Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Flyers...
Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that the club intends to place defenseman Andrew MacDonald on waivers at noon today.
The 29-year-old defenseman is in his third season with the Flyers and recorded one assist in three preseason games. He posted 12 points (2g-10a) in 58 games for the Flyers in 2014-15.
MacDonald signed a multi-year contract extension with the Flyers on Apr. 15, 2014. He was originally acquired by the Flyers from the New York Islanders on March 4. 2014 in exchange for forward Matt Mangene, a third-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, and a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
from Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post,
Part of the reason for the wait is that Hextall wants to see if he can find a trade partner to make the decision of cutting or waiving a player easier.
“We’ll see what comes along, if anything, and go from there,” he said.
He still has 14 forwards on the roster with eight defensemen and two goalies. It would appear as though his final cut will come to a defenseman, especially considering he publically said he’d rather carry seven than eight “in a perfect world.”
His world is far from perfect looking at the roster and the salaries that go along with it.
The “extra” players in Saturday’s practice were Vinny Lecavalier, Sam Gagner, Andrew MacDonald and Luke Schenn. Together, those four total $16.3 million in salary cap space while the other 20 accounted for $54.88 million.
Salary isn’t everything in a determining factor, but it sure is important. Just look at the Edmonton Oilers, who Saturday played defenseman Nikita Nikitin and his $4.5 million cap hit on waivers. If he clears, the Oilers will send him to the American Hockey League and still have all but $950,000 of his cap hit on their books.
The Oilers did this because of roster space, but the Flyers might consider a move like that because they need the $950,000 of space. As it stands they have roughly $585,000, barely enough for one call-up depending on the player’s salary.
If you are going to call this a penalty shot, then it has to remain consistent through the season.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers' season-ticket base remains stable even though the team is coming off a season in which it missed the playoffs for the second time in three years - and Hextall was unable to make any major offseason moves because of limited cap space.
The Flyers, their farm system greatly improved under Hextall, have sold 16,000 tickets per game, a slight drop of about 500 tickets per game from the previous year.
Shawn Tilger, who heads the Flyers' business operations, said he was "appreciative but not surprised" that the season-ticket base was still strong. The Flyers averaged 19,271 fans per home game last year, fourth in the 30-team NHL.
"Our fans are not blindly loyal. They understand the game and believe in our organization's commitment to winning," he said, adding the fans make the Wells Fargo Center one of the league's "toughest buildings for opponents."
read on plus a few more items on the Flyers...
from Tim Panacchio of CSNPhilly,
“I think a lot of things last year, I wasn’t happy with and I think we’re going to correct a lot of those things,” Snider said. “I think that really we’ve got a pretty good team. That same team last year that did not make the playoffs, made the playoffs the year before.
“It’s not like they’re chopped liver or anything like that. We have a good team, some good stars on the team with [Claude] Giroux, [Jakub] Voracek. We’ve got second-level guys that are getting older and more mature.
“[Sean] Couturier, [Wayne] Simmonds, I expect a lot from these players. Our defense is solid, I think better than it’s been in years with the addition of our Russian player that we added [Medvedev] and Gudas …
“I think we’re gonna have a really good team. Also, I like our goaltending. I think our backup goaltending is more solid, which wins games for you.”
via Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,
1. Fixing a penalty-killing unit that was one of the worst in the NHL last season.
2. Deciding whether it’s time bring in some young talent (Ivan Provorov? Sam Morin?) on the back end.
3. Trying to build chemistry and learn a new system under Dave Hakstol, who is making the quantum leap from coaching at the University of North Dakota to the NHL.
4. Determining where Brayden Schenn, who spent time at three different positions last season, newcomer Sam Gagner and veteran Vinny Lecavalier will play.
5. Extinguishing a defeatist attitude that seemed to permeate close games last season, when the Flyers won just 15 of 43 one-goal decisions (.349 percentage) and were 3-11 in shootouts.
"This team was a playoff team the year before last . . . and we've added to it. Some of the players had down years last year. Were those down years because of injuries? Was it all that or because of coaching? Obviously, Hexy must have thought the coaching had something to do with it or he wouldn't have changed it. I think we have every reason to believe in the decisions Hextall has made."
-Ed Snider, chairman of the Philadelphia Flyers. More from Snyder by Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
from Randy Miller of NJ.com,
This time a year ago, Ron Hextall was preparing for his first training camp as an NHL general manager thinking the 2014-15 Flyers would be a better team than the one that took the eventual Stanley Cup finalist New York Rangers to a Game 7 in a first-round playoff loss the previous spring.
He was dead wrong, of course....
Now here we are close to the start of a new season with training camp for Flyers' rookies beginning Sept. 14 and veterans set to hit the ice on Sept. 18.
Hextall's thoughts on his team?
He's believing these Flyers are a better team than the club that he was so optimistic about this time a year ago.
"I think it is," Hextall said.
Hextall thinks the Flyers patched holes through his biggest offseason additions: forward Sam Gagner coming in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes, Russian defenseman Evgeni Medvedev being signed as a free agent out of the KHL and new No. 2 goalie Michael Neuvirth joining as a free agent signee.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Last season, the Flyers' offense was led by Jake Voracek (81 points), Claude Giroux (73 points), and Wayne Simmonds (28 goals).
"Our core players really care, and the one thing I expect from our core players is to take another step in the leadership department," Hextall said. "Part of being a good leader is obviously working hard, showing up to camp in shape, and never taking a shift off, a practice off. I think the other part of it is that you have to kind of grow into helping your teammates. That's the part where some of our guys need to get better. We've obviously had discussions with them."
Hextall says he wants more secondary scoring. He could use improved play from Matt Read, Brayden Schenn, and Sean Couturier.
Perhaps Hakstol will get more out of the trio.
"Obviously, the coach brings new energy," Hextall said. "Everybody, for the most part, is going to have a clean slate with Hak, and I think that brings a new energy."
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