The final installment of our 2017-18 Flyers report card series (you can find part one here, part two here and part three here). Today we have the players who are nice guys, try hard, love the game, and do not get the job done. Grades were based on play this year and the average is what is published, we only ranked players who played over 10 games. At the end of each post, you will see how each member voted per player discussed in the article.
Our D level talent:
Dale Weise: D-
Jake- Weise just doesn’t give you much of anything in terms of on-ice tangible value. This signing was easily one of Hextall’s worst moves as a GM.
Jason- According to “the stats” he played in 46 games this season. While on the ice he was about as notable as if he were sitting in the press box. Weise is not a good player and there couldn’t be a more useless player on this team.
Steph- The team performed better without him on the ice, this was not a good season for him.
Craig- His only redeeming factor last year was his shot suppression numbers were alright. That didn’t happen this year.
John- I had low expectations and even they were not met.
Joe- So uh, why was Dale Weise signed for four years? Another bad and boring season is in the books for Dale. Two more years to go, and then we’re free.
Brad- I was shocked to see that he played 46 games this season. It felt like a lot less, that’s how effective he was this season.
Bill- What a waste of a roster spot. Through the first two years of Weise’s four-year deal, Dale has played 110 games and put up 23 points, including 8 points through 46 games in 2017-18. To think he got into two playoff games is a joke, and a condemnation of the coaching staff’s evaluation of talent. Weise will be 30 in August and has two years remaining on his contract. They’d be best played out in Allentown.
Kurt- The best part of Dale Weise’s season was the part where the coaches decided not to play him for most of the post-All Star Break portion of the schedule. Really, it’s tough to find much of note to say about Weise’s season. He was a below-average fourth-liner.
Steve- Insert gif of Djimon Hounsou saying, “Who?” from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy”.
Mike- His traditional numbers were awful and his advanced metrics were arguably worse. Weise doesn’t make a ton of money, but he’s been one of GM Ron Hextall’s biggest misses since taking over.
Maddie- You know why
Kyle- Oh Dale, you’re lucky I didn’t give you a F. He barely played this year, but when he did it wasn’t pretty, one can only hope we don’t have to see this guy play another game in this city.
Kelly- I mean, whatever. Dale is what he is. A not good hockey player.
Emily- I gave him points for effort.
Jori Lehtera: D
Jason- I believe we were all very excited for the first few weeks of the season when Jorald was planted firmly in the press box. Of course, then injuries happened and then we got to witness 62 games of...I’m not exactly sure WHAT he brought. While he may be an “All-Star along the boards”, he wasn’t particularly adept at really anything. His play picked up towards the end of the season, but it wasn’t enough to save himself from having a pretty putrid season.
Craig- His best moments this year were when he was on the ice and the Flyers didn’t get scored on.
Jake- I will be the first to admit that I expected more out of Lehtera this year. I thought there wasn’t a chance in hell he’d be worse than Bellemare or VandeVelde were last season and Jorald did his best to prove me wrong. He was decent down the stretch, but getting next to no production out of him for as much as he played is a tough pill to swallow.
John- I had such low expectations that I expected him to play maybe 15 games all season. Lehtera did a passable job with the ability he has, was mostly solid in his PK role.
Joe- Jori was no doubt the worst player on the ice for the Flyers early on this season. Once January rolled around, he improved his play just enough to earn him a D+, instead of a D.
Brad- His play in the playoffs gave his a grade a bit of a boost from me. His true talent level is still probably a replacement level player, but he played okay in his role as 4th line center.
Steve- All-star along the boards, slow as hell everywhere else.
Mike- Expectations were not high for this player, but the results were even worse than expected somehow. Why does Dave Hakstol love this man so much?
Maddie- Is this grade going to sound too generous? Maybe, but bear with me. Should he have been a lineup mainstay through the end of the season? Absolutely not. But he was fine enough. Just fine.
Kyle- Sir Jorald gets a D instead of a F solely because he gave us “Jorald”. (He also had a decent end to his season surprisingly enough)
Kelly- Jorald had 8 points. Eight. In 62 entire games. Get off my team. I find nothing redeeming here
Emily- Jorald, please go gentle into that good night.
Kurt- Are you really going to make me talk about Jori Lehtera? Can we just, like … not?
Bill- While he was a salary-cap consideration in the Brayden Schenn trade that landed the Flyers two draft picks, Lehtera ended up playing far more than expected and was mostly ineffective for a great part of the season. He seemed to play a bit better in a fourth line role and on the penalty kill, and we learned on break-up day that he won’t be bought out. It’s hard to believe Lehtera is as bad as he looked in 2017-18, but 8 points in 62 games after putting up 100 points over the first three seasons of his career is a ridiculous drop, regardless of role.
Steph- Well, he’s handsome. And he had that great quote about not knowing what was happening on the ice, he just closed his eyes and shot the puck, so I think he’s a delightful person as well. But that’s about it.
Valtteri Filppula: D+
John- Still a smart player. Still capable of providing a spark here and there, but seems to be running on fumes. Overused after a solid start.
Steve- Filp is just not that effective anymore. His speed is nowhere where it needs to be. Don’t tell Dave Hakstol, who thinks he can be used in all situations, including the penalty kill.
Kelly- It’s hard not to hold coaching decisions against these guys. If Filp saw fewer minutes and wasn’t in so many late-game situations I’d probably feel better about him. But he was, so I don’t. He’s a below average player who we truly do not need.
Maddie- He had a decent start and then absolutely fell off a cliff. By then he was dragging down lines that would have otherwise had the potential to be very productive. But what’s keeping me from grading him more harshly are the facts that he was pretty good on the PK, and (I feel like I’m going to be saying this a lot) that it wasn’t his fault he was overused.
Steph- I have very few opinions on Filppula, I wish him well, just not on my team. His style is aesthetically pleasing, his speed is lacking, he could be useful in the right role. To me he’s just a guy.
Jake- He had 33 points. That’s the only thing keeping me from giving him an F. He was slow and largely ineffective for most of the season. I give him credit for stepping up in Game 5 and frankly, I blame Hakstol more than him for overusing the grizzled veteran, but this was not a good year for Filppula and Hextall would be wise to let him sail off into the sunset.
Joe- Val, buddy, ya can’t skate anymore. It was just painful to watch Filppula try and skate the puck into the zone this season, because it seemed like every time he did it would just result in a turnover. Hextall mentioned that Val might come back next year, and as fans let’s just pray he does not.
Emily- Look, he could have been worse.
Kurt- The decision to get Valtteri Filppula last year was a reasonable enough risk. The decision to lean on him as a legitimate top-6 forward unflinchingly for almost the entire season was a significant overestimation of his abilities at this point in his career. Filppula still has some decent ability when the game is slowed down (he knows his way around the offensive and defensive zones), but his skating is so poor that it was routinely difficult for the Flyers to get much of anything going while he was on the ice.
Kyle- I swear to god if Hextall brings this guy back...
Mike- As we talked about in the Slack channel all year, the guy is just toast. Dude just doesn’t have the skating legs anymore and some nights it’s just downright painful to watch.
Craig- Under point-per-game player with terrible possession numbers.
Brad- Giving a D- to the team’s first line center feels kinda weird, eh? He really lost a step this season and hopefully Hextall doesn’t re-sign him.
Jason- It’s funny because you can see where Filpulla might have been an above-average player. He’s just not that player anymore, but I’m glad we were gifted this veteran presence all season.
Bill- I’m sure he’s a great guy and strong locker room presence, but Filppula’s spot should have gone to someone who factors into the future, even if it meant short-term losses.
Brandon Manning: D
Bill- I get $20 from Steph if Manning signs for $2 million somewhere in the NHL. He had 7 even-strength goals, which was more than Shayne Gostisbehere. Any team who signs Manning will be making the best under-the-radar signing of 2018. Go for it, GMs!
John- Manning was forced to play over his abilities. He put up some offense. I can’t blame him for the coach’s failings. Met my expectations.
Jason- At best Manning is a 6th/7th defenseman, however he was used at times as a second pairing d-man. The results were not great!
Mike- Manning played too much and wasn’t very effective in those extra minutes, hopefully he will not be back next season.
Kurt- For much of the season, I actually thought Manning was a totally solid third-pair defenseman, albeit one who shouldn’t have been playing over the likes of Travis Sanheim. But as we reached the season’s later months, his play slipped to the point where he was for the most part a liability, all while his responsibilities somehow increased. The team has already announced that he won’t be back, so I’m not going to worry too much more about him, but it just feels like the minutes he played this year could’ve been better used by a young defenseman trying to learn the ropes in this league.
Steve- Manning isn’t very good. He’s a 7th defenseman on a good day. This season really seemed to cement that.
Kyle- I would rant about Manning’s stupid season but he’s not being brought back so who cares! Be gone Mr. Pointless Fights.
Maddie- Dude’s been a mess. Like, all season. I don’t have a real breakdown on this. It’s not his fault that he was played too much, or above his head (looking at you, Dave), but he certainly didn’t help his case out any.
Craig- Lol, he scored 7 goals this year.
Brad- I know some may give him a F but in my opinion he was actually useful offensively. Sure his play in the defensive zone was a total disaster but at least he was doing something good.
Jake- I’ll give him some credit for his goal scoring and again, Hakstol is more to blame for it all than him due to his usage, but this was not a good season at all for Manning and the Flyers will be better now that he’s no longer on the roster.
Steph- I know what was said about him not coming back, it remains a recurring nightmare of mine that Hextall changes his mind about that. I firmly do not believe Brandon Manning is an NHL defenseman.
Joe- Good riddance, Brandon.
Kelly- Garbage. Useless in all situations. Get off my team.
Emily- Points for being Connor McDavid’s biological father.
Petr Mrazek: D
Steve- Mrazek started off strong, however, his tendency to over commit in his moves between the pipes eventually got the best of him. He was not able to take advantage of the Flyers’ injury prone net to guarantee himself a contract offer for next season.
Jake- I was glad to see Hextall make the move for Mrazek to help the team. Unfortunately, after his first four or so starts, Mrazek wasn’t much help. He won’t be back and he shouldn’t be. Best of luck on your future endeavors, Petr.
Mike- It’s hard coming over at the dealine and Mrazek was so hit or miss you’d rather just have Elliott out there so you could better plan for what to expect instead of the potential (likely) dumpster fire that was Pete.
Jason- Thanks, Petr, for saving us from running Lyon into the ground, however I’m not sure I’ve seen a more frustrating goalie in net for the Flyers since Bryzgalov.
Craig- I’d explain to Petr why I gave him a D+ (not great overall, but stole a few periods for the Flyers), but he probably wouldn’t face towards his computer screen.
Kurt- I don’t begrudge Hextall for making the move to get Mrazek, nor do I hold against him the fact that it didn’t work out. He had to try. That said, I don’t think I can sum up the Petr Mrazek experience better than by pointing out that Dave Hakstol elected to go with a clearly-not-100% Brian Elliott and a perpetually-broken Michal Neuvirth over Mrazek in the playoffs. Not great, Bob.
Brad- Petr won’t be missed next season.
Kelly- Mrazek looked, for a brief moment, like he’d find redemption with the Flyers. This was not the case. He was very, very not good.
Maddie- An encouraging start turned to hot garbage. Goodbye.
Joe- I don’t want to say trading for Mrazek was a disaster. But he didn’t do anything to help the Flyers win, outside of his first five games in Philly. He’s a hothead who has zero composure, good riddance.
John- Brought in to stabilize goalie position and was totally unreliable. One game he’d be great, next game a sieve. Good riddance.
Kyle- Petr, thanks for nothing.
Steph- I know why he was brought in, it wasn’t a bad move. But, woooooooof, it was a poor performance that leaves me wondering if Detroit’s defense is better than we all thought.
Emily- Get out.
Bill- You couldn’t have made me look dumber, Petr. I will hold this against you for the rest of your career.
BSH Individual grades