June 19, 2013 |
BOSTON - From the time he was old enough to handle the hostility, Darnell Nurse used to travel to Philadelphia twice a year to see his Uncle Donovan play at Lincoln Financial Field. Nurse, now 18, is ready to be drafted on June 30, but in a different sport than Donovan McNabb. And if the Flyers were to nab Nurse with the 11th overall pick, he knows what he would be getting himself into. "I loved it there," said Nurse, a defenseman. "The fans are crazy. But I think that's the best part of the city - that they're crazy about their sports.
June 6, 2013 |
THIRTY FOUR years ago, the NHL made the use of helmets mandatory for new players. Yesterday, hockey took a similarly giant leap toward protecting its greatest assets by making mandatory the use of half-shield facial visors. The NHL's competition committee, with the help of Flyers chairman Ed Snider and five players representing the NHL Players Association, met in Toronto to approve the grandfathering of visors. The rule change still needs to be approved by the league's Board of Governors with a vote, though that is expected to be a formality.
June 5, 2013 |
The NHL on Tuesday took a major step toward enacting a mandatory visor for next season. Representatives from the league and the NHL Players' Association agreed to make wearing visors mandatory for players who enter the league beginning in 2013-14. The decision, which is subject to approval by the NHL's Board of Governors later this month, was made after a meeting of the league's competition committee at the league's offices in Toronto. The Board of Governors is expected to vote overwhelmingly to put the rule into effect.
May 21, 2013
When the Flyers pick No. 11 in the first round of the June 30 NHL draft, here are some players who may be available: Darnell Nurse, D, 6-foot-4, 195 pounds He plays an aggressive, gritty style and models his game after Chris Pronger and Shea Weber. His offense is improving. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, 6-2, 189 The righthanded-shooting Finn plays with a nasty edge; he is regarded as a solid two-way defenseman and would be a nice consolation prize if Nurse is gone.
May 10, 2013 |
Second in a series THE FLYERS have the NHL's most expensive collection of second- and third-pairing defensemen. That's not a knock - or at least, an intentional one. You see, Kimmo Timonen ($6 million), Braydon Coburn ($4.5 million), Andrej Meszaros ($4 million), Luke Schenn ($3.6 million) and Nick Grossmann ($3.5 million) are all fine players. Most NHL teams would love to add a defenseman of that caliber to their roster this summer. But for the Flyers, five No. 3 defensemen - or worse - does not a contender make.
May 8, 2013 |
'OUR FANS love the game and know we're trying hard every year to get better. Fans aren't stupid. They know when an organization is doing everything possible and when it's not. They probably wouldn't support us if we weren't working our butts off. " These are the words of 80-year-old Ed Snider to the Inquirer and Philly.com last week, spoken from the heart as always. Whether it's the fat deal he gave Chris Pronger or the one he gave Ilya Bryzgalov 2 summers ago, Ed always has backed that heart with his checkbook, and for that he escapes much of the vitriol that fans express toward ownership of our more recent champions, such as the current Phillies.
May 2, 2013 |
Claude Giroux's first year as the Flyers' captain will not be remembered fondly. It's not that the slick-passing, 25-year-old center played poorly - it's that his team, for a variety of reasons, never clicked until they were eliminated from the playoffs and the pressure had been removed. Eight Eastern Conference teams are competing in the theatrical Stanley Cup playoffs, arguably the toughest two-month stretch in any sport. The Flyers are not one of them. "We can't blame anybody but ourselves," Giroux said.
April 15, 2013 |
BUFFALO - There is a bright side to the Flyers' flop of a season: This is regarded as one of the best draft classes in recent years, and they figure to get an early selection June 30 in Newark. The draft includes two big defensemen who are related to former pro athletes: Seth Jones, son of Popeye Jones, who played 10-plus NBA seasons, and Darnell Nurse, nephew of Donovan McNabb, whose career with the Eagles is well-documented in these parts. Scouts call the 6-foot-3, 208-pound Jones the consensus No. 1 overall pick, while the 6-4, 190-pound Nurse is projected to be drafted as high as fifth and as low as 11th in the first round.
March 19, 2013 |
TAMPA, Fla. - Kimmo Timonen was an afterthought. The Los Angeles Kings took a flier on him with the 250th overall pick in the 10th round of the 1993 draft - so late that the NHL doesn't even draft past seven rounds anymore because so few picks actually panned out. The Kings had little interest in Timonen, eventually trading his rights to Nashville. When Timonen finally did land in North America 5 years after being drafted, he was jettisoned to the minors in Milwaukee. One NHL game seemed like the longest of longshots.
March 13, 2013 |
LET'S PLAY "Guess the team . " A trade intended to solidify a key position has been sabotaged by injury, long-range health uncertainty and roster adjustments. Trading perceived strengths to balance the salary-cap hit of a big acquisition has not exactly panned out, either. And the pedigreed coach brought in to revive a winning tradition? Well, on most nights he appears as frustrated as the fans sitting behind him. If this sounds like the 76ers to you, that's because the huge shadow Andrew Bynum's status has cast over this harsh winter has saved the Flyers from the same kind of scrutiny about their attempts to improve, and how those attempts have affected their current outside-looking-in playoff status.