As the trade deadline has come and gone, the Flyers have inevitably made some changes. Yes, we lost a beloved player in Kimmo Timonen, but more damaging to the team is the loss of Braydon Coburn.
Not necessarily because of his hockey skills, but more for his ability to be Flyers fans scapegoat for literally every problem the team displayed.
Nasty goal against? Braydon Coburn should have been covering that guy! Sure he was on the bench, but show some damn initiative and get on the ice! Penalty kill not so hot? Take a wild guess who logs big penalty killing minutes? No, not Nicklas Grossmann who generates defense and blocks shots! Braydon Coburn!
Just take a look at the comments in any Facebook post about Braydon Coburn (or this excellent report from a professional Canadian scout) and you'll quickly realize that almost everything is his fault.
Seriously, Braydon Coburn was such a formidable scapegoat for Flyers fans that "Thanks, Coburn" is quickly replacing "Thanks, Obama" as the go-to phrase whenever something bad happens. Hell, Coburn was such a good scapegoat that even his teammates and coach are more than willing to throw him under the bus:
Couturier says Flyers won when Coburn was injured so no reason to be down about this year's chances.— wayne fish (@waynefish1) March 2, 2015
And now with Coburn moving on to give Tampa Bay Lightning fans someone to blame, the Flyers have a position to fill.
Not wanting to disappoint fans and have them wondering whom they can blame every single time a bad thing happens, I quickly took to Craigslist to post the job offer. You can view it here, but here's a screen shot in case it gets taken down:
With the economy being the way it is and this being such an exciting job opportunity, my inbox was soon filled with a pool of incredibly qualified and diverse candidates. I whittled the list down to people whom I think are the most qualified and provided their resumes below.
Coming into the league as a highly touted prospect, Sean Couturier is perhaps the strongest candidate for the next Flyers scapegoat. He immediately became one of the best defensive forwards in the league, but because of his on-ice assignments, has yet to produce the offense that Flyers fans crave.
Because expectations were so high and casual fans have such a hard time evaluating defensive abilities (See: Braydon Coburn), Sean Couturier could easily be the go-to guy for fans to dump on when something bad happens.
And just look at the guy's references!
Giroux is a pretty easy target for the next Flyers scapegoat -- he's incredibly good at hockey, is the captain of a pretty poor team right now, and has had his #leadership abilities called into question on multiple occasions. Those three things combine in such an elegant way that there's no way I couldn't give him serious consideration for the position.
And with Giroux, you get the added bonus of the fact that he grabbed a butt in Ottawa that one time (he's from nearby Hearst). So every time the team loses, fans are able to say super witty and original things like "if Claude wasn't busy grabbing butts, maybe this team would win once in a while."
Being the President of the United States, Barack Obama is a pretty solid candidate for the next Flyers scapegoat. Not only is the guy used to criticism, but he also experiences it at a national level, with an entire news network dedicated to blaming him for literally every problem that's ever happened in the past, present, and future.
With that experience, there's no doubt that he would be able to take whatever Flyers fans throw at him. The only downside is that I'm not entirely sure if he knows how to play hockey, but being the President, he surely can get someone to teach him relatively quickly.
This guy, who actually emailed me this
So there you have it -- the most skilled candidates for the position. Some honorable mentions include Luke Schenn and Mark Streit, who are certainly formidable applicants who just didn't make the cut due to a number of reasons.
Who do you think the Philadelphia Flyers Next Top Scapegoat should be?