Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers' best chance to improve may hinge on whether Peter Laviolette is still fuming about getting fired after three games (three games!) last season. Laviolette is now the Nashville coach, and his attacking system is one of the reasons center Vinny Lecavalier signed a five-year, $22.5 million deal with the Flyers last year.
Lecavalier looked lost in Berube's system, looked lost at a new position, left wing. Nashville needs offensive help, so it's conceivable the Predators make a play for the 34-year-old forward and he agrees to relinquish his no-trade clause.
A season removed from a back injury, there's reason to believe Lecavalier can still be effective in the right situation.
Trading Lecavalier would free cap room and give Hextall flexibility to sign a speedy free-agent left winger to play alongside Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek.
The Flyers will also get $4.9 million in cap relief when Chris Pronger is placed on the long-term injured list at the start of the season. That will allow Hextall to make an in-season move.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
"I don't anticipate anything real big," he said. ". . . I like our team, like our youth up front. I like a lot of things. In saying that, there are a few things we have to take a peek at. But I'm not expecting anything earth-shattering right now."
Asked if he wanted to get a more productive left wing for Claude Giroux's line, Hextall said: "If there's something out there, we'd look at it, but I think it's more left wing in general" where the Flyers need help. "Our right side is real strong, our middle is real strong. The left side is probably our weak spot, so if we can add a left winger, yeah, we'd love to do that."
Many left wingers are about to become unrestricted free agents, and Winnipeg's Evander Kane is among the quality left wingers who might be traded.
"Again, it's easier said than done, and if we have to go into the season with what we've got, we'll do that," Hextall said, unconvincingly.
Ed Snider, owner of the Philadelphia Flyers did a conference call with the media today to talk about the Flyers 40th anniversary of their first Cup win in 1974 (they also won it in 1975).
via Sam Carchidi tweets,
Snider says Flyers have gotten to NHL Finals 8 times since '74, the most in NHL since that time. "A pretty damn good record."
Snider says that while he is frustrated by the lack of a Cup since '75, he's proud of the team's record since then.
Ed Snider: "I constantly hear we haven't won since 1975, well, a lot of teams haven't won since then.
"I couldn't believe it would be this long (without a Cup), but the fact we've been to Finals more times than any team since then...
...."still gives me a sense of satisfaction."
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
At the press conference on Wednesday where Hextall was named the new Flyers GM, he was asked about his plan to build the team. Hextall made it clear the Flyers were a model franchise, used to winning, and he wasn’t going to be looking at tanking the team in order to get a high draft pick.
“There’s 30 teams out there and right now there’s a team out there – I won’t mention any names — there’s a team out there just collecting number one picks right now.”
Uh, sorry Ron, you’re fooling no one.
Hextall continued: “Yeah, they’re going to be a pretty good team in three or four years, but ask their fans if they’ve had a fun last seven or eight years. The culture of winning is nothing to be embarrassed about. We should all be damn proud of this organization and how successful they’ve been.”
The Philadelphia Flyers will have a press conference to reportedly announce Ron Hextall as their new GM and the moving of Paul Holmgren to team President.
It is scheduled to begin at 11:30am ET and can be watched below via CSNPhilly....
from Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Give it all some distance and perspective, and it's easy to see that those two are the most valuable discoveries the franchise made. Berube and Mason. In the former, they have a promising head coach with less than a full season on the job, with room to grow. In the latter, they have the commodity they've lacked for so long: a bona fide No. 1 goaltender, the kind who can handle a 60-game workload during the regular season and steal a postseason round or two. Hell, he darn near did it against the Rangers.
That distance and perspective is of vital importance now, because we know what the Flyers' history is. If that history is any guide, the foremost fear of this offseason has to be that team chairman Ed Snider and the organization's player-personnel people will fall into the same pattern that has contributed to what will be a 40-year drought since the Flyers' last Stanley Cup.
General manager Paul Holmgren was smart to be relatively patient during this season, to avoid blowing up the roster back in the fall, when the playoffs seemed a pipe dream, and seeing what he had.
Now he should know: This Flyers team wasn't much different from many Flyers teams before it. It played hard. The players' collective character cannot be questioned. But there are areas with glaring shortages in talent and skill, particularly among the defensemen, that will be difficult to improve with another summertime spree of trading and spending.
Well what a night that was! Three Game Sevens and now we start the second round later today.
Before the second round starts let’s take a look at how we did predicting the first round.
Huge night for hockey fans out there! Kings, avs and rangers are my picks!— anthony brodeur (@abrodeur30) April 30, 2014
I will put my own predictions up to bat:
Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Welcome to the late late show!
Having three series extend to the full seven games it meant a lot of meaningful hockey last night and it all started at 7 p.m. EST and ended at …
So how did the teams do last night?
Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Game 6 on Tuesday? You mean the game in which the Rangers could have wrapped up this opening round but instead fell on their faces after a collective pratfall in which even Henrik Lundqvist went down and out? You mean the 5-2 Flyers’ victory that was 4-0 by the end of the second?
That game? What game?
“What’s that called? ‘Amnesia?’ ” Martin St. Louis wanted to know, asking and answering his own rhetorical question. “That’s what we need for Game 7.”
The Rangers are going to need a whole lot more than amnesia in order to reverse the Game 6 horror show in which Philadelphia’s best players were miles and miles ahead of the Rangers’ signature athletes, from Wayne Simmonds recording a hat trick while Rick Nash remained scoreless to Steve Mason outplaying Lundqvist by a wide margin in nets.
“They did everything better than us,” said Lundqvist, yanked after allowing four goals in 40 minutes and thus pulled from a playoff game for the first time since Game 6 in the 2009 first-round series in which the Rangers blew a 3-1 lead to the Caps before losing Game 7 in D.C. “Even goaltending.”
The New York Rangers, leading the series 3-2, are in Philadelphia to meet the Flyers.
Game time is just after 7:30pm ET and can be seen nationally on NBCSN, TSN and RDS.
If the Flyers do win, game 7 is tomorrow, giving us three game 7's on Wednesday night.
Enjoy and feel free to comment on the game.
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.
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