A long time and several hundred Flyers head coaches ago, Ed Snider got angry at a press conference. It was October 2013. He and the rest of the organization’s brain trust – general manager Paul Holmgren, president Peter Luukko – had fired Peter Laviolette and were replacing him with Craig Berube. Berube has since proved to be an excellent NHL head coach, a Stanley Cup-winning one, but at the time, he was lipstick on a sow. The Flyers were in exactly the same position then that they are now: too far away from a championship for a new coach to make a lick of difference in their long-term fortunes. Maybe the franchise needed … shudder … a fresh perspective.

“We don’t need a fresh perspective,” Snider said. “We’ve been in the Stanley Cup Finals a lot of times, and we’ve been in the playoffs a lot of times, and the culture is to win.”

Over the eight-plus years since Snider delivered that line, so much has changed about the Flyers. And so little. A postseason berth is no longer a rite of spring for them. That has changed, for sure. But what hasn’t changed is the thinking that set them barreling into this decade of mediocrity and apathy, a period capped by this season: a 10-game losing streak, a 13-game losing streak that ended only Saturday, and the low point of the franchise’s 55-year existence.

What was that corrosive thinking? Simple. It was the belief, and the actions in service of that belief, that winning that elusive first championship since 1975 was just a matter of desire, of want-to – that the best answer to the team’s problems was always the quickest or splashiest answer or merely a matter of making a few smart trades and/or signings and having everything just come together. The Flyers and their fans wanted a winner, and so the organization would do anything it had to do to bring a winner to town … unless that anything involved understanding that building an organization that establishes and maintains success in a salary-cap sport generally requires sacrifice and patience and time and several years of talent accumulation through smart drafting and player development.

How do we know that thinking hasn’t changed? Because during a news conference Wednesday, Dave Scott, with Chuck Fletcher sitting next to him, asserted that it had not. The Flyers are buried near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division, among the worst teams in the NHL, but fear not: Per Scott, they’re just a few moves away from being competitive again, for the first time in what feels like forever.

“I don’t really see this as being a three-, four-, five-year rebuild at all,” said Scott, the Flyers’ chairman. “I don’t think Chuck does, either. We have a pretty good core. I think it really starts with a healthy [Sean Couturier] and [Kevin] Hayes, [Joel] Farabee. We’d love to have [Ryan] Ellis back. We’ve got a core group to build on. I think as we look at the reality of it, two, three pieces, we’d be great, maybe a little more.”

Scott’s rose-colored view on the team’s future seemed tailored to set off the kind of wishful thinking that Flyers fans are always primed to engage in anyway. The Orange and Black already have $14 million worth of cap space heading into next season. All they have to do is buy out this guy and trade that guy and sign that other guy and voila! All will be well. And for all the justified criticism that Scott and the Flyers have sustained in recent years for the deadened atmosphere in the Wells Fargo Center – and for their slightly uncomfortable embrace of their mascot as the primary ambassador of the franchise – there is a reason that Scott might feel that he has to talk about the team with so much optimism.

That reason is obvious. Flyers fans are loyal. Flyers fans are steeped in the franchise’s history and traditions. But Flyers fans, in the main, also have completely unrealistic expectations for their team each year. We know this because they put their money where their hearts are. Consider:

In late December, DraftKings revealed each state’s pick to win the Stanley Cup, based on the amount of money bet on that team. Pennsylvania’s pick was the Flyers.

FanDuel reported last week that 6% of the money in the Stanley Cup futures market was on the Flyers. That percentage was the fourth-highest among the league’s 32 teams. When FanDuel related that information, the Flyers were 13 points away from being eligible to qualify for the postseason.

Last April, with the Flyers four points out of a playoff spot and on their way to finishing in sixth place in their division, Katie Kohler of Play Pennsylvania reported that only one team had more money on it to win the Cup. That team was the Colorado Avalanche, which at the time had the best record in the NHL.

In light of Scott’s audience, it’s understandable why he’d want to play up the Flyers’ chances of turning things around. He was in a tough spot in that regard. The problem is, his team is in a tougher one. Scott, the other people who run that team, and the people who love it should reconcile themselves to that fact, and they should acknowledge what it will take, finally and fully, to change it.