Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Isaac of the Courier-Post,
Some players in the NHL just can't bring themselves to buy into the hype of the league's trade deadline…not even when in the hockey Mecca that is Toronto.
Nick Grossmann won't watch the hours of live TV coverage on deadline day.
"No, I don't know why," the defenseman said. "I've never been much of a fan of that. I think it's too much speculation. It's too many rumors."
Wayne Simmonds, on the other hand, can't get enough.
The right wing remembers being a young player in the league and constantly checking his phone and computer to follow the hot rumor for a couple years: that Simmonds, then an L.A. Kings winger, was destined to be shipped to Atlanta for Ilya Kovalchuk.
"Not a chance I was looking at houses in Atlanta," Simmonds said. "I was a 21-year-old kid. I didn't really care. I was just happy to be playing in the NHL."
The Flyers couldn't help but pay attention during their time in town, in which the Maple Leafs made three trades.
"When you're in Canada I think it's a little bit easier," Simmonds said. "Pretty much every single channel is dedicated to the NHL. No matter where you go you see something pop up.
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Flyers GM Ron Hextall would have gladly moved Braydon Coburn and his $4.5 million salary cap hit next year had the Kings' needs remained. Or Luke Schenn’s $3.6 million hit. Or even Nicklas Grossmann’s $3.5 million hit.
The problem is, all three of those defenseman have a year left on their deals.
When it gets to the NHL Trade Deadline -– March 2 –- teams want rental players who are unrestricted free agents this summer, unless it’s a young player they see as part of their future.
The Flyers have moveable assets, but those assets all have years left on their contracts. That makes Hextall’s job very complicated in moving players at the deadline.
Kimmo Timonen is a pending free agent, but still hasn’t played a game this season because of blood clots. Assuming the soon-to-be 40-year-old suits up for the first time on Saturday against the New York Rangers, it remains debatable whether any club is going to take a chance on him based on what they see in one game.
And forget about moving Vinny Lecavalier, who has three years left on his outrageous deal at $4.5 million a pop. The Flyers have been trying to move the veteran center since summer and still no takers.
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at the Globe and Mail,
An 8-2-4 run in the past month and the Boston Bruins’ struggles combined to put the Flyers within four points of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference going into their game Thursday at the Toronto Maple Leafs. The climb hasn’t been easy, but there’s no shortage of belief in the locker-room.
“It’s obviously our goal to catch the Bruins and the Panthers,” NHL leading scorer Jake Voracek said Wednesday. “I don’t see the reason why we shouldn’t. We’re playing good hockey lately. We’ve got to focus on every game, game-by-game, and hopefully we’re going to sneak in.”
On the morning of Jan. 17, the Flyers woke up in Buffalo 13 points back of the Bruins. Boston has gone 5-7-3 since then, and a knee injury to centre David Krejci stands to make the next four to six weeks even more of a challenge.
Philadelphia needed the Bruins to go on a skid to make the playoffs even a long-shot possibility. But the Flyers have also been much improved to get on track.
“An all-around team game turned our season around,” coach Craig Berube said. “Our team defence first and foremost is what we really turned around. Starting with that, and the penalty killing has gotten better. That’s part of the team defence. All-around, our defensive play is way better.”
from Randy Miller of NJ.com,
Besides Colaiacovo, Schenn has sat out the Flyers' last two games. Before that, Andrew MacDonald was a healthy scratch three games in a row.
MacDonald probably is untradeable because of his contract - he's in the first season of a six-year, $30 million extension - but Schenn perhaps could be moved even though he's a $3.6 million cap hit through next season.
Coburn remains a candidate to go, as well, but the Islanders and Calgary Flames may be the only contenders with enough free cap space to take on his contract, which carries a $4.5 million cap hit through next season.
The Flyers probably would prefer to keep Grossmann, whose deal through next season is for a $3.5 million cap hit, but he has value as a shot-blocking blueliner with size and could be moved for a decent return.
Defenseman Nick Schultz probably could have brought a nice return, because he has a cap-friendly contract that, until last week, ended after this season. But he's now going anywhere after signing a two-year, $4.5 million extension on Feb. 18.
What's decent return for the Flyers' trade bait?
via the Philadelphia Flyers,
Flyers owner Ed Snider met with the media following a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals and gave his thoughts on the team's recent success and weekend sweep over the Nashville Predators and Caps...
Does this feel like 2010 to you?
“No I can’t compare years. All I know is they’ve made it really exciting. Let’s face it, how many weeks ago were we written off by all the press and just about everybody else. Just the fact that we are in the hunt is exciting. I don’t know where it’s going to end up but if we end up making the playoffs it will be quite a story.”
What was going through your mind at that time about four weeks ago when you say everyone was writing you off?
“In my mind I was almost writing them off too. But seriously, these guys just never ever stop believing in themselves. They won’t stop, they won’t quit and we’ve got a lot of nice new pieces. I think [Ryan] White has added a lot to our team, a real hustler. We’re just playing a tough brand of hockey. It’s hard to play against us. I don’t care what team you talk about, it’s hard to play against them.
We just beat two outstanding teams over the weekend. Washington has what, won four in a row, and have really been playing extremely well. Coby [Coburn] made that really big block at the end on Ovechkin and I thought that was fabulous and really great.”
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
- The chatter that began over the summer about Johnny Boychuk wanting to sign with his hometown Oilers this summer when the 31-year-old defenseman becomes a free agent persists even as his value to the Cup contenders on Long Island continues to grow.
As huge a get as Boychuk was for GM Garth Snow when he acquired Boychuk on the eve of the season from Boston (who chose not to use their precious cap space on him while fearful of losing the defenseman for nothing), keeping the righty will be a more challenging task…even as the Islanders appear to be in an outstanding position relative to the cap.
The number will start at $6M per.
- So, if the Jacobs ownership was 10 minutes away from firing GM Peter Chiarelli and coach Claude Julien when the Bruins were down 4-1 to the Leafs with time running down on Game 7 of the first round in 2013 before their historic rally to win it, as we were told by a man who knew the plan, then what will the fallout be if Boston misses the playoffs this time?
We’re betting that the GM will be named Cam Neely by the time of the Entry Draft.
- Hey, have you heard about the NHL renaming the Adams to COY? Not to be confused with the CYA Trophy, about to won yet again by Philadelphia’s “Mr. Snider.”
from the Philadelphia Flyers,
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed 6-1, 200-lb defenseman Nick Schultz to a multi-year contract extension, according to general manager Ron Hextall.
Schultz, 32 (8/25/1982), has appeared in 55 games for the Flyers this season, recording two goals and 11 assists for 13 points. He has already recorded his highest point total in a season since 2010-11, when he had 17 points (3G, 14A). Schultz has also picked up 33 PIM this season and is a plus-6.
continue for more on Schultz...
Kimo Timonen after his first practice with the Philadelphia Flyers this season.
Timonen says it will probably take 7-10 days before he appears in a game.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
"We're playing a good team game now and everybody is contributing," captain Claude Giroux said after the Flyers overcame an awful 15-minute second-period stretch and outlasted sad-sack Buffalo, 2-1, on Sunday.
Thanks to a nine-game points streak (6-0-3), the Flyers are just six points behind Boston for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Boston lost to Calgary in overtime Monday night....
"The odds are still against us . . . but I like the resiliency of our group," general manager Ron Hextall said. "We believe we can make the playoffs. We like our depth."
from Dave Isaac of the Courier Post,
Heading into Monday night’s action, the Flyers were five points shy of a playoff spot with 26 games to play, seven of them before the March 2 trade deadline.
GM Ron Hextall isn’t tempted to be a buyer in his first trade deadline.
“We’re not gonna make a deal to try to put us in the playoffs,” Hextall said. “I believe we can make the playoffs with this team right now and quite frankly, to add a piece right now that’s gonna help us that’s gonna be better than what we have is gonna be very costly. We’re not going there.”
Rumors involving young Flyers apparently carry no weight. Hextall still has his eye on the future. And as much as he’d like to avoid the position he was in last summer, when he had very little money to work with, he doesn’t feel like he has to make a trade in the next two weeks.
“Would it be nice to get some flexibility? Of course,” Hextall said. “Is it necessary right now? No, it’s not. We can do things at the draft and we can hold the way we have been.
“I can’t define any direction (regarding trades) right now because of where we’re at and I don’t know what would come our way in certain deals.”
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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