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.
April 10, 2013 |
FOR A DEFENSE corps desperately seeking consistency in the wake of mounting injuries, the familiar face of Marc-Andre Bourdon has been conspicuously missing. That's because Bourdon has been sidelined since Nov. 30, 2012, missing 53 straight games with the debilitating aftereffects of his second concussion in a year. "The way I see it, I have two options," Bourdon told the Daily News, opening up in an exclusive interview for the first time since his last concussion. "I can either get hit again and again and deal with these same problems.
April 8, 2013 |
WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Was Steve Mason acquired to be the Flyers' goalie of the future or to be the guy to light a fuse under Ilya Bryzgalov? General manager Paul Holmgren can't say, so we'll speculate. From here, signs suggest the Flyers are leaning toward saying adios to the workhorse Bryzgalov after the season by using a compliance buyout, which is also known as a team's option to "amnesty" up to two players under the new collective bargaining agreement. Acquiring the 24-year-old Mason by sending Michael Leighton and a 2015 third-round pick to Columbus created a win-win situation, Holmgren hopes.
April 5, 2013 |
ILYA BRYZGALOV started his 20th straight game on Wednesday night against Montreal, something Peter Laviolette said he didn't have much choice about, given the Flyers' position in the standings. Well, now Laviolette has a choice. And so do the Flyers this summer in retaining Bryzgalov's rights. The Flyers acquired goaltender Steve Mason from Columbus before Wednesday's trade deadline, the same team they traded backup Sergei Bobrovsky to last summer. The Flyers were also reportedly in the hunt for Ottawa's Ben Bishop, who was dealt to Tampa Bay. Backup Michael Leighton was sent to the Blue Jackets along with a 2015 third-round pick.
April 4, 2013 |
PAUL HOLMGREN is not very fond of the NHL's trade deadline. Last year, on Feb. 27, hockey's annual frenzy came and went without the Flyers actively participating. The Flyers general manager made his moves in the weeks prior, adding Nick Grossmann and Pavel Kubina. The year before last, on Feb. 28, 2011, the Flyers barely snuck a trade under the 3 o'clock wire with Tom Sestito joining the crew from Columbus. For as much as there is a perception of the Flyers making franchise-altering trades at the deadline, there have only been two since 2000: Dan Carcillo for Scottie Upshall in 2009 and nearly an entire draft's worth of picks in 2002 for playoff rental Adam Oates.
March 31, 2013 |
Even though they managed a gritty 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon, the Flyers are having a head-scratching season: a 14-17-3 record that has them near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Now look at the same juncture last season and swallow hard: a 21-9-4 record for 46 points - 15 more than this year's team. No wonder winger Scott Hartnell said when he met with club chairman Ed Snider the other day, "you could see the hurt in his eyes by obviously the way we're playing.
March 28, 2013 |
IN SUNDAY'S overtime loss to Pittsburgh, coach Peter Laviolette liked what he saw in the Flyers' defensive zone, but said "it could be better. " On Tuesday night, it got worse. Perhaps the only way to cure what ails the Flyers - the same thing that has been their downfall all season: downright bad defense - is by beefing up the blue line. Last week, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren and director of hockey ops Chris Pryor created buzz in their native Minnesota by scouting both the WCHA's Final Five tournament and the Wild's home game against San Jose.
March 20, 2013 |
TAMPA, Fla. - Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, who has been criticized for the team's tumble, is not in danger of losing his job, according to a source close to the situation. "Look at his body of work. He's done a very good job," the source said. "He's not going anywhere. " Entering Monday's game against Tampa Bay, the Flyers were 13-15-1 and 11th in the Eastern Conference. Holmgren is in his seventh season as the Flyers' GM. In 2007-08, Holmgren's first full season in the position, the Flyers collected 95 points after registering just 56 points the previous season.
March 16, 2013 |
General manager Paul Holmgren said he was not considering a coaching change, and he criticized the Flyers' "compete" level during an impromptu news conference at the team's practice facility in Voorhees on Thursday. At first, Holmgren gave coach Peter Laviolette a seemingly lukewarm endorsement. Asked if Laviolette was on the hot seat, Holmgren said, "I don't think so. " Holmgren later added: "I haven't even thought about" making a coaching change, and he was "not at the point" of consummating a major trade.