Enough ink has been spilled on how callous, cold, uncalculated, and quite honestly, bad, the Philadelphia Flyers offseason has been so far. By all accounts, what GM Chuck Fletcher has done to this roster in some short weeks, has set it back enough to already envision next year’s draft lottery and evict general apathy towards the entirety of next season.
Everything stinks for the summer, before we actually see what this team looks like on the ice. We are left with nothing but thinking about players’ contracts, transactions, looking at tweeted-out graphs saying how terrible the new guys are, and swirling down in this pool of fan depression.
But that’s enough. Let’s cut it out. There are things to look forward to about this season and although it might not involve actually being good at the sport of ice hockey, newcomer Nic Deslauriers is going to be an absolute riot on the ice.
In his short stint as a member of the Minnesota Wild last season, Deslauriers was part of some of the most entertaining highlights of the team after he joined them as a trade deadline acquisition. While the first round series against the St. Louis Blues was already finalized, in their final meeting of the regular season, Deslauriers just went on a rampage; hitting any dude he could come in contact with, and after he was separated from the opposing player, repeatedly yelled that he has “four games to f—king kill” him.
Nic Deslauriers Forever— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) April 30, 2022
(Minnesota Wild/YouTube) pic.twitter.com/1TVmS9hUBW
If that doesn’t get you going, well how about some on-ice physical comedy. During a game against the Vegas Golden Knights — again, this was all within the 20 games he played for Minnesota — he was seen dragging off forward William Karlsson by his collar, in some move to get him out of his team’s crease.
Deslauriers drags Karlsson out of Cam's crease. pic.twitter.com/pD02oNvUPJ— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) March 22, 2022
And as we continue on this train of enjoying highlights from Deslauriers’s short stint in St. Paul, we should all remember his insane fight when the Flyers visited Minnesota and him and Nick Seeler absolutely rocked each other.
Deslauriers and Seeler go at it in an All-Star bout. pic.twitter.com/dBiyueQNgj— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) March 30, 2022
There are quirks and perks to having Deslauriers on your team, and although it might not have been the free agent signing that made the most sense for where the team is at, or that anyone really expected or wanted, enough time has passed to just fully accept that he will be here. No one is saying that you cannot be upset or angry at management for using $1.75 million of cap space on a player that will be at-best, your 12th forward, but we’re trying to be positive here. Optimism!
Deslauriers will appear like he is trying so damn hard on every single shift, will punch opposing players square in the face if they even touch any of the Flyers skilled players, and is by all accounts a nice enough dude to enjoy having him around. As many have said ad nauseum, this summer has signaled the certainty of a long-term path back to being a respectable hockey club. We might as well enjoy some of our players that will certainly stick around as whoever is in charge by then, starts selling off the ones that have value.
While the 31-year-old from La Salle, Quebec, is on the ice, his eyes almost gloss over with a red hue, and he only wants to bash some bodies around. With all his faults, he is a hockey psychopath.
I forget who I first heard coin the term “baseball psychopath” but it has stuck with me ever since then as a descriptor of not the best players, but just players that fully embody what it is to be that kind of athlete. All while having the cold stare down at any opponent as soon as they step on any playing surface.
It is the pitcher that gets so easily heated at any confrontation, usually sporting a well-groomed mullet to perfect the baseball look. It might be a tennis player that is constantly near the boiling point in between action, but when the ball is in play, is cool and in control. It might just be the basketball player with awkward pre-game ceremonies; a football player that stares straight across the field while sitting on the bench with no one even near them; or a driver that is going to lose it if everything is not perfect before a race — you probably get it by now.
Deslauriers is that kind of psychopath. The exact figure you imagine if it is a Quebecois hockey player — all tatted-up with a slicked-back haircut and will bleed for people he cares about.
We can dislike the signing with no context but a cap hit number and statistics from his previous stops around the NHL. But as soon as you get to see what he does — and he will probably let everyone know what he’s about in his first shift in Philadelphia — it will be hard to not enjoy him being on this team.