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  1. The bad news just continues with Sam Morin as he is expected to be out until next February according to Ron Hextall. Morin is expected to have surgery this week. Looks like Morin will then start with the Flyers come Feb or so. I expect some conditioning games with the Phantoms first.
  2. In The Spring of 2020 the Flyers are very likely to lose one of Sanheim, Myers, or Morin in the expansion draft. Hagg also, but if you could choose between Myers or Sanheim, you're not worrying about Hagg. It's also slightly possible they could lose Voracek or Simmonds(if he's resigned), less tragic to Flyers fans, but Damn, that's getting a VERY good player for NOTHING. It's presumed they'd protect Hart, so that makes me kind of assume we'd have seen and will probably expose Sandstrom by that point, but if not, then Stolarz or whoever they sign in between. Now if I'm looking at that list, I'm zoning in on the D men. It will be INCREDIBLY unfair to have to lose one of those three guys. Hysterically unfair. So unfair I won't know what to do about it. There likely won't be ANYTHING Hextall can do about it other than trade two D men ahead of time rather than losing them for nothing. This is insanely unfair. It's unfair to the Flyers, and it's unfair to the fans of other Expansion teams who have simply not had the benefit of such generous draft rules. I mean it's literally made the expansion team this the cup finalist and favorite to win. Certainly they can ease off a little bit can't they? Good lord this is unreasonable.
  3. Yet again the Flyers come out flat.... It's really hard watching this team get pushed around.
  4. The Flyers effort is an insult to the city. It has to be on the coach and players both. Even with a crap coach, the players should have more pride in their performance. What decent player would even think about coming here? The game tonight ( 5-4 ) was so so bad. Wow, the Flyers decided to start playing ( kinda ) after giving up 4 goals.... I'm just happy they managed to win in Colorado... But the D looked just as bad there as they looked tonight... Can we please find a coach... can we please find someone to stand in front of the net and pretend to know how to play the position?
  5. THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast | Episode 16 Mrazek Rescues Flyers, The Untouchables, and Trade Deadline Update Debate 1 | Mrazek traded to Philadelphia to rescue them from injuries. Debate 2 | Who are the NHL Untouchables? Debate 3 | NHL Trade Deadline update and predictions. Petr Mrazek was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers from the Detroit Red Wings when both of the Flyers goalies went down with injuries. Will Mrazek rescue the Flyers and lead them to the playoffs? Who are the untouchables in the NHL. What players will never be moved, and how many is their? NHL Trade Deadline is drawing near. Brad Burud and Blake Friars breakdown all speculation and projections for trade deadline. LISTEN - PODCAST
  6. Long time no see fellas! I was planning on going to the open training camp/practice this Friday in Voorhees. What time do they start? Any info is appreciated!
  7. Many in the hockey world are quite familiar with Jeremy Roenick. Before he was an outspoken analyst on NBCsports, “JR” played 20 seasons in the Nation Hockey League, racking up 513 goals and 1,216 points. No matter what team he played for, he played with not only his heart, but with his upbeat personality as well. Since retiring in 2009, Roenick has spent time making controversial statements about hockey teams and their players. JR’s rhetoric’s have been questioned by many because of one simple reason. He’s never led his team to a Stanley Cup. But last week, JR once again made some statements towards Flyers Captain, Claude Giroux. However, instead of taking his comments with a grain of salt, I think there is a deeper meaning behind what he said. JR went on Philly Sports talk radio on Friday and had plenty of things to say about the Flyers captain Claude Giroux. “He’s a stud,” said Roenick. “The reason why Claude Giroux doesn’t get success is [because] he lets everything get into his mind and he looks for other things to blame it on,” I think JR is correct in that statement. Giroux, while one of the best top 5 players in the NHL in points since 2011, hasn’t been that same guy that once said, “I want that first shift” back in the 2012 playoffs against their arch rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Back then, Giroux showed what type of leader he was. He wasn’t even the captain then, but in opening 29 seconds, he went out, drilled Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby, then he scored a goal. Flyers fans will never forget that moment, but often reminisce and wonder, “Who was that Claude Giroux?” Since becoming a Captain, it took Giroux a couple of seasons to get to comfortable wearing the “C.” Former Flyers Captain Mike Richards, while playing in LA, saw the tough transition Giroux was going through and even reached out to him. “Take it easy, don’t put too much pressure on yourself” Richards told Giroux. It was then, Giroux eased up and started playing like the player he should be. However, a few seasons later he still seems to be struggling on the ice. JR continued, “Claude Giroux can play this game and he can play it at a high, hard level. He’s just got to get back into the inside of the game, start attacking the game and not worrying about what the media or the fans are saying about Claude Giroux, period. He is a world-class player that can make a difference and that’s why he has the ‘C’ on his chest.” The media can be difficult in Philly. The organization firmly blamed them [the media] on successfully distracting goalie Illyia Bryzgalov back in 2012 and former Captain Mike Richards used to have battles with them during interviews as well. However, Giroux has never let the media get the best of him while being interviewed. He’s calm, collective and simply takes the entire blame for the team as a captain should. But I don’t think Claude blames it on other things. If you watch his interviews, he blames his play on himself and really nothing else. But maybe that’s where he’s letting too many things get to his mind. Last year, he did not have a good season. In April, he commented that his offseason surgery the year before, limited his abilities and that he was taking a long time to feel 100 percent. Injuries are part of the game. But what JR is talking about in my opinion is the same thing I mentioned about Giroux and his “want that first shift” mentality. He’s looking at that Claude Giroux, the hungry young player that put his heart on his sleeve. "If I was sitting in front of Claude Giroux right here today, I would say, 'You need to make amends and you need to have a bounce-back season and show everybody why you have been one of the better players over the last five years and last year was just a bad-luck situation,'" JR knows Giroux should be hungry. He should be ready to win come training camp. The Flyers’ rookies are coming up and they are going to look at Giroux as if he was their commander leading them into battle. If Giroux was as upset as I was watching Sidney Crosby raise his third Cup in the last 10 years, I’d be ready to come in and make it a mission that the Flyers not only played a dominate season, but made the playoffs. Fans have been on Giroux, JR is dead on about that. Many fans think he should be scoring 30 goals a season and putting up 100 points, but fans forget a couple of things. One, Giroux is a playmaker 20 goals would be a blessing for him. Two, Giroux isn’t on the level of Crosby or McDavid, 100 points is reaching. Three, Giroux is 29 years old. He is not going to get any faster than he already is. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a good captain or your best player. Just because Wayne Simmonds scores 30 goals every year, doesn’t mean he should be the captain. Giroux has been that leader, he has been the Flyers best player, he’s has been that example. Last year was bad year overall for the team, not just Giroux. October is a new year and Giroux should use JR’s comments constructively. The time is now, he’s the captain, he has the players around him to succeed and it’s up to him to come in, lead and deliver that expectation that was placed on his sweater in 2013. JR’s message to Giroux isn’t one of those out of left field remarks that he normally makes to get a rise out of hockey fans, but its advice from one player to another. It is a reminder that it’s a new year. It’s a spark that perhaps Giroux needs. But most importantly it was something that needed to be said and in October, we’ll find out if the message was received or if was just “seen.”
  8. Flyers rookie/prospect camp opened over the weekend in Voorhees NJ. Hundreds of fans flocked to the Flyers’ Skate Zone to observe the future of the team hit the ice for drills, workouts and some scrimmaging. Although, 2nd overall pick Nolan Patrick could not participate, he was on hand to meet fans, the media and of course observe his future team mates as well. Patrick spoke with the media, "This will be the first time in a while that I will be completely healthy," Patrick said. "My injury was bugging me all season. … I'll be back on the ice next week and I'm excited." After evaluation, Patrick will be skating in some conditioning drills and plans to be fully ready by training camp in September. Despite not being able to see the 2nd pick in action, plenty of hype surrounding the Flyers prospects as several of them are expected to compete for opening night roster spots. Let’s begin with a forward. Oscar Lindblom. Lindblom was selected in the fifth round in 2014. Most fifth round picks don’t make it into the NHL and if they do, it’s usually a role player. However, Lindblom has done nothing but turn heads in the past couple of years starting in Sweden. Ron Hextall has this to say; “Oskar went away, no one knew who the hell he was, just a fifth-round pick over there getting better and better and all of a sudden BANG, he’s the SHL forward of the year.” Lindblom, a 6-foot-2, 192-pound winger, played 52 regular-season games in the SHL last season. Lindblom tallied 47 points (22 goals and 25 assists.) He added 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 20 playoff games. Now, he’s here in Flyers prospect camp looking to be one of the scoring wingers come opening night. If you look at Lindblom’s developmental progress, one has to wonder, how he did he slip to the fifth round? When the 2014 draft hit, Lindblom himself expected to be a top 15 draft pick. When that didn’t happen and he slipped all the way down to the fifth round, that didn’t sit well with him. Over the past two years, you could see that hunger in Lindblom. He played with something to prove. Now two here later, here at camp, he’s doing the same thing. He’s showing that he’s ready. He’s letting everyone know that he’s here to work hard and that he wants to make the team in October and that in September he’s going to be working harder in training camp. He’s already caught the attention of the GM. "Some of these kids make a lot of progress in a couple years and I think Oskar is one of those guys. His skating, you look at certain players, they don't have a great stride and their skating can certainly get better, but there's a bit of ceiling there. With Oskar, it was more of a strength issue and that's what's come on with him. It's been a couple of years, he's gotten a lot stronger and you can just tell when you see him out on the ice there" Hextall told the press. Hextall continued, "Take the hat off to the kid, too, because he put a lot of work in," Hextall said. "When you improve that much, he put a lot of work in." It’s good to see a GM take the time to say that about a prospect in July especially when the Flyers are going to need more offense this season. Even Oscar knows he’s going to have to work hard come September, but the kid is already shown he has dedication. He’s been on the ice 10 minutes prior to everyone else hitting the ice all weekend. But Oscar wasn’t the only highlight of training camp. The Flyers also got to see goalie prospect Carter Hart. Hart, was selected in the2nd round of the 2016 NHL draft. (48th overall.) He was the first goalie and was labeled as the top goalie in the draft. Hart saw plenty of action at a high level this past year, winning a silver medal at the World Junior Championships this past year. He’s also won plenty of accolades since becoming a goalie. He won the WHL Goaltender of the Year award, back-to-back. (2016/2017) He’s have the best Save percentage last year and the past two years has had the best goals against average. (GAA) In 2015 he won the best goaltender of the CHL. Throughout his career in the WHL, Hart has played 149 games with a record of 85-39-12. (Those are 12 ties by the way, not shoot-out losses.) Hart, who is attending his second Rookie Camp, is showing off his skills and athleticism. He is aiming to make the NHL out of camp next season and knows it’s going to take a lot of hard work. “My goal is to make the team next year here. Obviously it doesn’t happen often with 19-year-old goalies, but it’s something that I really want. It’s something that I’m working for. I’m coming here to try to make the team in the fall.” Oh yeah, that’s right, Hart is only 18 years old. His resume thus far is so impressive alone, and I forgot to mention that he was only 18 years of age. How impressed are you now? Hart has one year of eligibility left in the WHL and will most likely play there. He’s too young to play on the Phantoms in the AHL and won’t be playing in the NHL this year. Hart also sees a sport psychologist. Hey, they’ve always said goalies have a different personality than other hockey players. I will continue all week with more on other Flyers Prospects. Training Camp ends Wednesday with the annual Trial on the Isle. Follow me on Twitter @iban3zhead
  9. Happy Fourth of July everyone! As Canada’s neighbors from the south celebrate our independence over the next few days, plenty of the NHL’s elite are celebrating new contracts and new places that they will call home. In the last 24 hours alone, the Dallas Stars have signed Alexander Rudulox to a 5 year contract, Joe Thorton re-upped to the Sharks for one more year and former Shark Patrick Marleau was able to ink a 3 year deal in Toronto. There are plenty of fan bases celebrating the offseason so far and I think right now the top winner could be the Dallas Stars. Dallas, just before the actual off season began, traded for Ben Bishop and immediately signed him to a six -year contract. During Free Agency, the Stars also added Martin Hanzal. With Benn, Spezza, Rudulov, Hanzal on the front lines and the return of Ken Hitchcock behind the bench this Stars team could be a powerhouse in the West. But despite Free Agency around the league many teams are excited to due to the draft results. One team in particular is the Flyers. Of course every Flyers fan became excited over the draft once it was discovered that the Flyers won the 2nd overall pick. I nearly jumped off the couch myself. Over the weeks from the Lottery to the draft, it was argued on who the clear cut number overall would be, Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier? For the longest time, Patrick was labeled the number one by many scouts however in the last week leading up to the draft Hischier, was labeled the number one choice. It was probable that Patrick’s injuries and offseason surgery led to his fall in the pre-draft rankings and as the rankings predicted, Patrick was selected 2nd overall by the Flyers. Injury aside, the Flyers have landed their future number one center in Patrick. Despite not playing 100 percent, Patrick still collected 46 points last season, 20 goals and 26 assists in only 33 games with Brandon Wheat Kings. (WHL) in previous season, Patrick had 41 goals and 102 points in 72 games. TSN Analyst Craig Button said that Patrick is a “very smart player. His hallmark is his passing, and he’s got a good shot. And because of his size, he’s got the ability to hold off the guy, draw another guy to him, and he has great vision on getting the puck (to someone) and open up a play.” Size is something the Flyers lack in a center from an offensive standpoint. Patrick is bigger in both height and weight than Giroux, Konecny, and Filpula. Center Sean Couturier, while taller and heavier, still has not lived up to his expectations as an offensive center, however since Couturier was moved to the 3rd line at last year’s trade deadline, he’s played much better and is better suited for a 3rd line role. Now two questions now come into play for training camp. Does Patrick make the opening night roster and does Patrick play center? General Manager Ron Hextall has never been one to rush a player in to the NHL, however many believe Patrick’s days in Juniors are over and will be in the line-up come October. It will be interesting to see who will play wing now that the Flyers have a plenthora of centers. (Giroux, Filpula, Patrick, Couturier, Lethera, Vecchione, Laughton, and Weal) I believe we’ll see Giroux, Patrick, Couturier and Lethera being your centers while the rest are moved to wing and Laughton and Vecchione battle for 4th line spot on the wing. Of course all of this is speculation. Patrick who won’t participate in Flyers Rookie camp, won’t be able to hit the ice until September and will have to earn his spot. It’s hard to predict where a drafted rookie who’s never played an NHL game will fall come October, although I believe that the trading of Brayden Schenn all but confirmed that Patrick will be playing in NHL. But once Patrick heals from his offseason surgery and starts rehabbing, I’m sure he’ll be hungry to show that he belongs on the Flyers next season. The Flyers are coming into the beginning of what they’ve been building for since Hextall took over as GM. There will be plenty of spots open for the young rookies to play and Hextall has already stated that he’s done for the summer with FA signings and trades. That is something that should be refreshing to hear for Flyers fans, who’ve seen many of their young prospects traded in favor of aging veterans who the front office thought could “win now.” Thankfully that philosophy is a thing of the past. I for one cannot wait to catch Patrick in Training Camp and see what this kid is made of. It’s been a long time since Flyers fans have had something to be excited about and now with the Flyers having a “Murders’ row of young players” (NBCSN Analyst Pierre McGuire), we’ll finally get to see a glimpse of our future hit the ice come the Fall. Later this week, I’ll re-cap the rest of the Flyers draft and projected line-ups for this upcoming season. I will be posting Flyers and NHL updates all summer on Twitter. Follow me @iban3zhead
  10. Plans are in place for the Flyers alums to play a 3 game tour beginning in Kazan on Feb. 16, St. Petersburg on Feb. 18 and an outdoor game on Red Square in Moscow on Feb. 20. Joe Watson will be the only representative from that famous 1976 defeat of the Red Soviet Army team for the Flyers and they don't know who yet may still be able to play from Russia. Apparently, Russian President Vladmir Putin wants to play in the outdoor game in Moscow as long as he isn't working. ( Which makes me think of a great SNL skit out of this, lol ) According to Watson the Flyers are well liked in Russia and are well known because of their past history even Flyers management didn't have many Russians on it over the years. Anyway, I'm sure there will be more on this in the coming weeks but you can read the entire article written by Adam Kimelman here.
  11. For those who don't read the Philly papers: [Hidden Content] Excerpt: "There's no question" he would have been a first-round selection if he was in this year's draft, said Craig Button, the highly respected draft guru for TSN in Canada. "What a steal by the Flyers."
  12. I've compiled points per season, goals per season, assists per season, and points per game for the Flyers current top 5 scorers, not including Shayne Gostisbehere because he's only got one year under his belt. The stats are plotted and put into a line graph to show each player's progression and the comparisons between the players. Dates back to Claude Giroux's first Flyers season. Stats were acquired from philadelphiaflyers.com. Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, Jake Voracek, and Sean Couturier. Flyers Stats.pdf
  13. It was a long wait, but Draft day arrived. One of the most anticipated draft in years arrived Friday night, but just for the first round. And what a first round it was. We watched future Star, Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel go number one and number 2 respectively. As Dylan Strome was select at #3 which came as a surprise to many, the pieces fell in the correct place for the Flyers. Earlier this week GM Ron Hextall stated he was targeting Defenseman Ivan Provorov who was ranked at the Top Defenseman in the draft. There were even reports that the Flyers were trying to obtain the Number 3 pick in order to draft him. But as luck would have it, Arizona, Toronto, Carolina and New Jersey let him pass and when the Flyers were up Provorov was selected. Let’s take a look at our new future prospect. Provorov is a 6”0 210lbs left shot Defenseman. He has been talked about by several scouts and hockey reporters and had very high rankings. Ranked #9 by Hockeyprospect.com Ranked #7 by ISS Hockey Ranked #6 by Future Considerations Ranked #5 by McKeen's Hockey Ranked #7 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters) Ranked #8 by TSN/McKenzie His season with the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL), Provorov posted 15 goals, 46 assists for 61 points in 60 games with a plus 36 in the +/- rating. This pick stacks up the Flyers blueline for the future. For a team that lacked defense a few years ago will look great in the years to come, most likely starting in the 2016/2017 season where we’ll see Travis Sanhiem, Shayne Gostisbehere, Sam Morin and Provorov for certain. It’s going to be great to see all of these guys for the Flyers. Provorov brings size, speed, offensive ability and a good defensive game. He’s capable of clearing the porch and taking the puck up ice. He’s considered a smaller Victor Headman as TSN analysts put it. We’ll find out more in the coming weeks what Hextall’s exact plan for Provorov is and we’ll get a good look at him at the Flyers Rookie Camp in July. The Flyers had two picks in the first round and their next selection was at 29, a pick they acquired from Tampa Bay as part of the Braydon Coburn trade. Instead of waiting, Hextall saw that Forward Travis Konecny from the Ottawa 67's was still available. Konecny was not on the Leaf’s radar at 24 so they traded the pick to the Flyers for the 29th pick and the 61st pick overall. It’s a win for both teams as the Leafs believe the guy they want would still be available and they got an additional pick. The Flyers then selected Konecny. Konecny has a small frame at 5”10 175lbs, but he has speed, quickness, great mobility and good offensive awareness. He had 29 goals and 39 assists last season in the OHL and had 70pts in the previous season. He’s expected to play wing for the Flyers. Now that the Flyers have traded the 61st overall pick, the Flyers have the 70th pick and are expected to look at a goalie. Hextall also is planning to make a few moves prior before free agency so it’s a very exciting time to be a Flyers fan as the rebuild is in full swing! Tomorrow, we’ll see who else will be part of the Flyers’ future. Follow me on twitter @iban3zhead
  14. With the Stanley Cup Finals just less than a week away, some teams are still looking to sign their UFA and RFA forwards. Early this week, it was reported that the Flyers have finally begun contract talks with pending RFA Michael Del Zotto. The Flyers also need to re-sign Chris Vandevelde and Ryan White who are both set to become UFA. White played pretty well in his first season with the Flyers. In 34 games, White registered 6 goals and 6 assists and only racked up 34 min in penalties. White, I feel is the replacement for Zac Rinaldo. Rinaldo, brings zero offense to the table and its unknown whether he can be disciplined. New Coach David Hasktol, has a history of not putting up with players who are undisciplined and we could have very well seen the end of Rinaldo. White, who missed most of the season to a torn pectoral muscle, didn’t have an entire season to show what he can do and only made $575,000 last Season. This could work out well for the Flyers, given that White could end up getting a similar contract and could help keep the Flyers numbers low. I can see a 750k-900k one year deal happening here. It would be friendly for both sides. Chris Vandevelde could go either way. He had ok 4th line numbers with 9 goals and 6 assists through 72 games. Vandevelde was bounced all around in Berube’s line-up last season. He saw some time on the first line next to Giroux and Voracek, two players far out of his capability. He also had a rotating line-mate on the fourth line which switched from Rinaldo to Lecavalier quite often. It’s hard to generate chemistry when things like that are happening on a game to game basis. He also made $575,000 last season and I can see a one year, 750k deal happening here. He can provide depth, given if he doesn’t make the opening night roster. A lot can happen between now and October. That brings me to some notable free agent forwards that could potentially hit the market on July 1. The Los Angeles Kings are very cap strapped and could wind up losing several players because they simply are handcuffed just like the Flyers. Three UFA forwards could be open for offers on July first, and if they are should the Flyers throw a line out? Let’s take a look at who they are. We’ll begin with a familiar face and that is Justin Williams. Williams, has 3 Stanley Cup rings and a Con Smythe to go along with it, is a former member of the Flyers’ Organization. Since being traded, he’s gone on to do great things. Williams will be 34 when the new season kicks off, however he plays very well for a 34 year old. Williams had 18 goals and 23 assists for 41 points last season and was a plus 8. Williams is known for his two way play and his leadership. Williams also shines in the post season. Since Williams is getting older, he won’t be posting prime numbers like he used to and he has already won 3 championships, so perhaps a discount rather than a raise could be proposed. Last year he made 3mil but his cap hit was at 3.6mil. Williams also lives in New Jersey during the offseason. His family is here, he practices at the Flyers skate zone during the summer and he has a prior relationship with GM Ron Hextall who was his assistant GM in LA during LA’s first Cup. Could the Flyers land Williams with a 2 year 2.5-3mil offer? I know adding older veterans, is against Hextall’s plan but he wouldn’t have to give up any prospects or young players to land him. Just given his leadership alone which the Flyers lacked tremendously I’d at least take a look at this option. The LA Kings are also going to see if they can re-sign forward Tyler Toffoli. Toffoli is only 23 years old. He was part of “That 70’s line” in LA that had great success in the beginning of the season. Toffoli finished off with 23 goals and 26 assists for 49 points. Could he be the forward that the Flyers first line sorely needs? He’s a natural center, but he played on the wing while Jeff Carter centered. It’s going to be interesting because LA isn’t going to want to let a player like him go, but where are they going to get the money? That same question could be asked for the Flyers but I’ll add more into that later on. Toffoli’s cap hit was only 870k last year. He’s obviously due for a raise. Given his potential it’s possible he could ask for money LA can’t afford, but if he isn’t on LA’s books by June 30, I would absolutely take a run at this guy. He’s young, he’s fast and he can put points up on the board, oh and he has a Cup on his resume. Jarret Stoll will more than likely not be re-signed by the Kings. Stoll is a good 4th liner, which the Flyers have a plethora of. Stoll had a previous cap hit at 3mil and he’s going to be 35 at the start of the season. I don’t see him making 3 mill next year, but I also don’t see the Flyers taking a shot at him. The only purpose I brought him up was because he’s part of the Free Agents that could soon depart from LA. The Kings also have a RFA goalie and that would be Martin Jones. Jones, 25, is no joke. He began his NHL career stepping in for an injured, Jonathan Quick and went 8-0-0 in his first 8 starts with 3 shutouts. In his short NHL career, Jones has a .923 save %. Jones who can be a reliable back-up would cost the Flyers a draft pick if they were to sign him to an offer sheet, which I don’t see happened given that Hextall is going to build through the draft. Jones however, caught Hextall’s eye during a tryout session in 2010 and the Kings signed him to a 3 year contract. Jones went undrafted. I wouldn’t mind seeing Jones as the back-up to Steve Mason, but like I said, if the Flyers sign him to an offer sheet and LA doesn’t match, the Flyers will have to give up compensation which I just don’t see them doing. I fully expect LA to re-sign Jones. Okay, so while reading this, you’re probably asking where, are the Flyers going to come up with any of that money to sign these players? Well, the Flyers currently have $69,375,000 tied up in contracts. That does not include any of the Flyers pending free agents. The Flyers will get relief from Chris Pronger’s contract once he is place on LTIR and then Flyers will then have 64.454mil in the cap. The salary cap is expected to rise to 71mil, however you can’t count on that until it actually happens. If it does, the Flyers will have $6,545,000 to play with for Free Agents. Now it is widely believed that Hextall is going to heavily shop Vinny Lecavalier. There are also rumors that Vinny and the Flyers could come to an agreement to terminate Vinny’s contract which is plausible considering Vinny is getting a hefty check from his buyout in Tampa. Both parties have publicly stated that it hasn’t worked for either side so it’s very well possible that this could happen, given the Flyers can’t find a buyer to take on Vinny’s contract. If the Flyers can shed Lecavalier before July 1, they’ll have $11,046,000 in money to play with. The Flyers could then sign Toffoli, Williams and find a back-up goalie in the mean time. They can also sign Del Zotto, White and Vandevelde. Hypothetically, let’s just say for argument’s sake this whole paragraph does happen. What are the numbers? Let’s do the easy ones first. White and Vandevelde at one year deals for a combined cap hit at 1.8mil (a reasonable and real number at 900k each.) 9.246mil remains in available cap space. Del Zotto signs for a 2 year 3mil deal which would leave 6.246mil in cap space. Emery is re-signed for a 1 year 1mil deal leaving 5.246mil available. Toffoli, given his age and potential, would probably command a 3-4 year deal probably in the 4mil range. Pending on how you structure the contract you can get that cap hit to only be about 3mil so you’re left with 2.246. I’m sure you can bring in Williams on 2mil which leaves you with very little money to fluctuate in case of an injury. However if you can bring in Toffoli, I wouldn’t go after Williams, therefore you still have 2.4mil in cap space to play with or leave open in case of an injury. Now all of this is hypothetical. There aren’t any reports of any kind out there saying the Flyers are targeting these players or if LA fully intends to let these players hit Free Agency. I just noticed that LA is heavily strapped, Hextall has ties to these players and one of them is very young and very good. Everything with the numbers was just to explain how it could work although I know it’s easier said than done. With that said, could the Flyers land anyone of these potential free agents? Would you want the Flyers attempting to land any of them? What are your thoughts? Personally, I would love to see Toffoli in a Flyers uniform. But that’s just me. Follow me on Twitter @iban3zhead
  15. Looking back at this past Flyers’ season, it’s one we could all easily forget. As we gain hope for the future, this team still has a lot of work ahead of them. However, it’s not as bad as it seems. I’m going to talking about the current roster, possible moves, and the draft in what I have as a 3 part series. However, the Flyers made a splash today announcing their 19th head coach. So we will begin part I of this series with this. I was driving to the beach this morning while listening to the radio when the news came across that the Flyers are announced their new head coach. As I braced myself, I hoped for Todd McClellen, who was my first choice. I also waited to see if fan favorite and one of the most logical choices would be Mike Babcock. While listening closely, I also hoped that it wasn’t Kevin Dineen, John Tortorella or Peter Deboer. Instead the name David Hakstol was reported over the air. “Who?” I thought to myself. The second I was able to stop, I briefly put off my beach trip to conduct a little research on this Hakstol. To begin, the Flyers went off the scale with this. Here we have a guy who’s name wasn’t mentioned at all in any reports. (Thanks Flyers’ media for doing your job, *Sarcasm*) It wasn’t Todd McClellen who seemed that would have been a perfect fit for the Flyers given his credentials with young players and getting them to produce. It wasn’t anyone from within the organization or has any ties to the Flyers in any capacity which was a huge relief. But it was a college coach, a college coach who has never coached a professional game in his life. Before I could even attempt to judge I kept an open mind. Hakstol seems to have quite the record. He’s coached at the University of North Dakota since 2004. He’s leaving behind an impressive record of 289-143-43 with a winning percentage of .654. North Dakota has qualified for the NCAA tournament in each of Hakstol's 11 seasons and reached the Frozen Four seven times. He’s also produced 20 NHL Players which include Jonathan Towes, Matt Green, TJ Oshie and Drew Stafford. Current Flyer Chris VandeVelde also came from Hakstol’s college system. Towes and Green have also gone on to win two Stanley Cups and Towes has won two Olympic Gold Medals as well. This move also proves that GM Ron Hextall wanted someone who can work well and develop young players. With our farm system stacked with potential young talent waiting to make the jump to the NHL, the Flyers also have a few young players with lots of potential waiting to be tapped. I’m talking about Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn. Couturier, had a career season in offensive numbers last season, but the organization wants him to replicate the offensive stud that he was in Juniors. Scott Laughton, who also had very high offensive numbers in Juniors, couldn’t translate that in his first NHL season. Perhaps Hakstol is the guy to tap every ounce of potential from these players. With his impressive record and professional players developed, he also has quite the record in his college career that isn’t kept in the books. It’s something that Flyers’ fans can appreciate. For one, he was suspended for two games for flipping off a referee. We all disagree with refs game in and game out and most of the time coaches will argue while others just sit and stare, but this guy showed his displeasure. Yes it’s a little immature, but it shows that he’s not going to take any BS and that he fully backs his team. That’s something I like in a head coach. He also has a history of making sure his team is disciplined or he will bench them. That doesn’t mean taking penalties, but playing both ends of the ice and showing sportsmanship. The Flyers went outside of the box and got the fresh prospective that the fans have been screaming for, for years. However many Flyers fans took to social media today to display their hatred and disagreement with Hextall’s choice of hiring Hakstol. I get it, he wasn’t the big name that we’ve been hoping for. He wasn’t the popular choice nor does he really have the NHL experience to back it up. He’s brand new. He will coach his first professional Hockey game in October. I for one thought about this all day and have come to the conclusion that this isn’t a bad move. I think it’s a good one. We’ll tell through time whether if it was a great move. All coaches have to start somewhere. He has a proven track record with developing young players, getting them to play to their fullest and he has a very impressive winning record to show for it. I think it’s a bold move by Hextall but the right one. We have a fresh prospective and that’s part of Hextall’s plan. Now we just have to continue to have patience and believe that this team will be a contender in 2-3 years. Tomorrow, I’ll go over the current roster and the needs of the Flyers as the Draft approaches. Follow me on Twitter @iban3zhead
  16. Part II Today I’m going to go over the current roster and who I think should stay and who should go just based on my observations from the past few seasons. The Flyers have a decent core to build around to become a contender in the future. Obviously we begin with Captain Claude Giroux who finished 13th in the league in pts (25G 48A). He is the center piece for the team. He was able to help his line mate Jakub Voracek breakout into a career year finishing 5th overall in NHL pts with 81. Those two, are our Crosby/Malkin or our Towes/Kane. Neither of them are those players, and I’m not comparing them but each team has a top duo you must rely on and G/Jake are those for the Flyers. But let us take a look at the rest of the team. Wayne Simmonds, led the team with 28 Goals, however missed the final 7 games due to injury. He's done a fantastic job at replacing Hartnell as the guy in front of the net, and has been a PP specialist. He also stands up for his team mates and is never afraid to get his hands dirty. He's easily become my favorite. Sean Couturier who is only 23, also had a career season with 37 pts. He’s more known as a shutdown forward, but the team wanted him to produce more offensively. “Coots” feels he can produce more offensively and publicly called out former Head Coach Craig Berube for playing him strictly as a defensive forward and criticized his offensive play. That left a lot of fans, writers and I’m sure players scratching their heads. Here, Coots has a career year offensively but was still thrown under the bus for not offensively producing. That may have been just one of the many factors that led to Berube’s dismissal. Michael Raffl who played his sophomore season in the NHL is proving that he’s a quality left winger that provides good depth. Raffl is productive on all 3 Flyers’ lines however, the Flyers are going to need a much better winger for the top line if they want improve their offense and be more consistent. Scott Laughton came up early in the season as the result of an injury to Vinny Lecavalier. Laughton showed speed, strength, poise and some offensive ability. He suffered a concussion and wasn’t the same when he came back. However, he played very well in the AHL and should have a spot come training camp. Vinny Lecavalier is a name that everyone loves to hear prior to two years ago. Vinny had a productive first year with the Flyers, but he flattened during his second year in the orange and black. Vinny spent 17 games as a healthy scratch as was used as a 4th line winger much of the season which led to his lack or production as well as his public dislike for Craig Berube. Personally, I really believe Vinny was misused under Berube. Vinny is absolutely a future Hall of Famer. He’s not the same player as he was with the Lightning, but he can still be useful. He’s a former captain and a leader. He never really had speed, so for those to say his speed is gone, is really misleading because he never had much of it to begin with. I think if used correctly Vinny can be an asset to the Flyers. I think he can be productive and produce decent offensive numbers. His contract is less desirable as a result of former GM Paul Holmgren who signed him to a ridiculous contract with a cap hit of 4.2million. The contract really is bad for everyone. It makes it near impossible to trade and it handcuffs the Flyers. The Flyers bought out center Danny Briere who had a very similar cap hit for only one more season before his cap hit went down to 3mil. Buying Briere out was supposed to give some relief for the Flyers, instead they signed Vinny for virtually the same cap hit and for more years. That was one of Homer’s boneheaded moves that current GM Ron Hextall has to now deal with. If the Flyers could move Vinny, I’m all for it. If not, I hope the Dave Hakstol can use him correctly and he can provide some of the offense the Flyers lacked. The Flyers have spent years struggling to find a starting Goalie to actually play more than two seasons in a Flyers uniform. Luckily, that isn’t their issue. Steve Mason, has done nothing but prove that he really is the Goalie that he was projected to be after his rookie season. Despite is record of 18-18-11 this season, Mason finished 8th in the NHL is GAA and 3rd in the NHL in Save %. That’s quite remarkable. It goes to show that the Flyers really lacked offense. Mason’s saves were also quality saves. Mason stood on his head in all 18 of those wins and majority off his games. It’s a shame is record doesn’t show it. But if Mason is finishing in the Top 10 in those categories over starters like Pekke Rinne, Holtby and Rask the Flyers are solid for goaltending and that’s what they need for a deep playoff run. Mark Streit played solid for the Flyers as their number 1 defenseman this year. He also tallied 52 pts. His age is a concern, but there’s no reason to be worried because he seems like one of those defenseman that can still play hard and be solid for your defense. Michael Del Zotto proved he is a valuable defenseman. He finished 2nd among defenseman with 32pts. He’s RFA, however he most likely will be signed. I see him being the Flyers 2nd Dman next season along with Streit. With the exception of Vinny, I consider the rest of those Flyers untradeable and those are the building blocks they need. The Flyers need to rid themselves of several players because of money and or overall lack of productivity. RJ Umberger is the first on my list. Umberger was expected to produce better than he did. He wasn’t expected to replace the void for Scott Hartnell as the move was strictly a cap space move that will pay off sooner rather than later. However Umberger played horribly. It took 67 games for Berube to actually healthy scratch him. It was later revealed that he needed hip surgery, but who knows if he’ll come back next season and be productive. If RJ could be moved, I’d try to move him. Buying him out is not an option as it would cost more money in the long run against the cap for the Flyers. Brayden Schenn: Schenn, put on an impressive run during the end of the season, but he was very inconsistent much of the year. He spent nearly a month on the first line and it actually brought down the production of G and Jake. Schenn is expendable. He had a lot of potential, but hasn’t shown much promise of being labeled the top prospect that was already drafted. He has a friendly bridge contract and if it were possible to move him, I’d do it in a heartbeat. ( I wrote this prior to the Flyers naming a new head coach. If the Flyers can move Schenn for a good return, do it. However I’m interested in seeing what this new coach can do to get Schenn’s potential out of him.) Luke Schenn can tag along with his brother. Schenn was brought in on probably the worst move in Homer’s stint as GM and one of the worst trades in Flyers history. We all know JVR (2nd overall pick behind Patrick Kane) was going to take some time to grow, but the Flyers needed defensive and gave up on him way too soon. JVR has since had a few years of success and has been part of the thriving offense that Toronto does have. (They lack defense.) Schenn has been labeled a parking cone due to his speed. His lack of defensive ability has also led to a lot of frustration with the Flyers fan base. The only thing Luke brings to the table is his size and his ability to hit. Schenn is a 5/6 or even a 7th defenseman. Some teams do need that depth and with the Flyers prospects getting ready to make the big jump, Schenn could be packaged. Nicklas Grossman is also someone who is probably an ideal candidate to be traded. He has a friendly cap hit and is a pretty reliable defenseman. However, with the addition of Gudas and the extension of Nick Shultz, Grossman is also expendable and could land us a 3rd/4th round draft pick. Andrew MacDonald is someone I wish would simply just go away. MacDonald was quickly brought in and extended for an unreal amount of money for someone who’s specialty is shot blocking. Another one of Homer’s head scratching moves that has crippled the Flyers’ front office and leaves them with very little options. His cap hit is 5 Million. MacDonald had 12 pts last year and was minus 5 (+/-). That’s not the salary of this type of defenseman. Through nine NHL seasons, MacDonald is a Minus 19 and has 105 pts. His contract is one of the worst I’ve seen in a long time. His cap hit is more than Jagr’s. Think about that. If the Flyers can find some miracle to remove this contract from the books, Hextall will be perceived as genus. Zac Rinaldo has worn out his welcome with me. I used to just watch him when he was on the ice. He brought a lot of energy and delivered hits. However, his lack of discipline has gotten old. He delivers cheap-shots, that has this fan base calling for his head. He has zero offensive ability and played much of this season on the third line which infuriated me. Ryan White is the replacement for the role of “Enforcer” if such a title still exists. White can actually provide offense, is more disciplined and I personally believe is a much better overall player than Rinaldo. In a perfect world I’d trade MacDonald, Grossman, both the Schenns, Umberger and Rinaldo. Let’s face it, trading all of them at once or even at all would only work in NHL 15. Umberger is likely here to stay until that contract is up. I don’t think there is a GM in the NHL that would take on MacDonald and who could blame them? The Flyers need a LW and bad. That void on that first line is noticeable. Where they can find one is anyone’s guess. There isn’t really a first line LW in Free Agency this year and if the Flyers were to obtain one, they’ll most like have to go via trade. Doing this would probably cost a young player and or draft picks which is something Hextall said he will not do. My guess is that it’s possible that we could see Laughton on the first line as a winger. It’s hard to do line projections when the draft hasn’t happened yet and today’s roster isn’t going to be October’s Roster. Any one of the younger players who are a center could find themselves filling that role. Hell, we may find Lecavalier on that line, although I don’t see it. You never know, if Vinny is here come Oct, I guess the option is possible. He has long reach, can skate around the boards nicely and is a gifted passer. Don’t expect him to be on the breakout with G and Jake if one happens, but as a set up guy, Vinny could be a viable option. But then I’d be going against my own words by saying he was misused as a winger. If the Flyers can’t find a LW for the first line by camp, I would try it to see if it could work. If it doesn’t at least it is only training camp and preseason to find this all out. I’m not going to talk about who the Flyers could trade for because there’s way too much to put into it. We all know a trade for what we need may cost us a core player and draft picks and that’s something that I don’t see happening unless it’s a trade that we couldn’t refuse. Then who to trade for what and compare cap space and trade value, it’s all something that I’m not interested in doing. Instead I’ll worry about getting defense up here and a left winger. That brings me to the draft to which I will go over tomorrow in part III. For all intents and purposes my keeps are: Giroux, Voracek, Simmonds, Raffl, Couturier, Mason, Del Zotto, Streit, Laughton, Shultz. Should go: MacDonald, Luke Schenn, Rinaldo, Grossman, Umberger, Could go either way: Lecavalier, Read, Brayden Schenn, White, Bellemare. (Which is why I didn't bother to speak about Bellemare, White and Read, who I see as part of next season's roster for sure.) Follow me on Twitter @iban3zhead
  17. It may have taken a blowout loss for the Flyers to get a fire going. At first, I wasn’t so sure how the game was going to go. As I sat in the Wells Fargo Center listening to the scratches for Detroit, I was wondering “Who the hell am I about to watch the Flyers play?” Then the announcement of Meszaros being a healthy scratch again drove me nuts. Downie was the only change. Even as the game started I noticed that Berube had the same defensive lines and I thought again, “Did he not learn from the blowout loss against Boston?” Well, sometimes writers and fans think they make the best coaches and last night proved to be why we’re not. Berube who kept the faith in his troops and his lines, sent out virtually the same players from the Boston game, but you certainly wouldn’t recognize it. During the first five minutes it had seemed like it was the same Flyers with most of the play in their own zone and a few quick defensive turnovers. But that all quickly changed and the Flyers began their best complete game effort of the season scoring a goal on the power play. Hartnell opened up the night with a powerplay goal, a deflection from a Kimmo Timonen shot. He would score his second goal in the 2nd period on a nice pass from Claude Giroux. It appeared the Detroit defense was fooled by the play and covered Jakub Voracek. Instead, Hartnell was the intended recipient and he rifled a wrist shot for his 14th of the season. For a brief moment there was a chance to see a natural hattrick and Hartnell’s first trick since January of 2012. Instead, the natural hattrick idea was killed when Adam Hall scored a nice backhander. Suddenly the Flyers looked like a playoff team again. They were scoring goals, creating chances, their defense was playing solid and for the first time since signing a contract extension, goalie Steve Mason was playing “lights out.” If not for the Flyers offense taking the spotlight, Mason’s play was highlight for sure. He had several quality saves. During the 2nd period, Mason made an incredible save and fell backwards leaving the net wide open. Detroit’s Kyle Quincey took the rebounded puck and shot it at the empty. Mason’s quick reflexes saw him lift his stick and he got a piece of it, deflecting it into the safety netting. Quicney was so sure he has a goal he actually lifted his arms and began to celebrate. The Wells Fargo Center erupted at the not only the play of Mason, but the effort that the Flyers were putting out. The Flyers came out and played a very solid 3rd period adding a goal, playing well defensively and Mason standing on his head to preserve his second shutout of the season. As for Hartnell, he finished with 2 goals and 1 assist for a 3 point night. Hartnell now has 21 points in his last 21 games. Raffl who had been struggling had an assist, Giroux finished with 3 points and the defense played like a real defensive. The only black cloud would be the fact that Timonen blocked a shot and left the game. GM Paul Holmgren stated that Timonen would be re-evaluated Monday and Head Coach Craig Berube stated that he was fine with nothing to worry about. Hmm, sounds a little fishy. Never-the-less the Flyers next will visit the NHL’s best team and that would be the Anaheim Ducks. (I still call them the Mighty Ducks.) That will be the true test of what the Flyers are. The Flyers have only 8 wins against playoff teams this season. (Yikes) The Ducks were my pick in the beginning of the year to win the Cup. (Against the Sens, I don’t think that opponent is happening.) If the Flyers can play a good solid game against the Ducks like they did against the Redwings, then perhaps the Flyers aren’t far off. Even if the Flyers lose, a good solid game against the Ducks would be a positive sign. I still think the Flyers need a #1 defenseman. Speaking of a #1 defenseman, rumors have it that Nashville may be listening to offers for Shea Weber. Weber, who is on a 68 million dollar contract (Thanks to Homer) is as initially thought, a financial disaster for the franchise. The Preds have loaded up on defenseman and have a good future #1 in the making with Seth Jones. Weber could be made available at the draft, of course for a steep price. This idea isn’t too farfetched. Who would you give up for Weber? I don’t think the Flyers are going to make a good deal by the deadline. The Flyers don’t need a rental defenseman, they need something long term. The final few games before the Olympic break are crucial. The Metropolitan Division is jammed packed with points as well as the rest of the crowded Eastern Conference. Hopefully the Flyers can ride this win all the way into California and get the Duck’s 2nd home loss all year. Here is to hoping! Let’s go Flyers! For Flyers and NHL Coverage as well as outburst against celebrities with no holds barred, Follow me on Twitter @iban3zhead
  18. If yesterday’s Flyers game wasn’t a sign that it’s time for a major change then I don’t know what is. In the 23 years that I’ve been able to watch and understand hockey I’ve probably missed anywhere from 10-15 Flyers’ games in that span. Yesterday’s snooze-fest was probably the worst Flyers game I’ve ever witnessed. Take away the 6-1 score even if it were 2-1 it would still be the worst effort. The Flyers came out flat in the first being outshot 5-1 in the first 10 min. The Flyers finally showed some effort for the remaining 10 min but that would be the only time we’d see the Flyers actually put forth any attempt to play hockey. The Flyers spent majority of the game in their own zone. I’ll be honest, when the first whistle blew for a commercial in the 3rd with 13:46 remaining, I left. The Flyers spent over 5min of that first 7 min in their own zone. They were down 4-0 at the time. Who would want to stay and watch that? If the Flyers don’t have any interest in playing why should I have any interest in watching? But I was already annoyed prior to the game even starting and here is why. I was excited to find out that Gus was finally going to be in the line-up. My excitement came crashing down when I was informed that Berube has scratched Meszaros instead of Grossman, Schenn or Coburn. Mez who’s had 11 pts in his past 10 games, one of the few defenseman with a plus in the +/- column was being benched. Then to find out that Steve Downie was being benched in favor of Jay Rosehill I was completely baffled. The Flyers have lost 3 straight, and were 1-3-2 in the last five. In a tight Eastern Conference where only 3pts separate teams 6th through 13th, the Flyers need to add wins like humans need oxygen. Scratching your most recent best defenseman and playing a forward who brings no offensive or defensive game to the line-up baffles me. Not to mention after losing 3 in a row, Berube didn’t change his defensive pairings. Obviously the pairings aren’t working so why keep them together? The defense on this team for the last 3 years, have been average at best. This year you can’t think this team is a cup winning team. This defense couldn’t compete with a good team let alone an elite team. I’ll break down the defense for you: NAME GP G A PTS +/- Mark Streit 53 6 18 24 -4 Kimmo Timonen 53 2 16 18 +4 Andrej Meszaros 32 4 11 15 1 Braydon Coburn 53 4 6 10 -6 Nicklas Grossmann 52 0 10 10 -11 Erik Gustafsson 21 2 5 7 4 Luke Schenn 50 3 3 6 -8 Hal Gill 4 0 0 0 -2 Does this looks like the defense of an elite team? The Flyers best defenseman is 37 years old! Coburn, Streit, Grossman, Schenn are a combined minus 29. I normally don’t count the +/- on forwards, but you have to on defenseman. The Flyers went years with a subpar goalie until they found Steve Mason who could arguably be the main reason the Flyers are even in the playoff hunt at all. Now the Flyers’ main concern is defense. Since the absence of Chris Pronger, their defense hasn’t been the same. I’m not saying that because Pronger did everything, but his locker-room leadership and guidance is obviously missed. There is no direction on the defense. Kimmo is a leader, but he can only do so much. No one is holding themselves accountable and by not scratching Schenn, Grossman and even Coburn, Berube isn’t either. People have argued with me about scratching Coburn. Well, he leads the entire team in turnovers with 33. Coburn tied Luke Schenn for most turnovers last season with 31. Coburn led the defenseman in turnovers with 43 in 11/12 season. What about his production? This year he has 4 Goals 6 assists and is a minus 6. Last year he had 1 goal, 4 assists and was a minus 10. Still think he’s a # 2 defenseman? Now those are two seasons without Chris Pronger. What about the two and quarter seasons he played with Pronger? 11/12 he had 4 goals, 20 assist and was plus 10. In 10/11 he has 2 goals, 14 assist and was a plus 15. The first season the Flyers had Pronger Coburn had 19 pts but finished with a minus 6 however, Pronger was mostly paired with Matt Carle that season, not Coburn. Long story short, Coburn needs another great defenseman to make him look good and if Kimmo isn’t doing that, what does that tell you? I won’t give all the blame to Coburn. Luke Schenn has been disastrous. He has a life time minus of 28 and only 92 pts in 407 NHL games. Apparently that was supposed to be even with the talent of JVR? Schenn is the definition of “a 1st round bust.” (5th overall) He moves as is he has cement in his skates, his coverage is awful and he has no offensive upswing. He can hit, but can’t every hockey player? I think the Flyers only traded for him so he could play with his brother which is a HORRIBLE REASON to trade of a player. If I could, I’d package him in any way I could. Grossman: I liked him because he was a solid 4/5-6th defenseman. I don’t know where his mind has been this year, but it hasn’t been on how to play defense. He has some knee problems, which isn’t good for a 29 year old defenseman but I don’t think that has any effect on his play. Personally, I think this one is on coaching because he hasn’t been scratched or told what to fix. He’s making the same mistakes game in and game out and hasn’t been held accountable. The Flyers need to overhaul the team. If you look at the other teams in the NHL teams like, Ducks, Sharks, Kings, Pens, Bruins, Blackhawks, Tampa and recently the Avalanche, these are the Elite teams of the NHL and they’re going to be good for years to come. The Flyers will never beat any of these teams with their current roster. The Rangers have always been good, Columbus is a team that’s getting better, Washington has the potential to be a great team, and Toronto is on the doorstep of being a good team for many years. If you look at all these teams, they are what the Flyers are not. It’s sad to see because the Flyers were among this group just a few years ago. Trading Carter, (Although I love that trade) Richards, Bob, JVR and losing Pronger to a career ending injury, Jarg to FA who has gas in the tank and is effective, this team has been in a downward spiral. What I wouldn’t have done: Traded Richards, (or made him captain) Traded Bob, Traded JVR or lose Jagr. What the Flyers need to do: Let Kimmo retire, trade Coburn, trade Luke and Braydon Schenn as a package, trade Hartnell, find a true #1 defenseman, bring back Gagne as a 3rd line winger for 1million, resign Mez to a 1yr 2mi or under contract, never play Rosehill again, bring up Lauridsen, Akeson and McGinn. Look for competing next year. Let’s face it, I want the Flyers to win the cup and even if they manage to squeeze into the Playoffs, they’re not going to go far with this roster. Next year’s roster: Voracek-Giroux-Raffl Read-Coots-Simmonds Lecavalier-Laughton-Akeson/McGinn/Gagne (if only) Rinaldo-Hall-Akeson/McGinn Defense-Figure this out based on who played well with one another and their defensive production during training camp/preseason: Streit, Gus,Lauridsen, Morin and trade for or sign a #1 defenseman resign Mez for cheap and short-term if possible. When healthy he can be very valuable. Here are a few names to throw in the hat for upcoming UFA: Joni Pitkanen, Brooks Orpik, Dan Girardi, Matt Niskanen. Possible trade routes for an RFA: Justin Shultz, PK Subban (although I fully expect MTL to resign him), Jamie McBain, Brenden Dillon (decent 5/6th). Possible Trade Routes: Byfuglien, Wisniewski, Yandle, Ehrhoff, Franson. There are several possibilities and the Flyers need to explore them. Hopefully the team will let Homer go out into the sunset and not renew his GM contract. Let a fresh GM take over. (Hextall) If something isn’t done soon, we’re looking at a subpar team with aging players losing trade value and young talent going to waste. Let’s open up a new era now and build an elite team. Let’s go Flyers. Follow me on Twitter @iban3zhead
  19. As the Flyers roller coaster season goes on, where some of it excites us while other parts just makes us fans sick, there is a question that needs to be answered. What are the Flyers going to do with Scott Hartnell? Throughout the past seven seasons I’ve grown to love Hartnell. I loved him for his heart and his unwillingness to give up. He may have not found the score sheet night in and night out but he did things that made a difference. Hartnell became my favorite Flyer on Dec 11, 2008. I was in attendance. Rod Brind’amour was on the jumbo-tron during a commercial break, speaking of his memories of the Spectrum. Just after the puck dropped to resume play, Hartnell drilled Brind’amour then dropped the gloves and gave a bloody beating to Casey Borer. Here’s a link to the video. ( ) At the time it was 1-0. Going into the 3rd period it was 5-1 Carolina and Hartnell has the lone goal. Just a few min into the 3rd, Hartnell scored his second and later on went to record a hattrick and the Flyers came back and won the game 6-5. That was it for me and Hartnell instantly became by favorite Flyer.I’ve dealt with a lot of backlash for standing up for a guy who skated hard but would go games without a point. Despite posting a 37 goal season two years ago, Hartnell has fallen. Last season, despite being injured and the team having issues offensively, Hartnell’s value on the ice continues to plummet this season. Currently Hartnell has 6 goals and 8 assists for 14 points through 32 games. The Flyers are only five games away from the half way mark and if he gets 1 or even 2 points before that he’s on pace for a 32-34 point season which is below his average. Minus last season, Hartnell has given the Flyers several good seasons in point production with an average of 45 points in the last six seasons. However if you look at his totals last year he played 32 games and finished with 11 points and here we are, same amount of games played and he has 14 points. If you multiply last year to a full season, he's right on pace for the same totals. Hartnell is in the first year of six year contract extension with a 4.7mil cap hit. At age 31 if his numbers are dwindling, they’re more than likely not going to get better. As a fan, it pains me to say this, but I have to be realistic about it. It’s obvious his magic with Giroux is gone. The past two seasons at 32 games each is proof of this theory. The issue is, Hartnell was thrown down to the 2nd line with Simmonds and Schenn in the absence of Vinny Lecavalier. Vinny returned last night however, forward Steve Downie is going to miss 7-10 games. When he returns, Downie will more than likely return to the 3rd line where he, Read and Couturier have been nothing short of dominant. The top line which consists of Giroux, Voracek and Raffl has done nothing but shine since Hartnell was removed. Then the 2nd line has Lecavalier, Schenn and Simmonds. Where does that leave Scotty? Now many have stated that he’ll end up on the fourth line with Hall and Rinaldo but I will tell you this; there’s no such thing as a 4.7mil fourth line winger. The Flyers didn’t sign Hartnell to play on the fourth line. They signed him to be a big body, board crashing, puck winning and garbage goal winger to create some space for Giroux. However, Hartnell has failed to fulfill his roles as such. Sometimes it’s the system. Coach Berube’s system is vastly different from Lavy’s and perhaps Hartnell doesn’t play well into the system. It happens and maybe it’s happening here. Truth is, as much as I love Hartnell in a Flyers uniform, I just don’t see it anymore. After years of being mediocre and not being the dominate team that everyone expects them to be, have gelled some chemistry. Although, they’re far from being the final product of what I think the organization is finally shaping them up to be, Hartnell isn’t part of this plan. It’s going to be hard to move him. For one, he has a No Trade Clause. Hartnell could waive it, or he could chose to blow GM Paul Holmgren off and say no, although I doubt he’d do that. Second, he has a very unfriendly contract with a cap hit that is just shy of 5 mil. Finding a buyer can be hard. The Flyers are not going to just give him away and they’ll want something of value in his return. In the right setting, Hartnell can be very valuable just like his 37 goal season back in 11/12. The way the lines flow right now, Hartnell doesn’t fit anywhere. Even though they’ve been scratching Meszaros who has a cap hit at 4mil, I can’t see them healthy scratching 8.7mil worth of salary. From what I’ve heard the Flyers haven’t attempted to shop Meszaros and are keeping him simply as depth. (Silly if you ask me.) That does not mean he can be dealt by the deadline. Hartnell however, isn’t depth. There are plenty of injured plagued teams out there that could use a guy like Hartnell. However, that all depends on if they want to pay his contract. I will miss Hartnell. I’ve enjoyed his service, his humor and his clutch in the 2010 Cup run. However, like everything times change, teams change and it’s time that the Flyers and Hartnell move on.
  20. The Flyers are turning the page, righting the ship and doing a bunch of metaphors that can fill this entire article. The Flyers are 4-0-1 in their last five and are playing good team hockey. I’ll admit when I’m wrong and maybe I was little too quick to dismiss the newly assembled coaching staff. I’ve criticized Head Coach Craig Berube in the past as an assistant. His duties as the PP and PK coach had me scratching my head while he was in charge. We would see long periods of horror on special teams. I know teams go through droughts or rough patches but I can remember them, going 2 for 37 of the PP and to me that is downright unacceptable. I even wrote an article three hours prior to Peter Laviolette’s firing that they should let Berube go and a change was needed. Although I still think Lavy was let go way to fast but a change was obviously needed. (Personally I thought Lavy should have been let go in April, but once he wasn’t I figured he’d have one more year to get his shot.) I didn’t think given Berube’s duties as an assistant would warrant a shot as the head coach. The thing is we only see so much as fans. We’re not in the locker rooms. Only 15 % of what actually goes on is revealed to us. (Yeah I pretty much made that number up but that’s not the point) GM Paul Holmgren obviously saw something I didn’t in Berube. Sometimes assistant coaches only have so much pull or influence towards a head coach. The head coach is the one responsible for everyone. If the players aren’t performing on the PP or PK, it’s the head coach’s job to get on that. I often overlooked that and Lavy apparently didn’t hold anyone responsible. That’s here and gone and the fact of the matter is this, Berube is doing it right and here’s why: System: At first Berube had his team playing the dump and chase. I’m not a fan and it can only be executed by a fast and good hard forechecking team. I personally think he had the Flyers doing this to make them “work”. You have to move your legs and skate hard. Now that he has the team collectively working together he’s abandoned the dump and chase as has them playing a good offensive attack system and it’s paying off. 11 of the first 12 games under Berube the Flyers scored no more than 2 goals per game. (3 of those, the Flyers were shutout.) Now the Flyers are 4-0-1 and have scored 18 goals in those five games. Holding players accountable: It was rumored that Berube would be tough on his players and that rumor is showing to be true. Several players saw their ice time cut if they weren’t skating hard or playing with heart. Most notably is four million dollar veteran Andrej Meszaros. Meszaros has been a healthy scratch for a number of games now. Meszaros when healthy has been known to play very well, however his play this season seems to be without any confidence and his play has been horrendous. It doesn’t look like Berube is going to let him back in without confidence. It also doesn’t look like he may get back in at all unless an injury happens. Mez could be dealt anytime between now in the deadline because there is no such thing as a four million dollar 7th depth defenseman. Correcting player mistakes: If you’ve followed me on these blogs, twitter or facebook, you will know that I have an undying hatred for Braydon Coburn. I’ve had it for years. It’s easy to have when you see a defenseman play so poorly and game in and game out, turns over the puck that leads to a goal seconds later. But I can’t overlook that during the Flyers five game point streak he’s played some of the best hockey in his career. He’s playing his position, he’s causing the opposition to turnover rather than him being the turnover, he’s scoring goals, he’s playing as a shutdown defenseman and for once he looks comfortable. Players that have played so poor for years don’t turn that around on their own overnight. Coburn has played for 2 other coaches and now Berube seems to have corrected those mistakes. Coburn is a +5 in the past five games after going -6 in the first 15 games. The same could be said about Wayne Simmonds who has 2 goals and 2 assists in the past five games. He’s also been winning hard battles on the boards, playing physical and creating chances, stuff that isn’t shown on the score sheet. His turnaround can’t be overlooked and it looks like proper coaching has corrected his play. I’m not saying Berube is best coach ever but I can’t overlook his work with the Flyers so far and how they can turn around this season and make it exciting to be a Flyers fan again. He has the right attitude, the right forwards, shockingly the right defenseman (currently) and the right goaltender. The Flyers may not win the cup this year, but if they can put the right pieces together and have a good year, we may be a year or two away. Perhaps Berube is putting his name in for the Jack Adams award. I know it’s only been five good games so far for the Flyers but during these five games it’s been a completely different team. A team that gives hope, a team that’s scoring goals, a team that has solid goaltending and a team that is winning.
  21. Last Friday some people headed out to the mall, the movies or simply stayed home to enjoy a relaxing night. Others headed down to the Wells Fargo Center to catch what they hoped would be a good hockey game. A win is always a plus but a good close hockey game is always entertaining. Keeping in mind that Ovechkin was out with an injury and that the Flyers were 3-8, there was very little to cheer about. Never-the-less, the sellout crowd piled in and got ready to see a hockey game. The first 20 min was a close hockey game, but the Flyers seemed lifeless and were hanging on. Despite the 1-0 deficit, the arena was filled with boos. Flash forward to the second period, you would have thought that the Flyers didn’t show up and they placed a trash can in front of the net and hoped for the Caps so spend the next 20 min shooting at a trash can. Instead, the Flyers did show up but didn’t play and Mason was hung out to dry. In comes Ray Emery in relief. Ray Emery hadn’t seen action since Oct 12. Sources say he’d been frustrated that he’s been the “assumed” backup when he believed that two starts weren’t enough for him to prove himself, especially with that defense in front of him but said he would be ready when called upon. He just came from a Stanley Cup winning team and he had his role in their winning season going 17-1 with 3 shutouts. He hadn’t been able to help the sinking ship that he’s on and all he’s been able to do is watch. The third period comes and it’s pretty much over. It was 6-0 at the start, all you could hope was for a couple of goals and no injuries. After the Caps scored their seventh goal, enough was enough for the Flyers. Rage built in. A wake up call was needed. 17 seconds later Wayne Simmonds dropped the gloves after delivering a hard check. As that fight went down, Brayden Schenn and Vinny Lecavalier began to find dancing partners as well. Frustrated, pissed and feeling left out, Ray Emery a known goalie fighter, raced to the other end and challenged Capitals goalie Holtby. Having watched the game live I can tell you how excited I was as a fan to see a goalie fight. I was also excited just to see some life in the Flyers. And finally, I was very excited to see a player get his butt kicked. What I have just described to you is how I felt in the “moment” with what had transpired. After several instant replay reviews and multiple lashings toward Emery for his fight, I decided to wonder if I may have got caught up in the moment and thought maybe what I saw wasn’t something to be excited about. I took this into affect first. The line Brawl I thought wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Flyers have had no life in any of their games. Four fights at once in a 7-0 womping is something I thought they needed. Now Ray Emery: As I said before, Emery hadn’t seen action since Oct 12. His team is 3-9 and currently getting flat out embarrassed. The fans are booing and chanting to fire the GM. His Captain and veterans aren’t stepping up. Emery had enough. Emery skated down with one thing in mind: “I’m fighting no matter what.” I watched the video several times. Emery skated up to Holtby and began tugging on him. Holtby didn’t seem interested and the ref was right between them. What you see next is Holtby dropping his blocker and he starts swinging, which in my eyes means “I accept.” Even if he doesn’t want to fight, he still dropped his equipment. The ref then stepped back. Ray Emery, a huge boxing fan, did what everyone expected. He beat up Holtby. What everyone didn’t expect was for it to look like a slaughter. Emery didn’t let up and the ref never stepped in. I personally didn’t see anything wrong with the fight other than that once the fight was decide,d which was after Ray Emery’s fourth punch , he just kept going and going. If he had stopped once Holtby was on his knees and pleading for his life, maybe it wouldn’t have looked so bad. But Emery was a man possessed and he kept pounding away. The whole point was to send a message and it wasn’t to the Capitals. It was to each other. The message was, “We need to wake up! We need to step up! We need to get our heads out of our *****. This is unacceptable!” Now did Ray Emery lose sight of this message during his fight? Most likely, I say. Was it classless? Not entirely. Was it wrong? No. How many times have we seen this? This happens a few times a season and we love it… however we usually see goalies meet one another in the middle. His message seemed to somewhat carry over and he started the following night and posted his first shutout of the season. Granted he faced only 14 shots, but never-the-less a win is a win and a shutout is a shutout. There has been major media backlash towards Emery. The Philadelphia beat writers as CSN and Philly.com won’t let up on Emery. You’d of thought he was Marty McSorley. The close minded writers obviously don’t like fighting and love negativity so they’ve been bashing Emery since Friday and it is continuing. Enough already! He didn’t do anything wrong in the NHL’s eyes. This is coming from the well hated Commissioner. “He didn’t break any rules, therefore a suspension isn’t warranted.” Tim Panacccio from CSNPhilly.com believes Emery should have been fined, suspended and fighting needs to be removed. Are you kidding me? I’ve seen far worse and nothing even happen. Problem with Tim is, he hates fighting and never liked Emery, even in his first stint with the Flyers. Tim uses his bully pulpit to try and bully his way through the article and make it seem that everyone else is wrong. To me, that’s no different than what Emery did. Fans are also split down the middle. “He was classes, it was a massacre” or “He did the right thing, it was ok.” My view is this; he wanted to step up and do something. He wanted to light a fire under his team. He did that without breaking any rules that would warrant any additional discipline other than the penalty minutes he received. Should he have let up? Yes. Even though Holtby didn’t really want to fight and I say didn’t really because he did drop his equipment and if he really didn’t want to fight, he would have either skated away or turtle. He actually skated toward Emery. I’m saying Emery was 100% right but in the sense of his message yes he’s right. If Holtby cowered with his equipment on and Emery began punching with the ref in between then that is a whole different story. This is not what happened, yet people are making it out so be just that and worse. Captain Claude hasn’t done anything to step up and help right this team. Neither has Kimmo, Hartnell, Streit, Talbot (who was traded) nor anyone else for that matter. The guy who hasn’t played in 3 weeks decided “Ok, I’ve had enough of this. I’ll send everyone a message.” Then after that he sent another one by posting a shutout in the very next game. This team needed a wakeup call and the fans needed something to cheer about. I have nothing against what Emery did. It wasn’t bush league because Holtby did attempt to defend himself. He just didn’t do a good job and is not a fighter by any means. Nobody had an issue when Ron Hextall did it. He slashed players skating away from him. He chased down Chris Chellios. He constantly left his crease to brawl. Why is Emery any different, especially is he didn’t break any rules? Now I’m not advocating that he and the Flyers should do this on a regular basis. This is an isolated incident and it should be left as such. I hope the writers at CSNphilly and Philly.com would open their eyes more and realize that they cover hockey and should stick to hockey. Enough of this bashing the players crap. I mean they don’t bash the players for their lackluster play, they bash for other things. This is just my view on this incident and everyone can have a different view. My reasons for my view are explained. I’m not going to act like “The professional writers” (if you want to call them that) and keep my view as if’s the only and correct way. I just want the bashing and backlash to stop. Tonight is another game. Let’s go Flyers! Follow me on Twitter @http://www.twitter.com/iban3zhead
  22. The Flyers have six days between games after suffering a loss to the Penguins on Thursday night. Now it being the weekend, the Flyers have had a couple of days to skate hard, bond and work on their weaknesses. One weakness I’m constantly seeing is the horrible play of Defenseman Braydon Coburn and the rest of the defense. Tuesday’s Game against the Vancouver Canucks, a game where the Flyers let the lead slip away, was a game that saw a severe break down in the Defense. Braydon Coburn, who’s been notorious for not covering his zone or covering his man, fell victim of that again on the second Canucks goal. To Coburn’s credit, (and I don’t really give him any) the entire Flyers line completely fell apart on this play. It’s not quite clear if the Flyers are playing zone coverage or man-to-man. In this picture above, The Flyers have Nick Grossman covering the side of the net. Claude Giroux has dropped deep in the zone to cover the same man. Coburn instead, covers his zone to where no players are located. Instead a wide open player in front of the net is over behind Grossman and receives a pass from the man behind the net. (Sedin) The wide open player scored the tying goal. Now even if Coburn is covering his zone, he should know, he has to skate over to cover an open man and cover him. In this still shot it appear he’s thinking about it, but just doesn’t do it. (If you saw the video, he’s coasting.) You also have all three Flyer forwards deep into the circles. Who are they covering? There’s an open man in the middle and there’re two open defenseman up on top. This falls on coaching. The coaches are either having them play the wrong coverage, or they’re not working with them in the practices. Everybody needs work. It’s up to the Coach to identify the issue and work on it. Judging by the last 4 years of Braydon Coburn, someone has been letting that slip away or the guy just doesn’t get it and he never will. Thursday night, I saw multiple breakdowns in the defensive zone. Most of them occurred in the 2nd period and led to a goal. Here is a picture of the 2nd Penguins’ goal. Prior to this still shot, the Flyers failed on three occasions to clear the zone. Every clearing attempt became a turnover. The final turn over led to this. If you look, you can see the wide open man taking the rebound and the position of the Flyer who should be covering him. His back is turned and he’s not covering anyone, as there are no Penguins in front of him. What makes matters worse is that’s not even a defenseman. That is Brayden Schenn. Things didn’t get better. The Flyers who played a pretty dominate period in the third, saw their hopes of tying and perhaps coming back slip away at the fault of Braydon Coburn, again. Here we can see Coburn being double covered by Crosby and Kuniz. Coburn has two outlets. Wayne Simmonds is off to the top corner and Luke Schenn is behind Coburn. Instead Coburn throws the puck in front on his own net. Yes Giroux is there and the Still Shot doesn’t show it, but that pass was went through his legs. (It looks like Giroux is playing the puck, but that is not what is happening.) It was also a blind pass from Coburn and Giroux was not anticipating that play as it was not the correct play. You never throw the puck in front of your own net when the opposing team is deep in the zone attacking, especially when you have two open guys on the boards. You can tell by Giroux’s body position that he’s expecting the play to transition into a rush. The blind pass is intercepted by a Penguin who fires it towards the net and finds its way in off a deflection from a wide open Crosby. Not only did Coburn throw a blind pass across his own net to a wide open Penguin, he failed to cover the guy who was covering him and it all led to a goal. The Flyers seem to fail the fundamentals of hockey in every aspect. The defensive break downs, the lack of scoring chances, the failure to fore-check on the “Dump and Chase” are simple things the Flyers can’t execute. The question is if the Flyers can’t do any of this, whose fault is this? Is it coaching or is it the players? The Flyers brass thought it was the coaching when the Flyers were 0-3 and made some coaching changes. But here we are now 1-7 (NHL Worst) and the same issues are still plaguing the Flyers. Do the Flyers have the right players? Are they incapable of playing hockey with this system, this team, this organization? The stats are just ugly. How ugly you ask? Well there are two players are in the plus for the +/- column. Those players are Max Talbot and Chris Newbury. (YIKES) With a Zero the Flyers have three players, McGinn, Lecavalier and Meszaros who has been a healthy scratch for 3 games. The rest, (16) are in the minus. Simmonds is the worst for forwards with a -7 and Coburn is a worse for the Defenseman with a -5. Your Points leader is Brayden Schenn with five (2G, 3A) through eight games. 14 Flyers have yet to register a goal, and the goal scoring leader has been a call-up and has only played in three games. Things look that bad right now. However there is the good. How? How could there be any good? That answer is Steve Mason. Mason has been the Flyers best player. His record of 1-5 doesn’t show it, but if you’ve watched the games, he’s been their backbone. He’s kept them in games, has made some 2nd and 3rd incredible saves and looks comfortable in net. He has a GAA 2.37 and Save % of .923. His current Save % is ranked higher than last year’s Stanley Cup Winner Cory Crawford, former Cup winner Antti Niemi, last years’ Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky, Mike Smith, James Reimer, Jimmy Howard, Jonathan Quick, Roberto Luongo, Pekka Rinne, Marty Brodeur and yes the king, Henrik Lundqvist. All of these goaltenders have been brought up in the past and compared to what the Flyers needed and didn’t have in a goaltender. Well they currently have a goalie with a higher Save % than all of the notable names. His GAA is also ranked higher than Luongo, Quick, Rinne, Howard, Bobrosvky, Miller, Smith, and Lundqvist. That should give something for the fans to be happy about. The Flyers are 1-7 and have a goalie outplaying some of the best names in the NHL. I know, it’s only eight games into the season, but what do the fans have to be happy about right now? You have to take the good with the bad and the Flyers are bad, very bad. Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/iban3zhead
  23. iban3z

    The Flyers Future

    While many of us attempt to get situated for this current year and hope to see a big turnaround, let’s pause for a moment and take a look into the future. Hop in the Delorean and let’s go to Oct 2015. It’s 2015 and the Flyers are now ready to send Scott Laughton, Tye McGinn, Jason Akeson, Sam Morin and Anthony Stolarz out for opening night. The Flyers still have Captain Claude Giroux, Vinny Lecavalier, Jake Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Matt Read and Mark Streit. Keeping in mind that they didn’t get resigned, traded or they’ve been traded, you no longer have Kimmo Timonen, Andrej Meszaros, and perhaps Braydon Coburn. The Flyers have poised themselves to have the players, to carry them for the future. Let’s take a look at the prospects. Scott Laughton Laughton, the Flyers 1st round draft choice (20th overall) may have his first season under his belt by that point (2015). Laughton currently has five goals and seven assists through 12 games with the Oshawa Generals. In his previous seasons he finished with 23 goals, 33 assists for 56 point in 49 games. Laughton is a type of player that is going to be a fast skater, quick stick handler and will have the defense guessing. He may remind some of a young Danny Briere with a good sense on how to play two-way hockey. Hopefully if won’t be long until Laughton has Flyers fans amazed as a 2nd line center coming off the bench to relieve Claude Giroux. Anthony Stolarz Stolarz has been nothing short of sensational in his outings in Juniors. In seven games through the 2013/14 season (thus far), Stolarz is 6-0-1 with a 2.14 GAA and .934 Save %. He also has one Shutout. In his previous season with the London Knights, Stolarz went 13-3-1 and he continues to develop and get better. He could finally be the “Home Grown Goalie” the Flyers have been waiting for, since they’ve dropped the ball on 2013 Vezina Winner Sergei Bobrovsky. He is a butterfly goalie and likes to challenge shooters, which is something the Flyers haven’t seen in a while. If the Flyers can rebuild their defense with a young and solid group, Stolarz will shine and we will forget players like Bryzgalov, Biron, Esche, and Ray Emery. Sam Morin Speaking of the Flyers getting young and solid on the back end, Sam Morin should be nice and seasoned for an NHL debut for 2015. Morin was drafted 11th overall in 2013 by the Flyers. He’s been compared to Chris Pronger, and based on his film he could very well mold into a Pronger-type player. He’s 6’6. His feistiness and willing to hit hard and drop the gloves, already make him a Flyer at heart. He has a good “out of the zone passing”, which is something the Flyers have been missing. Once he develops more he can become a one/two defenseman over time and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him begin in the NHL as third or fourth D-Man. Tye McGinn Tye has already seen some NHL time and was just recently called up to help fill the injuries. In his first game being called up, he scored a goal. McGinn has the potential to be a Matt Read type of player. I’d call him a role player. He’s had a good career in Juniors with 27 goals, 35 assists for 62 points through 50 games in 09/10 and scored 31 goals and 33 assists the following year. He’s still developing and could be a go-to-guy for the Flyers in the future. Jason Akeson Akeson played his first NHL game during the final game of the 2013 Season against Ottawa. He scored a goal on his very first shift. I was a bit surprised to not see him make the team at the start of the 2013/14 season, but given the roster, it was a stiff competition and Akeson failed to show off his talents. In the 2010-11 Akeson was tied for the lead in points with 108 but lead the league in assists with 84 (Juniors). He’s a fast skater and can put up points. Given the Flyers clutter offensive line-up Akeson was sent down to the Phantoms. He can only develop more there and get ready for when the call comes. Last season he led the Phantoms in points with 14 goals and 41 assists. Once the Flyers make the changes to their offense, he should be there and he’ll accompany a nice young scoring corps. In 2015 I could see a forward line-up combination that may look something like this: Voracek-Giroux-Simmonds Akeson-Laughton-Hartnell Read-Lecavalier-McGinn Cousins-Talbot-Rinaldo Assuming the Flyers part ways with Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn this is what I think the lines could look like. It’s something to be excited about. Young players need time to play and grow to develop chemistry and it may take a year or two for it to flourish greatly but that’s how it needs to work. The Defense could use some tuning but I see Luke Schenn, Nick Grossmann, Erik Gustafsson , and Streit still on the team. My idea of that defense would look like this for Oct 2015. Streit-Schenn Gustafsson-Morin Grossman-*TBD* Coburn is signed through 2015-16 but I think the Flyers trade him before that. I also see the Flyers sticking with Goaltender Steve Mason for a few years and possibly still starting ahead of Stolarz for his rookie season. Mason (Stolarz) I know it is rough right now in Flyer-land at the moment but the future is something to be excited about. This is assuming GM Paul Holmgren doesn’t mess things up before his contract is up. I can see this team being great again and something hopeful with our prospects and some of our current line-up. Maybe just maybe, this could be the beginning of the end of the Flyers Cup drought. Follow me on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/iban3zhead
  24. iban3z

    Flyers Need a Virtue

    The Flyers are 1-5 to start the season. This is the 2nd season in a row where the Flyers are off to a poor start and the fans are restless. Needless to say, the organization is restless and it’s shown for 38 years. To begin, we can pick any moment in Flyers history dating back to the 1969 when Flyers’ Chairman Ed Snider ordered then GM Bud Polie to change the team to which would make them the “Broad Street Bullies.” Unfortunately, it seems like the Flyers are stuck in 1970s and refuse to change their culture. This is evident as recent as last week when Snider blasted the media by saying “We don’t need a culture change, we know what we’re doing.” Well, I have no idea what they’re doing but I can tell you what they don’t have and that would be patience. I’ll begin with the 2006/2007 season. The Flyers fired Coach Ken Hitchcock along with GM Bob Clarke and hired Paul Holmgren, and John Stevens. The Flyers promoted both within the organization which seems to be their motto. Homer began building his team for the future and it looked like the Flyers could actually see a “rebuilding” phase. Instead, the moves Homer conducted made him look like a genus and the Flyers went from worst to the Eastern Conference Finals. But the Flyers failed to beat the Penguins. That would be where the “rebuilding” phase ended and the Flyers would emphasize the word “Retooling” and refused to “rebuild.” Why you might ask? Snider was quoted in an interview once saying, “We don’t rebuild, we retool.” This is further proof that he does not have any patience. The Flyers refuse to be patient with any of their players. I’ll go back to 2005. Here is a list the Players the Flyers gave up on because they either didn’t reach their potential yet and they refused to wait, or they traded them for older veterans who’ve already won and are passed their prime. The list: Patrick Sharp (05): Won the cup with the Blackhawks in 2010 and 2013. Denis Seidenberg (06): Was traded for Petr Nedved and Won the Cup with the Bruins in 2011. Michal Handzus (06): Was traded for Kyle Calder and Won the Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013. The Flyers in (08): traded Alexandre Picard and a 2nd round pick for Vinny Prospal who was solid only to trade him back to Tampa at the end of the season and only gained 7th Rd pick and a conditional 09 pick. That’s a loss to me. Scottie Upshall (09): Traded along with a 2nd round pick for Dan Carcillo who had a career 41 pts over 3 seasons. Note: The Flyers decided not to resign Carcillo and he ended up winning the Cup in 2013 with the Blackhawks. Luca Sbisa & Joffery Lupal (09): Both along with two first round picks were traded for 35 year old Chris Pronger who played only 1 full season with the Flyers. Pronger played two more injury plagued seasons before sustaining an unofficial career ending concussion. This was a classic “We must win now” Trade. Simon Gagne (10): Traded for Matt Walker, won the Cup with the Kings in 2012. 2011’s First Rounder and 2011’s 3rd Rounder : These were traded for Kris Versteeg who was later traded for a 3rd rounder. This was a horrible trade and a classic “We must win now” Trade. Mike Richards (11): The Flyers traded away their franchise face and captain due what Holmgren described as “An offer he couldn’t refuse.” However Richards, the good player he was, was immature and the Flyers refused to help him grow into a mature Hockey player so they shipped him off to the Kings for unproven Prospect Brayden Schenn and Gritty Power forward Wayne Simmonds. Richards responded to the trade by helping the Kings win the Cup the following season. Jeff Carter (11): Although, I like Jakub Voracek and have a personal hatred for Carter because of my off ice encounters with him, he was the Flyers Goal leader for several seasons (29,23,46,33,36). He also responded to his trade by winning the Cup the following season with the Kings. Sergei Bobrovsky (12): The Flyers finally found the goalie of the future and first home grown goaltender since Ron Hextall. However, despite playing solid through the regular season in his rookie year (28-13-8) He had a poor performance in the Post Season mainly due to Coach Peter Laviolette’s goalie carousal. Ed Snider refused to be patient and forced the Flyers to sign Illya Bryzgalov to an outrageous contract for 9 years thus making the guarantee that Bobrovsky wasn’t in the Flyers future plans. Bobrovsky responded by winning the 2013 Vezina Trophy. (Note, the Flyers would buy out Bryzgalov 11 months later.) James Van Riemsdyk (12): JVR had a hard time finding his role and development with the Flyers. Injuries weren’t kind to him in a season where the Flyers made it a make or break season. He was traded for Luke Schenn and in the 2012 season, JVR has his best ratio for points vs. games played. He scored 18 goals. The Flyers refuse to sit and wait and let the team get to know one another and develop. Instead, year in and year out, the Flyers give up youth for veterans who are passed their prime. Three examples would be the 2013 offseason where the Flyers signed 35 year old Mark Streit, 38 year old Hal Gill and 33 year old Vinny Lecavalier. The Flyers want to win it all every year and that’s a given however that’s not a reality. Winning takes planning, development and yes you guessed it, patience. The Flyers don’t have any of this. Building and developing takes a couple of years, but if you’re patient enough, you can win it all and have the glory. Flyers fans have been thirsty for 38 years, but until Snider eases up and Paul Holmgren is fired, fans may grow to become just like the Flyers. Impatient. Follow me on Twitter @http://www.twitter.com/iban3zhead
  25. The Flyers seemed to lack some jump during their 60 minutes of play in Montreal. Peter Laviolette’s club came out flat against a hungry Canadians team, only firing 23 shots on Carey Price. The Flyers are lacked their discipline and took 11 minor penalties that resulted in nine power play chances for the Habs. Despite killing off seven of those chances, the Flyers handcuffed themselves being shorthanded for 18 minutes of the game. Some of them you can argue that they were just bad calls like Ray Emery’s “Embellishing” after he was run into for Goalie Interference. (I’ll come back to that later.) But it was Grossman’s tripping, Timonen’s holding, and Couturier’s hooking which are simple mistakes that takes time and chances away from the Flyers. “It seemed the first two periods, every time we got going 5-on-5 it lasted about two to three minutes and then the penalty killers went back on the ice,” Laviolette said. “After they scored the goal to start the third, the penalties happened and we lost our composure. It unraveled from there. We’re not going to win a lot of hockey games if we go to the box as much as we did tonight.” Despite not having any jump, the game was close going into the 3rd with the score being 1-0. Just 12 seconds in, the Habs took control and never looked back. Lars Eller took a fortuitous bounce and fired it passed Ray Emery. It took almost halfway through the 3rd period for Laviolette to finally reunite last year’s top scoring line: Giroux, Hartnell and Voracek but it was too little too late. I don’t understand why, this line hasn’t been together since the beginning, but in a move of desperation, they’re were reunited, but the Habs had full control and didn’t let off the gas. My other concern is that Jay Rosehill is being dressed. Rosehill is simply an enforcer and brings no hockey skill to the table. Even though I’m a fan at times to have an enforcer in, the Flyers have several players who can stand up and fight. In fact the Flyers have 3 fights so far this season and none of them involve Jay Rosehill. I’d rather see a young 4th line winger who can score if other Flyers are going to police themselves and you have Zac Rinaldo in the line-up. The new guys: Streit and Lecavalier have two points in two games, but the old guys such has Giroux, Hartnell and Voracek have yet to record a point. It’s only two games in and it’s not time to panic yet, but some simple adjustments need to be made. Once these are made and hopefully before 5 PM tonight, we can start to see some success. So settle down Flyers fans. It’s only two games in. It’s easy to be frustrated, but before we bash the goalies, the coach, the GM, the captain or the refs remember there are 80 games left to play. Going back to the Ray Emery Penalty, I hate when the refs try to even up calls when they’re not warranted. Especially when an obvious infraction happens and you try to even it up. Take Ray Emery’s “Unsportsmanlike” call for embellishment last night. He was bumped into Brendan Gallagher which is a penalty. Emery falls from being bumped, which I didn’t think he embellished. Even if he did, it doesn’t take away the fact that he was interfered with. If he wasn’t touched and then fell down trying to get a call, then yes that’s embellishing. But Emery was hit and he fell. I attended a game back in 2006 when Peter Forsberg was crosschecked from behind by a player for the Predators. He went face first into the boards. The Nashville player was called for crosschecking but Forsberg was also called for diving. I don’t understand how you can be crosschecked from behind, and called for “diving.” Last night’s call against Emery was the same thing. We all yell at Sidney Crosby for diving, game in and game out and he can sell himself and get away with it. But the league lets that stuff go and it happens to a lot of other players in the league. “Diving” goes uncalled constantly. But when it happens, they seem to get the call wrong by still calling an initial infraction that caused the so called “dive.” I’ll tell you this, if I’m playing and I get hooked, crosschecked, or interfered with and I fall, I’m not diving! I’m being impeded with! That’s what happened last night. The league should look at all the “diving” calls and come up with an action plan to ensure that they can get it right in the future.

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