Who in the friggen hell does that shit? I hope that guy's family is embarrassed because they're related to such human garbage.
The Penguins made good, though.
Who in the friggen hell does that shit? I hope that guy's family is embarrassed because they're related to such human garbage.
The NHL and NHLPA announced today the schedule for the World Cup of Hockey next year, which will begin and end prior to the start of the 2016-'17 NHL season. Eight teams will compete in the tournament, including: Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Sweden, Team USA, Team Europe and Team North America.
Team North America will be an All-Star cast under the age of 23 as of October 1, 2016. Flyers coach Dave Hakstol is a candidate to coach the team during the tournament, but no announcements regarding coaches have been made yet. Earlier today, Blackhawks general manager, Stan Bowman, and Oilers general manager, Peter Chiarelli, were named co-managers for Team North America.
All tournament games will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. ESPN will carry the games in the United States.
Check the groups and schedule, via the press release, after the jump.
This could be ours.
A few months ago, word broke that Penguins owner, Mario Lemieux, was looking to sell the franchise that he bought in 1999 in order to maximize his return on equity value and interest rates. The Penguins are a much more valuable franchise today than when Lemieux took over sixteen years ago.
As this article on a Pittsburgh sports SB Nation blog states, Lemieux only bought the team as an investment, not exactly as the Messiah of Pittsburgh. It’s the same reason Joshua Harris and his bros bought the Sixers and Devils, essentially. Lemieux even tried selling the team back in 2006, and a deal was actually agreed upon before the other party rescinded their agreement.
Enter Flyers fans. The folks over at the OrangeAndBlackPack.com have started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $750 million to buy the Penguins. The writeup reads:
Recently it has come to light that Mario Lemieux is willing to sell the Pittsburgh Penguins for $750 million dollars. Well, we’re gonna buy em! We are the Orange and Black Pack, a dedicated Flyers hockey blog. We figure since the Flyers already figuratively
own the Penguins, their fans might as well literally own them.
You can find us at http:// www.orangeandblackpack.com or on Facebook and Twitter. In the very likely event we do not raise the money required to purchase the Penguins franchise, 100% of the money we have raised will be donated to Flyers Wives charities. Information on who Flyers Wives charities supports can be found here: http://flyers.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=105354
Please help us purchase the worst franchise in the NHL so we can try to make it better by doing things like:
– Painting the entire inside of the arena Orange and Black
– Putting a giant photo of Claude Giroux on the outside of the building, facing the highway
– Repainting the parking lots stripes orange, with a Flyers logo in each spot
– Using colored thread to impose a beach ball in the net Behind Fleury
– Make a wall of fame in the concourse with photos of our top donators
Thank you for your support!
It sort of makes sense. The Flyers currently own the CONSOL Energy Center, so if fans were able to gain ownership of the Penguins, we could probably move the team to play in the Atlantic Ocean and leave Pennsylvania to the Flyers.
Realizing their goal is likely not going to be achieved, any money raised during this campaign will be donated to Flyers Charities.
Not good for Bobby Clarke, Jr. Back in June, we mentioned here Mike Richards' unfortunate plight from being detained at the Canadian border, which resulted in being terminated from his NHL contract by the Kings.
The original report specifically mentioned oxycodone as being the substance Richards was under the possession illegally of [nice... grammar, Nick?]. This report doesn't mention specifically what controlled substance, but we can all take a guess.
The RCMP confirmed the charges Thursday in a release. Although the RCMP did not identify the controlled substance, a source familiar with the investigation confirmed to ESPN.com that the substance was OxyContin.
The release said that at 2 p.m. on June 17 the RCMP were notified that a controlled substance had been intercepted at the Emerson port of entry by RCMP-Manitoba. Emerson is the border crossing point connecting Canada to the United States at Pembina, North Dakota.
Yikes. Well, at least we now know that the Mounties always get their man.
You thinking of doing a little early Christmas shopping? This Saturday would be a perfect start as the annual Wells Fargo Center blowout sale begins at 10am and ends at 3pm. Flyers, Sixers and Phillies merchandise will be available for up to 90% off during the sale. Oh yeah, and there's free parking in the WFC lot, too.
Can't skip breakfast? No worries, there will be hot dogs, popcorn, chips, soda and water, along with $1 snack specials during the sale. It'll quite possibly be the best breakfast you've ever had.
The MeiGray Group, the official jersey and equipment source of the Philadelphia Flyers, will have a display on the Wells Fargo Center concourse on the 11th street side featuring Flyers game-worn jerseys, and pro-stock equipment, such as skates, sticks, gloves and more available directly from the Flyers locker room. Blowout sale merchandise discounts do not apply to items available for sale from MeiGray.
The first 100 individuals who purchase merchandise at the blowout sale at Wells Fargo Center will receive two free admission tickets to Fantasy Fest at XFINITY Live! when purchase is made. Fantasy Fest admission is for fans 21 years of age and older.
Fantasy Fest is being hosted by 97.5 The Fanatic at XFINITY Live! Philadelphia on Saturday, August 29 beginning at 12 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to win giveaways and interact with Philly sports icons and hosts from The Fanatic. This year’s featured guest is Darren Daulton.
You can check out a sneak peek of featured sale items by following the Wells Fargo Center on social media.
The Flyers released their radio and television schedules earlier today. Here's some of the pertinent information:
Locally, 71 games will be televised. Comcast SportsNet will carry 60, and The Comcast Network will carry 11. NBC will carry two national broadcasts and the NBC Sports Network will carry nine to round out the regular season.
Three preseason games will be televised on TCN:
September 22nd vs. the Rangers
September 25th vs. the Islanders [which was also moved up to 6pm because of The Pope's visit to Philly]
September 30th vs. the Devils
Nothing changes with the television and radio broadcasts. TV will still have Jim Jackson, Keith Jones and Bill Clement, along with Chris Therien. Radio broadcasts will still have Tim Saunders and Steve Coates behind the mics.
97.5 The Fanatic will carry all preseason, regular season, and playoff games if the Flyers are fortunate enough to make it to the second season. If there's a scheduling conflict with Sixers games, 24 Flyers games will be broadcast on 93.3 WMMR.
If you're down the shore, you'll be able to hear the Flyers games on the radio now. They've agreed to air Flyers games on 97.3 ESPN based out of Atlantic City.
Download the season schedule here, or view it after the jump.
Zach Masciantonio is a huge Philly sports fan and will be regularly contributing articles here on BleedPhilly.com while I focus on PhillyInfluencer.com. Zach penned the following article taking a look at the Flyers' defense. This is just one of many articles Zach will be contributing with here on BleedPhilly.com.
The 2009-2010 NHL Ssason is something I will never forget. The Flyers were led to the Stanley Cup Finals by a defenseman, Chris Pronger. Defense wins championships and it has been proven most recently by the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks. Ron Hextall, the former Assistant General Manager of the Los Angeles Kings is building the Flyers from the back end of the ice and it has a promising future.
The team has been on a downward spiral since Chris Pronger was injured. Ron Hextall inherited a team that put all of their defensive eggs in the Chris Pronger basket and did not diversify until recently. The previous management had a history of awful signings and trades. Keep in mind, the Flyers traded James Van Riemsdyk for Luke Schenn. The Flyers were 20th, 13th, and 24th in defensive power rankings the past 3 years. Those rankings would have been a lot worse if it were not for Steve Mason.
Looking at the upcoming season, the Flyers have 8 defenseman under contract to play and as a whole, they are mediocre at best. The defenseman signed include: Andrew MacDonald, Mark Streit, Michael Del Zotto, Brandon Manning, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Radko Gudas, and Evgeny Medvedev. Poor defense among many other reasons has contributed to the team acquiring high draft picks which they have used to select defenseman in the first round the past 3 years. With 8 defenseman under contract, it appears the team does not have room for the young prospects.
The Flyers have arguably one of the best defensive prospect pools in the NHL. The Flyers also signed Michael Del Zotto to a two year contract who will lead the young core of defenseman The young defensive pool consists of top prospects: Samuel Morin, Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Travis Sanheim, and Ivan Provorov. Hextall believes that young players should have a significant time to develop in the juniors and the AHL making the step to the NHL. With that being said, it looks like he is not ready to bring the young guns to the NHL this season.
While I have trust in Ron Hextall to build a Stanley Cup team, Fans are not prepared to watch another non-competitive, less than mediocre, and unexciting Flyers team during the 2015-2016 season. The Flyers need to bring up some of the young defensive talent this season. Moves need to be made to open up space for the hopeful defensive cornerstones of the team. Philadelphia is a city that expects their teams to compete and Flyers fans will not tolerate another year of embarrassment. Let’s imagine even one of the prospects becoming the next Chris Pronger. I'm sure any fan would take that at this point. A Chris Pronge-esque defenseman makes the others around him better.
Whether or not Ron Hextall calls upon the young defensive prospects this season or not, Flyers fans have some exciting defenseman to look forward to.
Flyers have been quiet in free agency so far today. They signed a very solid back-up goalie in Michal Neuvirth though. With Mason's injury history, this may end up being a bigger signing than we think. I hope not, but it is possible.
Reports are this is a two-year deal worth $3.25 million.
Meanwhile, in hell...
NHL officials have been notified that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation into ex-L.A. Kings player Mike Richards involves the prescription drug oxycodone ... multiple sources tell TMZ Sports.
Our sources say Richards was stopped while crossing from the United States into Canada on June 17th ... and we're told he was questioned about oxycodone pills, a powerful painkiller.
For the record, Richards has NOT been charged with a crime.
However, he has since been cut from the team for "a material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player's Contract."
We reached out to Richards' agent for comment multiple times but haven't heard back. Canadian officials refused to comment, citing privacy laws.
But a rep for the NHL Players Association tells us, "We are in the process of reviewing the facts and circumstances of this matter, and will discuss the situation with the player in order to determine the appropriate course of action."
Oxycodone isn't illegal, unless you don't have a prescription for it. The fact that Richards being questioned led to him being outright released by the Kings still leaves a ton of questions. And still some things to consider at this point.
UPDATE: Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun says Richards was formally arrested in the incident.
Richards still hasn't been charged with anything.
They're looking at the same thing.
“Jimmy Watson and Rod Brind’Amour are two players who played the game in a way that truly epitomized Philadelphia Flyers hockey," said Flyers Chairman Ed Snider. "They were hard-working team leaders both on and off the ice who played with a lot of intelligence, grit, and determination. This is a very deserving honor for both of them, and I couldn’t be happier to welcome these outstanding men into the Flyers Hall of Fame."
“Jimmy was a great defenseman and teammate not to mention a two-time Stanley Cup champion and a five-time all-star,” said Flyers President Paul Holmgren. “He was an extremely competitive player who could always anticipate the action. We’re very pleased that he gets to join his brother Joe in the Flyers Hall of Fame.
“Rod’s work ethic was unparalleled as a player," added Holmgren. " He was always the first one on the ice and in the gym and always the last to leave. He played the game with passion and he is most deserving of this latest honor. Rod personified Flyers hockey.”
“I am absolutely thrilled and humbled by the whole thing,” said Watson. “This is a tremendous honor and I am very excited to be a part of the Flyers Hall of Fame. Gosh, it is amazing how it all evolved but here we are and I am extremely proud to be getting inducted. What a wonderful honor.”
“It was a tremendous honor and privilege to play as long as I did for one of the best franchises in all of sports,” said Brind’Amour. “To be recognized in this way is hard to put into words but something I will cherish for the rest of my life. I thank the Flyers organization for this tremendous honor.”
Jimmy joins his brother, Joe, as the only pair of brothers in the Flyers' Hall so far. The Schenns aren't far behind.
Monday, November 23rd vs. the Hurricanes - Rod Brind'Amour induction ceremony
Monday, February 29th vs. the Flames - Jimmy Watson induction ceremony
The Flyers will also commemorate the retirement of Kimmo Timonen with a ceremony on Wednesday, October 14th, before their game against the Blackhawks.
For the rest of the promotional schedule, click here.
History of the Flyers Hall of Fame after the jump.
When the Flyers traded Nik Grossman and Chris Pronger['s contract] to acquire Sam Gagner and a draft pick, almost everyone - including myself - thought this was more of a salary dump for the Flyers and that they were planning on buying out Gagner.
And, let's be serious, the fact that general manager Ron Hextall didn't exactly sound committed to keeping Gagner around after the trade fueled those rumors. Until today.
Not a bad idea by the Flyers. Gagner is an unrestricted free agent after next season, so this comes as a low risk, high reward move. Gagner may just have his best year in his career in order to have a chance to sign a new contract next year.
But Arizona's general manager said he didn't think he could play anymore at the NHL level. And that's coming from Arizona. This now becomes a wait-and-see move.
Gagner's reaction after the jump, courtesy of CSN Philly.
As more news begins to be made public, the worse it looks for Mike Richards.
After being outright released by the Kings yesterday, bits of news began to trickle out about an incident at the border involving Richards. But that was it, until now.
Mike Richards, whose contract has been terminated by the Los Angeles Kings, is part of an ongoing investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for an off-ice incident, a source told ESPN.com on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the RCMP in Manitoba told ESPN that, as of Tuesday, no charges have been brought against Richards but declined to comment further.
The source said that Canadian Border Services is also involved in the investigation, but a spokesperson declined comment, citing Canadian privacy laws.
There's plenty of speculation going on out there, and I've been told what allegedly happened by a third-hand source. If it's true, it's huge.
Chris Pronger is a Hall of Famer.
Pronger became the only defenseman other than Bobby Orr in 2000 when he won the Hart Trophy and the Norris Trophy. He played 1,167 games in 18 NHL seasons with the Hartford Whalers, St. Louis Blues,Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers. He helped the Ducks win the Stanley Cup in 2007, and also reached the Cup Final with the Oilers in 2006 and the Flyers in 2010.
He is also a member of the Triple Gold club. Pronger won the 1997 World Championship with Canada, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and won the Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Ducks. He also won gold at the 1993 World Junior Championship.
Known as one of the most physical defensemen of his era, Pronger also logged an incredible amount of ice time. He averaged more than 30 minutes per game in two seasons for the Blues, and more than 25 minutes per game in every full season he played from 1998-99 to 2009-10.
Pronger's career was cut short by injuries. He last played Nov. 19, 2011, because of concussion issues, which made him eligible for the Hall of Fame this year.
The Coyotes general manager wants him to go in as a Coyote.
We all thought Ron Hextall trading away Nik Grossmann and Chris Pronger's contract may have been the best move he's made since becoming general manager of the Flyers.
WELL, WE HAVE SOME COMPANY!
Sexy Hexy just sent Zac Rinaldo to the Bruins for a third round draft pick. A THIRD ROUND DRAFT PICK! First the Phillies presser [post coming soon on that] and NOW Rinaldo is out! I need a cigarette.
Via the King's website:
The club has issued the following statement and will not comment any further at this time:
“The Los Angeles Kings today have exercised the team's right to terminate the contract of Mike Richards for a material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player's Contract. We are not prepared to provide any more detail or to discuss the underlying grounds for the contract termination at this time.”
We mentioned that Richards' contract had recently been bought out by LA. Now today, they have announced that the team has terminated his contract all together. Which means no buy out. Which means the Kings don't have to deal with Richards' cap hit.
A lot more is going to come out of this. Termination doesn't happen very often and you'd expect the Kings have a pretty good reason to do so, or maybe not.
A lot of speculation going around about Richards off-ice activities, but we'll let that be speculation for now. I won't post anything without some actual validity to it.
It's also very possible the Kings want to avoid having to pay the remainder of Richards' contract by saying he breached it. Of course an investigation would have to be done, which would likely result in the Kings losing that battle without any real evidence of a breach.
This could be the beginning of a very, very ugly battle between the two sides.
Every Monday we bring you the very best of the weekend you missed. From Thursday through Sunday, whether it's local or national, we have you covered.
The Sixers were ordered to pay the New Orleans Pelicans $3 million for not disclosing Jrue Holiday's entire injury history when they traded him in 2013. This comes off the heels of the NBAPA investigating the Sixers, though that looks to be a fruitless endeavor.
Oh yeah, and Ryne Sandberg isn't the Phillies manager anymore.
Ow, Robinson Cano Ow. [The Big Lead]
New format for MLB's Home Run Derby, and it includes a timer. [Hardball Talk]
LeBron James opted out of his contract with the Cavaliers and the entire world imploded. He's re-signing with them. [Twitter]
This is karma. [Deadspin]
Not sure what complex umpires have nowadays, but they're completely ruining games on a nightly basis now. [ESPN]
The Los Angeles Kings have put Mike Richards on waivers with the intent of buying out his contract, according to Elliotte Friedman. They almost did so last year.
According to Stephen Whyno, if Richards clears waivers and then is bought out, the Kings would be on the hook for his $5.75 million cap hit through 2024.
Richards' numbers have steadily declined the last few years, and he's even been sent to the minors.
Before Flyers fans get too excited, just remember Richards has won two of these:
So don't act like it's some sort of win for the Flyers because they don't have to deal with his salary cap ramifications or because you just like to see players that were here suffer.
Leave it to me to take a nap and for the Flyers to make a HUGE move right after.
And leave it to the Arizona Coyotes to announce it first.
The Flyers traded defenseman Nick Grossmann (!) and the contract of Chris Pronger to the Coyotes in exchange for center Sam Gagner and a 2016 or 2017 conditional draft pick.
Huge move for Hextall to get Pronger's contract off the books for the Flyers. His cap hit was handcuffing the team at $4.9 million. And the team might not keep Gagner. Frank Seravalli, TSN's new senior hockey reporter and Hockey News God [move over Bob McKenzie], reports.
What makes the Pronger move so awesome is that he had to be asked by Hextall if he would accept the trade. His contract has a no-movement clause.
And according to this report, the Tampa Bay Lightning may want the Flyers to buy out Gagne, which would save them some money. Even though Hextall saying they haven't thought that far yet. I don't believe him.
In related news, the Flyers have hired of Kim Dillabaugh as the team's new goaltending coach. Dillabaugh was the Kings' director of goaltending development. He worked with two-time Stanley Cup champion, Jonathan Quick.
Dillabaugh and Hextall have a great relationship, according to Kings GM Dean Lombardi.
Photo credit: Flyers Twitter
Another draft? Yup. This time, it's the NHL's turn. The Flyers had the 7th overall pick in tonight's draft and selected defenseman Ivan Provorov.
He was the best available and also fills a dire need for the Flyers. Finally something goes right!
Provorov has said he wants to play in the NHL next season, but unless he stuns absolutely everyone in the organization during training camp, he's likely a year away. But, the Flyers future on defense looks awesome.
UPDATE: With their second pick, the Flyers traded their 29th and 61st overall picks to the Maple Leafs for their 24th overall selection and took center Travis Konecny.
According to reports, Konecny was rated as high as 10, and Charlie O'Connor compares him to Ryan Callahan, only better. Overall, the reaction is overwhelmingly positive for the captain of OHL's Ottawa 67's.
Konecny also has battled concussion and shoulder injuries, so that's something to keep an eye on.
UPDATE II: The rest of the draft picks:
The Flyers have released their schedule for next season today.
Some highlights include:
The Flyers 5K Charity Race will take place on October 17th, but tickets are already on sale for the event.
Registration is at 8 a.m., warm ups at 8:30 and the running [or walking] begins at 9.
Each participant received a T-shirt and participation medal. There will be winners in each age category, and each winner will receive two tickets to a Flyers regular season home game this upcoming year. Both the winner and the team will mutually agree on the game.
For more info, visit here.
Photo credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Let's be honest - if you weren't rooting for the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final and you're a Flyers fan, then something is wrong with you. I get the whole 2010 thing, but that shit was five years ago and it's about time for you soreasses to get over it. And that's because Kimmo Timonen f$%@ing rules.
Last night, the Blackhawks defeated the Lightning, 2-0, to win the Stanley Cup in six games. 'Hawks captain, Jonathan Toews, gave Kimmo first crack at hoisting the Cup after the commissioner relinquished it into his hands. Fantastic moment.
Sucks to Braydon Coburns' assmar.
Videos after the jump.
It wouldn't surprise me. According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs would waive his no-trade clause to come to Philadelphia. Kessel carries a $8 million cap hit and would really go against what Ron Hextall is trying to accomplish with his new head coach and building a young team.
But... a fairly good to very good winger to put on the same line with Giroux and Voracek? Sure, I could see/would murder for that. But at that price tag, a move like that would be so Flyersy I wouldn't even be able to handle it.
Kimmo Timonen needed to suit up just one game in the Stanley Cup Finals to get his name on the Stanley Cup [if the Blackhawks win of course].
Flyers fans had been hoping Kimmo would get his chance to accomplish his ultimate goal when he was traded from the Flyers to the Blackhawks. Lets be honest, it was pretty much the main reason he went to Chicago.
Granted, he may only have about six minutes of ice time, but he can now have his name etched in history if the Blackhawks can win the series.
Tough not to root for Chicago now as a Flyers fan. Even with 2010...
How sweet it is.
Our ever lovely Flyers beat writer from the Inquirer, Sam Carchidi, reports that Kimmo Timonen is looking to return to the Flyers during the offseason to possibly land a front office position.
Despite being a nonfactor for the Blackhawks this postseason, Timonen is responsible for landing the Flyers a second round pick this year and next year. That's because the picks were conditional, and since the Blackhawks have made it to the Stanley Cup Final for the 15th time the last five years, the picks turn into second rounders.
Timonen reportedly doesn't want to coach... yet. But I think we'll see him behind the bench in some capacity in the future.
Photo credit: Eric Classen-UIND Sports
Everybody was surprised that Ron Hextall hired North Dakota's Dave Hakstol to coach his NHL team, even Dave Hakstol. According to the new North Dakota coach, Brad Berry, during his introductory press conference, he said that Hakstol turned down the job twice before Hextall told him he wasn't taking no for an answer.
Third time's the charm, I guess. Hakstol then agreed to become the coach of the Flyers.
No word on if Hextall threatened him, but I wouldn't put it past him. Always nice to have a coach in charge of the NHL team you root for who turned them down twice.
Just two days after the Flyers found their man in Dave Hakstol, the Toronto Maple Leafs have given Mike Babcock and absurd amount of money to get Leafs back to relevancy.
I wanted Babcock all along as the Flyers new coach and who wouldn't? But after seeing this deal and the fact that he'll likely be taking over all control of the Leafs team, I can see why Hextall decided against signing him.
As you could probably imagine, Mike Babcock is now the highest paid coach in the NHL and its safe to say he's earned it.
Who is Dave Hakstol, you ask? Here's a blurb about him in the Flyer's press release this morning on the hiring:
Hakstol, 46 (7/30/1968), comes to the Flyers from the University of North Dakota where he spent the last 11 seasons compiling an overall record of 289-143-43 with a .654 winning percentage in 475 games. In 2014-15, he led North Dakota to a 29-10-3 record with a .726 winning percentage and a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four.
North Dakota made the NCAA Tournament in every one of Hakstol’s 11 seasons and reached the Frozen Four seven times in that span, which is the most of any program in the country during that period. Hakstol led North Dakota to an overall postseason record of 54-24 for a .692 winning percentage, including a 17-11 record in the NCAA Tournament, during his tenure.
If you want a more in-depth bio of Hakstol, I urge you to read this piece written in the Grand Forks Herald titled, Meet Dave Hakstol.
Looking past the disappointment of no Mike Babcock, and the fact that when I'm drunk I'm always going to mix up Hextall and Hakstol when I need to curse one or the other out, this guy is a proven winner in his career so far. From the same Grand Forks piece:
His 15 NCAA victories trail only Boston College and are nearly twice as many as the third-place teams, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Miami (eight).
The only coach in the last decade with more wins than Hakstol (260) is Boston College’s Jerry York (266). But his ultimate goal, the national championship, has eluded him.
Granted, that was college. Where, apparently, Hakstol is kind of a big deal. Forgive me for being unaware, I don't always remember that North Dakota is even a state, let alone checking the North Dakota hockey scores.
But let's be honest, the professional level is an entirely different animal. Hakstol's ability to control the locker room is going to be very interesting to see moving forward. I wouldn't say there are huge egos that he'll have to deal with [from what we see as fans], and I don't believe there are players on this current roster that would defy buying into Hakstol's system.
The real pressure is going to come from us, the fans. It's been too long since the Flyers have won and Hextall is truly laying it on the line with this hire. If Hexy was on a leash with most of the fan base, it just got a whole hell of a lot shorter.
The only thing you can take from this is hope. The hope that it works.
Hexy has been preaching a new identity and philosophy for this franchise. Yes, its unprecedented that a college coaches make the jump right to the NHL. But, I suppose hiring one of the most successful college coaches in the country makes this somewhat justifiable. If Hextall wants someone who can develop young talent, it's not a total shock as to why he chose Hakstol.
At least he wasn't a former Flyer. That's reason enough to be content with this.
As for Mike Babcock:
there's nothing in there, Giroux pic.twitter.com/CJI268rKhJ— Stephanie Vail (@myregularface) May 17, 2015
Canada defeated Russia, 6-1, yesterday to win the 2015 IIHF hockey championship. Claude Giroux was a main contributor for Team Canada during the tournament on and off the ice. On the ice, he scored points. Off the ice, he scored no clothes.
Giroux is casually naked in the background pic.twitter.com/HhNusfpDgz— Lauren (@amactruck) May 18, 2015
No cops around? No cops around.
annnnnnd my day is ruined.
Claude Giroux and Sidney Crosby are currently playing for Team Canada in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship together, so I suppose something like this was bound to happen. But, I'd have to believe there is a little bit of awkwardness between the two.
Giroux always giving Crosby the "remember when I planted your ass in the playoffs" stare. Plus, you know, that time Crosby said this about the entire Flyers team:
There are just things that aren't supposed to go well together. Claude Giroux and Sidney Crosby are near the top of that list right below Ryan Howard and a curve ball.
This is a guest post penned by writer Jarrad Saffren, who is an avid Philly sports fan living in the Philadelphia area. He's a borough reporter for the Pocono Record in Stroudsburg, PA.
The Eagles are not selling Sam Bradford’s jersey because the organization wants to include him in a package for Marcus Mariota, according to every human being with a pulse plus some animals. Team spokesman/lackey Dave Spadaro told 94.1 WIP’s Josh Innes and Tony Bruno two weeks ago that the organization is not selling Bradford jerseys because the quarterback is on a one-year contract. He kept a straight face the whole time, sources say.
Side-note about Spadaro: do you think he is so brainwashed at this point that he actually believes the company drivel spilling out of his mouth? Probably. But that’s another story for another day.
Back to the main point. Bradford will probably be traded in a few weeks, which will make him eligible for the most infamous list in Philly sports: the list of the greatest Philadelphia athletes who never actually played for a Philly team. Or, as most would call it, the list of players that Sam Hinkie has acquired.
I ranked the players based on two highly arbitrary factors. One, how excited Philly fans were when the local team acquired him. Two, how much success the player had in his career with other teams. The best combination of both is number one. The worst combination is number seven.
6. Andrei Kirilenko. 76ers (2014-15)
Philly never would have noticed the acquisition of Kirilenko if he was not the first player that Hinkie tried to hold hostage. Make no mistake, Hinkie is a cold, cruel, unusual, Stalin-like operator. But with previous salary dump acquisitions like Danny Granger, the Napoleonic lord at least did not pretend that he wanted to keep the guy on his team. He did that with Kirilenko, and it led to an awkward two months when the GM proved that even Vladimir Putin is afraid to stand up to him. It was the latest in an endless line of cryptic, opaque tales to emerge from Hinkie’s dystopian state. And that’s all it was. Still, Kirilenko was an all-star and all-league defender in his prime, so he sneaks onto the list.
5. Danny Granger. 76ers (2014)
Another Hinkie hostage, Granger only suffered for six days as a prisoner of war before the mad king bought him out. Just like with Kirilenko, Philly fans had no pretense that Granger would actually play for the Sixers. But he was a much better player than Kirilenko in their primes and therefore ranks one spot higher.
4. Jamal Mashburn. 76ers (2005-06)
When the Sixers acquired Mashburn in February 2005, fans kind of, sort of, maybe expected him to eventually overcome his balky knee and play for the team. That flimsy sense of false hope catapults Mashburn above Kirilenko and Granger. After all, the Mashburn trade happened during the Billy King era, when NBA players, NBA players acquired in trades, and NBA players older than 11 occasionally suited up for the hometown team.
3. J.D. Drew. Phillies (1997)
I said on Wednesday I fully expected a coaching change to be made and the Flyers have done just that. I don't really know why they waited two extra days from Hextall's press conference, but I'm ecstatic nonetheless.
We've told you who the Flyers may very well be going after and I'll be the first to say of the team ends up landing Mike Babcock, it's going to be huge.
Ron Hextall is set to have a conference call with the media soon..
UPDATE I: Hextall speaking to media now.
"Craig Berube is a good friend of mine; he’s a terrific man. But professionally I have an obligation to do what I think is best.” -Hextall— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 17, 2015
Hextall looking past the "Flyers Loyalty" to better the team. Great thing to hear.
Hextall said he didn't ask one player about Craig Berube in exit interviews. That's interesting.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) April 17, 2015
Interesting strategy to not ask any players about their coach, but OK.
Hextall said "evidence on ice" and "feel" goes into this and NOT asking players for input— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) April 17, 2015
Fair enough. Hextall also mentioned that he wants to have a coach in place by the NHL Draft.
“We’re looking for the right guy. Whether he has connections [to the Flyers] doesn’t matter. We’re looking for the best coach.” -Hextall— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 17, 2015
Craig Berube is still your Philadelphia Flyers head coach...for now. Hextall is not ready to make a decision saying, "at this point, he's our head coach."
Now what I think he meant to say was, "the coach we actually want is in the playoffs right now and when his season is finished, we'll back a truck full of money into his driveway."
But until that happens, Chief is here to stay.
Some other points that were touched on:
That was basically it. Not much was said that we didn't already know. However, I fully expect a coaching change to happen in the coming weeks.
Make that three out of the last four seasons we have been without playoff hockey here in Philadelphia.
Time for a change.
Photo credit: Dave Reginek/NHLI Getty Images
The Flyers apparently won't fire Craig Berube unless they feel like they're gaining Mike Babcock, according to a source.
While almost everyone, including myself, feels like a coaching change is needed - again - for the Flyers, general manager Ron Hextall isn't exactly moving quickly in finding a replacement for Craig Berube, and there's a good reason for that, reportedly. The next coach Hextall wants is still playing in the postseason. Mike Babcock, the coach of the Detroit Red Wings, is the guy Hextall has placed as a top priority to hire this offseason. Of course, he's not the only one interested, as many teams have been listed as suitors for Babcock's services. Detroit offered Babcock a contract back in December, but Babcock denied being close to a new deal with the team. The contract extension would have reportedly made Babcock the highest paid coach in the NHL. Whatever contract he signs this offseason will likely make him the highest paid coach in the NHL, anyway. There was no rush for Babcock to sign that deal, because he'll likely get more money on the open market.
There have been reports circulating that Babcock's decision will rest on where #1 overall draft stud Connor McDavid is drafted to this year. I don't exactly buy this notion. I think Babcock is taking the money wherever he goes, because wherever McDavid goes won't exactly become a Stanley Cup contender overnight, even with Babcock. The Flyers can offer him that money, so Hextall could be waiting to see what Babcock will do before making a decision on Berube.
That's not exactly a new thing for a general manager to do. One might think it's unfair for Berube's future to be dependent on another man's coaching decision, but Babcock is in that rare breed of hockey coaches that maintains that clout. He's won one Stanley Cup championship while losing two. He's continued to keep the Red Wings a perennial playoff team, and they have a chance to win each and every year. The Flyers used to be in that rare breed regardless of who was the coach, and have since lost it.
While rumors have been swirling earlier this season that the Flyers were in on Babcock if he reached the offseason as a free agent, nobody knew what the future of the Flyers would hold if Berube led them to the playoffs. We know now what we feared in October and November, and that's the Flyers are not a good hockey team. Why would Babcock want to come here? If he has Giroux, Voracek, Simmonds and Mason to play with, I like their chances.
Maybe Berube isn't back if Babcock goes elsewhere, and then where does Hextall turn to? Who knows. This might become as interesting as the Eagles offseason. Getcha popcorn ready.
Oh, by the way, Ed Snider probably wants Hextall to fire Berube.
Maybe, just maybe, Darrelle Revis should not lie about being hacked and just own up to being an idiot on social media? You'd think these professional sports teams would give seminars on how athletes need to use social media, but the more and more we see stuff like this, the more I wonder if they really do educate their athletes on using it?
Anyway, that's all I got. And...
Here's your weekly reminder to check out The Philly Voice. As the pro wrestling contributor for The Philly Voice, I review WWE's Monday Night Raw and SmackDown, along with updates on any late-breaking WWE news. My Raw Roundup and SmackDown Rundown are posted on Tuesday and Friday mornings, respectively, along with any breaking WWE news during the week or weekend. I'll also have recaps of each and every monthly WWE pay-per-view. Check it out now!
Let's run it down:
Yeah, it's kind of like that.
The second annual Philly sports roast is next Thursday. We'll have a post on it later today on what you can expect. Hint: Mitch Williams and Lenny Dykstra.
A Philadelphia legend passed away last Thursday. Here are some great tributes to the late Stan Hochman.
Jordan Speith won the Masters, shooting 18-under 270. He's eight years younger than I am.
Photo via PGA Tour Facebook page
Juan Samuel translated for Odubel Herrera after he won the game Saturday night with his first career hit.
And speaking of the Phillies, they had their lowest attendance ever at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night. A Friday night in April. Against a division rival. Lowest attendance ever.
A college football game broke out at a baseball game this weekend.
Hillary Clinton is running for president in 2016. But you... you already knew that.
Doubt this is true, but there was one report from a high schooler that NFL films had footage of LeSean McCoy threatening to hit Chip Kelly during the Eagles' last game of the season.
Bartolo Colon is better than a lot of Phillies hitters.
The Leafs didn't waste any time overturning their staff. And now, we wait for the Flyers to [hopefully] do the same.
Russell Westbrook incurred his 16th technical foul of the NBA season yesterday, and it's going to cost him. Here's Kevin Durant's reaction:
Here's Ricky Bottalico talking about the time he brawled with not only Barry Bonds, but also with Curt Schilling... when they both were on the same team.
Posted by Nick Piccone on April 13, 2015 at 07:40 AM in 76ers, BOBonTCN, Breakfast on Broad, CBS Philly, CSN Philly, Eagles, ESPN, Flyers, FOX Philly, Inquirer, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, Mitch Williams, MLB, MLS, National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, NFL, NHL, Phillies, Philly Sports Roast, Philly Sports Talk, Philly.com, PhillyVoice.com, Roundup, Rundown, Sixers, Stan Hochman, Wildfire Radio | Permalink
Either Craig Berube is playing a late April Fool's joke on all of us, or he's dreaming. Or, he just doesn't want to get involved in the media game of saying he doesn't know whether he'll be back next season, and gives the easy answer of yes. All of these are plausible, and it didn't take long for reporters to begin asking if he thinks he'll return as the head coach of the Flyers next season.
He was asked after Thursday's game if he expects to return.
"Yeah, I do," he responded.
Berube who took over for Peter Laviolette three games into the 2013-14 season and led that Flyers team to the playoffs, appreciated hearing his players have his back.
"Like I've told you guys, the team, the coaching staff ... it's a tight group," he said. "We all work well together. I love coaching these guys. We definitely didn't get the job done. There are some areas we gotta get better."
Let's talk about the Flyers for a second. The most frustrating team out of the major sports in Philadelphia. After underachieving for the entire season, they have now lost 12 games in a row to teams who won't be making the playoffs this year.
How do you keep a coach after the season this team has had? I would be shocked if Hextall decided to keep Berube heading into next season. Absolutely shocked. It is clear as day that Chief has been out-matched and out-coached for most of the season and his players have not responded to what he is relaying to them.
Yet, the players want him back:
This from right wing Jakub Voracek, who remained two points behind in the NHL scoring race after a scoreless night:
"He's a likeable coach. I think all the players like to play for him. It's hard for me to answer those questions because I don't know if he's going to come back. You have to ask Hexy on that. I had my best season under him. He's a great guy. Obviously I would like him back, but like I said, it's a question for Hexy. I think this team can be much more successful next year with Chief."
This from defenseman Mark Streit, one of the Flyers' alternate captains:
"He's a great coach. He's been really good with us. As a player, you try to focus on the games and everything else is out of your control. I hope he's back."
This from winger Matt Read, who has just seven goals in 79 games after putting in 22 in 75 last season.
"I think the coaching staff does a great job here. They provide us with all the information needed. If we're not playing well, they're not afraid to get in our ears about it. I try to stay away from it ... not read anything, not listen to anything. They're doing the best job they can do and it's up to the players to put our best effort out there."
I know they pretty much have to say this, but this is sad if it's actually true. Read said they provide the team "with all the information needed". So by that measure, I suppose the only reasonable explanation for the team's woes this year is they just aren't any good. Seriously, if the coaching staff has "done everything they can", if "all the players like to play for him", if they truly are "doing the best they can", then this team just flat out sucks.
So either it's the coach and he needs to be gone, or it's members of the team and they need to be gone. It's one or the other, because right now, this team is a joke and won't be accomplishing much any time soon.
Even their social media team is frustrating the hell out of me. After Brayden Schenn scored a fluke goal in OT against the Islanders earlier in the week after almost blowing a three goal lead in the game, they had the audacity to post this:
Yes, thank you Flyers. Thank you so much for the terrific season you slept-walked through. You're welcome. You're welcome we still showed up to watch your sorry excuse for competitiveness. Just shows you where I'm at when a harmless Instagram post by the team makes my blood boil. I'm sure I'm not alone, either.
Hate is a strong word, but I really, really didn't like the Flyers and what they were all about this season.
Brayden Schenn, or better yet, Jaroslav Halak, prevented the Islanders from clinching a playoff spot last night. After a furious comeback, I'd say of Rocky proportions, the Islanders really carried all the momentum and probably should have won the game. Schenn, however, kept the Isles from clinching a playoff spot with this shot and terrible save effort by Halak.
Ouch. That's gotta hurt [the ego].
For full game highlights, hit the jump.
In a game that means nothing other than avoiding their second loss ever in the CONSOL Energy Center, Vincent Lecavalier scored a goal tonight.
And Zac Rinaldo might be having the best game of his career. Tonight. On April 1st. Joke's on us.
Photo credit: USATSI
Like there was any doubt they would. Last night, the Flyers welcomed Kimmo Timonen back to Philly with a 4-1 win. They also offered Kimmo,and us, a great video tribute like we're accustomed to seeing from the Flyers. Kimmo took a timeout before the ensuing faceoff to wave to the crowd.
More from Kimmo after the jump.
Months ago, Adam Goldberg had an idea to recreate Veterans Stadium for a couple episodes of his hit ABC sitcom, The Goldbergs. Unfortunately, he was told that he was unable to do so by the Phillies, but we never knew why exactly. After Goldberg tweeted his displeasure with the decision and linked to our post about the Flyers utilizing the brand exposure from the show, Phillies director of marketing and special products, Michael Harris, immediately contacted Goldberg and they were able to come to an agreement. It turns out there was a line in the script that caused the Phillies to say no.
It turns out one joke caused the biggest hiccup.
Goldberg said he "very cavalierly" wrote a joke in "Barry Goldberg's Day Off" about Barry Goldberg (Adam's older brother, portrayed by Troy Gentile) being pelted by batteries at a Phillies game after he caught a ball.
"And here come the batteries," the announcer said.
"That one line they were like, 'Oh, boy. That's a nonstarter. That's something we never want to happen again. We don't want to encourage it,'" Goldberg said. "When I heard that was the concern, I was like, 'Oh, I totally get what you're saying. We'll remove it.'
"They had concerns about the scripts as any franchise would, be it sports or even when we try to get an '80s movie cleared. Everyone wants their property to be portrayed in the right way, and they have concerns."
I find it interesting that the Phillies didn't bring that to Goldberg's attention when they saw it. If that truly was the only reason they didn't want to allow the recreation, why wouldn't they just tell Goldberg to omit that joke and there's a deal? That part seems kind of sketchy and makes me think maybe the Phillies really are run by some out-of-touch people. Despite "Barry Goldberg's Day Off" being an episode that had nothing to do with recreating The Vet, they still were butthurt enough to say no to Goldberg based on a joke from another episode. Gah, these people.
What's awesome, however, is that once Goldberg found out the Phanatic costume would take $8k to re-make the costume, he asked Harris if they could send him a costume for the episode. Instead, the Phillies just sent the Phanatic him[it?]self. Goldberg then goes on to disclose the inspiration for this episode.
"Some of my best memories were going to Phillies games with my dad [Murray, portrayed by Jeff Garlin], going to Veterans Stadium," Goldberg said in an interview with MLB.com. "There was one particular instance where we got separated, and in the '80s when you got separated from somebody in a big place without a cell phone, there was no way to find them. So I was telling this story [in the writers' room] about how I went with my dad to a Phillies game and we got separated. And there was this panic you felt, because Veterans Stadium was so big and so scary. It was terrifying. It's really an episode about Adam's [portrayed by Sean Giambrone] transition into manhood as he learns to survive in Veterans Stadium by himself."
"This was a way that [my father] could connect with us. There was an awesome activity going on, we didn't have to talk that much and we could cheer and be on the same team. And even though I didn't really know all of the players and my dad would have to tell me what was going on, it was still some of my fondest memories of him. So it always holds a big place in my heart."
The episode featuring a re-created Veterans Stadium, which I erroneously said was this one, titled "The Lost Boy" airs tonight at 8:30pm on ABC. We'll have some clips of the show posted tomorrow morning.
Kimmo Timonen is returning to Philadelphia tonight as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. With the Flyers having a 0% chance to make the playoffs, this might be the only must-see game left this season.
And tickets are cheap. You can get into the Wells Fargo Center tonight to see Kimmo's last game ever in Philly for only $17. A small price to pay to watch one of the greatest Flyers ever take one last lap in south Philly. Every fiber of my being wants to see him score a wicked goal.
Prices are sure to climb as we inch further to game time, so get your tickets here.
Here's the only reason the Flyers were competitive up until the last couple weeks.
The Flyers lost again last night, but that probably was expected. What wasn't expected was Craig Berube, who has ridden Steve Mason dry this season despite suffering a rash of injuries, pulled Mason after he allowed two goals against the Flames in quick succession at the end of the second period. [CSN Philly]
For the 17th time in 19 road games, Mason had two goals or less to work with.
That said, Flyers coach Craig Berube pulled him at the end of the second period after the Flames scored twice in less than two minutes to take a 2-0 lead.
One goal Mason was screened by his own defenseman, Nick Schultz. The other was a rush in transition off a Luke Schenn turnover.
“Aside from the one goal there, I was happy with my game and feeling good,” Mason said. “Chief made the move and tried to gain momentum but, unfortunately, we couldn’t come back in the third period.
“Yeah, I was [caught off guard], but at the same time you’re trying to make a momentum move. We’re at the point we’re trying anything to get a win.”
Yeah, Berube's done this before. He lifted Rob Zepp after just a period and change in Toronto last month after Zepp allowed two goals on eight shots. Goalie changes tend to send a message to the team to wake up and start playing better. This wasn't one of those times. In fact, Berube threw Mason under that heavy bus.
“I didn’t like the goals,” he added. “They’re going to be screened. That’s the way it is. You got to fight through it. Find pucks.”
Not sure how Mason can fight to find pucks moreso than he's doing right now. He was screened by his own player. Yeah, it happens. But for that to be the reason to pull the goalie, who's the only reason the team even had a chance to make the playoffs this far into the season, is another embarrassing coaching decision. Goalies have two ways to do so - move their head, altering their balance and therefore making it more difficult to block shots, or simply beat the shit out of the guy who's screening him, probably earning a penalty in the process.
Never change, Chief. We'll be seeing you on the other side after the season's over.
NJ.com's Randy Miller wrote a piece this week questioning whether or not Claude Giroux should continue to be the Flyers' captain. He writes:
No one can debate Giroux is an elite player. He has more points than any player in the NHL over the last four seasons. He's a good faceoff man, he kills penalties and he's far from a defensive liability. eyond his skills, Giroux never takes a shift off, which definitely is leading by example. He's also greatly respected by teammates, and he comes off as a pretty decent guy, too.
During Giroux's first season as captain he blew off the media after a frustrating road loss. He vowed it wouldn't happen again. It did.
It's at a point now that now where beat writers sometimes don't even request to add Giroux to the post-game interview list because his quotes often as unusable clichés. More often than not, Giroux gives short answers that doesn't come close to matching the kind of honestly that Mason, Simmonds and Streit usually provide.
Leaving that task to others isn't a sign of strong leadership.
Read the whole article, here.
Miller also goes on to cite off-ice incidents such as Giroux being injured playing golf and the time he got hammered and pinched a cops butt (who hasn't done that?). Miller points to these issues as reasons that may require the Flyers get a new captain in order for them to be successful.
Look, the Flyers have clearly underperformed in basically an embarrassing fashion for the talent they have on their roster. In no way could you ever convince me that looking at the team on paper prior to this season, knowing you have two of the top scorers in the game and one of the most expensive blue lines in the NHL, that the Flyers weren't going to be a playoff team.
That's what makes this even worse. It's one thing if the Flyers were just simply a bad team. Just throwing bodies out there because they don't have much talent. That's not the case here. For the past few years this team has been tops in the NHL in 20-goal scorers. They have a young nucleus of players that have now been together for a few seasons. They supposedly found their man in Steve Mason, who could play at a high enough level to help win games.
Now, what has happened? Severe lack of production from almost everyone. No sense of urgency. Lack of line depth with essentially the same players. No motivation or fire on or off the ice. Calling out teammates after games. It's a mess. So, is Giroux to blame? Maybe. It's very possible his voice is not echoing as loudly as it once has, if at all. We supposedly saw this with Mike Richards as well. It was always said that Chris Pronger would be stepping on his toes in the locker room because Richards wasn't a "vocal" enough captain. Which is what Miller is calling Giroux out for in this article, saying:
If Giroux is chewing out teammates for not playing hard enough and making stupid mistakes, it's a well-kept secret.
I've never been a fan of the new way of thinking in the NHL when it comes to captains. Today, the best player on the team usually wears the "C". Let them go out and lead by example with their play. Captains used to protect the skill players, not be them.
Keith Primeau, Derian Hatcher, Chris Pronger. These former captains didn't get hit and then wait for the reinforcements to arrive. They turned around and put the first person they saw into the ground.
And I'm not saying the title of captain should never be awarded to the best player on the team. Sure, it should. But, that can't be the only reason why they get it. Players like Primeau and Pronger may not have always lit the world on fire with stats, but they knew how to lead. G may not actually possess the skills to be a captain, just the ones to be a top-tier NHL player. There's a difference. So, perhaps Giroux has lost his locker room. Perhaps, he never had it to begin with.
Don't get me wrong either, I'm a huge Claude Giroux fan. Always have been. I wouldn't necessarily blame him for this mess. Not entirely, at least. I'm simply saying it's a fair question for Miller to make.
Actually, if it were up to me Craig Berube would have been fired months ago. To be handed this team and produce the failure he has is inexcusable. We've seen Stanley Cup winning coaches fired for a whole hell of a lot less. I assumed when Ron Hextall came into town, the blind loyalty this organization has exhibited in the past, with guys like Paul Holmgren, would be over with. Well, it's not. At least, not yet. Maybe Hextall just enjoys firing people in the off-season instead of a week into the season, like we've been accustomed to.
This could just be the feelings of a tired and bitter fan, but if the Flyers want to make a change at captain, then so be it. Just end the mediocrity. Even if the team made the playoffs this year, they weren't going to sniff the Stanley Cup finals, much like every other year they make the playoffs. So, go ahead. Change captains, fire the coach, blow up the team, or hire Chip Kelly to figure it out for you.
Just do something.
[Editor's note: I asked Keith if he had any opinion about Miller's article, and if he did to post something about it. I couldn't disagree more, honestly. I understand that the title of captain is so overused today in hockey, but questioning Giroux for the sake of needing a story to write because Randy Miller couldn't get quotes from him is the most downright ridiculous thing he could have done. Miller completely lost it when Ilya Bryzgalov wouldn't give him a quote the day the Flyers bought out his humongous big contract so he went on Twitter and proceeded to discuss off-the-record information regarding Bryz's relationship with then head coach, Peter Laviolette. All because Bryz wouldn't give him the quotes that he wanted.
This is the type of man Randy Miller is, and I used the term man loosely. I give beat writers a lot of leeway, especially when considering the downtime they incur when they need to submit an article with almost no news that anyone cares about available. But every season that either ends up in the Flyers making the playoffs or losing in the playoffs [Hint: it's every year], some media members call into question the captain. Sam Donnellon did it with Mike Richards. Actually, a lot of people did it with Mike Richards. It's not enough following the team for years and years and writing about them; they now think they know the insides and out of the team and decide they have enough knowledge and information to make an informed hypothesis on why the Flyers won't change their captain.]
The Comcast Network is preparing to launch something new for local television starting on April 6: a sports talk morning show, called Breakfast on Broad. The show is set to have a conversational tone and will include morning news staples like traffic and weather.
Breakfast on Broad is a new foray into original programming for the Comcast Network, rebranded from CN8 in 2009. Currently, the network is best known for hosting games of local sports teams — in place of its sister station, Comcast SportsNet — when the Phillies, Flyers and/or Sixers play at the same time.
Last night on WIP, Rob Ellis announced that his run at the station would be ending. I was sad to see him go, because I genuinely think Rob Ellis is one of the few sports radio personalities in this city that will give fair and reasonable commentary on the news revolving around Philly sports.
WIP did little to show their loyalty to Ellis, bouncing him around to different time slots over the last few months and he continued to be professional and do a great job where ever he was put. Who's going to join him, you ask?
He’ll be joined by Sarah Baicker, currently a Flyers reporter and digital producer at Comcast SportsNet; Jillian Mele, who has been a traffic reporter at NBC10; and former Eagles offensive lineman and Comcast SportsNet contributor Barrett Brooks.
Sarah Baicker is a good follow on twitter. She gives solid insight on the Flyers and it will be nice to get a knowledgeable woman's perspective on the local teams. Barret Brooks is relatively unknown in the media circuit outside of a few CSN appearances, but it is always a good thing to be able to get a former players' perspective. Unless that player is Tra Thomas talking about locker room injustices. I don't know much about Jillian Mele. I stopped watching Philadelphia traffic reporters when Kacie McDonnell skipped town. I'm sure she'll be great at making us miserable when she tells us about the inevitable delays on our commute.
Hopefully, Breakfast on Broad is able to pick up some steam and become a solid morning alternative to watching the CSN's SportsNet Central for a little while before you realize you've just watched the same thing three times in a row.
Tune in April 6th and on, from 6 to 8 a.m. each weekday. The show will also repeat on Comcast SportsNet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
More after the jump.
The Flyers lost to the Dallas Stars last night, 2-1. At home. Against a team who's third worst in the Western Conference with now 70 points. That's one more point than the Flyers now.
"I don't know what to say. There's no desperation. It's tough to come into the room after games like that where we just needed to have a much better effort. It just wasn't there."
On why he thinks there is no desperation from a team that likely now has no shot at the playoffs.
"I don't know. I hope every- you know, I'm embarrassed. I hope everybody else is embarrassed because we have an effort like that at home in situations where we have to come up big, and we come up empty. We have to be a lot better."
Mason wasn't the only one pissed. Jake Voracek, who has cooled off considerably since the All-Star break, almost pulled his face off when asked about their playoff chances. And Ryan White may have had the single most telling, and true, comment about the entire season thus far: "We're hanging Mase out to dry."
Not a good time to be a Flyer Philadelphia fan. I can't wait to see Mason go somewhere else and win a Stanley Cup. Cannot. Wait.
Photo credit: NJ.com/Randy Miller
We told you yesterday that the Flyers and goaltending coach, Jeff Reese, had "mutually parted ways" as the Flyers press release stated. Everybody thought it was unusual based on the timing not only of the week, but of the season, and the fact that Reese has been the team's goaltending coach since 2009 and randomly left the team with 17 games remaining in the season during their biggest stretch. Something was odd. Something the Flyers and Jeff Reese weren't telling us.
The Daily News' Frank Seravalli reported last night, through sources, that Reese's departure from the Flyers was more than just contract-related, as the injuries to Steve Mason and his return to the ice before he and Reese were ready began a spat between Reese and Berube.
The truth is, Reese’s simmering relationship with the Flyers’ front office bubbled over beginning with Feb. 26’s game in Toronto when Mason was summoned off the bench.
According to multiple sources, Reese was peeved that Mason relieved starter Rob Zepp after two goals, since Mason was told that day he would not play unless Zepp sustained serious injury.
Sources said Mason was given that word by the team, asking him to suit up because the team had salary cap issues and could not afford another backup goaltender for the game.
I guess we could blame Paul Holmgren on that one? But the fact that the Flyers had to suit up Mason to avoid a financial issue is kind of laughable, not to mention not in Mason's best interest. And the fact is he shouldn't have even played. Not in a game where Rob Zepp let in a second goal shortly after the second period began. The game was just over 20 minutes old! The Flyers still wound up losing that game to Toronto, 3-2, and Craig Berube had no business putting Mason out there. Gut feeling or not, that was a stupid move.
In his post-game press conference that night following the 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs, coach Craig Berube admitted Mason “would have preferred Zepp to finish the game … but that’s my gut and I went with it.” Mason limped out of Air Canada Centre that night to the team’s bus.
Mason underwent surgery to remove 60 percent of the meniscus in his right knee on Feb. 10, just 16 days prior to playing. The Flyers’ original timeframe for Mason’s return was two-to-four weeks.
Reese voiced his support in defense of his goaltender - and how his injuries have been handled this season - causing friction with the brass that led to his sudden departure on Friday.
It was clear Reese's departure has shaken Mason, who has resurrected his career in Philadelphia after being traded from Columbus two years ago. He called Reese his friend, and now it almost seems as if he really has nobody to confide in the way he confided in Reese. If Seravalli's report is true, it's nice to see Reese stood up for his goaltender who was being ridiculously worked while not fully recovered from his injuries.
I know this isn't some groundbreaking opinion, but I don't think Berube is returning next season regardless of how the Flyers finish this season. And the fact his "gut feeling" put Mason in a position to not only not succeed, but possibly further injure himself, tells you all you need to know about his gut. It's in the wrong spot. This type of move screams old Mr. Snider's still in charge and you'd better not step to him or his boys. Granted, Berube probably is putting all of his eggs into Mason's basket because it's Mason who might hold the key to whether Berube returns next season, but if Chief makes decisions like this based on his gut, I'm not sure I want him as the Flyers coach.
Seravalli went on to say that he texted Reese and Reese would not give him any more information other than the public statements they made on the "mutual parting."
Photo credit: David Hutchison/InGoal Magazine
Jeff Reese has left Flyers as goalie coach. Mutual decision— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) March 6, 2015
Very strange move here by Reese and the Flyers, if, in fact, it was mutual. Reese has been with the team for six seasons now and has been through what seems like 1,000 different goaltenders.
He coached Micheal Leighton to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance [but, not how close his legs]. He made it through the Bryz debacle, basically going to work every day with a certified psychopath. Then he turned Steve Mason back into a legitimate goaltender in the NHL.
So, it's interesting to see this and just makes you wonder what happened? If Reese wants to seek new opportunities then more power to him. But something tells me he wouldn't leave while the season is still going on knowing the effects it may have.
Mason seems gut-wrenched by Reese's departure, said it was hard to focus in last night's game.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 6, 2015
Hexy isn't afraid to ruffle feathers when he doesn't agree with what is going on. Perhaps Reese and Hextall, both being former goalies, never saw eye-to-eye. But like most things in Philadelphia sports, we'll never truly know.
Reese issued a statement a short while after the news was made public, via CSN Philly.
“I’d like to thank the Flyers' organization for the opportunity to help coach the Flyers for the past six seasons.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here and I wish the Flyers all the success in the world. Having said that, I would appreciate it if the media would respect my privacy as I will not be making any further comment.”
Back in November, Shayne Gostisbehere tore his ACL while with the Phantoms. When it happened, the team was hopeful he would return by the end of the season. As shown in the video above, Ron Hextall thought he would be able to return this season.
According to Gary Blockus of the Allentown's The Morning Call, Phantoms coach Terry Murray said that won't happen.
I like it. It'll give Gost all offseason to rehab and get in peak physical condition for training camp in September.
Just in case, we've made a running updates post for the Flyers trade deadline moves. Ron Hextall has already shown this trade deadline may be one of the most important to the Flyers in the last few years. Newest trades by Ron Hextall will appear at the top. Trade deadline is 3pm today.
-Braydon Coburn traded to the Lightning for D Radko Gudas, a 2015 first-round draft pick, and 2015 third-round draft pick.
-Kimmo Timonen traded to the Blackhawks for a 2015 first-round draft pick and a conditional 2016 draft pick.
We'll continue to update if any other moves are made.
Photo credit: Elsa/Getty Images North America
Ron Hextall is hell bent on getting cap relief, and this weekend proved that. He traded Kimmo Timonen to the Blackhawks on Friday night, and now he's traded Kimmo's best defensive partner while with the Flyers, Braydon Coburn, overnight.
Hextall sent Coburn to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for defenseman, Radko Gudas, along with first round and third round picks in this year's NHL draft. That's the second trade in a row where the Flyers got the better of the deal.
Coburn's contract carries a $4.5 million cap hit that the Lightning will take on. Gudas' cap hit doesn't even reach $1 million, and he becomes a restricted free agent after this season. He's currently out with a knee injury, and will probably miss the rest of the season.