Flyers Roster Turnover Mirrors 2007 Success Rebuild
Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher has done a major roster overhaul in recent weeks. He added leadership, talent and experience with the acquisitions of Ryan Ellis, Keith Yandle, Cam Atkinson, Martin Jones, Nate Thompson and Rasmus Ristolainen. While it’s a bit of a stretch to call the Flyers a Stanley Cup contender after missing the playoffs last season, the progression to the NHL’s elite isn’t always linear. The organization proved it with a similar roster rotation in 2007 that saw the Flyers take a huge leap forward. The team advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2008 after finishing last in the NHL in 2006-07, mainly thanks to six key moves made by former general manager Paul Holmgren.
Two unforgettable flyer seasons
The 2006-07 season was the worst in Philadelphia Flyers history. Franchise legend Bobby Clarke stepped down as general manager at the end of October after a poor start to the team. Head coach Ken Hitchcock was fired after longtime president Ed Snider was also unhappy with an outing in the first round of the 2006 playoffs. Holmgren replaced Clarke and John Stevens took the bench for the Flyers. The franchise entered uncharted territory after finishing first or second in the Atlantic Division in each of the previous 11 seasons. The situation collapsed and went from bad to worse, and the Flyers finished with a meager 56 points.