Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
Many around the league believe the Flyers are one veteran defenseman away from being a serious playoff threat. With the NHL trading deadline March 4, Holmgren is expected to look closely at defensemen who will become unrestricted free agents after this season, and he could use the Flyers’ depth at forward to acquire one.
Atlanta’s Niclas Havelid, Colorado’s Brett Clark, Phoenix’s Derek Morris, Nashville’s Dan Hamhuis and the Islanders’ Brendan Witt are expected to be on the trade block in the next six weeks. With Scottie Upshall, Lupul and Knuble, the Flyers have the assets to land one of them. Holmgren optimistic
more on the Flyers…
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
It is difficult to gauge how much a healthy Forsberg would command on the open market, but since the Colorado Avalanche paid him $1.1 million last season for 42 days, it’s a safe bet the Flyers could get him for about the same price.
Which begs these three questions: Why? Why? Why?
In his prime, Forsberg was an absolute force capable of winning playoff series by himself. But that was 10 years ago, before he signed with the Flyers in 2005 and began a three-year injury odyssey that included abbreviated stops in Nashville and Colorado, along with countless trips to foot surgeons and skate manufacturers.
Since having his foot surgically reconstructed in the summer of 2006, Forsberg has played in 66 NHL games in 2 1/2 seasons. After signing with the Avalanche late last season, he played in only nine of their 18 games and missed three more playoff games….
But does anyone really believe Forsberg will be anything more than a distraction on a team that has its best chemistry in years?
The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that center Danny Briere underwent a successful surgical procedure on his groin/stomach area, according to General Manager Paul Holmgren.
“Danny had successful surgery this morning to repair a nerve entrapment,” said Holmgren in making the announcement. “His recovery time will be a minimum of four weeks.”
The procedure was performed today by Dr. William Meyers at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia.
via Wayne Fish of PhillyBurbs,
More and more, it looks like this is going to be a lost year for Flyers center Daniel Briere.
Briere, who will undergo his second abdominal surgery of the season today in Philadelphia, has played in only nine games this year.
He\s attempted two comebacks already and both have failed. The current one was a gallant attempt but ultimately, he simply has a chronic problem which probably requires long-term rest.
The official prognosis indicated Briere might only miss two weeks of action. But that seems somewhat unrealistic, given the history of this problem. Even the worst-case scenario—six weeks on the sidelines—might not be reasonable.
At some point, the Flyers might have to consider shutting down Briere for the season. They have too much money, $52 million over six years, invested in this player. If the problem becomes too chronic, he might never be right.
from Chris Nichols of Sportsnet,
The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Danny Briere is headed back to the doctor after barely practicing at the pregame skate this morning. He will not play tonight against Atlanta.
In what coach John Stevens did not hesitate to call a setback, Briere was not re-activated and was on his way for another re-evaluation because his groin and his abdomen are sore again.
“Clearly, it’s a setback” Stevens said. “If you can add a player of his calibre you want to do that, but at the same time, if he’s not healthy, he’s not healthy and we have to get ready to play a game with the guys that are healthy.
“He’s going to get re-evaluated again and see where it goes from there, but clearly he’s sore where we hoped that he wouldn’t be and he’s not ready to go.”
update 5:27pm, from TSN,
The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Wednesday that Daniel Briere will undergo an exploratory surgical procedure on his groin area, and will miss at least two weeks of action.
from Bill Fleischman of PhiladelphiaFlyers.com,
Except for those who sit near him in the Wachovia Center, few Flyers fans know his real name. He’s best known as “Sign Man.” Known internationally, that is.
Since 1972, Dave Leonardi has been making Flyers fans smile with the signs he holds up during games. Occasionally, he produces smiles from opposing players. And on at least one occasion, he has annoyed NHL officials working a game.
Years ago, during a game at the Spectrum in which the Flyers thought they were getting short-changed by the officials, Leonardi displayed an eye chart for the officials. When linesman Matt Pavelich skated past Leonardi he said, “You’re a horsebleep artist, too.” Noted Leonardi: “He said horsebleep.”
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,
The Flyers have taken 251 minor penalties this season—second in the NHL to the Anaheim Ducks’ 266—and they lead the NHL with 11 bench minors for too many men on the ice.
As a result, they have been short handed 228 times this season (second to Anaheim) while being awarded just 167 power plays (second-fewest to the New Jersey Devils).
So the question begs to be asked: Why have the Flyers received 61 fewer power plays than their opponents, while the Minnesota Wild have been awarded 36 more power plays than their opponents?
“I think it has a lot to do with the crest we wear on our jerseys, with all our history and stuff like that,” said Hartnell, who leads the Flyers with 28 minor penalties, which is tied for third in the NHL. “But we have to do a better job individually to keep our sticks where they belong.”
via Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News,
The Flyers announced this morning that they are sending Danny Briere to the Phantoms for a two-game conditioning assignment.
It’s an unusual move for a top player, but general manager Paul Holmgren said it was necessary to make sure that Briere is ready to return to the lineup. It also likely a move to avoid having to add his salary to the team’s cap total before being sure he can play and prevents Holmgren from having to make roster moves to fit him in….
“We are doing this just to make sure everything is okay with Danny,” Holmgren said. “This will give him the opportunity to play in some games prior to re-joining the Flyers. He will play two games with the Phantoms on Wednesday and Friday. He was absolutely receptive to this.”
from Anthony J. SanFilippo of the Delaware County Times,
It’s a good thing for the Penguins that the Steelers are in the AFC Championship game, keeping the spotlight off of them.
Making matters worse are reports that there is an internal rift between the players and coach Michel Therrien and that the Pittsburgh coach might not be around if it matters get much worse.
Speculation is that former Carolina Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette could replace Therrien at a moment’s notice.
It’s not just the coach.
Malkin and Crosby are still scoring points — they are the league’s top two scorers — but they are getting little help from teammates and finding that play has gotten a lot more physical compared to last season.
from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,
With all due respect to Jeff Carter, Mike Richards has been the first-place Flyers’ best all-around player in the first half of the season and should have been selected to the Eastern Conference all-star team.
But Richards was snubbed. So were teammates Kimmo Timonen and Simon Gagne.
All because the fans made some very dumb selections when they chose the starters. That, coupled with the fact that each team has to be represented, left many deserving players off the team.
And, make no mistake, no one is more deserving than Richards, who has excelled on the power play, penalty kill and even-strength situations.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org