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October 13, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
October 14, 2014 | By Frank Seravalli, Daily News Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
October 9, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
BOSTON - He has a seat on the Flyers' chartered plane. He attends every practice - even the two in Cape Cod last weekend - and usually sits alone. He doesn't spend much time around the locker room. He is always sharply dressed, wearing a suit, and his strawberry blond hair is neatly coiffed. He is not a coach. He is not part of the medical or public relations staff. He does not carry equipment bags or massage players' sore shoulders. In fact, the only hint that he works for the team is that he carries a computer bag emblazoned with the Flyers logo.
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
CRAIG BERUBE acknowledged he does not lose sleep over the shootout - despite the fact that his club has given up more points to opponents through breakaways than any other team since 2005. "I don't think about it," Berube said yesterday. "For me to stress over it, for me to stress my team over it, it doesn't do anything. " Stress might not be good, but two wins (of any kind) instead of two more shootout losses through the first few games would have relieved a lot of his team's mental burden.
SPORTS
October 9, 2014 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
One day into Craig Berube's minor-league hockey career, John Paddock sat him down for the kind of cold-truth conversation that a coach sometimes has to have with a player on the margin. This was the fall of 1986, and Berube had been a point-per-game forward the previous two years in major juniors, a 6-foot, 205-pound left winger who was beginning to learn that he didn't have the requisite speed and skill to be the same kind of scorer for the Hershey Bears, then the Flyers' affiliate in the American Hockey League - let alone in the NHL. "I was in between, thinking I could play a little bit, not knowing what I was going to do," Berube, now the Flyers head coach, said in an interview last week.
SPORTS
April 21, 2011
Shutouts have been rare for the Flyers in the playoffs, but not against the Sabres this year. Consider: The 1-0 shutout Wednesday was the first time in franchise history that the Flyers have been shut out, 1-0, twice in the same series. The two shutouts are just the third and fourth 1-0 shutout losses in the playoffs in franchise history. The Flyers had not been shut out twice in a series since the 2002 Eastern Conference quarterfinals, when they were shut out in Games 2, 3 and 4 by Ottawa.
SPORTS
October 13, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
WOE AND 2, with an October schedule that features not a single cupcake, aside from the Devils game that they just blew, the Flyers held a team meeting yesterday. Coach Craig Berube pointed out the highlights and lowlights of the Flyers' stumble out of the gate, but left his team with one parting message: Don't listen to the media. "You guys [media] talk about it, people in general, about bad starts all the time," Berube said. "You can't let it creep into your focus of playing the game.
SPORTS
September 24, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
LONDON, Ontario - One year ago, Anthony Stolarz made his NHL exhibition debut with the Flyers at Budweiser Gardens, the same arena he's called home for the last two seasons with the OHL's Knights. He split the game with Steve Mason, stopping 14 of 15 shots. Except after the game, as the rest of the Flyers were packing their bags for a 2-hour bus ride across Ontario, goaltending coach Jeff Reese was waiting for Stolarz at his locker. Reese congratulated Stolarz, the Flyers' second-round pick in 2012, then quietly broke the news that he would not be accompanying the team on the rest of the trip.
SPORTS
October 12, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Flyers received some encouraging news Friday: Top-pairing defenseman Braydon Coburn will not miss as much time as originally feared, general manager Ron Hextall said. Hextall said the Flyers won't know Coburn's time frame until he is examined by a specialist Monday, but that he was "optimistic" that the veteran would be able to play when the team starts a three-game road trip in Dallas next Saturday. If that's the case, Coburn would have missed just three games since suffering an undisclosed lower-body injury in Boston on Wednesday.
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | BY JEFF NEIBURG, Daily News Staff Writer neiburj@phillynews.com
RUMORS HAD been swirling during recent months, and the Flyers finally confirmed that a trade was happening. After spending the last 16 years on the team's Comcast SportsNet television broadcast crew - with much of that time spent wedged between the players' benches - Steve Coates will be heading back to the radio booth. The Flyers announced in a press release yesterday that "Coatesy" would be trading places with radio color commentator and longtime Flyers defenseman Chris Therien.
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SPORTS
October 19, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
ALLENTOWN - Anyone who has spent any length of time in downtown Allentown in their lifetime probably would not have believed the scene on Hamilton Street last night if not for witnessing it firsthand. As the sun slid past the horizon on an unseasonably warm October night, hundreds of orange-clad fans in Flyers jerseys mingled outside bars on patios, sipping beers. Steps away, the buzz of Opening Night beckoned inside PPL Center - a hockey palace regal enough for the NHL, but small enough to not look out of place in the Lehigh Valley.
SPORTS
October 19, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Flyers are not overly concerned about being in Dallas, where a Liberian man died of Ebola and two nurses who treated him contracted the disease. "They keep saying it's more possible for us to get in a car accident or a plane accident - knock on wood - than to catch the Ebola virus," winger Wayne Simmonds said after the Flyers finished practicing in Voorhees on Friday and boarded a plane for Dallas, where they play the Stars on Saturday night. "I'm hoping what they say is the truth.
SPORTS
October 19, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
DALLAS - A few days ago, winger Matt Read predicted that the Flyers' three-game road trip would be the "turnaround of our season" and that the team would "start to learn how to win games. " On Saturday night, after a wild and crazy finish at the stunned American Airlines Center, Read's words looked prophetic. The Flyers made a stirring, late comeback to send the game into overtime, then won it, 6-5, on a power-play goal by Claude Giroux with 2 minutes, 11 seconds left in OT. It was the third straight Flyers (1-2-2)
SPORTS
October 19, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
DALLAS - Of all the statistics - including success on the power play and penalty kill, faceoff percentage, and shots on goal - there is one category that tells the true tale of an NHL team's strength. Five-on-five play. The reason is simple: Teams play most of the time at even strength, so five-on-five success is considered the ultimate gauge. In last year's Stanley Cup playoffs, for instance, two of the top five five-on-five teams were the Los Angeles Kings (No. 1, 1.29 goals scored for every one allowed)
SPORTS
October 19, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
DALLAS - Braydon Coburn, one of the Flyers' top-pair defensemen, missed his fourth straight game Saturday night and said his goal was to play Tuesday in Chicago. Nick Schultz was in the lineup Saturday in Dallas. Following Saturday's morning skate, Coburn said he had his best practice since being sidelined by a left foot injury in the opener in Boston. "Every day I'm getting closer to where I want to be," he said. "He's not ready himself," coach Craig Berube said. "I'm seeing enough for him to play, but the player has to feel like he is ready to play.
SPORTS
October 18, 2014 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chris VandeVelde checked his phone Wednesday night and read on Twitter that he had been called up by the Flyers. The official confirmation came a bit later. The 27-year-old forward said he packed quickly and drove from Allentown in time for the team's Thursday morning practice. "Now I'm here," he said. VandeVelde was added to the roster after a fast start with the team's minor-league affiliate, scoring twice in the Lehigh Valley Phantoms' season opener. He is likely to be a healthy scratch Saturday, but there's an outside chance he'll center the fourth line, joining Jason Akeson and Zac Rinaldo.
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
The goals-allowed numbers don't lie: The Flyers have missed defenseman Braydon Coburn, contributing to their 0-2-2 start. And, so, yes, his return to practice Wednesday was a positive development. "Obviously he plays in a lot of key situations and some big minutes," Andrew MacDonald, Coburn's defensive partner, said after practice in Voorhees. ". . . It's great to see him back out there. It looks like he's skating well, and he'll be a big help. " After playing in a 2-1 opening-night loss in Boston on Oct. 8, Coburn missed the next three games with an undisclosed injury.
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
CRAIG BERUBE acknowledged he does not lose sleep over the shootout - despite the fact that his club has given up more points to opponents through breakaways than any other team since 2005. "I don't think about it," Berube said yesterday. "For me to stress over it, for me to stress my team over it, it doesn't do anything. " Stress might not be good, but two wins (of any kind) instead of two more shootout losses through the first few games would have relieved a lot of his team's mental burden.
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
BY THE LOOK of yesterday's practice, it will take a last-minute setback to keep Braydon Coburn from returning to the Flyers' lineup tomorrow night in Dallas. If Coburn is indeed back, who will be on the blue line with him? Flyers coach Craig Berube has made no promises to his in-flux defense corps that veteran Nick Schultz will be the odd man out, as he was on Opening Night in Boston. Consider that both a nod toward Schultz's steadying influence and a message delivered to Luke Schenn and Michael Del Zotto to step up their game.
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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