It’s been a long month for Flyers fans, but on the heels of a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning only a few days before Christmas as well as a relatively easy schedule on the horizon, things may finally be looking up.
With the exception of Ray Emery, the majority of the roster will be healthy to take on the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow night.
Simon Gagne has a goal and is playing some edgy, intense hockey. Darroll Powe is back and looking great. Blair Betts came back a bit ago but recently had his first NHL 2-goal game. Mike Richards seems to finally be getting into rhythm.
Now the only piece left is really Jeff Carter. If he finds his scoring touch and the rest of the important forwards, Briere, Hartnell, Gagne, Richards, Giroux, and vanRiemsdyk, manage to start potting some goals, the wins will start to pile on.
That is of course if they are able to get some offense under Laviolette’s system. We’re just getting into the double digits of the Laviolette-era in Philadelphia. There are certainly signs of improvement, but without wins, it is all just moral victory. Morale can only go so high without the team creeping back up the standings before people begin to get annoyed.
With a win right before Christmas (and hopefully a pleasant holiday for all the upset Flyers fans around the world) things seem to be in high spirits.
Even the nonsensical rumors that were created surrounding the Flyers have fallen apart over the tiny Christmas break for the Orange and Black.
At least one Flyer will be staying home for the holidays and well after.
League sources have told CSN’s John Boruk that center Jeff Carter will not be traded during any point this season.
Rip up your Ilya Kovalchuk dreams. There are many reasons why the Flyers would never trade a high-end prize like Carter for an impending UFA like Ilya Kovalchuk, not the least of which include his ridiculously high salary demands that won’t match well with plenty of long-term contracts already cemented in Philadelphia and the likely asking price of the Thrashers for a guy who would the Flyers would basically be forced to let walk when summer rolled around. There’s no reason to go after a rental forward that could potentially cost you a 24-year-old Rocket Richard Trophy runner-up.
Throw around your claims that Carter is a lazy forward (however unfounded they may be) because he isn’t as physical as Richards. Carter will not be going anywhere. Far more likely are trades involving Hartnell, Briere, Coburn, or Carle this offseason. There is a likelihood that one is in the middle of their last season in Philadelphia, especially when considering Emery and the organization would very much appreciate to have the young goaltender locked up long-term.
If the team is looking for rental forwards at the trade deadline there will be more rumors about availability after the Olympics. There are certainly some interesting looking Hurricanes that could be on the block in a bit.
On Dec. 14, a Temple University senior, Jerry Brennan, on a Web site that he said he created as part of a school project, made a posting. Under a headline that read “Affair Has Flyers Locker Room Split?”, he wrote the following:
“This one is out of the bizarre rumor mill, however, a credible source told “thephillyfour” a possible affair could be the reason the Flyers’ locker room appears to be split this season.
According to the source, Jeff Carter had an affair with Scott Hartnell’s wife, and the entire locker room is split over the situation. . . .”
Carter and Hartnell said that the rumor is false, that they are best of friends, and that the writer doesn’t realize the hurt feelings he has caused. The “story” has been picked up by numerous Web sites.
Peter Luukko, president of the Flyers’ parent company, Comcast-Spectacor, called the blog “vicious and irresponsible” and said the organization is considering a lawsuit.
“It’s just funny to see how much pull one guy can have,” Hartnell said of the article and how it has spread throughout North America. “It’s an amazing thing, the Internet, but for all the good things there are obviously some bad things about it, too.”
Hartnell added, “When [the blog] came out, I heard from my wife. She called me and [kiddingly] said, ‘I guess I’m sleeping with Jeff Carter now,’”
And that is that. All these rumors about Carter sleeping with Hartnell’s wife have been denied completely by every possible source. In fact, even after these rumors began to spread because of a careless Temple University blogger, Carter and Hartnell could be seen tearing up the ice on the same line. When Carter scored a couple games ago and seemed to have been breaking out of his slump, Hartnell was the first one to congratulate his close friend and long-time linemate.
As for the blogger, his Christmas will not likely be so merry. Freedom of speech is only protected by the Constitution in so much as it doesn’t impede on other people’s civil liberties. People have the right to be free from slanderous rumors more than people have the right to fabricate them. If he had proof there would be a little more to this claim, but just claiming to have proof is not quite the same as providing it. The responsibility falls solely on the blogger who made the post.
Well, I hope everyone has had a good Christmas. The Flyers are back to work tomorrow and facing off against their NHL basement cell mate, the Carolina Hurricanes. Let’s hope for a quick end to this disaster or at least a playoff position by Olympic break. It is Christmas after all.