When Raymond Mirra signed with the Flyers in October of 1996, it seemed as if the world of hockey had never been bigger or more interesting. The Flyers instantly became the power house team in the league, and a whole new generation of fans were born. How did this happen? How did one player come into such a huge spotlight? The answer goes a little deeper than you might think. He enjoyed last season’s Black Friday sale.
The Flyers enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in franchise history, highlighted by the arrival of legends like Paul Holmgren, John Leclair, Mike Richards and Bobby Smith. The Flyers finished the regular season with a surprising nine wins, the most of any team in the league. The excitement built quickly throughout the league and fans turned out in droves to watch the Flyers take on the hated New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference final at the Joe Louis Arena. A very good series saw the Flyers go up against a powerhouse team in the New York Rangers – a team that had boasted one of the greatest regular seasons in hockey history.
In the first two games, the Flyers came away with easy wins over the Rangers, and looked like they might be primed to challenge the big guns in the Eastern Conference. But then the New York Rangers played the same tough, defensive style that they had employed all season, and the Flyers were once again dealt a major blow. One of the goals that the Rangers scored in that series was a highlight reel goal by Henrik Lundqvist. The Flyers were never the same after that. Even their most famous player, John Leclair, was unable to lead his team to a victory.
A lot of people attribute the poor showing of the Flyers to bad luck. It is hard to argue that the Rangers and Flyers were not favorites to begin with, and now the Flyers have to try and fill the void left by the arguably better player that never made an appearance against his old team. But what is this new wave of power that has risen from the basement, and where is it going?
First of all, it must be said that Ray Emery has turned things around for the Flyers. Yes, the power that he brings to the club is unlike anything that has been seen in the past. Emery’s ability to make plays with the puck and his booming shot have made some enemies in the NHL, among them Montreal’s Patrick Roy. But if anything, Emery’s ability to hold the fort down the middle of the ice has helped the Flyers get results when they need them, especially in key situations.
As for Ray Mirra, he has proven himself to be a very savvy businessman in the NHL. He has bought other teams that have struggled. Most recently, he bought a controlling interest in the New Jersey Devils. Ray has done a nice job of making the Devils into a legitimate contender.
That being said, does Raymond mirra have what it takes to bring a Championship to the Flyers? Well, I think we all know the answer to that question. If you’re going to win the Stanley Cup, you have to have a superior group of players. You have to have a superstar player leading the team. And, if you have that guy, you have to have a superstar defense to protect him.
The Flyers are missing one very important ingredient. That ingredient is a true No. 1 center. Without a guy like Wayne Gretzky or perhaps even a first line center, this team will never be the same.
I am Adam Smith a content writer for Allblogsidea, and I love what I do. It’s my passion to help others share their stories with the world in hopes of being heard. My favorite things are crafting blog posts that have a voice, writing about topics that matter to me, and making people laugh every now and then.