The Philadelphia Flyers opened their doors for Training Camp on Thursday and while there is a sense of renewed sense of excitement around the franchise after a strong offseason, there’s no skating around the fact that this is a big year for Carter Hart.
The 22-year-old signed a new three-year deal this offseason the back of a disappointing 2020 campaign. Granted, it was a season in which nothing went right for the Flyers and one played under some ever-changing landscapes, but it was a sharp decline nonetheless.
He ended last year with an injury and .877% save percentage, going 9-11-5 in 27 games. However, causes for concern should be nullified providing he can rebound this season. The Flyers still believe in him, hence the extension, and Hheart has buckets of potential and is still so young in his development. It’s easy to forget that after he played so maturely during the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2019-20, but pull backs in growth and the occasional hiccup are bound to happen.
Hart is ready to put that all behind him and turn a new leaf, as he told reporters on Thursday.
“Right away.” Hart said when asked how quickly he can rebound. “Just needed a break after last season. Took some time off from the ice and had to recharge the batteries a little bit. Got into tennis this summer so that was fun. Golf is usually what I do over the summer. It was good to recharge and relax for a little bit. Had a good summer of training also.” – Carter Hart
Following a very challenging season, Hart returned home to spend the Summer with his family and friends, putting in work to improve his frame. He worked with someone to create a meal plan, but didn’t want to go overboard and start over correcting what made him so exciting to watch only one season beforehand. He comes back to the Flyers feeling refreshed and without any lingering thoughts about the struggles endured last year.
Last year is in the past so it has no effect on this upcoming season. I think this summer we have made a lot of great moves. Lost some great players but I think some of the guys coming in will fill some big roles and step up. I’m looking forward to the start of the season. – Carter Hart
With some new faces on the blue line this season and actual time to prepare, Hart will spend the next few weeks getting closer to his new teammates and acclimatising himself with a new backup in the way of Martin Jones. The Alberta native discussed both on Thursday.
He [Martin Jones] seems like a great guy. Heard lots of great things about him. He’s been here. Got in last weekend, so I’m looking forward to playing with him. He’s a great goalie. Looking forward to playing with the guy.
I think the guys coming in are going to do a good job. They’re veteran guys. Solid defenders. Looking forward to playing alongside them. Defensemen have got to be the goalie’s best friend. They’re great guys. Been around them for a couple of weeks now. Really excited for this season with them. – Carter Hart
If Hart can get back to his best in 2021, then his three-year extension will look like a steal in comparison to some of the other contracts handed to goalies within the division. There’s no questioning that Chuck Fletcher has done all he can to give Hart every chance a doing exactly that. It’s now down to the youngster to see if he can rekindle the fire that burned so brightly in 2019.