Kukla's Korner Hockey
It’s been about 24 hours since James van Riemsdyk signed his monster six-year, $25.5 million deal for the Philadelphia Flyers. After just 11 pressure packed playoff games in which he led the offense, he’s been given an extension that will make him the forward with the longest contract, forgoing four years of RFA eligibility in the process.
Let’s break it down before he gets traded.
Welcome to the Hurricane Irene edition of Flyer Friday, or #FF for you twitter freaks (shameless twitter pimp). This week I’ll cover a whirlwind of Flyers news with the eye of the storm focusing on some topics within crease (last of the hurricane jokes, I swear).
It’s Friday so the business close have been left at home. Let’s wind down, shall we?
The Flyers have made a few announcements regarding training camp, which is right around the corner. First, they confirmed that the Flyers and Capitals will one again be playing a prospects game, this time located at the Wells Fargo Center.
Then, they announced that they have invited center Michael Nylander on a tryout basis to attend training camp.
The Flyers, notorious for their goaltending woes, have finally made a drastic move to stabilize their net presence. But before you can even begin an honest discussion about the new Flyers goalie, you have to get some talking points out of the way that seem to be looming over the crease like a bad storm waiting to erupt at the first sign of trouble. *Sigh*
Welcome to Negadelphia, goalie.
If you had asked an LA Kings fan who they would have wanted to trade a few months ago, it’s all but assured that few would have quickly volunteered the name of Wayne Simmonds to be at the top of the list. And while I’m sure Kings fans are pleased with the return they received for the feisty winger, I’m equally as sure they are sad to see him go.
Welcome to the Flyers, Wayne Simmonds.
I wont be wasting anyone’s time bashing the on-again, off-again play of Jakub Voracek throughout his career. The Flyers have done a good job in recent years of getting players in situations where they have a lot to prove, and its worked out quite well for them. They find themselves in a similar position with Voracek, and there is ample reason to be optimistic about his upcoming season.
A familiar face has become the newest affiliate of the Flyers organization. The Trenton Titans will resume operations in the upcoming ECHL season, taking the place of the Trenton Devils at Sun National Bank Center and the Greenville Road Warriors as the ECHL affiliate of the team.
“The Philadelphia Flyers and the Comcast-Spectacor family of companies are excited to be affiliated with the Trenton Titans,” Comcast-Spectacor president Peter Luukko said. “As our ECHL affiliate, we’re confident that our prospects will be playing in an environment here in Trenton that will help them develop their ultimate potential.”
—quote via Frank Seravalli, Philadelphia Daily News
Welcome to the Flyers, Brayden Schenn.
An organization that was once barren with top end prospects suddenly finds itself with two legitimate blue-chip pivots down the middle of the ice. And even though both Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn represent the future of the franchise, Schenn is the one likely to be counted on for the more immediate impact - and rightfully so.
I have to admit, of all the guys the Flyers have recently acquired, Schenn is the one I knew the least about. My initial reaction to him being penciled into the third-line center role was slight disappointment. I thought his cap hit ($3.110 million due to bonuses) might be more justified by a more experienced player in that position. Also, I wondered if it would be good for his long-term development to be in a role that he isn’t necessarily suited for, especially since he was just traded for the guy he is ultimately in line to replace.
I thought I might have been able to avoid it; but merely halfway through the offseason, a dry island iceberg has reared its ugly head ever-so-slightly above the surface, smoldering enough to catch the eyes of a Philadelphia Daily News gossip reporter. His accounts yesterday have simultaneously rejuvenated belief in the unsinkable team the Flyers apparently had over a month ago, while also fanning the foolish notions of alcoholism burning deeply below the surface and beyond sight.
I only intend to touch on it once, because quite frankly what’s done is done and a lot of opinions are bound to stay unchanged, but the team did what they felt they had to do to take that final step as an organization. It isn’t the end of the world, and it has more to do with a few drinks and numbers on a corkboard. Simply put – they were hockey moves.
Author’s Note: ‘The Orange & Black Breakdown’ is officially open for business. I’ll be getting this party started over the coming weeks with a short series entitled ‘Welcome to the Flyers”, which will profile all of the fresh faces likely to don the Flyers crest this year. Look for more and more as the season approaches at The OBB on Kukla’s Korner, and thanks again for reading!
Welcome to the Flyers, Maxime Talbot.
A once bitterly hated division rival whose job was to silence the crowd in Philadelphia is now responsible for invigorating it. So what’s a Flyers fan to do? I suggest you embrace it, because there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the presence of #27 in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future.
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