November 13, 2015 |
THROUGH THE pauses and confusion that come hand-in-hand with the language barrier, one thing was sure after Thursday's morning skate: Evgeny Medvedev is excited to be back. And the Flyers should be welcoming the Russian defenseman, whose English is still improving, with wide-open arms. Puck-possession metrics show exactly how crucial Medvedev is to the team that entered Thursday tied with Anaheim for dead last in goals scored. The Flyers are better at getting the puck out of their own zone with possession when he is playing.
September 4, 2015 |
EVEN AFTER the Flyers lost Braydon Coburn in last year's season opener to a lower-body injury that kept him out a month, general manager Ron Hextall was content - happy, actually - that defensive prospect Sam Morin hadn't made the big club out of training camp. Then 19, the 6-7 Morin was sent back to juniors to play in Quebec. "In the end, there is no doubt in my mind we made the best choice, and it's tempting," Hextall said. "You've got a big guy, and he's kind of the type of player that we need - big guy, he skates well, he's got a good defensive stick, so a lot of good things there.
May 22, 2015 |
DURING THE winter of discontent, the Flyers' blue line was so crowded that top defenseman Michael Del Zotto was forced to sit behind seven others for all but three games in the month of December. The Flyers have only since added to the logjam, even after jettisoning Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen, with an unavoidable reckoning on the horizon. Yesterday, the Flyers signed Russian defenseman Evgeni Medvedev to a 1-year deal, leaving them with eight defensemen under contract. That number does not include Del Zotto, a restricted free agent Ron Hextall said he intends to re-sign.
March 26, 2015 |
CALGARY - Former Flames general manager Craig Button created quite a stir 3 weeks ago with his bold declaration: "Travis Sanheim is a slam-dunk pick," Button said on air at TSN in Canada. "I think he's the best 1996 [born] defenseman in the world. " It was particularly tall praise for the Flyers' prospect, considering Florida's No. 1 overall pick, Aaron Ekblad - who has 35 points, plays 22 minutes a night and is the NHL rookie of the year favorite - was also born that year.
March 25, 2015
THE long-awaited, 174- page report on the Philadelphia Police Department from the Department of Justice released yesterday - which concludes that the department has great deficiencies when it comes to policies and training, especially around the use of deadly force - is thorough, prescriptive . . . and somewhat depressing. We don't necessarily find the department's problems detailed within the report depressing, nor even the fact that during a period when Philadelphia violent crime has decreased, police-involved shootings have increased.
March 18, 2015 |
Brett Christie might have taken three strides before he was surrounded by 11 teammates at center ice during the Flyers Cup Class A division final Monday night. The dozen players from West Chester Rustin's hockey team converged, arms up, between the two penalty boxes and against the boards, yelling and screaming in celebration. The scene looked and felt like a championship celebration, and for all intents and purposes it might have been. They rejoiced because Christie's slapshot from just inside blue line sneaked past the West Chester Henderson goalie's five-hole, as well as the first-period buzzer, and gave Rustin a 3-0 lead.
October 30, 2014 |
BRAYDEN SCHENN swiped the puck off Jake Muzzin's stick just inside the Flyers' blue line and took off on an overtime breakaway. The only audible sound inside the Wells Fargo Center, aside from a building crescendo of anticipation, was the noise of 19,873 seats flipping up as butts rose out of them. "From blue line to blue line, I just put my head down," Schenn said. "It was just an all-out sprint to try and create separation. I think it was maybe around the [Kings'] blue line that I tried to look and see what's open.
July 15, 2014 |
THE FLYERS' top four defensive prospects - Sam Morin, Travis Sanheim, Shayne Gostisbehere and Robert Hagg - at a development camp Friday in Voorhees, were noticeably excited when asked about their roles on future Flyers teams. But each was cautious about thinking too far ahead. Ron Hextall told Flyers prospects that the ongoing development camp was not an evaluation process, and the GM said he was not ready to "anoint" any of these kids with an NHL roster spot in his first summer in Philadelphia's front office.
May 1, 2014 |
THE CALLER HATED last week's Daily News coverage of the Philly cops who've avoided criminal charges for thuggish behavior that would've landed anyone else in an orange jumpsuit. My column about them was damning. I even referred to one of the cops as "a menacing dirtbag. " "There are bad apples everywhere," said the caller, the mother of two police officers. "They're no different than a 7-Eleven clerk who goes to work every day to earn a living for their family. They're just like anyone else.
April 18, 2014 |
JAKE VORACEK was not shy. Thinking back to the Flyers' 3-1 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on March 26, Voracek said New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh "owned" his line. "We were overthinking it too much against him," Voracek said. "He's a very smart defenseman; he reads the ice very well. He's so good at picking off passes. " With Ray Emery filling in for the injured Steve Mason in Game 1, and even less room for error, McDonagh's stout work at the blue line has forced Flyers coach Craig Berube to alter his game plan.