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.
October 28, 2015 |
PLAYING JUNIOR hockey in Canada doesn't usually provide the typical college experience during the ages of 18 to 20. That's not to say what Daniel Briere - who played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League - is doing now is any different, really. Consider Briere's new business school training more of an apprenticeship than a traditional college. He's getting a crash course in the business of hockey. After the Gatineau, Quebec, native retired from a 17-season NHL career over the summer, Briere, 38, was approached by Flyers president Paul Holmgren, who asked the six-year Flyers forward whether he wanted the opportunity to learn.
October 12, 2015 |
ON THE HEELS of what many called a highly successful offseason, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall made it clear in his actions the last few weeks that, despite making plenty of transactions since taking over last May, he's taking the long approach. As if going outside the box and hiring coach Dave Hakstol from a college program instead of going after proven NHL coaches wasn't proof enough, the swiftness with which he exercised his option of sending top prospects Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny and Travis Sanheim back to juniors early on in training camp proved that approach.
October 9, 2015 |
The Flyers open their schedule Thursday night in Tampa and right up until the last moments of their preparations, absolutely no one connected to the organization uttered the "R" word concerning the regular season ahead. "My expectation is not only to make the playoffs, but to hopefully make a run. Otherwise, what do we play for?" forward Jakub Voracek said after practice on Wednesday, just before the team boarded the plane for Florida. "Obviously, we have some young guys coming up, but I don't think this team is rebuilding.
October 7, 2015 |
AFTER ABOUT 30 minutes of conditioning and shooting drills during the Flyers' practice session yesterday, it all started to sink in for Scott Laughton. Someone was missing, which meant Laughton, a 21-year-old center, had made the final cut. "Hard work's just begun and I'm excited for the opportunity," said Laughton, who was drafted 20th overall by the Flyers in 2012. "Definitely when I was 18, starting those five games in the lockout year, I don't think I took them for granted, but definitely know how hard it is to make the league and to stay there too. " The Flyers finalized their 23-man, Opening Night roster yesterday, placing veteran defenseman Andrew MacDonald on waivers.
August 20, 2015 |
WHEN IT CAME time for Daniel Briere to decide in 2007 where his future in hockey would continue, the Quebec native was at a crossroads. The diminutive forward who many thought was too small and fragile to play in the National Hockey League was coming off a career-high 95-point season with Buffalo. The Sabres had the most wins in the league in the 2006-07 season and fell in the conference finals for the second straight season. But the one-year, $5 million contract awarded to him in arbitration the prior offseason had expired, and it was time for him to decide his future.
May 29, 2015 |
TWO MONTHS after Radel Fazleev commanded the attention of Flyers president Paul Holmgren and top Western Canada scout Mark Greig during a visit in Calgary, Fazleev has checked off one of his career goals. The Flyers signed Fazleev, a low-risk, high-reward sixth-round pick to a three-year, entry-level contract Thursday. Fazleev, picked 168th overall last June, wowed Holmgren during one of his Calgary Hitmen games when the Flyers were at the Saddledome in March. He played in just about every situation in Calgary, on the second-unit power play and penalty kill, and earned a reputation for his hunger for loose pucks.
May 22, 2015 |
Jim Montgomery played with Ron Hextall and coached against Dave Hakstol, and he regards them with the same measure of respect, with an appreciation for each's intelligence and open-mindedness. He was a fourth-line center on the 1994-95 Flyers, on a club that reached the Eastern Conference finals with Hextall as its No. 1 goaltender, and over Montgomery's two seasons as a college hockey head coach, his teams at the University of Denver played Hakstol's at North Dakota to a draw: three victories for Denver, three for ND, one tie. He knows the Flyers well.