Tag:Philadelphia Flyers
Posted on: September 16, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: September 16, 2011 12:53 pm
 

Daily Skate: Seabrook takes stand on head hits

By Brian Stubits

ANOTHER CALL: Meanwhile, another player has stepped up to take a stand on the hits to the head Crosby and other players have been campaigning against this offseason. The Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook has made his feelings clear on head shots, wanting to see more punishment (CSN Chicago). Seabrook has suffered his own concussions in the past two seasons.

MCCRIMMON UPDATE: While most of the Lokomotiv players that were aboard the tragic flight that went down in Russia have been laid to rest, coach Bobby McCrimmon still hasn't. The funeral services for the coach of the Lokomotiv team and former Red Wings assistant will take place this weekend (NHL.com) in the Detroit suburb of Farmington, Mich.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! The pre-production work has begun on the next installment of HBO's 24/7 series, this year featuring the Winter Classic combatants of the Rangers and Flyers. On Thursday the crew from HBO was with New York, grabbing some promotional footage (Pro Hockey Talk) for the popular show.

BRING HIM BACK: Speaking of the Winter Classic, the fans in Philadelphia are trying to bring back Eric Lindros for the game. A petition is making its way around to try and bring back for the former Flyers star as part of the alumni celebration.

FILLING A VOID: The Bruins have a hole to fill in their leadership program with the retirement of Mark Recchi. So who whould wear the voided A? Joe Haggerty at Comcast Sports Net New England suggests that Shawn Thornton is ready and a great choice.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: September 14, 2011 9:55 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 10:32 pm
 

Twitter battle: Flyers fans vs. Jeremy Roenick

FlyersFansBy: Adam Gretz

Philadelphia sports fans have a tough reputation, and I'm not talking about some tired, overplayed story about booing Santa Claus over four decades ago. They have high expectations, not only in terms of on-field success, but in the way they expect players to play. They can be a tough crowd, and Jeremy Roenick, who spent three years with the Flyers between 2001 and 2004, has been finding that out on Wednesday after his appearance on a cable TV show.

Roenick, while appearing on Jay Mohr's Fuel TV show, Master Debaters (no, we're not making that up) was involved in a discussion about the most annoying fans in sports. After referencing the now infamous Santa Claus incident, Roenick brought up the Flyers game where a fan reached over the glass behind the penalty box and tried to grab at Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tie Domi after he squirted the fan with a water bottle. Roenick then described Philadelphia fans as "crazy, crazy sons of b***ches."

Flyers fans were not amused, and have apparently been sending the nine-time All Star some hate mail and hate Tweets throughout the day, prompting Roenick to go on the offensive, 140 characters at a time, on his official Twitter account. Here's a brief excerpt of the madness.

There's a ton of Twitter shorthand in here, so please try to follow along as best you can -- it's rough, I know -- but you should get the gist of what he's trying to say. I think. Maybe.
Let's rephrase the question to u uneducated people giving me crap! The ? Was who r the worst fans! Not worst fans supporting their own team. Worst fans to play in front of as an opponent. The hardest fans to please cause of their devotion to their sport. U can't argue w me. Phili is the toughest on visiting team and their own players that don't work hard or pull their weight. U guys will bo(o) a player out of ur City if ur a slacker and a bum and don't work for the emblem on the front of the phili jersey no matter what sport it is. So all u idiots tweeting me w uneducated hate mail wake up and tell me I'm wrong. Cause I think phili has on of the most loyal fan base In the world for their own teams and only the players that give their heart and sole for them. Period end of discussion. I gave my heart Sole and body for that sweater!
My heavens. And it's been like this all day. Roenick went on to say, again, 140 characters at a time, that he he went through five concussions to give his heart and soul for the teams he played for, that fans don't see the commitment involved from a professional athlete, and that he also feels that Philadelphia has the most loyal fan base out there, and that his comment wasn't directed at all of them ... just the people that were giving him a hard time on Wednesday. You can read all of his Tweets by clicking right here.

If nothing else I think there are two lessons to be learned here:

1) It's probably not a good idea to refer to Philadelphia fans as "crazy S.O.B's" unless you want to hear from them.

2) You're probably not going to win an argument with an angry sports fan on the Internet.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: September 14, 2011 9:36 am
 

Daily Skate: Belak's depression; Blues update

By Brian Stubits

BELAK'S DEPRESSION: Here is a very powerful piece written by Michael Landsberg at TSN, a good friend to the late Wade Belak. It's a terrific read that gives a closer look into each of their issues with depression, offering up a different perspective. Really worth a read.

ST. LOUIS SALE: The Blues are still searching for a new ownership group as Dave Checketts tries to separate himself from the franchise. A new and promising group has emerged (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) to possibly push this sale closer to a reality. The group, led by Calgary businessman and former Coyotes suitor Max Chambers, includes six-time Cup winner Bryan Trottier.

TWEET BEAT: Do you enjoy following some of the Flyers on Twitter like Ilya Bryzgalov or James van Riemsdyk? They might not be entertaining as much in the coming months. The Flyers are cracking down on how much the players Tweet during "business hours" as prospect Zac Rinaldo recently found out (from Puck Daddy/Courier Times).

QUITE A PAIR: Welcome to Detroit, Ian White. The defenseman is getting a nice signing bonus, opening training camp as the defensive partner of Nicklas Lidstrom. The other Red Wings pairings will be Brad Stuart with Niklas Kronwall then Mike Commodore will join forces with Brendan Smith when camp opens.

THE FIGHT GOES ON: The fight over fighting in the NHL has grown to an all-time high this offseason. Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun is one of those who would like to see the pugilism expunged from the sport, but believes the only way that will get done is with a strong-willed GM.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: It's awesome enough when your season tickets arrive at your house, nothing gets the blood pumping quite like seeing your admission slips. Now just imagine those season tickets being delivered by none other than Sidney Crosby? That's what a few Penguins fans got to experience.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: September 13, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 2:04 pm
 

Pronger progressing well, eyeing season opener

By Brian Stubits

Chris Pronger could be ready for the start of the season after all.

The Flyers defenseman (and favorite to be named next captain) is making strides toward being able to begin the season with the team. Recovering from back issues that caused him to seriously delay his offseason preparations to the point he couldn't even lift weights, Pronger has twice skated in full equipment recently, leading to speculation he is progressing faster than anticipated.

Here's Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, courtesy of Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News:

“I think he is doing better than even he thought he would,” Holmgren said. “He’s pushed the envelope a little bit over the last few days, going on the ice and shooting the puck. I asked him the other day how far behind he is in terms of what he normally would have done, he said he probably would have skated a couple weeks ago.”

Does that mean Pronger, who turns 37 next month, could be ready for the start of the season on Oct. 6, despite not being cleared to lift weights well into August? Holmgren said Pronger has not had any setbacks.

“I think he’s right on track for all he’s been through,” Holmgren said. “I’m excited for him being ready at the start of the season and I think he is, too.”

Doesn't even sound like cautious optimism to me.

As much as Philly would love to have Pronger back on the ice, there is zero need to rush him. He hasn't been the sturdiest player in recent years. Obviously they would rather still have him at season's end and miss the beginning than the other way around. But then again the Flyers open with the defending champion Bruins, so perhaps Pronger is pushing a little harder to be on the ice for that game.

But the one thing we can certainly take from this is that Pronger is coming along well and shouldn't be off the ice for too long to open the year.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: September 13, 2011 9:51 am
 

Daily Skate: Charges for Byfuglien? Captain picks

By Brian Stubits

GETTING TOUGH ON BYFUGLIEN: Dustin Byfuglien is facing criminal charges for his foray on Lake Minnetonka over Labor Day weekend. The Winnipeg Free Press reports the district attorney has given the OK for the sheriff's office to formally charge Byfuglien with drunk boating.

CAPTAIN CAROUSEL: In the last week David Backes has been named the captain of the Blues and Ryan Callahan picked to lead the Rangers. But there are still six vacant positions across the NHL, so Pro Hockey Talk took the liberty of picking a captain for the remaining teams. Among the nominees is John Tavares for the Islanders.

CONCUSSION CRACKDOWN: With the attention on concussions growing every day in the NHL with each high-profile case, the concern is trickling down. Canadian youth leagues are planning to begin putting players as young as 10 through the same tests as NHL players this upcoming season (ESPN.com).

BICK IS BACK: After missing some of the seven-game series against the Canucks in the first round of the playoffs, the Blackhawks' Bryan Bickell is recovered and ready for the season (Chicago Tribune). He had surgery in April to repair two lacerated tendons, an incident that happened in Game 2 against the Canucks. He did return in time for Chicago's wins in Games 4, 5 and 6 but wasn't the same.

MAKE THAT TWO: The Sabres are in the same position with Jason Pominville as the Blackhawks and Bickell. They weren't counting on having Pominville back in time for training camp (Buffalo News) after having a tendon severed in the playoff series against the Flyers, but his recovery has gone faster than expected and he "[doesn't] think there will be any issue."

GREAT EXPECTATIONS: The Dallas Stars don't have high expectations this season, and that's great for the team, Brendan Morrow says. He told Kevin Allen of USA Today that the Stars have plenty of young talent to surprise as underdogs, and it starts with Jamie Benn and Alex Goligoski.

SEEKERS OF THE CUP: As the release of EA Sports' NHL 12 told us on Tuesday, hockey season is right around the corner. Here's a great promo video from the MSG Network in New York for the metro area's three teams, the Rangers, Devils and Islanders.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: September 12, 2011 9:37 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2011 9:42 pm
 

Sharp could miss 3-4 weeks after appendectomy

By: Adam Gretz

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp could miss the next three-to-four weeks of training camp and the exhibition season after undergoing an emergency (and successful) appendectomy on Monday evening, the team announced.

Sharp, 29, signed a brand new five-year, $29.5 million contract extension earlier this summer and is one of the Blackhawks' top offensive weapons, and has been since joining the team early in the 2005-06 season following a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers that saw the Blackhawks give up Matt Ellison and a third-round pick. To say the trade has worked out well for the Blackhawks is an understatement.

He's scored at least 20 goals in each of the past five seasons, including a team-leading 34 last season in 74 games, and has scored 150 goals as a member of the Blackhawks. He scored a career-high 36 during the 2007-08 season and was a point-per-game player in the playoffs during the 2009-10 postseason when Chicago ended its Stanley Cup drought.

The Blackhawks will open their season on Oct. 7 in Dallas, before returning home to Chicago the following night for a re-match with the Stars. They will then have four days off before playing host to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday Oct. 13.

Assuming Sharp is out for the full four weeks his status for the first two games would seem to be uncertain at this point.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: September 7, 2011 5:28 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 12:53 pm
 

Letter to Flyers fans includes Winter Classic

FlyersWC

By: Adam Gretz

Even though there hasn't been an official announcement from the NHL or any of the teams involved, it hasn't exactly been a well-kept secret that the 2012 Winter Classic will be played in Philadelphia with the Flyers hosting the New York Rangers on Jan. 2.

This week the Flyers organization sent a letter to its season ticket holders all but confirming the Winter Classic will in fact take place in Philadlphia on that date. According to Sarah Baicker of CSN Philadelphia, the letter includes the following section:
“The Flyers will host the 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic! You will notice that only 43 games are included in your ticket and parking book(s). Winter Classic tickets are not a part of your 2011-12 season ticket package. However, all full season ticket holders will have the ability to purchase up to same number of Winter Classic Packages as 2011-12 full season seats you own.”
It's pretty much guaranteed the venue will be Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies, as the football stadium in Philadelphia -- Lincoln Financial Field -- will be occupied the day before for a game between the Eagles and Washington Redskins. There is absolutely zero chance the stadium can be transferred over to hockey in that amount of time. Preparations in recent years (Pittsburgh, Boston, Chicago and Buffalo) have taken more than a week.

It will be the second time in three years the Flyers will be involved in the now annual outdoor game, having visited the Boston Bruins at Fenway park during the 2009-10 season. The Bruins won the game in overtime, 2-1, thanks to a goal from Marco Sturm. Even though this will only be the fifth year for the Winter Classic the Flyers are the second team to get another outdoor appearance, joining their cross-state rivals from Pittsburgh who have also played in the game twice (they hosted Washington last year and played in the innagural game in Buffalo).

It will be the Rangers first appearance in the game.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.


Posted on: September 7, 2011 1:06 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Hockey world mourns KHL team plane crash



(Pavol Demitra/Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

For the fourth time this summer, tragedy has struck the hockey world. This time it comes in the form of a plane crash in Russia carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team of the KHL, a team that includes many former NHL faces.

Among those who were on the roster are former NHL players Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei Karlis Skrastins, Josef Vasicek and Karel Rachunek. The coaching staff was led by former Bruins, Whalers, Flyers and Red Wings defenseman Brad McCrimmon and also contained former NHL players Alexander Karpovtsev and Igor Korolev.

Plus, there were numerous others who were prospects for NHL teams. Among those was Devils prospect Alexander Vasyunov, who played in 18 games for the Devils last season.

"Words cannot express what has transpired," Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said. "I knew a lot of players that were on that team. Nothing could prepare the hockey community for the devastating news ... [This] has left all of us beyond words.

More on KHL crash

"[Vasyunov] wanted to go over and play a lot and come back here. He was so proud to be a Devil. I can't say enough about him."

Riley Armstrong, brother of Colby Armstrong, is part of the team but was not on the plane. He tweeted after the ordeal that he was OK.

"I'm safe, but thanks for the kind words but pray and think of the players and their families on that flight."

As you can imagine, in a league that now contains many Russian players and has its ties grow every year with Russia's top league, the responses have been numerous and distraught. Alex Ovechkin simply said "I'm in shock!!!!!R.I.P ...."

Panthers defenseman and former Lokomotiv player Dmitry Kulikov was left stunned. "It's just an empty feeling. Words can't express how I feel."

Then there was Lightning defenseman Nate Thompson. "A tragic loss for the hockey world. Plane crash with an entire KHL team on board. Thoughts and prayers go out to there families and friends."

Perhaps Demitra is perhaps the best known former NHL player among the bunch. He spent most of his NHL career with the Blues, where he had his best seasons as a player. His best year was 2002-03 when he scored 36 goals and had 57 assists. He was named to three All-Star teams; 1999, 2000 and 2002. He most recently played for the Canucks in 2009-10 before moving on to the KHL.

Moreover, he developed some tremendous friendships in the NHL. The bond he created with Keith Tkachuk in St. Louis was tremendous and Tkachuk was predictably hurt.

"I am beyond devastated by the tragic news involving my good friends Brad and Pavol and the rest of their teammates in Russia. Brad was my teammate in Phoenix and later coached me in Atlanta and was truly a wonderful man who will be greatly missed. Pav was like a brother to me and I cannot believe that he is no longer with us. This is a terrible day for the hockey fraternity. My family’s thoughts and prayers are with their families during this difficult time.”

Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star- Tribune penned this story back in 2007 (at the bottom of the entry) about the strong bond Demitra developed with Marion Gaborik when the two were playing together for the Wild.

Ruslan Salei and Karlis Skrastins also had lengthy stints in the NHL, even being traded for one another at one point. In the 2007-08 season, the Avalanche sent Skrastins to the Panthers in exchange for Salei. In his one full season in Florida, Skrastins had his most productive offensive year, scoring four goals and 14 assists. The tough-nosed defenseman then played his final two NHL seasons with the Stars. Terry Frei of the Denver Post chronicaled Skrastins' trip to the NHL from Latvia.

"The Dallas Stars are saddened by the loss of former defenseman Karlis Skrastins in today's tragic plane crash in Russia," the team released in a statement.

Salei spent nearly a decade playing for the Ducks in Anaheim before he was signed by the Panthers. Like Skrastins, he had his best offensive season playing with Florida, scoring six goals with 26 assists in 2006-07 before being traded the next season to Colorado.

He was playing with the Red Wings just last season, playing 75 games with Detroit.

Vasicek played parts of seven seasons in the NHL, six of those with the Carolina Hurricanes. Team captain Eric Staal had this to say about Vasicek: "Joe was an awesome guy, always in good spirits, always smiling. It's just a tragedy."

Chad LaRose echoed those sentiments. "It's a shocker, a tragedy. Joe was a great guy. A life ended too early."

Vasicek's final season in North America was with the Islanders where he played alongside Radek Martinek.

"He was one of my best buddies. He was in my wedding. I can't believe this," Martinek said.

Among the confirmed dead is former Red Wings and Flyers defenseman McCrimmon, Lokomotiv's coach. The news was just as somber in Detroit with Wings coach Mike Babcock.

McCrimmon had been an assistant with the Red Wings the past three seasons, having spent time wit the Thrashers, Flames and Islanders as an assistant as well. He left Detroit to lead the KHL team in hopes of becoming a head coach in the NHL some day.

As a defenseman, he put up some absolutely unbelievable numbers in his career. In only two of his 18 seasons did he ever record a negative plus-minus mark and he posted a career-high plus-83 in 1985-86 with the Flyers. He ended his career with a plus-444, the 10th best mark in NHL history. Each of the nine players ahead of him are in the Hall of Fame.

This will go down as one of the biggest, if not the biggest sports tragedies we've ever seen. About the only things I can think that compare are the plane crashes that affected the Marshall football team and Oklahoma State basketball teams. Hopefully, and we hope with every bone in our body, this is the end of what will be known as the Summer of Sorrow in hockey. This has truly been an offseason from hell and hopefully one that we never see again.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com