June 25, 2014 |
Philadelphia has become a big player on the national hockey stage. With the NHL draft at the Wells Fargo Center this weekend, it caps a four-year span in which the city has also hosted the Stanley Cup Finals, the Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park, and the NCAA's Frozen Four. In other words, Philly has come a long way since it held a parade to welcome an NHL expansion team in 1967 and about 25 people showed up. "It's obvious we are one of the top hockey cities in America," said Larry Needle, executive director of the Philadelphia Sports Congress, "and this is another in a long line of hockey events in the city.
June 25, 2014 |
Second part in a series previewing the top prospects coming to Philadelphia for this week's NHL draft . MAKING HIS way to Madison Square Garden in New York 2 weeks ago to take in his first-ever NHL game - and Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final, at that - Leon Draisaitl was surprised to see the number of Rangers shirts and hats lining the street. In his native Germany, the streets are filled with soccer paraphernalia. "It's all about soccer," Draisaitl said with a laugh.
May 19, 2014 |
As he waited to be selected in the 1982 draft, a budding young goalie named Ron Hextall had particular disdain for one NHL team. The Flyers. Growing up and watching the Flyers try to intimidate his father and uncle - feisty NHL players during the Broad Street Bullies' heyday - Hextall did not have a warm and fuzzy feeling about the Orange and Black. "I absolutely hated them," he said from his Voorhees office last week, five days after he got what he called his "dream job" - becoming the seventh general manager in Flyers history.
April 24, 2014 |
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addressed several issues - including goalie fights, shootouts, and the new playoff format - during a news conference at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night before the Flyers faced the New York Rangers. Bettman also said his "ballpark guess" is that the 2014-15 salary cap will rise to between $69 million and $70 million - it is now at $64.3 million - and he talked about the NHL draft, which will be at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27 and 28. "Philadelphia, from the outset, has always been a terrific hockey town," he said, mentioning the area's strong youth programs.
April 13, 2014 |
Top-flight college hockey doesn't exist in the Philadelphia area. Yet, the new award presented to the NCAA's top goaltender is named for a Montgomery County native, one whose geographical disadvantage was overcome by a will as unyielding as his glove hand. Mike Richter, back in Philadelphia on Friday to present the first Mike Richter Award to UMass Lowell goalie Connor Hellebuyck on a Frozen Four off-day, was as much a hockey anomaly as his Flourtown roots. He preferred orange juice and vegetables to beer and sandwiches.
April 11, 2014 |
Oddity is commonplace at Union College. The tiny liberal-arts school in Schenectady, N.Y., has a bizarre motto - "We All Become Brothers Under the Laws of Minerva. " Its campus contains one of the world's only 16-sided buildings. And it has had not one but two presidents with the first name Eliphalet. So no one should be shocked if, odd as it sounds, this college of 2,100 students, with no athletic scholarships and a sports budget comparable to what its three Frozen Four rivals spend on hockey alone, departs Philadelphia this weekend as the 2014 NCAA men's ice hockey champion.
April 7, 2014 |
This Friday, when the Hobey Baker Award is presented to 2014's top NCAA hockey player, the ceremony at the Loews Hotel in Center City should be more poignant than usual. For a first time, it will happen in the hometown and final resting place of the award's namesake, an early 20th-century hero whose astonishing legend spanned sports, war, and literature. Hobart Amory Hare Baker was a flesh-and-blood Philadelphia Main Liner whose accomplishments were as fantastic as any in fiction.
April 6, 2014 |
Before Joe Logue traded in his skates for track spikes, his primary craft involved a sheet of ice and a hockey puck. While getting cut from the ice hockey team at Pennridge in his freshman year was a major emotional setback, Logue said it opened the door to reach his potential on the track. "When I first joined track, I was only out there to stay in shape for ice hockey," Logue said. "Then I got cut from the hockey team, I focused on track, and things really took off. "I guess it was a blessing that I got cut from the hockey team, because if I hadn't, I wouldn't be where I am today.
April 1, 2014 |
THE SEASON was still young. Vincent Lecavalier returned to the Flyers' lineup from a fracture in his lower back on Dec. 21 in Columbus and was moved to the wing for the first time in his 15-year career. It was Game No. 36. Steve Downie sat out that game and sliding Lecavalier to the wing was a cut-and-paste move for Craig Berube. Lecavalier, 33, was still new to the Flyers. He talked about the move with Berube at the time, but didn't voice his displeasure for the seemingly temporary transition.
March 28, 2014 |
NEW YORK - For years, Bob Clarke has been one of many Flyers executives to lobby for superstar Eric Lindros to be included in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Now, Clarke will have his say - and not just on Lindros. The Hockey Hall of Fame announced today that Clarke was appointed as one of three new members of the 18-person selection committee - which votes in secret. He will join Nashville GM David Poile and Los Angeles president of business operations, Luc Robitaille, to serve under new selection committee chairman John Davidson.