April 13, 2016 |
Even in his failing days as he battled bladder cancer, Ed Snider had the urge to let general manager Ron Hextall know how much a Stanley Cup playoff run would mean to him - and to subtly suggest that maybe, just maybe, it might be a good idea to make a deal. Snider, who died at his California home Monday at 83, was known for being impatient and signing high-priced free agents during many of his years as the Flyer chairman. However, after Hextall became the GM two years ago, Snider was on board with his plans to rebuild the team through the draft.
February 22, 2016 |
MONTREAL - Five years later, the Jeff Carter trade is paying new dividends for the Flyers. Oh, they certainly could use a scoring machine like Carter, one of the NHL's most dependable forwards. But the return they received is getting better each day: Jake Voracek. Sean Couturier. Nick Cousins. Those turned out to be the three young players the Flyers received for Carter, now 31 and starting to decline. And while then-general manager Paul Holmgren would like a do-over on some of his moves/signings, this isn't one of them.
February 11, 2016 |
After the morning skate Tuesday, Flyers captain Claude Giroux started to answer a question this way: "After we win tonight . . . " Bold words when you consider Tuesday night's opponent, Anaheim, has been one of the NHL's best teams since a horrendous October. The Ducks, perhaps using Giroux's words as motivation, continued their torrid pace as they whipped the Flyers, 4-1, and ruined the home team's 50th anniversary party. "We didn't bring our 'A' game," said right winger Wayne Simmonds after his undisciplined team was guilty of six hooking penalties.
January 29, 2016 |
The Flyers have a problem, and here's the twisted irony of it: If their general manager, Ron Hextall, were more impetuous and less focused on the team's long-term improvement - if the Flyers, that is, were to act more like the Flyers used to act - they might actually solve it. The problem is simple: The Flyers don't score goals. Ahead of their game Wednesday night in Washington against Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals, the Flyers ranked 29th out of the NHL's 30 teams this season in goals per game, at 2.24 - this, after ranking 22nd (2.62)
January 11, 2016 |
If Flyers general manager Ron Hextall isn't named the NHL's executive of the year - or at least made an honorary certified public accountant - some people haven't been paying attention. In his 20 months on the job, Hextall has traded the contract of an injured player, Chris Pronger, who will never play again; dealt away seldom-used Vinny Lecavalier; who had two-plus seasons left on a contract that absorbed a $4.5 million annual cap hit; and stockpiled draft picks. In short, Hextall has done an amazing job cleaning up his predecessor's messes.
January 9, 2016 |
ST. PAUL, Minn. - When Paul Holmgren was general manager, he made many strong deals, transforming the Flyers from the worst team in hockey in 2006-07 to a conference finalist the following season. But two moves he made later in his tenure - acquiring stay-at-home defenseman Luke Schenn for blossoming left winger James van Riemsdyk, and signing free-agent Vinny Lecavalier to a five-year, $22.5 million contract - did not work out as planned. Fact is, they set the team back on a number of levels.
December 21, 2015 |
COLUMBUS, Ohio - This Ghost looks to be for real, folks. Oh, Shayne Gostisbehere still has defensive flaws, no question. But he is improving in that area, and his speed, offensive creativity, and hockey IQ make him one of the Flyers' most exciting young players in the last several decades. Two others come quickly to mind: Eric Lindros and current captain Claude Giroux. When Lindros joined the Flyers in 1992-93, he brought talent that had not been seen in a player his size.
November 18, 2015 |
THE TWO lasting memories of being a Flyer, in Simon Gagne's mind, are pretty fitting ones, mostly because of the way they bookend his significant time in Philadelphia. The first, he told reporters on a conference call Friday, was his rookie season. The 1999-2000 season, a year after the Flyers selected the Quebec native 22nd overall, saw the Flyers fall one game short of reaching the Stanley Cup Final. But Gagne scored 20 goals and tallied 28 assists that season, turning 20 in February.
November 10, 2015 |
WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Funny how timing can mean everything to a hockey team. If the Flyers had started their five-game road trip by beating Buffalo and then lost four straight, it would have been perceived as a disastrous journey. But as it turned out, the Flyers lost their first four games and ended the grueling trip with their best effort since they defeated the powerful Rangers two weeks ago. They received a lights-out performance from Michal Neuvirth (again) on Saturday and defeated a good Winnipeg team, 3-0, at the earsplitting MTS Centre.
November 9, 2015 |
WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Towering defenseman Chris Pronger played with the Flyers only for three years, but he made a lasting impression, steering the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals in his only full season with the team. "He brought a tremendous presence to the rink - both defensively and offensively. He could defend. He could make plays like nobody," Paul Holmgren, the Flyers' president, said in a phone conversation Saturday. "He was one of the best defensemen who ever played. " That's why Pronger, who turned 41 last month, will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday in Toronto, along with Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Phil Housley, Angela Ruggiero, Bill Hay, and Peter Karmanos Jr. Hay and Karmanos were selected in the "builder" category.