The Philadelphia Flyers suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night and now there are rumblings that the organization's general manager, National Hockey League legend Ron Hextall, will look to make some drastic changes to his line up.
The Flyers were at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Canada on Saturday, a night that marked the first time Flyers' forward James van Riemsdyk would play in the ACC since signing with the Flyers as an unrestricted free agent over the summer. Unfortunately for van Riemsdyk his teammates were unable to provide him with the homecoming that he was likely hoping for and instead it wasn't long before the game appeared to be completely out of reach.
The Maple Leafs exploded early with 4 goals in the first period, including a hat trick for Leafs' forward Andreas Johnson who nearly matched his career NHL goal output in the first period alone. To be fair to the Flyers though they have been extremely banged up in goal this season and backup Calvin Pickard who was in net for the shelling on Saturday likely would not have been the organizations first choice had everyone of their goaltenders been healthy. That being said though the Leafs were also without superstar center Auston Matthews and restricted free agent forward William Nylander so both sides were shorthanded.
It was an embarrassing defeat for the team overall, the kind of loss that can often see a coach fired the very next morning, and one Flyers insider now believes that there are major changes coming to the organization. Flyers insider Sam Carchidi is usually more on the reserved side when it comes to speculating about the team he covers, but he hinted at 2 big possible changes that could be on the horizon for the Flyers.
If the trend continues, general manager Ron Hextall figures to make a major move — whether it's shaking up the roster with a trade or changing coaches. Joel Quenneville, a three-time Stanley Cup winner as Chicago's coach, is available — at least for now.
Quenneville would of course be an extremely intriguing option for any organization, especially one that has consistently struggled to take the next step in the way the Flyers have over the past several seasons. That being said though it seems like a player move could potentially be the best option moving forward to for Hextall to shake things up, and Carchidi speculated about one name in particular, Wayne Simmonds.
The Flyers power forward has been a part of the rumor mill for a full season and a half at this point and you have to wonder if this current trend in play continues from the Flyers if Hextall may not finally pull the trigger.