Flyers Claim Kieffer Bellows; Sniper Rehab Program Expands
The Flyers have fallen on such hard times that it’ll take a stroke of both brilliance and fortune to pull themselves out. While Chuck Fletcher does something wrong on a near hourly basis, he seems to have the right idea as far as: how to put himself in a position to get lucky.
The Flyers put themselves in a position to get lucky by claiming former acclaimed prospect Kieffer Bellows off of waivers from the New York Islanders.
Kieffer Bellows is not your average, everyday 4th line waiver wire pickup. This is a player who comes from pedigree. The astute prospect observers at Elite Prospects were glowing and effusive in their praise about him heading into his draft year.
At the 2016 Draft, he was thought to be one of the more proficient goal scorers in the NHL draft. His combination of size, hustle, and goal scoring prowess made him the 19th selection of the 2016 Entry Draft, and there were plenty of Flyers fans who wanted them to take him higher than that.
Including us here at the Liberty Yell!
Flyers Beat Reporter for the Athletic, Charlie O’Connor, would count himself amongst that group.
Charlie does raise a good point. In normal circumstances, trying to rehabilitate the sniping prowess of both Owen Tippett and Kieffer Bellows is a pretty hilarious case of tautology. But given the Flyers’ unique set of circumstances, I tend to believe that redundancy is a prudent business policy.
With Cam Atkinson out for the foreseeable future, there’s another spot at the wing that has opened up long-term. So there should be no issue giving playing time to both Tippett and Bellows. After all, it’s vastly preferable to be playing guys with some upside to playing AHL-Lifers who have no long-term future in the league.
Maybe Bellows will join the ranks of AHL-Lifers. After all, his numbers to date haven’t been particularly inspiring. 14 goals and 11 assists through 64 career NHL games is not the kind of production that will keep him on any team in the long term.
But 64 career games is a laughably low number to write off a prospect on. We’re giving Morgan Frost a chance after 77 career NHL games, and I’d say that was the correct thing to do.
We’re giving Owen Tippett a chance after 110 career NHL games.
Why? Because the Flyers have been victims of stupidly horrendous luck. In order to dig themselves out of the grave, they’re going to need some stupidly terrific line along the way.
So the real question is: why not? Why not take a swing for the fences?