Philadelphia 76ers 2017-18 Season Preview

The FEDS (Fultz, Embiid, Dario, Simmons) are in town!

After years of “Trusting the Process” and enduring numerous losing seasons in a row, things have finally turned around for the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite an injury-plagued 2016-17 campaign, the Sixers turned in their best season since 2013, finishing with 28 wins and providing hope for future success.

The 2016-17 season saw the emergence of Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, and Robert Covington as legitimate NBA starters, turned some previous afterthoughts (T.J. McConnnell, Nik Stauskas, Richaun Holmes) into quality bench players, and culminated in a trade that saw the Sixers acquire the 1st overall draft pick, which they then used to select flashy point guard Markelle Fultz out of Washington.

The Sixers have publicly declared “The Process” to be over, instead referring to this coming season as “The Moment”. It has been a long road, but the 2017-18 76ers season has the potential to result in the club’s first playoff appearance in years.

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Philadelphia Flyers 2017-18 Season Preview

Nolan Patrick is being counted on to become the new face of the Philadelphia Flyers.

The 2016-17 Philadelphia Flyers entered last season with high expectations. They had been one of the top teams in the NHL in the second half, and took the far superior Washington Capitals to 6 games in the first round of the playoffs.

And in the early part of the campaign, the Flyers lived up to the hype. They peaked at a 10-game winning streak around Thanksgiving, and their core players were all gelling and playing at a high level.

But as is custom in Philadelphia, the Flyers regressed. From the start of the new year, the Flyers never looked the same. Their scoring dried up, their flimsy defense finally cracked, and the goaltending duo of Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth choked in big games.

Drastic changes have been made this offseason. GM Ron Hextall said goodbye to eight different players (roughly a third of last year’s team), and replaced them with younger, cheaper, and faster alternatives. Dave Hakstol enters his third year as the Head Coach of the Flyers in yet another year of transition, but he remains the coach of a team that, despite its flaws last season, didn’t miss the playoffs by much. If the young players can step up and the veterans can bounce back, the Flyers could have a chance to sneak into the playoffs.

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Flyers Enter Free Agency In Good Shape

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The biggest prize for the Flyers had to be the unexpected selection of Nolan Patrick in the NHL Draft.

Following a disappointing 2016-17 season, the Philadelphia Flyers entered the offseason looking to try and retool the squad into a playoff team while also attempting to get younger, shed salary, and build for the future.

And on the eve of Free Agency, the Flyers have done all of the above. Through a couple of trades, a smart draft, and a few free agency rumors, the Philadelphia Flyers look like they’re in good shape as we head into Phase 2 of the NHL offseason: the Free Agent Frenzy.

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Welcome To The Moment: Fultz to Philly Marks Culmination of The Process

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Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Markelle Fultz will make up the new core for the Sixers going forward.
The last 5 years have not been too kind to Philadelphia 76ers fans. As the team lost pieces of its core left and right and suffered one agonizing loss after the next, team ownership tried to tell diehard fans that this losing all had a greater purpose, nicknamed “The Process” by ex-General Manager Sam Hinkie.

“The Process” was simple in practice: by tanking for many years and trading any pieces of value the Sixers had, Philadelphia would acquire copious amounts of high draft picks that would be both used on top prospects or eventually traded in an effort to get a big star and end “The Process”.

And over the past 3 years or so, the first part of this logic shined, as the Sixers got high draft pick after high draft pick. But the final part of Hinkie’s Process remained unfulfilled until last week, when the Sixers made a deal with the Boston Celtics for the first overall draft pick. With the ability to choose any player they wanted, the Sixers chose to select Markelle Fultz, a freshman point guard out of Washington.

Sixers fans, “The Process” is finally over. Welcome to the Moment.

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Flyers Awarded 2nd Overall Draft Pick

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Centers Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier are the top two prospects in the 2017 NHL Draft.

In a bizarre, unlikely, and ironic twist of fate, the Philadelphia Flyers have been awarded the second overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Despite just a 2.4% chance at nabbing the second pick, the Flyers leapfrogged teams with far better odds, such as the Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, Arizona Coyotes, and Vegas Golden Knights.

The New Jersey Devils also saw a dramatic rise, and will choose first in the draft. The Flyers have had a history of bad luck with the NHL Draft Lottery System in the past, but their karma finally bounced there way, as the team rose 11 spots and will have a chance to acquire a game-breaking player in either Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier.

But who’s better: Patrick or Hischier? Let’s meet the two players who will become the new faces of the Flyers-Devils rivalry.

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Looking at the Flyers and the Expansion Draft

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The NHL’s newest team will have at least one current Flyer on its inaugural roster.

The Flyers may have recently wrapped up their 50th Anniversary season, but the Vegas Golden Knights are just getting ready to enter their very first year as an NHL franchise. The NHL’s 31st Franchise, their team will be comprised of players from each of the NHL’s current teams.

Each team will be required to surrender one player to the Golden Knights in the Expansion Draft, but teams will be able to protect certain players. For one, players with less than two years of NHL/AHL experience will be exempt from the draft. Teams will be able to protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goaltender, (11 total players) or a mix of 8 skaters and 1 goalie (9 total players, but no position limits).  Also, players with no-movement clauses must be protected in the draft.

So who on the Flyers gets protected, and who will be left exposed for Vegas to take a gamble on? Here’s Overtime’s preview of the Philadelphia Flyers’ Expansion Draft Plan.

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Re-Examining the Nerlens Noel Trade

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Nerlens Noel and Justin Anderson faced off for the first time since being traded for each other last week.
The NBA Trade Deadline was just days away, and the Philadelphia 76ers wanted to trade a center. With Joel Embiid the center of the future and Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, and Richaun Holmes also on the roster, it made sense for the Sixers to trade at least one of their big men.

As we touched on back at deadline day, it seemed to make the most sense for the Sixers to either stand pat or cut their losses and trade Okafor, while re-signing Noel and letting Holmes grow as a center/power forward swingman. Of course, the Sixers did neither, dealing fan favorite Noel to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for little-known forward Justin Anderson and a conditional draft pick, which would either become a single first rounder or two second rounders.

The trade was panned by critics all over social media before even giving the Sixers a chance to show their thought process. And as time has passed, it has become clear that even if what the Sixers did wasn’t the ideal move to make, it may turn out better than some people thought.

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Analyzing the Flyers’ Deadline Day Moves

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On a busy deadline day, the Flyers traded Mark Streit to Tampa Bay for Valtteri Filppula and picks.
The NHL Trade Deadline has passed, and the Philadelphia Flyers made a small flurry of moves. First, the Flyers announced they re-signed center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and goalie Michal Neuvirth to 2-year extensions. The Flyers later traded defenseman and alternate captain Mark Streit to Tampa Bay for center Valtteri Filppula, a 4th-Round Pick and a 7th-Round Pick. For what it’s worth, Streit was later traded from the Lightning to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 4th Round Pick.

There is a lot to break down here, so let’s get to it.

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Is It Time to Give Up on the Flyers’ Season?

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The Flyers’ season went up in flames on Saturday night against the rival Penguins in the Stadium Series.

The Flyers may have worn black jerseys in last Saturday’s Stadium Series, but they may as well have been waving little white flags.

In what amounted to a highly frustrating 4-2 loss, the Flyers passed up on the chance to gain ground in the playoff picture, remaining 6 points out of the final wild card berth with no games in hand. Two teams are seated ahead of them, and few teams have as difficult a schedule as the Flyers have from here on out, a schedule heavy on road and divisional games.

With the trade deadline just two days away, is it time for the Flyers to give up on this season and move on to next year?

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Reliving the Greatest Moments of the Flyers-Penguins Rivalry

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The baddest rivalry in the NHL will head outdoors tonight at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
There is no rivalry in the NHL like that of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers. The two Pennsylvania teams will face off outdoors for the first time ever on Saturday at 8:00 on NBC. The rivals have only played one other time this year (the Penguins won 5-4), and the stakes have never been higher than they will be on Saturday in the Stadium Series.

Let’s take a look back at the greatest moments of the storied Flyers-Penguins rivalry.

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