then let it go. Again do not make this automatic let the ref determine if the slash was reckless.
4. Knock the stick from player’s hands for a slash – again stupid, maybe stupider than the break the stick. I thought that the call on Heatley with less than 10 minutes left versus the Hawks in game 4 was really weak (read that as saying the Hawk dropped his stick to get the call). Change to rule to be no penalty – hold onto your damn stick!
5. The “Staged Fight” – now I am a Flyers fan and love a fight when the heat of the moment ignites a fight. I however, HATE the drop the puck and have a staged fight between 2 marginal NHL players. If the fight is not part of the play, I don’t want to see it. Increase the penalty to game misconduct for a staged fight for both guys.
6. Too many men on the ice – I am not advocating for 6 attackers on the ice, but I am saying the rule to make this not interpreted by simply putting a line around the bench area that players must be inside the lined zone like handing a baton in track and field. Guys in or out can be in this small zone together and puck being in there also has no effect.
7. Hit from behind – again put a line around the wall that says when the players feet are within the line they can be hit from any direction. Too many players are turning their back to the play to “draw” the penalty. The line would alert the players that they could be hit from any direction and to protect themselves.
8. Kicking the puck into the net – the puck should be able to be put in the net with feet or stick. Put on a pair of skates and try to kick the puck in, it’s not that easy!
Good Night and Good Hockey!
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