The Flyers season is in its twilight and has been pretty meaningless for a while now. With no playoff story lines to write about, there are some Philly reporters whose imaginations have started to run on overdrive which has provided us fans some of the most controversial and steaming hot takes that we’ve seen in a couple years.
Steve Mason: Good not Great.
In the last few games of the season, it seems like the Flyers have be reveling in their role as season spoilers against teams still playing for the playoffs. Their proudest achievement, beating the Penguins twice in one week to sweep the season series against Pittsburgh and put the Penguins post season in jeopardy.
In Sunday’s game against the Penguins, Steve Mason made 46 saves on 47 shots. A huge factor in the Flyers Sunday win was Mason’s stellar goaltending, keeping his team alive after they allowed 21 shots in the first period alone. Mike Milbury didn’t think much of Mason’s performance that night, or all season for that matter. During the first period intermission, fans were assaulted with a large graphic that read “STEVE MASON GOOD NOT GREAT.” At that point in the season, Mason had a .928 save percentage which puts him in the company of Carey Price, Pekka Rinne and Henrik Lundqvist, but no one’s calling those other names “good not great” and those are goaltenders who don’t have the Flyers defense in front of them. Milbury also called Mason a “run-of-the-mill” goaltender who would never be a franchise goalie. We could go on all night about how Mason’s stats could be ridiculous level if he had a better defense in front of him or even some goal support through the season, but those are all things that Flyers fans have a natural understanding of. And if you really want a long list of reasons why Mike Milbury just shouldn’t be taken seriously at all go read Bill Meltzer’s criticisms. Basically, Mike Milbury isn’t a person who can evaluate talent very well.
To add frustration to this hot takery, Mason isn’t getting any Vezina consideration despite being Jesus reincarnated to live out his hockey playing dreams.
So that’s jalapeno hot take number one. Steve mason is average at best and they’d probably do better with Emery as the starter, is what I’m assuming was Milbury’s point.
Trade Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek.
You all know you’ve been thinking it, but Marcus Hayes just has the balls to say it, the only option left for the Flyers that makes any damn sense at all? Trading Jake Voracek and Claude Giroux. Now to be a little bit fair this hot take does seem to be more in the spirit of saving the Flyers power couple from wasting their golden years on a team whose top choices for defense couldn’t really play effectively at the bantam level. He even delves into the “Giroux shouldn’t be captain” territory, but rather than blame Giroux’s lack of skill he puts a bit of the blame on critical media and fans, only for a second before citing Giroux’s lack of 5-on-5 goals this season as a prime example of the captaincy being a burden, but that doesn’t make this take any less likely to set your house on fire.
Hayes didn’t have an idea who they could be traded for because really who cares? If you’re trading away Giroux and Voracek the only players people might be interested in getting in return would be… well I was going to say Crosby and Malkin, but we’ve already seen the reaction to those rumors…
But in skill level there really isn’t a pair of players that the Flyers could realistically get back. That opens up a line of questioning to the fans, what would you accept in exchange for Giroux and Voracek or even one of the pair; what could the Flyers possible look for in exchange for the heart of their core?
As hot as that Take is, it’s not exactly out of the blue for the Flyers. Do the names Mike Richards and Jeff Carter sound familiar to you? The Flyers all star duo, the heart of the core, traded away after being continually reassured that they would be in Philly for a long time. They even got huge contracts shortly before being shipped out of the city. So it’s possible that Hayes is preparing us for some painful Deja vu. In fact I’ll throw some lighter fluid on that hot take and also suggest that they go completely 2011-2012 and also trade away either Wayne Simmonds or Michael Raffl to be this incarnations JVR.
What’s hottest about this take is that Hayes seems to assume that the Flyers are in complete rebuild mode when they clearly are not. With just minor tweaks to the lineup, the Flyers have dominated some of the best teams in the league, the only issue still plaguing them (besides bad players with long turd contracts) is the inability to beat bottom feeder teams. With solid defensive prospects developing at a solid rate and a pretty strong core that only needs a few additions, the Flyers are nowhere near rebuild territory.
Feel free to add your own hot takes or any that may have been looked over.