(Ed. Note: There’s entirely too much sunshine in the summer. So your friends at Puck Daddy are offering a month of thrown shade and perpetual gloom. Behold, our Summer of Disappointment series, in which we ask fans of all 30 teams to recall the biggest bummer moments, teams and players in franchise history! Please wade into their misery like a freezing resort pool, and add your own choices in the comments!)
Written by Dr. Hot Takes of The Hot Takery
Most Disappointing Team: 2012-2013 Philadelphia Flyers
Sure, it wasn't the first time in recent memory that the Flyers missed the playoffs, but it sure stung a hell of a lot.
Most people will probably point to the 06-07 season (in which the Flyers posted a franchise record for terribleness), but 12-13 is a bit more of a disappointment. Why?
Well it all started in the offseason. The Flyers, content that Ilya Bryzgalov was The Answer™ (he wasn't) shipped off no-name Sergei Bobrovsky to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Add the fact that we learned that Chris Pronger was pretty much dunzo and wouldn't be replaced by a monstrous offer sheet to Shea Weber (read: Shay Webbar), and things weren't looking good.
As they are wont to do lately, the Flyers started off the season rather terribly, dropping their first third games. By the end of November it was all but apparent that this team was bound to hit the golf course come April (which would prove devastating for Claude Giroux's butt-grabbing wrist).
Here's some fun facts that really illustrate how much of a garbage fire this team really was. The Flyers ended up dressing 12 (!) defensemen due to injury and probably just not caring anymore, and in a move that can only be described as insane, dressed Michael Leighton for one game. Yes, that Michael Leighton, the current Chicago Blackhawk who will undoubtedly help them win another Stanley Cup next season.
But the thing that hurt the worst is that this horrible, god-awful team was coming off a recent rebuild. Just awesome.
Most Disappointing Flyer: Ilya Bryzgalov
There have been a ton of disappointing players for the Flyers over the years, but Ilya Bryzgalov definitely takes the cake.
Before we even get into how ridiculous his contract was, let's examine whom the Flyers had to get rid of to fit Bryzalov on the roster. Top goal scorer in Jeff Carter? Check. Captain Mike Richards prior to his becoming a regular fourth liner? Check.
To be fair, the Flyers seem to have made out pretty well for themselves with those trades, but at the time it seemed like a huge price to pay, and we were led to believe it was worth it. And keep in mind that Bryzgalov was really the guy who was touted as the piping hottest new roster player that off-season.
The worst thing about the Bryzgalov acquisition is that the Flyers completely misjudged the market. That summer, the top free agent goaltenders were undoubtedly Bryzgalov and Tomas Vokoun. Instead of getting into a potential bidding war with other teams, they traded for Bryzgalov's negotiation rights and gave him a bazillion dollar contract prior to July 1. Vokoun would sit on the free agent market for weeks before accepting a one-year $10 contract with the Washington Capitals.
With Bryzgalov locked up until the end of time, the Flyers parted ways with Sergei Bobrovsky. After Bryzgalov was bought out, he ended up playing back up for two NHL teams and is currently without a job. Bobrovsky won the freaking Vezina Trophy and is looking like a franchise guy.
Most Disappointing Moment in Flyers History: Patrick Kane's Cup clinching goal in 2010
There really isn't anything close. After forcing the Blackhawks to overtime in game six of the Stanley Cup Final, Patrick Kane ended up scoring the weakest cup-clinching goal in NHL history.
I'd rather not go into the details of just how disgusting that goal was, but let's just ponder some things. First off, the guy who the Flyers would have gotten in the 2007 entry draft had the Blackhawks not so obviously rigged the lottery is the guy who sealed the Flyers' fate. That's like stealing someone's wallet and then kicking them in the sack just for the hell of it.
Secondly, while the Flyers loss probably shouldn’t be entirely pinned on Leighton (looking at you, third pairing defensemen), the Flyers decided to award him with a baffling two-year contract extension. He only ended up playing (thank god) two more regular season games with the club, but come on. After that embarrassing iconic goal he gave up, the dude shouldn't be allowed within a fifty-foot radius of the Flyers. Am I being over reactionary and a bit daft? Maybe, but you should probably shut the hell up.
And now Michael Leighton is playing with the Blackhawks… If this doesn't scream conspiracy to you then you just don't listen to enough Glen Beck to understand.
Most Disappointing Flyers Transaction: Trading for Adam Oates
The Flyers really like signing old players who are well past their prime -- your Paul Coffeys and Dale Hawechuks of the world. Hell, sometimes it even works out pretty nicely, and they get a surprisingly productive Darryl Sittler or Jaromir Jagr.
But in 2002, the Flyers lost their collective minds and made the hands down worst trade in perhaps the history of the universe.
Looking to make a playoff push, the Flyers took a stroll to the nursing home and traded for Adam Oates of the Washington Capitals. In a moment of sheer insanity by then-general manager Bobby Clarke, the Flyers ended up paying a price of Maxime Oullet (a first round draft pick from just a few seasons prior), a 1st round pick, and a 2nd round pick.
Wait, they also included a 3rd round pick because WHY THE HELL NOT?
Of course, Oates ended up being somewhat of a disaster in Philadelphia. Not necessarily because of his production, but more because of just how short his tenure was. After playing a total of 19 games for the Flyers, he packed his bags for greener pastures. The best part about the whole ordeal is that it was The Flyers that decided to not extend a contract offer. Yup -- the guy who was worth pretty much giving up the future wasn't even worth talking to just 19 games later. Really stellar management right there.
At least we can all take solace in the fact that the Flyers haven't traded a ton of assets for an aging player who is now effectively retired. Oh wait.
Most Disappointing Flyers Coach/Executive: Russ Farwell
This may come as a surprise, but the meat in the Bobby Clarke general manager sandwich -- Russ Farwell -- was the worst manager in Flyers history.
The reason why this might be shocking is because Farwell was responsible for bringing should-be Hall of Famer Eric Lindros to the team after a blockbuster deal with Nordiques. Eric Lindros was and still is an absolute legend in Philadelphia, and we all have Farwell to thank for making it happen.
But while that trade would lead to some pretty strong Flyers teams in the late nineties (and a few cups for Colorado because we're doomed), none of it happened during Farwell's short tenure.
To make matters worse, none of Farwell's teams ever made it to the playoffs, and put he put up an abysmal sub-500 record during his tenure. He also couldn't seem to commit to a damn coach, with three different guys sitting behind the bench between 1990-1994.
Farwell was shown the door, only to be replaced by the guy who he replace. That guy subsequently went on to pretty much destroy the only decent deal Farwell ever made by bungling pretty much every interaction with Eric Lindros.
Most Disappointing Flyers Fashion Choice: Cooperalls
Yeah buddy! COOPERALLS. Are they pants? Are they really long socks? Who the hell knows!
At the beginning of the 1981-1982 season, the Flyers knew they had to spice it up in the fashion department. They had never changed their logo or jersey design, so something had to give in order to thrust this team into the 1980s.
What they chose ended up being the most ridiculous thing ever worn on NHL ice. Cooperalls, in addition to looking hideous, were also dangerous, as they caused players to slide faster on the ice. There really was never any good point in adopting them, and luckily the Flyers did away with them shortly thereafter.
Just a really odd decision for a team that is lauded for not changing its timeless style.
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Other disappointments (in order of appearance): New York Rangers • Calgary Flames • St. Louis Blues • New York Islanders • Dallas Stars • Boston Bruins • Colorado Avalanche • Washington Capitals • Ottawa Senators • Arizona Coyotes • Minnesota Wild • Edmonton Oilers • San Jose Sharks • Winnipeg Jets • New Jersey Devils • Los Angeles Kings • Florida Panthers • Carolina Hurricanes • Buffalo Sabres • Montreal Canadiens • Tampa Bay Lightning • Chicago Blackhawks • Columbus Blue Jackets • Nashville Predators • Detroit Red Wings • Anaheim Ducks • Pittsburgh Penguins • Vancouver Canucks • Toronto Maple Leafs
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