BSH Investigates: Loose ends for 3C

Heather Barry ©

Answering questions, things of that nature

Happy weekend, everybody! We’ve officially made it through the week, and we’ve officially made it through our “who should be the new 3C list!” We’ve looked through our best (and, uh, not best) options and had some talks and maybe now we have some feelings about potential fits and who we want to see win out? Maybe?

But, at the same time, now you’re probably wondering about some of the names we’ve left off of this list.

Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m wondering about.

Okay, who you got?

Could they make a trade for a new center?

Ah, yes, the Mystery New 3C. Acquired in a trade that is polarizing on Twitter, in which the Flyers will or will not give up too much in order to make said acquisition,

Ha ha

In all seriousness, they could make a trade. We haven’t heard any real whisperings that they have something in the works, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. But it’s hard to see Hextall selling off pieces to pick up a veteran center when there are plenty of internal options, still.

Okay then, so what about those other internal options? I mean, for starters, we have other center prospects beside Vorobyev and Frost, right? Is anyone else ready?

That’s not a bad question. The two we could pull out would be guys like Cole Bardreau and Mike Vecchione, as they are indeed centers and prospects that we hear at least the media folks tossing around. And… that’s kind of the end of it. In a way, compiling this list of players has been easy because the Flyers have been pretty direct in telling us who should be on it. All of the guys that we’ve talked about to this point have been given the nod by the team, either directly or indirectly, but we can’t really say the same for Bardreau and Vecchione.

It’s not out of the question, I guess, they could come in and just have absolutely unreal camps and jump everybody for the spot. But, that said, there are just so many guys ahead of them on the depth chart that this feels sort of unlikely. It’s only been a day, but they’ve been fine. Bardreau getting into it with Greg Carey was just about the most memorable thing either of them did on day one. They’ve been fine. But they’d need to be a lot more than fine.

Okay. So what about other internal veteran options?

Who did you have in mind?

Michael Raffl?

That’s a spicy take! He has played center internationally, puts up numbers that we like (49.86 CF% and 50.29 xGF%, hello)…

You just couldn’t let Numbers Time go, could you?

Nope. But, as I was saying, he’s played center, puts up good advanced stats, and the coaching staff seems to trust him. I mean, we’ve seen him played in all situations, and they decided he was trustworthy enough to get the bump up in the lineup for the playoffs and match up against Crosby’s line. They like him, so

I guess the “why they wouldn’t” would come down to the fact that the Flyers haven’t had any interest in moving him to center in the past—he hasn’t even gotten the Jordan Weal one game audition—and haven’t mentioned him this summer as someone they were looking at. I mean, hey, maybe he gets a game at center in the preseason, just to try it out. But I just have a feeling they keep him at wing.

Okay, now for the big one.

Alright, I’m ready.

I heard they could move Claude Giroux back to center.

Oh boy.

Would it be the worst idea, though?

It’s not a bad idea, per se. Maybe it is. But they shouldn’t do it and they probably won’t.

Yes but why?

I just think they like he and Couturier together too much. I don’t have to tell you how well they worked last season, but they did work and the coaches liked it. And it seemed like they wouldn’t split them up for anything. I mean, the Flyers had a ten game losing streak and couldn’t score goals to save their lives, and even in the midst of all that they wouldn’t break them up to try and get some depth scoring. They just wouldn’t. And if they wouldn’t break them up in the middle of a skid that had them panicking and throwing just about everything at the wall to find a fix, they won’t do it to fill a gap for which there are plenty of other viable options.

Now, I know this is where I’m supposed to argue that he was good at wing last season and moving him back to center would be detrimental to his production and yada yada yada. But I won’t be doing that. partially because I don’t believe it, and partially because Giroux himself would say I was wrong (and quite frankly, I can’t handle that last one). But he talked about it after yesterday’s skate, that maybe he wasn’t better at wing last season, maybe he was just better.

You’re kind of playing both sides here, pal.

It can be both! Moving him back to center might not hurt his production, but that doesn’t mean they should do it, either.

Fine. That’s all I’ve got. So how do you see this shaking out?

Honestly? I have no idea. It’s still early enough in camp that the Flyers haven’t really tipped their hand as to who they’re liking and who they’re maybe hedging on, we’ll have to wait until we see some games for that. Is that answer a cop out? Yeah, maybe, but like we’ve spent the week saying, the race seems pretty tight on paper, and there are loads of reasons why each guy would or would not work in this role, or why the coaches would or would not like them. So we have to get a little further down the track to see who pulls ahead, if you will.

That was a bad metaphor. 4/10

Ugh fine. Just watch the games, we’ll see what happens.

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