Opinion: This Season Showed Daniel Brière Can Be Trusted

Jordan Hall/NBC Sports Philly

This season was one for the books for the Philadelphia Flyers. Moments fell on a spectrum of multiple ups and downs. They carried out two five-game win streaks. A prospect refused to sign. Ivan Fedotov arrived in America and touched NHL ice. A goalie controversy that thrusted Sam Ersson into the spotlight. Owen Tippett blew expectations out of the water with his speed and hockey IQ. Their captain was benched. Multiple defensemen were hurt. A playoff berth painfully slipping through their fingers. Most importantly, they had to shut out the outside noise that didn’t believe in them.

The new season’s expectations began on May 11, 2023. The Flyers announced their new tagline for the 2023-2024 season: A New Era of Orange. A clean slate from the 2022-2023 season.

Now that the season is over, did the franchise follow the precedent that they set? To decide, I guess you could look at the differences on paper.

2022-2023 Season:

  • 75 points
  • Finished 7th in the Metro
  • Record: 31-38-13
  • Goals Against: 222
  • Goals For: 277
  • Power Play: 15.56%
  • Penalty Kill: 74.68%
  • Short-Handed Goals: 11

2023-2024 Season:

  • 87 points
  • Finished 6th in the Metro
  • Record: 38-33-11
  • Goals Against: 235
  • Goals For: 261
  • Power Play: 12.20%
  • Penalty Kill: 83.40%
  • Short-Handed Goals: 16

Looking at their final record, point total, position in the Metro, and an increase in short-handed goals and power kill effectiveness, the Flyers demonstrated that they certainly wanted to improve from last year (we won’t talk about the power play).

But, what about heart?

It’s something that fans have felt the lack of the last few years. Heart was what the Philadelphia Flyers organization was built on. The management acknowledged the lack of it in the New Era of Orange press release:

“When you don the Orange and Black, you’re held to a specific set of standards, and you’re expected to show up and work your ass off. Every. Single. Day.”

From @NHLFlyers on X

Something that I have watched closely the entire season is the Flyers’ willingness to block shots. That is significant. It is a crucial piece of John Tortorella’s system, and this season, every single player that touched the ice bought into it.

It was quite a sight, watching players drop to a knee to fling their bodies in front of 80-90 mile-an-hour shots. So many times, a Flyers limped off the ice with a stinger and then jumped back out the next shift. You felt their desire to fight through the pain, the agony, if it meant making things just a little easier on their goaltenders. If it meant it brought them one step closer to a win.

Do Morality Points Exist in Hockey?

Do the Flyers get points for having a “good” season compared to the last few, even though they missed the playoffs? For me, they sure do. Before this season, it was hard to sit down and stomach how they played. It reeked of failure, and it was lackluster. This season, I knew if I watched the Flyers, I would see them lay it all out on the line, an effort that was sorely missed the last few seasons. Why do I keep referring to the last few seasons? To me, this season would have been lost if they didn’t work to change an evidently broken locker room culture.

Yes, it absolutely hurts that they came short of missing the playoffs. It hurts that their destiny was no longer controlled by them after it seemed like it would be for the majority of the season. Yes, there is something to be said about having only the fourteenth pick after going through all of this adversity. However, Danny B. has to work with what he is given. The circumstances might not be ideal right now, but it is a lot better than we were before. There is no quick and easy fix, and Brière knows this. Flyers fans have been begging for years to have a GM that acknowledges the situation that has lingered in the air. Well, here you go.

My Opinion: Trust Danny B.

It’s been a long time since the Flyers players have been this positively vocal about the front office staff they are surrounded with. Flyers players know who they are playing for. Brière makes it a point to shake the players’ hands after games in the locker room. He is fostering a connection that keeps the players grounded. They are playing for the staff that is heavily invested in the Flyers organization’s history and name. They are playing to prove people wrong. They are playing to grow. They are pushing through the growing pains.

Arguably, it was controversial to hire someone with close ties to the organization, however, that’s what the Flyers needed. They lost their identity, which Mr. Snider proudly encouraged and enforced. They needed to bring back someone who understands the connection the fans are desperate for.

Also, Brière was able to sneak Ivan Fedotov into Philadelphia without anyone knowing and keep the league quiet about the whole Cutter Gauthier situation, all during his first year as GM. He is witty and has a good foresight. He can’t predict everything, but he has proven he has a good head on his shoulders. It’s time to sit back and let the process play out. There is no easy and quick fix to any of the turmoil the organization has been through. There’s only baby steps, and fans have to be patient.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Maria Kaffes

Maria Kaffes is a sophomore at Syracuse University and covers the Philadelphia Flyers for Inside The Rink. She is pursuing a degree in public relations with double minors in sport management and creative writing. In addition to her role with Inside The Rink, she is the Syracuse Men's Ice Hockey's head photographer.

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