February 13, 2015 |
COLUMBUS - The NHL's trade deadline is 17 days away, Ron Hextall's last chance to shake up a stagnant Flyers roster until the summer. Right now, we know as much about Hextall's long-range plan for the Flyers as we did on May 7, 2014, the day he was promoted to general manager. That is to say: not much. "Nothing has really changed," Hextall said yesterday in a conference call with reporters. "If the right deal comes along for now and for the future, we'll make it. If it doesn't, obviously we won't.
January 28, 2015 |
THE STATISTICS and analytics matched what Dean Lombardi's eyes were witnessing. He could see the drop-off in Mike Richards like everyone else, but didn't want to believe it. Managing a dynastic Stanley Cup enterprise isn't always black and white, after all. Not when people are involved. Lombardi had one final opportunity last June to buy out Richards' contract, but was swayed by the conversation he had with the player who made the Los Angeles Kings' 2012 Cup possible. He decided against it. It was a decision the general manager clearly regrets now, after placing the former Flyers captain on waivers yesterday.
January 22, 2015 |
RICK TOCCHET'S glimpse of hockey's best rivalry over the past few years has been no different than that of just about anyone in the general public. He offered commentary on the Flyers' games with the Penguins as an analyst for Comcast SportsNet, but was really stuck watching the blood baths from afar as an outsider. On the inside now as Penguins assistant coach to Mike Johnston, Tocchet can appreciate the view. "You could feel the hate just boarding the bus to come to the rink," Tocchet said.
January 21, 2015 |
UNIONDALE, N.Y. - The Flyers and New York Islanders have been chasing their glory days for decades, and one of them has finally put together a team that is a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. Hello, Islanders. The Flyers, setting the tone by allowing the first goal for the ninth time in 10 games, dropped a 7-4 decision to the speedy, upstart Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Monday afternoon. "We made too many mistakes and left the goalie hung out to dry," said former Islanders defenseman Mark Streit, who scored the Flyers' first goal.
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.
January 6, 2015 |
THE FLYERS are stuck in no-man's land. Entering yesterday's games, they were a full 10 points out of both a ticket to the Stanley Cup playoffs and the largest lot of pingpong balls in the Connor McDavid sweepstakes. You would not be wrong to think these are the darkest times for the Flyers' franchise since the string of five consecutive fruitless seasons in the early 1990s, save for that aberration in 2006-07. The Flyers have an unthinkable ending to their eight-game road trip to thank for that.
December 6, 2014 |
ANAHEIM, Calif. - With 10 losses in their last 11 games, the Flyers are doing a pretty good impersonation of the tanking 76ers. Unlike the Sixers, however, there's a bit too much talent for the Flyers to land the top draft pick - unless general manager Ron Hextall has a (tempting) fire sale. The Flyers, of course, are not close to being a Stanley Cup contender, but if coach Craig Berube gets them playing the type of relentless hockey they displayed for most of last season, they still could sneak into the playoffs.
December 5, 2014 |
ANAHEIM, Calif. - After skating at practice Wednesday, Flyers forward Vinny Lecavalier fondly recalled his idol, Jean Beliveau, the Montreal Canadiens great who died Tuesday at age 83. During his prime, Lecavalier's graceful style - on and off the ice - was sometimes compared to Beliveau's, and he portrayed the Hall of Famer in the 2005 movie The Rocket: The Legend of Rocket Richard . One of the most beloved players in Canadiens history, Beliveau...
October 23, 2014 |
JUST 2 DAYS after CBSSports.com reported that Ray Rice could be reinstated to the NFL within a month, the NHL made it clear to everyone that it will not be the next league dragged through the slush over its handling of domestic-abuse cases involving its players. But please . . . hold your applause. Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov doesn't have his mug on a video-game box or his jersey all over the backs of kids and adults nationwide. There's no wing of his memorabilia on display at his alma mater.
October 7, 2014 |
THE FLYERS are in an awkward "hat stage. " You know the feeling - if you're lucky enough to still have hair. That's when your hair is just long enough that it's unkempt, but not long enough that you're ready to shell out for that next trip to the barber. Or, in the Flyers' case this season, you're a team probably good enough to make the Stanley Cup playoffs, but not good enough to make a serious run at a Stanley Cup. Playing in the mediocre (that's putting it nicely) Eastern Conference only muddles the picture - or increases the frustration, depending on how you look at it. If the Flyers had only brought in Ron Hextall a year or two sooner, they might be the team penciled into the Stanley Cup finals.