June 30, 2015 |
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The acquisition of Sam Gagner has either given Ron Hextall the top-nine forward he coveted or the salary-cap relief he desperately needs. Clarity will come when the free-agent market opens on Wednesday, but it sure sounds like Gagner need not bother looking for local real estate agents just yet. Hextall on Saturday acquired Gagner from Arizona for defenseman Nick Grossmann and the contract of Chris Pronger, who was still on the Flyers' books despite not playing since 2011 because of a career-ending concussion.
June 29, 2015 |
SUNRISE, Fla. - Flyers general manager Ron Hextall made a trade Saturday for a player he's not sure he will keep, and he sent defenseman Chris Pronger - who is currently employed by the NHL's player-safety department - to Arizona as part of the deal. Yes, it was one of the most bizarre trades in Flyers history. The Flyers acquired Sam Gagner, a center who has not lived up to the expectations created by his being drafted sixth overall in 2007, and a conditional draft pick from Arizona for defenseman Nick Grossmann and Pronger's contract.
June 28, 2015 |
SUNRISE, Fla. - New Flyers coach Dave Hakstol gave a strong scouting report on goalie Matej Tomek, whom the Flyers may select during the final day of the NHL draft Saturday. Hakstol recruited Tomek for the University of North Dakota, and the player will be a freshman at the school. He will be considered if he's available when the Flyers make their first third-round pick (70st overall), acquired in the Tye McGinn trade with San Jose. Playing in the North American Hockey League last season, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Tomek had a 1.83 goals-against average and .928 save percentage.
February 20, 2015 |
Nick Schultz started the season as the Flyers' seventh defenseman but entered the lineup after Braydon Coburn broke his foot in the opener. Not only has Schultz been a regular ever since, he has arguably been the team's top defenseman. On Wednesday, he was rewarded, signing a two-year, $4.5 million deal with a salary-cap hit of $2.25 million per season. He was signed as a free agent last summer for $1.25 million. Schultz, 32, has provided steady defense and has lately been on the top pairing with Mark Streit.
January 22, 2015 |
CHRIS PRONGER'S name is listed in the media notes before every Flyers game this season, complete with his career point total against that night's opponent and this line: "Has missed the last two seasons due to post-concussion syndrome. " Pronger, of course, works for the NHL these days, yet is still somehow technically a defenseman on this year's Flyer's team - which explains as much or as little about this disastrous season as anything else. That includes the first period of last night's fight-filled, 3-2 overtime victory over Pittsburgh, in which the visiting Penguins outshot the Flyers 17-3, received a 5-minute power play thanks to an incredibly cheap shot by Zac Rinaldo, and yet emerged down a goal.
January 6, 2015 |
IF YOU AIN'T cheatin', you ain't tryin'. That was the message emanating from the Flyers, hours after they were fined an undisclosed amount of money by the NHL yesterday for violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement's moratorium on team activities during the holiday break. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said the team knowingly violated the rule, but risk was outweighed by the reward of a potential victory. Hextall said he was approached by Flyers players asking if they could schedule their chartered flight for Dec. 26. Normally, the team would have flown on the afternoon that day, but the 3-day holiday break barred any team activity from Dec. 24 to 26. So, instead of flying on Dec. 27, the day of the game against the Predators, the Flyers departed Philadelphia International Airport at 8:24 p.m. on Dec. 26 and hoped word would not leak out. That flight data was ultimately culled by Rogers Sportsnet in Toronto, which first broke the rule violation.
November 24, 2014 |
There is a theory floating around that the Flyers are off to a poor start because Claude Giroux is not a good captain. It's an erroneous theory. The Flyers have struggled because they have mid-level talent, and because several players haven't played with the passion provided by Giroux and his linemates. Giroux may not be the best sound bite in the Flyers' locker room, but he leads - quite well - with his relentless style on the ice. The 26-year-old star center has his own captain's style.
October 17, 2014 |
Chris Pronger is as feisty off the ice as he was during his playing days. The former defenseman bristled at the suggestion that, by taking a job with the NHL's player-safety department on Friday, it is a conflict of interest because he is being paid by the Flyers for the next three seasons. Pronger said that he is "merely a sounding board" for Stephane Quintal, the NHL's senior vice president of player safety, and that Quintal will hand out disciplinary measures. Pronger will not be permitted to make disciplinary recommendations on incidents involving the Flyers.
October 14, 2014 |
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY to bury embarrassing news in the hockey world? Send out a press release at 6:46 p.m. on a Friday, before a long, holiday weekend, that completely skirts the issues at hand. That's what the NHL attempted to do last week, with today being Thanksgiving in Canada, to complete their icky hiring of Chris Pronger in the Department of Player Safety. Conveniently, the press release failed to mention that Pronger is still on the Flyers' roster. Or that he is still owed another $5.15 million from the Flyers, payable through April 2017.
October 13, 2014 |
An NHL SiriusXM commentator noted the irony of the situation Thursday: Chris Pronger, known as Captain Nasty because of the ultraphysical way he played, was being considered for a job in the league's player-safety department. "It's like O.J. Simpson doing marriage counseling," Jim "Boomer" Gordon told his radio listeners. On Friday, it became official. Pronger, who is technically still on the Flyers roster, was hired by the NHL. "I think it's a good move for the league," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said Saturday night.