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The Flyers' patience will be tested this summer.
Philadelphia must find ways to improve its club this offseason and will likely be approached by many a trade suitor inquiring about one of the many up-and-coming stars on the team's current roster. Yes, the Flyers need to be better next season (particularly on defense), but they can't improve next season at the expense of the years to follow.
Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier didn't exactly take the steps forward this year that Philadelphia was hoping they would. Schenn did finish fifth on the team in scoring but managed just eight goals and 26 points despite playing in all but one game this year. Meanwhile, Couturier ended the year eighth on the club in scoring after producing just four goals and 15 points.
Call it a sophomore slump; call it what you will, but it's far too soon to push the panic button on the 21- and 20-year-old forwards.
That's what Columbus did with Jake Voracek, and the Flyers are currently reaping the rewards of the Blue Jackets' impatience.
Now 23 years old, Voracek was originally selected with the seventh overall selection by Columbus in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He produced 39 goals and 134 points in 241 games with the Jackets before Columbus' impatience moved Voracek along with the eighth overall pick in the 2011 draft (Couturier) for Jeff Carter. Carter didn't even finish that first season with the Blue Jackets while Voracek is coming off a career-high 22 goals in a lockout-shortened campaign.
Obviously, this is an extreme example, but it perfectly illustrates the patience that is sometimes required to allow young players to learn, grow and eventually, excel at the NHL level.
The Flyers can ill afford to make a knee-jerk panic transaction this summer as it could have tremendously detrimental effects down the road.