May 8, 2015 |
ONE YEAR ago today, Ed Snider and Paul Holmgren waltzed into the wood-paneled Hall of Fame room at Wells Fargo Center to announce the promotion of Ron Hextall to general manager. Three hundred and sixty-five days later, what have we learned? There has been the bizarre, like last month, when Hextall left head coach and friend Craig Berube dangling for two days before finally cutting him down. There has been the bungled, like on Feb. 26, when the Flyers skated by the $69 million salary cap with just $48,000 to spare, forcing Steve Mason into the lineup and eventually into the net in Toronto after 60 percent of the meniscus in his right knee was removed 16 days earlier.
March 24, 2015 |
THE BODIES are still warm. There are 2 more weeks, eight more games, and a summerlong autopsy to be performed on the rotting Flyers. How did we get here? How did this happen? Just 16 days ago, the Flyers were 15 seconds away from clawing within two points of Boston, making this last month of the season not only relevant but maybe even magical. Let's take a look back at 5 days that sunk the Flyers' season, in chronological order: 1. June 23, 2014: Scott Hartnell traded to Columbus in exchange for R.J. Umberger.
March 13, 2015 |
The Flyers' much-maligned defense has played better lately, but their offense has not responded, causing the team to fall out of the playoff race. "We're not finishing, not executing - especially me," said second-line center Sean Couturier after Wednesday's practice in Voorhees. "I've been having a lot of quality scoring chances lately and haven't been finishing. . . . I think all year, we've been through stretches where we're not executing, we're not finishing. It's not always about competing.
March 12, 2015 |
For the first time this season, Flyers winger R.J. Umberger was a healthy scratch Tuesday against Dallas. Acquired in the offseason with a fourth-round 2015 draft pick in the deal that sent Scott Hartnell to Columbus, Umberger is goalless in his last 18 games, a career worst. He had a 17-game pointless streak earlier in the season. "I can't say my game's [going] too well, and I don't have too many feet to stand on right now and disagree," Umberger said in a somber tone after the morning skate.
February 16, 2015 |
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Columbus winger Scott Hartnell no longer pores over the Flyers' stats like he did earlier in the season, and he finally feels that he has cut ties with his former team. But he will forever feel united with his ex-teammates, many of whom he had over to his house Thursday night for a dinner cooked by his mother and father. "Friends for life," Hartnell called many of his former Flyers teammates before he was honored in a pregame ceremony Friday for playing in his 1,000th career NHL game.
February 15, 2015 |
COLUMBUS - Technically, it was his 1,001st NHL game - but the Blue Jackets waited until last night to officially honor Scott Hartnell for hitting the millennium milestone against his former team. Before the game, Hartnell was presented with a silver stick, a Tiffany crystal, a shiny watch from his teammates and a commemorative painting depicting the three stops in his career: Nashville, Philadelphia and Columbus. His parents, Bill and Joy, joined him on the ice from Lloydminster, Alberta.
February 12, 2015 |
MONTREAL - The player who calls himself Stolie the Goalie on Twitter, Anthony Stolarz, took part in the Flyers' morning skate Tuesday and still couldn't believe he was in the NHL. "It's definitely a surreal moment for me," Stolarz said, "and one of the prouder moments of my life. " After Lehigh Valley's 5-4 win in Hershey on Sunday, Stolarz said he thought it was a joke when some of his teammates told him he was being called up by the Flyers. He realized it was official when Phantoms coach Terry Murray informed him he was being promoted because of Steve Mason's latest injury.
January 7, 2015 |
TELL ME if this sounds familiar. One star young prospect has sat out most of this season with a knee injury. Another was shipped out before the season began to get more seasoning, especially through international play. Still another player, the team's bonafide star and leader, is managing his recent injury ever-so-carefully, even at the risk of losses that will inch his team closer to a top pick in an upcoming draft that is top heavy in talent, and further from a playoff spot that is already highly improbable, if not impossible.
December 29, 2014 |
NASHVILLE - Flyers goalie Steve Mason, who has missed the last four games with an apparent back injury, returned to practice Saturday and said he felt "close to 100 percent. " After taking shots from the team's extra players, Mason said he hopes to play Monday in Arizona. "My goal is to play against Arizona; today was a really good first step," Mason said after a 45-minute, on-ice workout in Nashville. "I think I got more work in than we had planned, which was a good sign. I was moving good, and my energy level was pretty good as well.