On Monday we published part one of our Community Player Ratings, and here’s a quick refresher of who you ranked 19-23 along with their individual ratings out of ten.
23. Jori Lehtera, 0.75
22. Corban Knight, 2.55
21. Andrew MacDonald, 2.71
20. Justin Bailey, 2.86
19. Phil Varone, 3.13
Today we have a few more lineup regulars, including two defensemen who couldn’t be less alike. Community comments are italicized.
18. Ryan Hartman
Community Rating: 4.74
Contributor Rating: 4.44
Acquired from the Nashville Predators back on trade deadline day, Hartman only played 19 games for the Flyers this season. He’s a restricted free agent and will likely return this season in a bottom-six role.
“Should be a really good fourth line wing. Doesn’t do anything especially well but he’s perfectly capable.”
“Like the tenacity, don’t like the occasional obvious diving — that belongs on the other side of the state. Another first round pick not living up to expectations, but may be better with regular ice time.”
“I was one of those noted people that hated the return we got for Wayne Simmonds, then was like “oh this isn’t so bad and hey, actually good.” Filled a nice bottom 6 role and wouldn’t mind seeing him back.”
There was definitely a contingent of fans who didn’t like the trade in the moment from not only a value standpoint, but because of the fact that Simmonds was such a beloved player here. He’ll never fill Simmonds’ shoes, but he did win a lot of people over on his very first shift.
Speaking of that moment ...
“Remember that hit he had in his first game? Yeah, me too. Remember anything else about his season? Yeah, me neither.”
17. Robert Hagg
Community Rating: 4.82
Contributor Rating: 2.22
Is Hagg the most polarizing player on the Flyers? I sure think so. From “one of the worst defensemen in the league” and “MacDonald 2.0” to “the Flyers’ most defensively sound defenseman” and “he rarely has an off night,” his ratings were more spread out than any other player.
“Legitimately bad at getting the puck, not as bad at preventing goals.”
“I really like Hagg. Two years ago I thought he might be a career AHL type, but he is young, he’s physical, and he will get better. I sit in row one and I can see him up close. Fans use him as their whipping boy, but they don’t see how much he matters.”
“Racks up hits because he hits, let’s the other team have the puck, and then hits them again.”
“Uneven year. third pair potential with more growing pains. Be patient; it will pay off in long run. Young, moderately priced third pair defensemen can be difficult to find. Check the free agent signings and you’ll see average defensive players getting vastly overpaid every July.”
This is true, we do see average defenders get overpaid all the time. The question then becomes whether you think he’s an average (or better) defender or not. And to my eyes, he hasn’t been.
“Hagg was this team’s worst defenceman that actually played significant amount of time. But what people forget is that very few teams have plus-defenceman at all six spots. Sometimes you have to fill out spots with below average players, and that’s what Hagg is. He’s not the worst, and he can still get better, but he’s not good either. Instead of comparing Hagg to league average defencemen, let’s compare Hagg to the worst defenceman on every other NHL team; I think he grades out OK.”
16. Michael Raffl
Community Rating: 5.02
Contributor Rating: 5
Can you believe that we’ll be entering year seven of Raffl’s tenure here? I knew that he had been here for a long time, but not that long. Raffl is one of just five players from the Flyers’ 2013-14 roster that are still on the team. The others? Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier, and Andrew MacDonald.
“Fine fourth line guy. Giving him a three seems rough but I’m grading everyone on the same scale. Wish he would produce a little more but other than that he’s fine.”
“Mediocre at best, just please keep him off the first two lines!”
Remember when then-head coach Dave Hakstol moved Raffl up to the first line and dropped Travis Konecny to the third line about a week before the 2018 playoffs? Good times, good times.
“Very versatile. Not a consistent scorer but can play all three forward positions on all four lines efficiently. Only for a short period of time on the top two lines though. Glad he is returning.”
“Raffl boosted the 4th line when he was out there, and he can still make plays. The 21-goal scorer Raffl is long gone though. And never coming back.”
While he was never as good as Matt Read was at his peak, the two have had somewhat similar careers here. Two players who started their NHL careers relatively strong in the goal scoring department, but the flash didn’t last for long. A bit longer for Read, but both became bottom-six forwards in their late 20s who still drove play but no longer added much offense.
15. Shayne Gostisbehere
Community Rating: 5.37
Contributor Rating: 6
“Offensively a seven or eight, but defensively a zero. A defenseman that doesn’t play defense. Needs to stop trying to overpower goalies and focus on getting the puck on net for deflections and rebounds. Needs Mark Howe wrist-shot lessons.”
“Ghost didn’t have a good season. However, I do think his defensive game gets unfairly criticized by some. He’s not perfect but nowhere near a liability. People used to say that Erik Karlsson was a defensive liability as well, and that was never true.”
While he’s not Karlsson — not that you suggested that he is — I think this is true to an extent as well. And really, I didn’t mind his play without the puck this season. His play with the puck left me wanting more though.
“He, like many on this team, seems to be unable to overcome adversity and it is a shame considering his potential. It didn’t seem like he has recovered from his injuries from last year and his lateral quickness wasn’t really there. This limited his production as he relies on it heavily to find space on the ice. If he regains the mobility he had in the past his confidence will likely come with it, and he could be back to the 60-point player we all love. His defensive game has really improved and he should be made aware of that. I think he will be one of the most positively or negatively influenced players by the new coaching regime; we can only hope its positive.”
“Ghost will shine in certain schemes and struggle in others. The style of defense, power play approach, and neutral zone play inhibited Ghost’s impact on a game-to-game basis. Vigneault traditionally coaches a looser style of defense with his defensemen encouraged to take chances and jump up on the rush. Hopefully this change of pace will push Ghost to own his territory of the ice in both zones while allowing him the freedom to roam as he sees fit.”
That’s if we get to see Gostisbehere play under Vigneault at all. His name has been tossed around in trade rumors for a while now and he’s even made an appearance on the latest version of TSN’s Trade Bait board.
14. Nolan Patrick
Community Rating: 5.49
Contributor Rating: 5
In terms of total point production, Patrick almost exactly replicated his rookie season output. Not exactly a positive, but as we always try to remind ourselves: progression isn’t always linear.
“He’ll sometimes look great when he taps into his “power forward” mode. Gets lost sometimes when he’s more passive. He really needs work on avoiding slow starts. To his credit, he identified that as something he noticed about himself, and plans to fix it. Seems very intelligent. Still very young, and I think he has a lot more to offer.”
“Dominant at times but disappeared for stretches. Was hoping for an improvement but instead got inconsistency and almost identical numbers to the season prior.”
“When he’s on his game, he’s good and very noticeable. Unfortunately, he was invisible far too often. That’s sometimes fine for a defenseman, but not so much for a forward.”
“We waited for Brayden Schenn and Couturier and it paid off big time. Still expecting big, exciting things from Patrick in a few years!”
Patience is the name of the game when it comes to Patrick. Like many of you said in your responses, the potential addition of Kevin Hayes, or another second line center, should help Patrick a lot. As the team’s third line center he can be sheltered a bit and hopefully feast on more favorable match-ups.
“Came on stronger in the 2nd half of the season, but can’t have another slow start in 2019-20. He showed us he can perform but he has to stay healthy and start off hot.“
That’s all for now. We’ll be back soon with part three as we begin to enter top-ten territory.