Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Just what the Flyers need: another $5 million center whose best years are behind him and who turns 30 in August.
This figures to be a very challenging summer for newly-installed general manager Ron Hextall, who has about $6.5 million in salary cap space and is desperately seeking to fill one, if not two, spots on defense, while having to re-sign a half-dozen or so players, including Emery, the backup to goalie Steve Mason.
The Kesler deal, which was wildly speculated without substantiation during the trade deadline, made no sense in March and makes even less sense right now.
Yeah, Bob Clarke tendered Kesler an offer sheet for $1.9 million back in 2006. Vancouver matched. Been there, done that.
We’ve already seen the mess the Flyers got themselves into last July by diving foolishly into free agency to sign center Vinny Lecavalier when the position they absolutely need to upgrade was wing.
via Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Ed Snider, who brought hockey to Philadelphia in 1967 as founder of the Flyers, is battling an unspecified cancer and completed chemotherapy this week, according to several sources.
"He's going to work every day and it's treatable," a source in the organization said.
The condition is "non-life-threatening" and Snider is "doing well," said Ike Richman, a spokesman for Comcast-Spectacor, the Flyers' parent company. "He is happy and healthy."
Snider's involvement with the team and the company was not affected by his condition or treatment, Richman said. He added that the team would not comment further.
"The thing that really surprised me is how fast the game was from being behind the bench because as a player, what you focus on is your next shift, what you’re doing and everything. As a coach, you want to make sure we’re playing the system right and you want to make the correct choices.
"I’d be the one who would go up to a guy and tell him if he was in the wrong or right position, or “do this” or “do that” and it was really fast. The first fifteen games being behind the bench, everything was happening so fast that it was harder for me to see our system and figure out where the guys should be and everything. But the more you’re behind that bench, the more you learn and it gets a little bit easier for sure.”
-Ian Laperriere, assistant coach for the Philadelphia Flyers. More from Laperriere at the Flyers website.
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:
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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.
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