"I'm pretty excited, very happy and pretty relieved," Read said. "It's been an ongoing process, but I'm very happy about it. My first 2 years have been overwhelming for me. It's crazy that I'm even playing in the NHL, but to get this second contract with this organization is a dream come true. I couldn't be with a better organization and I'm thrilled to be here for a few more years."
Like all contracts, the deal is a gamble for both the Flyers and Read before a make-or-break season.
Read led all rookies in 2011-12 with 24 goals and 23 assists for 27 points. The forward then dropped slightly in production to 12 goals and 13 assists in last year's lockout-shortened season, though he missed time because of injury.
This season was supposed to be the one in which the Flyers would find out exactly what kind of player Read will be. The Flyers either got him before a spike in price or right after his bubble burst.
"We're excited and happy we finally got this done," GM Paul Holmgren said. "He's one of the young, core players on our team. He's a very valuable part of our hockey team."
The NHL will play six games outdoors in 2013-14, including one in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and the Winter Classic at the Big House at the University of Michigan.
But what does that mean for the following season?
It seems as if a potential meeting between the Flyers and Penguins at the oft-rumored Beaver Stadium in State College isn't happening anytime soon, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Flyers president Peter Luukko and Penguins CEO David Morehouse have spoken on numerous occasions about possibly playing a game at the neutral site of Penn State's campus, as reported by the Daily News in 2008, but there doesn't seem to be any progress.
"It's always fun to come up with those scenarios in the league office or as a third party, but at the end of the day, it does require a club to give up a home game," NHL chief operating officer John Collins told the Tribune-Review. "We haven't broached that yet."
If the subject hasn't been broached, it's possible the discussions hit a snag well further up the line.
Both the Flyers and Penguins have been frequent participants in the outdoor game and hosted Winter Classics. Pittsburgh will travel to Chicago on March 1, 2014, to meet the Blackhawks at Solider Field.
This season, there will also be two outdoor games at Yankee Stadium between the three New York-area teams, and Vancouver will host Ottawa at B.C. Place in the Canadian version, the Heritage Classic.
Even before the 2014 Stadium Series is wrapped up, the NHL will seek venues for the following season. The Flyers and Penguins could both be heading overseas. The NHL and NHLPA started negotiations with the IIHF in Portugal this week on how to grow the game internationally.
Part of that, aside from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, will be the return of the NHL Premiere games in Europe to start the season. The new CBA between the NHL and NHLPA states that all 30 teams must participate in at least one Premiere game in Europe before the agreement expires in 2022.
The Flyers have never played a game in Europe in their 46-year history. The NHL Premiere series began in 2007 and continued through 2011.
Claude Giroux is one doctor's signature away from getting back to game action.
Five weeks after tearing four tendons in his right hand in a golfing accident, Giroux was back in battling drills for the first time on Thursday at Herb Brooks Arena.
Giroux, 25, has been skating, shooting, stickhandling and passing for almost a week. He said he has experienced no pain or sensitivity with the surgically repaired hand. He could be ready to play as soon as Tuesday's tuneup against New Jersey.
"I didn't win a lot of battles out there, but I did what I can do," Giroux said. "It's pretty good. If there was pain, I'd be more cautious making sure everything is fine."
Laviolette liked what he saw out of Giroux on Thursday. The Flyers are 1-2-1 in four preseason games without him.
"He looks good on the ice," Laviolette said. "He's skating well, he's competing well, he's shooting well. There doesn't seem to be anything holding him back at this point."
Giroux will visit the doctor after the Flyers return home from Lake Placid tomorrow.
"The next step will be to get cleared 100 percent to be able to hit and play [full speed] like that," Giroux said. "If my hand lets me be 100 percent, I'd love to play."
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