Flyers In Disarray: What is Atkinson’s Injury? Does Chuck Fletcher Even Know?
Cam Atkinson’s injury is either something he has struggled with before, or something he’s never had before. We don’t know which of those statements is true, because two people who ought to know have said entirely different things when they were asked.
Now, Cam Atkinson is in a uniquely good position to know his own injury history. It is, after all, his own injury history. So we should probably take him at his word when he says that he hasn’t had in the past.
But…I know at least one person who is not taking Cam at his word! The Flyers’ General Manager and President of Hockey Operations!
According to Chuck Fletcher, this injury is “something he’s dealt with in the past.”
Wait, what? Allow me for a moment to address Fletcher with a message.
How on God’s green earth do you not know the injury status–or injury history–of your own players? You are paying this guy $5M a year to complete a service.
In this case, the service is to play hockey. Business 101 states when you’re paying people for a service they can’t complete, you sure as hell better know why and when this situation can be resolved.
It is your job as GM to know what injuries players are hobbled by, and how long they’re expected to be hobbled for. It’s your job to know every confounding factor in the situation, so you can be prepared for every possible outcome.
So you better know if this issue is a reoccurrence or a new phenomenon. Because that affects when Atkinson can confidently be ready to play again, and that affects your team.
That is the essence of your job as General Manager: preparing the team for every potential hiccup over the course of a season, and over the course of many seasons.
Instead, Cam Atkinson is in a hospital room somewhere for symptoms that Chuck Fletcher is totally oblivious to and the organization is in complete disarray.
Look, primarily, this is yet another piece of timber thrown into the open bonfire that is Chuck Fetcher’s tenure as GM. It is yet another failure to add to what has been an endless list of them, and it is yet another reason to can this guy… yesterday.
But I’m not about to let Atkinson completely off the hook here, either. Because there is only one reason–besides Fletcher’s incompetence–that this is still up in the air. And that’s him.
See, if we knew the injury, then we wouldn’t need to speculate endlessly on whether or not this guy is ready by next week or secretly dead. If we knew the injury, then we’d probably know for ourselves whether or not this is something new. But we don’t know a damn thing, because Atkinson doesn’t want us to know anything.
Shouldn’t we respect his privacy, though?
No. Actually, no, his privacy is very low on the list of concerns here. The guy is being paid a lot of money to play hockey. He’s still being paid that money, and he hasn’t played a single hockey game.
I think the people ultimately responsible for the money he’s given–the fans who can’t watch him–deserve at least a small explanation.
I’m not saying they need to go into gory details. I’m saying we all should know the difference between an ankle sprain and a broken leg. And in every single other sport, we do know that.
If it was a family matter, then just say that it’s a family matter. If it’s an illness, just say it’s an illness. Those are different situations, and sometimes, the details are better spared.
But if it’s an injury, who the hell died and made Cam Atkinson’s aching shoulder more sensitive information than CIA field reports?
This organization is in complete disarray. One of its top-6 forwards is dealing with an injury so private that–mainly on account of said GM’s stupidity–even the GM doesn’t know what the hell is going on.
And that isn’t even the most absurd thing to happen this year.
The clown show must end. Even bad teams don’t have to be this chaotic and absentminded. This shit doesn’t happen to the Coyotes. They’re just bad.
Connor Bedard may be the most gifted generator of offense the league has seen since McDavid, but even if the Flyers get him… they still need to clean up the complete mess that is their front office. Or it won’t matter.
Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett