Philadelphia Flyers fans are notoriously quick to criticize players, coaches, and other members of the organization. A nearly four-decade Stanley Cup drought will do that to you. As of late, Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier have come under fire, with some suggesting they should be traded.
Couturier was recently given a two-year, $3.5 million contract. While he suffered a notable sophomore slump during the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 season, fans shouldn’t forget about his unexpected success as a rookie. During the 2011-2012 playoffs, Couturier famously shut-down the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ superstar forward Evgeni Malkin, while scoring a hat-trick himself.
Schenn will be entering the final year of his three-year, $9.42 million contract come October. The 21-year-old, No. 5 overall draft pick from the 2009 NHL draft has yet to make a notable splash as a Flyer, but he has shown flashes of brilliance. Last season Schenn notched eight points and 18 assists in 47 games.
With unsuccessful 2012-2013 seasons, some were calling for Couturier and/or Schenn to be traded. Some hoped the Flyers would be able to land a star defenseman or our favorite non-Flyer, Bobby Ryan. It is now apparent the two will remain with the team in the immediate future, a fact that fans should not worry about.
Couturier and Schenn have both shown tremendous potential, and they are in the infancy of their hockey careers. Remember, Couturier can’t legally drink yet. They are not veterans and as such are unlikely to produce like one. Fortunately, the introduction of Vincent Lecavalier is sure to expedite their development.
To trade Schenn or Couturier already would be foolish. The Flyers need time and patience in developing their young stars, for the sake of the organization and its fans.