Dreger: ‘Anything is possible’ with Fletcher and Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers are vying for a Wild Card spot, but their loudest noise on the NHL scene might be made this summer.

Darren Dreger had a Tuesday afternoon radio hit on Ottawa’s TSN 1200.

As part of a larger discussion on the Flyers, the Insider was asked about the pressure in the Philadelphia market, a potential sense of urgency on the team, and not continually going with a ‘next year is going to be the year’ philosophy.

“No, I would agree with that. And I feel like Chuck Fletcher is going to be as aggressive as he can be,” noted Dreger. “When we talk about offer sheets on certain players - and it doesn’t matter if it’s Brayden Point or it’s Mitch Marner or you want to go lower-end to Kasperi Kapanen or Andreas Johnsson, go down the list. I don’t include Mikko Rantanen in that conversation because I think that Colorado would match no matter what. But Philadelphia and Detroit are among those teams rumored to be in that hunt, looking for that type of possibility.

“Now, maybe they also take a hard run at Artemi Panarin, provided that he 100 percent goes to unrestricted free agency.

“I guess the point I’m making is I think that there’s an appetite to try and not only turn the corner, but recognize that they’ve got some players who are in the prime of their career, but also coming out of the prime of their career. So they’ve got a nice balance right there. If they were able to add a couple of key pieces, maybe Philadelphia could make a move pretty quickly.”

The possibility of a double-signing this summer by the Flyers of Erik Karlsson and Artemi Panarin - each potential unrestricted free agents in July - was suggested to Dreger as something that “almost feels like the perfect fit, and you know Chuck is the type of guy that could pull that off.”

“Yeah, he could,” agreed Dreger. “He’s pretty smooth. He comes by that naturally with his dad being Cliff Fletcher, who manufactured and made his way through a number of bigger deals during his time as an NHL manager.

“When it comes to Fletcher and the possibilities in Philadelphia, I think that anything is possible. And that’s not an exaggeration. I just know how he works, and I know how hard he works.

“And Philadelphia is one of those cities - you guys know this - when things are going right in Philadelphia like it is right now, Philadelphia is a fun city to be in. Get Dave Poulin talking about the Philadelphia Flyers and the heyday that he went through.

“Now, when things are sour and not going well - man, look out. It, at times, can be a rabid city. But I feel like there’s opportunity here for something special to happen in a relatively small window of time, and Chuck Fletcher - he’s aware of that.

“Look, I don’t think that there would have been a management change if Ron Hextall had been both more vocal with senior management and the ownership core to some degree, and also was willing to be less patient than what he was. I think they wanted certain things moved along a little bit more quickly than Ron Hextall was willing to do, and perhaps Chuck Fletcher has a different game plan moving forward.”

The Flyers entered Tuesday evening’s action three points shy of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final Wild Card spot in the East.