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2017 draft class exposes Flyers scouting weaknesses

Let’s have a conversation about the Flyers and their drafting strategy because it is all the way messed up.

NHL: NHL Draft
ron hextall standing next to notable bust nolan patrick
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The dust has finally settled on draft weekend, and as our vision clears, we know one thing for certain: for the Philadelphia Flyers, the 2017 draft has been absolute, total, inexcusable, objective failure.

Some might say this is a hasty declaration. Haste is for losers. Are you a loser? No, I didn’t think so. Losers play the wait and see game. Losers wanna see how things pan out, see development and growth and all that boring shit. Not us. We already know that things are bad, and we know exactly why.

Let me back up a little bit.

Don Cherry, hockey’s racist grandfather, is known for several things. Racism? Check. Goofy suits? Check. Good-Canadian-Boy-itis? Check-a-fuckin-roo. After the festivities of the draft had ended, Cherry tweeted this:

MVP of the Stanley Cup was a Canadian, two top goalies (Fleury, Murray) in the playoffs were Canadian, MVP of the season was a Canadian, scoring champ was a Canadian, most goals a Canadian, most assists Canadian, Ted Lindsay award Canadian, best defenceman Canadian, I could go on but we all know we are the best. I’ve got to admit though after reading, listening and watching the draft I would never have guessed we’re the best. We just love those foreigners. First round 11 Canadians were picked. Strange, Toronto coach Mike Babcock says guys from Ontario play harder in Toronto and that is so true because of family and friends watching but yet 4 of the 5 first Leafs picks never mind born in Ontario, they were born in another country. Of the 7 Canadian teams only Ottawa drafted a Canadian in the first round.

That’s 145 words of blistering, unapologetic Don Cherry-brand xenophobia, right there. That good, uncut shit.

But you know what? He’s right. He’s so totally right. Not about Canada being perfect at hockey. Personally? I think Canada is the worst country at hockey. But that’s exactly where we stumble upon The Point. Canadians. We’ve got a ton of them. They’re just bumbling fools out there. Fuckin’ Matt Strome has never skated forward, let alone backward, in his entire life and we drafted him in the fourth round. We got a Swede, a Russian, a Belarusian! All the makings of a great sitcom, but a hockey team? I’m not so sure.

Fans are so desperate for local products that they salivate at the thought of Bobby Ryan or Johnny Gaudreau coming back to Philadelphia. It proves one thing. We need more hometown heroes.

I mean, if you saw a cheesesteak skating around the Wells Fargo for the first time, you’re telling me you wouldn’t get up and yell? The excitement that would surround that pick would be phenomenal, overwhelming. That’s what we need. That’s the thing that Ron Hextall has never addressed in his tenure as our general manager. Where are all the icons? Where are the stars?

No soft pretzels drafted, no water ice, no liberty bell? How in the hell has he not even thought about drafting Rocky? Not once in these three years? How do we keep explaining away his questionable choices? Sure, Nolan Patrick might work out maybe, but are you telling me a Wawa couldn’t absolutely wipe the floor with that rosy-cheeked chump? There’s no competition.

Philadelphia is strong, ripe with talent. There’s no explanation for this negligence, nor should there be any excuses. We should be demanding more from this organization. And for all of the naysayers, the fanboys and girls who want to tell you that Ron Hextall is a competent GM or that the song “Philadelphia Freedom” by Elton John is incorporeal so it couldn’t actually play hockey because it doesn’t possess a physical form? Ignore them. We know better.