* Team USA is expected to name Penguins coach Dan Bylsma head coach of their Olympic team today. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was a finalist, as well as Vancouver's John Tortorella. Laviolette, the second-winningest American-born coach in NHL history at 389-279-25-63, led the U.S. contingent to a 1-4-1 mark at the 2006 Winter Olympics. Nashville GM David Poile will pick the team, with help from Pittsburgh's Ray Shero and Anaheim's Brian Burke.
* Ray Emery, one Flyers target for goaltender, said Thursday he'd like to remain in Chicago. That would still be as a backup to Cup-winner Corey Crawford. Emery, 30, was 17-1-0 with a 1.94 goals-against average last season for the Hawks. He earned $1.5 million, but could earn significantly more to start somewhere else. He remains a possibility in Philadelphia, which was his first choice in 2011 coming off his career-threatening hip injury.
* Besides Emery and Phoenix' Mike Smith, another pending free agent, add St. Louis netminder Jaroslav Halak to the list. Halak, 27, was brutal behind Brian Elliott this season, with a 6-5-1 record and .899 save percentage. He was brilliant for Montreal in 2009-10 before being ousted by the Flyers in the Eastern Conference final and performed well in his first 2 years with the Blues. He's still young, and the cap-strapped Blues could be looking to move his expensive, $3.75 million backup salary. He's heading into the final year of his deal, which makes him a low-risk acquisition for the Flyers.
* Interestingly, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, who could very well be traded this weekend, listed Philadelphia as one of his interested destinations, according to Inside Pittsburgh Sports. Good luck getting Ray Shero to sign off on a deal to send the Norris Trophy contender across the state. Other than a swap for Dan Hamhuis' rights at the draft in 2010, who never played for either team, the last trade between the Flyers and Penguins was March 17, 2002 (Billy Tibbetts for Kent Manderville). Letang reportedly turned down a 8-year, $54 million offer from the Penguins yesterday. Remember, the Penguins dealt star center Jordan Staal to Carolina last year at the draft when they couldn't work out a long-term extension.
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