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Betts, Bell to attend Camp and Winter Classic Jerseys

Posted by Chris Shafer On September - 9 - 2009

71799148BB019_NY_New_York_R_4_51_43_PMIf you’re not quite sure just who Blair Betts is then you should take a second look at the Ranger’s penalty kill over the last couple of seasons. He’s not necessarily skilled offensively, but he comes with plenty of other things. His effort and heart were never questioned in New York with the Rangers, and, should the Flyers hand him a contract, they won’t be questioned in Philadelphia either. On top of that he is dirt cheap and is one of the better penalty killers in the Atlantic Division. He is solid on faceoffs which is something the Flyers desperately need, and he fits right in nicely at that fourth line center position.

Also, if you aren’t aware already, there are quite a few pissed off Ranger’s fans right now; not only because Betts is attending Flyers camp but also because their General Manager, Glen Sather, failed to get him under contract. That should tell you how important Betts is to a team even with his limited offensive capabilities.

Following is from my article about Blair Betts and Mark Bell being invited to training camp: – Two Flyers camp invitees could wear orange this season

Now added to a group including prospects James van Riemsdyk, Patrick Maroon, Darroll Powe, Andreas Nodl, Jared Ross, and Jonathan Matsumoto as well as signed forwards Arron Asham, Ian Laperriere, Dan Carcillo, Mika Pyorala, Krys Kolanos, Lukas Kaspar, and Riley Cote, both Bell and Betts will be competing for playing time. Unlike the other forwards penciled in to be joining the Flyers for training camp starting on September 12th the pair have another hurdle to contend with; neither currently have a contract.

Thanks to a technicality involving prospect Zac Rinaldo‘s contract and the departure of another prospect, Patrik Hersley, to Sweden before the actual end of his contract, the Flyers have two spots remaining under the allotted 50 contract limit. Though there are other invitees to camp, these two players both have considerable NHL experience and are the expected recipients of an offer from the orange and black. One thing to consider as they compete for a contracts is that both bring considerably different skill sets.

After being drafted 8th overall by the Blackhawks in 1998, Bell made his NHL debut during the 2000-01 season. By 2003-04 he was a 20-goal scorer, and by 2005-06 he finished second in scoring with Chicago. It all went downhill from there though. During the summer he was traded to San Jose and on Labor Day weekend found himself in a serious car accident in which he rammed a truck that was stopped at a stop sign. Bell was charged with driving under the influence as well as a hit and run. Since the incident he has spent time with three different organizations over the course of three seasons. He has also never managed to score more than 12 goals in a season during his slide. He is still a sizable power-forward and should he ‘wow’ the Flyers’ staff at camp, he could find himself as a depth forward in a scoring role.

Betts, on the other hand, was taken in the 2nd round during the same draft as Bell but never had the offensive potential needed to keep up with the former top 10 selection. Currently, even with all of his issues, Bell is the superior offensive forward. Betts brings something entirely different to the table though. While he has struggled offensively for his entire NHL career he broke out on the New York Rangers in the last couple seasons as one of the better penalty killers in the Atlantic Division. If given a contract with the Flyers he adds a great forward to let some of the organization’s best two-way offensive threats get a breather instead of wasting energy killing penalties. While giving players like Mike Richards, Simon Gagne, and Jeff Carter less time on the kill would drop the Flyers’ outstanding shorthanded goal ratio, it would provide better play during 5-on-5 situations. While Betts is not necessarily the best option for a third line center on the Flyers with Giroux able to play the position more than effectively at both ends of the ice, he will make a sturdy fourth line center who can get called in for key faceoffs. For those praying that the organization sign a center with a faceoff skill set, this could be the answer.

Along with other training camp invitees Logan Stephenson, Brennan Yadlowski, Mike Thomas, Tomas Sinisalo, and Tyler Hostetter, both Betts and Blair will get run through the paces with every player on the Flyers’ roster.

That’s all there is to it for now. Bell and Betts will both have to perform to win spots on the Flyers. There are no freebies. Still, with so much competition to make the roster you can’t help but feel that this is going to be a good year. We’re not talking about scrubs here either. Each player competing for playing time at camp this season has something unique and positive to bring to the table.


Well Gagne is skating again at the very least. He had not skated since his injury (article) but received a special treatment. I don’t know much about biomedical stuff, but I’ll at least give you some quotes about his treatment from Timmy P. himself (article).

As for Gagne, the Flyers are saying the injury isn’t a big deal. Except that, in addition to rest, Gagne was given an injection of PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma – which most certainly is not the usual course of treatment for a simple groin pull.

Gagne has had three offseason surgeries in four years in his groin and hip area. His performance will be something that will bear watching when the Flyers’ full training camp opens Sept. 12.

While Panaccio seems to enjoy remaining cautious about Gagne’s hip/groin region there is some good news in all of this. Gagne’s solo skate went very well. Here’s some quotes from the man himself about how his experience went:

“I was a little bit nervous when I went out there today, but I’m very happy with the way things went,” he told a group of reporters immediately after stepping off of the ice.

Several Flyers have been skating informally in the mornings getting ready for training camp, and Gagne would like to join them as soon as he is ready.

“The first step was to skate by myself and see how it goes, and from there we’re going to decide what’s going to be the best for me. I don’t know if tomorrow I’m going to skate with the guys, or if it would be smarter if I do another skate by myself and then Thursday jump into it with the guys and scrimmage or practice.”

He would certainly like to be ready for the first official on-ice day of training camp on September 13.

“I hope so. That’s why I’m here trying to skate and we’re going to go step-by-step,” he said. “I hope to be there for Day 1 but at the same time we’re going to be smart about it.”


No, I don’t know what it looks like yet. There haven’t been any leaks, but they’re certainly going to announce it in style. The rumor going around right now is that on Friday at 2 p.m. there is going to be a big chunk of ice in Voorhees, NJ at the Flyers’ practice facility. Obviously you cannot see through this ice to see the jersey because various players from the team are going to shoot pucks at the gigantic block to chip off chunks of ice until the jersey is uncovered. It should prove to be a fun little experience. I will be there, hopefully with camera in hand.

EDIT: Current rumored jersey floating around:

wcjerseyNot lying, this is what I expected. The crest seems a little big so this is probably a prelim jersey. Honestly the retro whites from the 70′s is what I expected all along. We will find out Friday of course.


  • Friday, September 11th @ 2:00 p.m. – Flyers will unveil Winter Classic Jersey
  • Friday, September 11th @ 3:00 p.m. – Flyers rookie camp scrimmage against Capitals rookies
  • Friday, September 11th @ 6:00 p.m. – Autograph session with all Flyers rookies
  • Friday, September 11th @ 6:15 p.m. – Flyers Face Off for Fitness open to the public in the parking lot
  • Saturday, September 12th @ 10:00 a.m. – Individual game tickets go on sale
  • Saturday, September 12th @ 1:00 p.m. – Auditions for Flyers Ice Team
  • Saturday, September 12th @ some time – Conditioning tests for Flyers camp closed to public
  • Sunday, September 13th @ 9:00 a.m. – Flyers Training Camp officially opens to public

Flyers invite more, are set for camp

Posted by Chris Shafer On September - 3 - 2009

This year's big training camp invitee, Mark Bell, former first round selection (8th overall) of 1998.

It appears as though I jumped the gun just a little bit. Thanks to a technicality the Flyers have one more spot for a contract.

Normally the limit for players under contract is 50, a ledge the orange and black have been playing dangerously on in recent years to go along with the salary cap drama, but because forward Zac Rinaldo counts as a “slide risk” his contract will not count against the 50 unless he plays more than 11 games with the Flyers. Since the odds of him getting any icetime in the NHL, let alone 12 games, is slim to none the Flyers have one more spot to sneak someone under the contract limit. That’s where this year’s training camp invitees come in.

The biggest name of the invites is easily former 8th overall selection, Mark Bell, who looked to be a solid depth forward until a drunken driving escapade left him with a major debt to society. During Labor Day Weekend in 2006 Bell’s rented Camry rear-ended a stopped pickup truck at over 60mph. A blood test revealed a 0.15 BAC. Bell was suspended for 15 games and had to work in a California jail over the course of a summer.

Prior to the incident Bell was a young, steady 20+ goalscorer for the Chicago Blackhawks. After the incident he faded into relative obscurity scoring only 11 goals with 10 assists in 71 games with the San Jose Sharks in 2006-07. This was a big change from his 25 goals and 23 assists for a 2nd place in scoring on a terrible Blackhawks team the year before. Another change in scenery to the Toronto Maple Leafs for 2007-08 didn’t change anything. In 35 games he scored 4 goals and added 6 assists. Through 2009-10 he started in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies, but when the Leafs tried to call him back up the Rangers grabbed him off of re-entry waivers. He spent the rest of the year in the AHL with the Ranger’s affiliate.

So the real question is whether or not Bell can prove he can return to his former status as a steady 20+ goal forward. If he can prove this in camp there is a contract position waiting for him. According to reports Bell is now completely sober and has not touched alcohol since taking alcoholism courses ordered by the NHL. He’s one tough kid that would look good on the forwards unit if he has his act together.

Along with Mika Pyorala, Krys Kolanos, and Lukas Kaspar, Bell provides a decent low-risk/high-reward possibility. If he gets a contract there’s no question it will be similar to the $0.50m 1 year deals that Kaspar, Kolanos, and Pyorala all received. Like Kolanos and Kaspar, Bell is a former first round selection that has run into some hard times. The Flyers are looking for guys to fill holes on the team roster, and if Bell can prove he’s ready to be an NHL regular again he will only add to the team’s depth.

There are other players competing for a spot though. Along with Bell, 11 other players were invited to tryout with the Flyers starting September 12th. Center Dave Labrecque was selected in 6th round by the Flyers in this past draft out of the QMJHL. He will be attending camp to see if he can earn himself an NHL contract after a breakout season with the Shawinigan Cataractes. An undrafted, defensive-minded forward, Tomas Sinisalo, was also invited to attend camp after spending a number of years in Finland’s SM-Liiga. A left wing also out of the QMJHL, Mike Thomas, rounds out the forwards invited to try out for the orange and black.

Defenseman Tyler Hostetter out of the OHL will also be trying out for the Flyers as well as Brennan Yadlowski out of the WHL. Blueliner Logan Stephenson was invited to try out for the orange and black as a former 2nd round pick by Phoenix in the 2004 draft. Last season he managed to find his way to three different NHL teams. Originally he was traded as a Coyotes’ prospect to the Ducks’ organization and then again to the Blackhawks. He is still relatively young and has good NHL size for a defenseman, but he will have to perform well in order to find a contract on a deep AHL defense that the Phantoms have. Another player looking for a roster is 2009 6th round draft pick, Eric Wellwood. While drafted as a forward out of the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL, Wellwood, a defensively-responsible skater, has been moved to defense for camp according the Flyers’ camp roster.

As well as those three, defenseman David Sloane was invited to camp. Some people may remember him as the defenseman the Flyers signed right out of college to basically sit on the bench for the majority of an NHL game thanks to cap mismanagement after Briere’s return to the lineup. Sloane recently received a contract to play with the Phantoms only but could still end up getting a contract with the Flyers. At 6’4, 220 lbs. out of Colgate University he offers a bit of size as a possible future NHLer.

Another 2009 Flyers’ draftee who recently earned himself a contract with the Phantoms was Nicola Riopel. After an unbelievable season in the QMJHL showed Riopel to be a potential late-bloomer between the pipes, the small Moncton Wildcats star is looking to make an impact on the Phantoms and work his way to the NHL. Goaltender Jacob DeSerres from the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL looked promising when drafted in 2008 but during his 2008-09 season, his final in the WHL, he watched his stats plummet. He will be looking for a contract from the Flyers as well as Adam Morrison, another WHL goalie from the Saskatoon Blades, who was taken by the Flyers in the 3rd round back in June.

That takes care of all 12 invitees to Flyers camp. There are also 47 contracted players waiting to take the ice.


  • Bold denotes player with a chance of making the team.
  • Italics denotes a player trying to get an NHL contract.

FORWARDS – Arron Asham, Josh Beaulieu, Mark Bell, Rob Bellamy, Danny Briere, Dan Carcillo, Jeff Carter, Matt Clackson, Riley Cote, Ryan Dingle, Simon Gagne, Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Jon Kalinski, Lukas Kaspar, Garrett Klotz, Krystofer Kolanos, David Labrecque, David Laliberte, Ian Laperriere, Patrick Maroon, Jon Matsumoto, Andreas Nodl, Darroll Powe, Mika Pyorala, Mike Richards, Zac Rinaldo, Jared Ross, Tomas Sinisalo, Mike Thomas, Jason Ward, James van Riemsdyk.

DEFENSEMEN - Oskars Bartulis, Marc-Andre Bourdon, Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn, Sean Curry, Tyler Hostetter, Randy Jones, Joonas Lehtivuori, Kevin Marshall, Joey Mormina, Ryan Parent, Chris Pronger, Michael Ratchuk, David Sloane, Logan Stephenson, Danny Syvret, Kimmo Timonen, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, Eric Wellwood, Brennan Yadlowski.

GOALIES - Johan Backlund, Brian Boucher, Jacob DeSerres, Ray Emery, Adam Morrison, Nic Riopel, Michael Teslak.


  • Jeremy Duchense (G)
  • Patrik Hersley (D)
  • Mike Rathje (D) – indefinite LTIR


September 13 – 9:00 a.m.
September 14 – 9:00 a.m.
September 15 – 9:00 a.m.
September 20 – 9:00 a.m.
September 21 – 10:30 a.m.
September 22 – 10:15 a.m.
September 23 – 10:30 a.m.
September 24 – 10:15 a.m.
September 25 – 10:30 a.m.
September 26 – 10:15 a.m.
September 27 – 10:30 a.m.
September 28 – 10:30 a.m.
September 29 – 10:15 a.m.
September 30 – 10:30 a.m.
October 1 – 10:30 a.m.


  1. Sept. 16th – Philadelphia @ Detroit – Joe Louis Arena – 7:30 PM
  2. Sept. 17th – Toronto vs. Philadelphia – John Labatt Centre – 7:00 PM
  3. Sept. 19th – Philadelphia @ Toronto – Air Canada Centre – 7:00 PM
  4. Sept. 22nd – Detroit @ Philadelphia – Wachovia Center – 7:00 PM
  5. Sept. 24th – New Jersey @ Philadelphia – Wachovia Center – 7:00 PM
  6. Sept. 26th – Philadelphia @ New Jersey – Prudential Center – 7:00 PM
  7. Sept. 29th – Minnesota @ Philadelphia – Wachovia Center – 7:00 PM


Jason Smith Retires

jason-smithThat image alone sums up what Jason Smith was all about. The former Flyers’ captain retired Wednesday morning from the Ottawa Senators. While he didn’t spend much time in the orange and black he was the epitome of Flyers’ hockey. He was the gritty defenseman that led this team, heart and soul, through the 2007-08 postseason. He and Derian Hatcher played through the entire playoffs hurt. Hatcher had knee problems, and Smith had back issues. Now both are retired. While he was let go in order to make way for a younger, faster, and more mobile puck-moving defense he will be remembered in Philadelphia forever as a warrior. Thank you to Jason Smith for the great memories. Article here.

Flyers Top 20 Prospects

The Flyers top 20 prospects are up on, where I write. I did not write this top 20 since I was working on other projects for them at the time, but I was involved in the final rankings. To read the full article go here.

  1. Claude Giroux (F) – 8.0B
  2. James van Riemsdyk (F) – 8.0C
  3. Ryan Parent (D) – 7.0B
  4. Kevin Marshall (D) – 7.0C
  5. Patrick Maroon (F) – 7.0C
  6. Marc-Andre Bourdon (D) – 7.0C
  7. Andreas Nodl (F) – 6.5C
  8. Denis Bodrov (D) – 7.0D
  9. Joonas Lehtivuori (D) – 6.5C
  10. Joacim Eriksson (G) – 6.5C
  11. Jonathan Matsumoto (F) – 6.5C
  12. Michael Ratchuk (D) – 6.0C
  13. Adam Morrison (G) – 6.5C
  14. Simon Bertilsson (D) – 6.5C
  15. Oskars Bartilus (D) – 6.0C
  16. Nicola Riopel (G) – 6.5D
  17. Dave Labrecque (F) – 7.0D
  18. Jon Kalinski (F) – 5.5B
  19. David Laliberte (F) – 6.0C
  20. Jacob DeSerres (G) – 6.5D

Flyers add another minor league affiliate in IHL

The Philadelphia Flyers recently announced to the press that they have added another minor league affiliate to go along with the Adirondack Phantoms (AHL) and the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL). The Quad City Mallards are a new team in the International Hockey League (IHL) out of Moline, Illinois. From the official press release:

“On behalf of all of the stakeholders in the Quad City Mallards success – the fans, the sponsors the cities of Bettendorf, Moline, East Moline, Davenport and Rock Island as well as the administration at the i wireless center and of course the entire Mallards organization, we are very proud to announce this relationship,” said QCHT, LLC Managing Member Christopher Lencheski. “To align with the great traditions both on and off the ice that the Philadelphia Flyers have established is an honor for every Mallards fan. Tough, physical hockey is the backbone of the Flyers tradition and it serves us well to emulate their style of play as we hope to emulate their successes.”

Emery still likes to party

Posted by Chris Shafer On August - 27 - 2009

emery1Emery may be a changed man, but that does not mean he has to stop having fun. No drugs, no reckless driving, no punching people, and no arrests. This of course is a good thing. We want Emery to be level-headed during the regular season, but nobody said he had to destroy his entire social life; just most of it.

This offseason the Flyers’ new goalie has been seen all over Philadelphia attending events with teammates such as Jeff Carter, who at times seemed to be his own personal tour guide for the city of brotherly love. They were teammates in Canadian Juniors so it makes sense.

Recently images surfaced with Emery having a little fun with some friends and his Flyers’ goalie equipment. This is what we got out of it:


So let’s not jump to any conclusions, but instead admire Emery’s game at every level. Those pads do look kind of awesome don’t they? I for one can’t wait for training camp.


Flyers offseason over with Ross: 50 contract limit

Posted by Chris Shafer On August - 26 - 2009

jared ross 2With the re-signing of restricted free agent Jared Ross the Flyers have hit the 50 contract limit, and their offseason is likely over.

While a trade could happen involving Randy Jones or Matt Carle it’s not likely that either gets moved strictly for picks meaning that the amount of roster and reserve list players the Flyers have under contract would not change. That means no more signings unless there is a trade first. Those holding out hope that Jones would get the Gauthier treatment and get shoved in the AHL for the remainder of his contract (as I raise my hand) will now be without hope unless Tollefsen proves he can handle it and a forward prospect ‘wow’s everyone at camp. Say goodbye to a possible veteran scoring forward like Sykora or Afinogenov. We don’t have very many 2nd round draft picks so don’t expect Jones to get dumped on an unsuspecting team either like the other Gauthier treatment.

We’re trapped! That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. The Flyers have a impressive roster in place to compete. Here’s the breakdown (“ROSTER” designated players on only players GUARANTEED to be on opening day roster barring trade):


  • C – Mike Richards (C) – $5.75m/year – UFA in 2020
  • A – Simon Gagne (W) – $5.25m/year – UFA in 2011
  • Danny Briere (C/W) – $6.50m/year – UFA in 2015
  • Jeff Carter (C) – $5.00m/year – RFA in 2011
  • Scott Hartnell (W) – $4.20m/year – UFA in 2013
  • Ian Laperriere (C/W) – $1.17m/year – UFA in 2012
  • Dan Carcillo (W) – $0.89m/year – RFA in 2010
  • Claude Giroux (C/W) – $0.82m/year – RFA in 2011
  • Arron Asham (W) – $0.64m/year – UFA in 2010
  • Darroll Powe (C/W) – $0.52m/year – RFA in 2010


  • A – Kimmo Timonen (D) – $6.33m/year – UFA in 2013
  • Chris Pronger (D) – $6.25m/year – EXT in 2010 = $4.92m/year – UFA in 2017
  • Matt Carle (D) – $3.44m/year – UFA in 2012
  • Braydon Coburn (D) – $1.30m/year – RFA in 2010
  • Ryan Parent (D) – $0.86m/year – RFA in 2010


  • Ray Emery (G) – $1.50m/year – UFA in 2010
  • Brian Boucher (G) – $0.93m/year – UFA in 2011


  • Randy Jones (D) – $2.70m/year – UFA in 2010 (still holding out hope)
  • James van Riemsdyk (W) – $1.65m/year – RFA in 2012
  • Jon Kalinski (C/W) – $0.88m/year – RFA in 2011
  • Marc-Andre Bourdon (D) – $0.88m/year – RFA in 2012
  • Andreas Nold (W) – $0.85m/year – RFA in 2011
  • Kevin Marshall (D) – $0.85m/year – RFA in 2012
  • Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (D) – $0.60m/year – UFA in 2010
  • Danny Syvret (D) – $0.58m/year – RFA in 2010
  • Riley Cote (W) – $0.55m/year – UFA in 2011
  • Patrick Maroon (W) – $0.53m/year – RFA in 2011
  • Lukas Kaspar (W) – $0.50m/year – RFA in 2010
  • Jared Ross (C/W) – $0.50m/year – UFA in 2010
  • Mika Pyorala (C/W) – $0.50m/year – UFA in 2010
  • Krys Kolanos (C/W) – $0.50m/year – UFA in 2010
  • Jason Ward (W) – $0.50m/year – UFA in 2010

The rest of the entire list of players under contract can be viewed here. For full salary cap chart and contract durations go here.

UPDATE: Gagne injured at Team Canada Olympic Camp

Posted by Chris Shafer On August - 25 - 2009

p1_gagneAt the first day of Olympic Camp for Team Canada, Simon Gagne suffered a hip tweak. According to Darren Dreger he is not expected to return. That of course doesn’t put a fork in his chances at yet another appearance with Team Canada in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics, but it certainly does have a lot of people holding their breath.

Many are just thankful that it is not a reoccurance of his concussion from two seasons ago.

Originally the injury was being reported as a groin tweak, and groin tweaks remain no laughing matter. The situation with Danny Briere all of last season is still fresh on everyone’s mind.

There is no word on how serious the injury is currently, but there are reports he could be ready to go when camp opens in mid-September.

Recently the NHLPA sent out a warning to players attending Olympic Camps that they should decline the invitations since injuries can happen during the camps and since during such events the players are uninsured due to it being a non-NHL activity.

More will come on the Gagne injury as  news comes in. Right now this is all that there is.


Full story per Gagne injured at Team Canada Olympic Camp

Among the forwards on the Philadelphia Flyers there is no one that knows international competition quite like Simon Gagne. On his resume for international play are four medals including a gold during one of his two Olympic appearances, a World Cup gold in 2004, and a silver in both the 2005 World Championships and the 1999 World Junior Championships. With that status as a Team Canada veteran comes the pressure of taking part in the Olympic camp held before each Winter Olympics.

While the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) discouraged players from attending Olympic camps due to the injury risk, Gagne made it a point to attend this year. Everything appeared great for Team Canada’s chances, who look to ice an impressive if not dominant lineup for the 2010 games, until Gagne suffered an injury to the right side of his lower body.

Reports currently claim that, while not serious, the injury is a minor tweak to Gagne’s right groin/hip region.

“Simon Gagne sustained a mild strain of his right groin last night while practicing with Team Canada,” General Manager Paul Holmgren noted. “He was examined by Team Canada’s medical trainer and team orthopedic physician who believed that it was not a serious injury. Simon will fly back to Philadelphia today and be examined by Flyers team orthopedic physician, Peter DeLuca tomorrow afternoon.”

Gagne is expected to be ready to begin Flyers’ camp as scheduled on September 12th. While the injury appears to be in his groin/hip region where he had issues at the end of this past postseason, it is not expected to hurt his performance long-term.

It is understandable that many fans would feel nervous about the announcement that the injury is in the region of Gagne’s groin due to the series of injuries forward Danny Briere had over the course of the 2008-09 season, but there does not appear to be any similarities between the two injuries.

The real culprit in Gagne’s injury is his surgically repaired right hip. After the 2008-09 playoffs he had a number of tests taken on his right hip, and it was an issue that he hoped the surgery had taken care of back on May 28th. During a skating session in Calgary with the Team Canada hopefuls he felt a soreness in the same area.

“For now it’s nothing serious. The pace was a little faster than I was used to this summer. I think I’ll be OK for training camp,” mentioned the confident international veteran and key Flyers’ forward. “It was a little tight when I was skating on my own, but the tempo here is a lot faster than the pace I set this summer. It’s faster than I expected and I’ll need to do some more rehab.”

With Gagne out of Team Canada’s Olympic camp there are still three other Flyers in attendence. Centers Jeff Carter and Mike Richards are representing Philadelphia as well as newly acquired defenseman, Chris Pronger. Despite Gagne not being able to finish camp all four are expected to have a good shot at making the Olympic roster for 2010.

Q and A sessions with Simon Gagne following the injury as per

Q: What exactly happened?
Gagne: “We had our first practice last night at the camp. I thought it was going to be an easy practice but the tempo was very fast right away during the very first drill. Guys were obviously trying to show their best. I had been skating back home for about two weeks but not at that high level. I kind of felt that it was getting a little bit tight on me, close to the hip and groin. I had the hip surgery this summer (end of May).  It is a little bit tight everywhere and the groin is a part of that. I went to see the trainers and they pulled me out and there was really no question to try to push it again. I had the chance to speak with Steve Yzerman and he told me not to worry about it. That’s why I got off the ice and that is why I am not skating right now.

“The plan right now is that I am going to fly back to Philly tonight and see the doctors tomorrow. I got checked by the doctor from Team Canada and all that and they don’t think it is that bad. They don’t think I really hurt myself. I think it is just tightness that was there a little bit this summer when I started skating. I went to Philly to get it checked again but they said it was normal. I went back home and skated and everything was fine. But like I said when you skate back home by yourself or with a couple of guys on the ice you really aren’t pushing yourself to the limits. Yesterday’s practice was at a high level and there was no sense for me to keep going. So I think it is smart for me to go to Philly and get it checked out by our doctors and make sure everything is fine and go from there.”

Q: How disappointed are you?
Gagne: “A little bit. It is part of the game. But on the other side, I did talk to team Canada’s management and coaching staff before I left today and they said not to worry about it. They said they were not there to see how I was going to do. They said they knew that I had the experience of the last two Olympics and that I knew what is going on. They said for me to go back to Philly, get it checked out and have a good start to the season. On that side, I am not too disappointed. This is why I am going back to Philly to find out what I have to do to be ready for training camp.”

Q: How concerned are you about this injury with training camp and the regular season right around the corner?

Gagne: “Training camp is right around the corner. That is why I am heading back to see Jimmy McCrossin and our doctors. We will try to find out what is best for me and what plan we are going to take. I want to be there and be ready at Day 1 so I will do everything I can and I am sure the doctors will do the same. I am not that concerned right now. We have a plan in mind. We will follow that and I am sure I will be all right for camp.”

Fly(ers) Kicks – Custom Footwear by Casey

Posted by Roman Zubarev On August - 21 - 2009

There are few things I like more than plugging a local entrepreneur and sharing a fan’s passion with fellow phanatics.

These shots arrived in my inbox the other day from A.B.S., one of our readers who is also a rapper based out of San Francisco. I have to say, he’s found a real gem in a Philly shoe company that does custom sneaker prints. Being a Flyers nut, he had to have this one-of-a-kind pair to rep’ the Orange and Black in San Fran. Casey Customs answered that call beautifully.


Here’s a bit about the company:

Casey Customs is a elite customizing company based out of Philadelphia, PA. Founded in 2007, Casey Customs is well known internationally for one of a kind customized sneakers and unique designs. Casey has customized for individuals of all different backgrounds, such as, musicians, models, athletes, DJ’s, comedians, business owners, actors, actresses and even other designers. His motivation of designing comes from the environment he is from, places he has been, interest of music, family, and the person he is today.

For a quote and to plan your own custom pair, you can email or call Casey at: 610-883-3773.


We’re always looking to show off passionate fans. Get in touch if you have a story, pictures, anything you want to share.

Flyers defensive pairings for 2009-10

Posted by Chris Shafer On August - 18 - 2009

Parent2Young, stand out shut-down defenseman Ryan Parent may be the one to suffer from the acquisition of Chris Pronger. While there’s no question that he is more sound in his own zone than Matt Carle with a much cheaper price tag, it seems as his demotion from the top pairing with Kimmo Timonen to the bottom pairing with Randy Jones is imminent.

Being paired with the irresponsible Randy Jones is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but if there’s anyone up for the task outside on this defense outside of Chris Pronger, it is the quiet Ryan Parent.

The recent acquisition of Ole-Kristian Tollefsen may be the one thing to get Parent back into the top four, but that is a long shot.

Continue reading my full about the implications of the defensive pairings this upcoming 2009-10 season by going to the following link: – Defensive pairings in question for the Flyers

Possible Lineups for the Flyers and Phantoms for 2009-10 (barring trades)

Flyers Scenario One – Tollefsen 7th

  1. Timonen – Pronger
  2. Carle – Coburn
  3. Parent – Jones
  4. Tollefsen

Flyers Scenario Two – Jones to AHL

  1. Timonen – Pronger
  2. Carle – Coburn
  3. Parent – Tollefsen
  4. Syvret

Flyers Scenario Three – Timonen/Pronger Split One

  1. Timonen – Coburn
  2. Pronger – Carle
  3. Parent – Jones
  4. Tollefsen

Flyers Scenario Four – Timonen/Pronger Split Two

  1. Pronger – Coburn
  2. Timonen – Parent
  3. Parent – Jones
  4. Tollefsen

Phantoms Projected One – Marshall/Bourdon

  1. Marshall – Bourdon
  2. Syvret – Lehtivuori
  3. Bartulis – Ratchuk
  4. Curry – Hersley
  5. Mormina

Phantoms Projected Two – Syvret/Marshall

  1. Syvret – Marshall
  2. Bourdon – Lehtivuori
  3. Bartulis – Ratchuk
  4. Curry – Hersley
  5. Mormina

Possible Call-Up Order to Flyers

  1. Syvret
  2. Marshall
  3. Bourdon
  4. Bartulis
  5. Curry
  6. Lehtivuori
  7. Ratchuk

“Jeremy Roenick, You Are the Man!”

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On August - 17 - 2009

JR being JR.

JR, you already knew this but “You Are the Man!” After 18 NHL seasons your hanging em’ up. It’s certainly been a Hall of Fame career for you. And I mean that in so many ways. Your one of the most beloved players among all fans of the NHL, not just of the teams you played for. Sure you’ve stirred the pot a little but what great influential person doesn’t?

I think I can speak for every Flyer fan when I say that you’ll be missed and never forgotten. We loved you in this town for so many reasons, most of all though, you were just like us. We felt a bond with you that we feel with very few players. In a business dominated by million dollar contracts and ego’s you let us know we were important to the sport, to you.

From the press conference when you were introduced as a Flyer giving Ed Snider a big bear hug live on television, we were hooked. Don’t get me wrong the prospects of you playing for the Flyers in the first place was exciting enough. To see how pumped you were to be wearing the Orange and Black, and how badly you wanted what we wanted was an extra bonus.

I remember seeing you at many Flyers games after you had sustained a concussion. And no you weren’t sitting in the team box, you were down by the ice leaning up against the glass by the Zamboni door. Cheering along with us, slapping hands with fans at ice level.

And yes you stirred it up with fans, teams, media, and even the NHL itself. And you may not have always been right, but what it showed was your passion for the sport. Passion is an adjective that describes Philly fans best, and one we have in common with you, JR. Something that will link us together forever.

You’re one of a kind JR. I thank you for what you’ve given the sport of Hockey, the NHL and to Flyer fans everywhere. And one more thing, hope to see you on Versus covering the NHL this upcoming season!

Honorable mention this week was not that hard, considering the options.  The Eagles? Nope. Michael Vick? Yikes. How about Primoz Brezec? See what I’m saying?

Cliff Lee has had a tremendous start for the Phils. With a record of 3-0 and an ERA of 1.12? Somebody pinch me, is this what an ace is like?

Yeah Cliff, you’re having one hell of a start wearing red pin-stripes. And maybe you’ll help lead the Phils to another World Series. It’s just not enough to beat out a future Hall of Famer this week.

*** Follow Me on Twitter @Mike__SB ***

-Mike Santa Barbara

Heatley to Philly? and how to get Winter Classic tickets

Posted by Chris Shafer On August - 17 - 2009

heatley2Hold the freaking phone just one second! Apparently the combined efforts of myself and Flyers’ beat writer Timmy P. are not enough to destroy these rumors. Just three days ago I wrote a nice little blurb on explaining why the Flyers don’t want to touch Dany Heatley. Here’s a little snippet:

The fact remains that unless the Flyers do something they will later regret Heatley will not becoming to Philadelphia. His production has taken a nose dive in recent years, and three Flyers produced more offense last season (Carter, Richards, and Gagne) than Heatley. Briere likely would have as well if not for injury issues. Giroux will soon probably be producing around there as well. There is no reason to give up more offense than would be gained by getting Heatley which is the only way the Senator would become a Flyer.

Well yesterday some writer on decided to give his own take on the Flyers’ offensive situation. According to this guy, Dustin Leed, not only are the Flyers still involved in talks with the Ottawa Senators, but they should even consider bringing the guy over from Ottawa. I’m not always the first to judge players complaining about their situation on a team because a lot of the time that player has a good reason to want out. Heatley though wants to be traded into a winning situation. He doesn’t like the organization in Ottawa and has begged to be traded. Then, when a deal was in place to ship him off to Edmonton, he completely blocked any attempts that the organization made to get the deal done before July 1st. At midnight that day he was due for a gignatic bonus, and the Senators didn’t want to have to shell out the extra millions for a player that didn’t want to play there. Well Heatley got his money regardless and didn’t want to join the Oilers. I wouldn’t want to go to Edmonton either, but if I was desperate to get out of a situation in Ottawa I certainly wouldn’t be all that picky.

So at the moment Heatley remains a Senator and despite rumors about Edmonton, Montreal, and New York the Flyers are somehow next on the parade. It makes a lot of sense though right? The Flyers just lost Knuble and Lupul so they should be looking for offense right? Not necessarily.

Pronger comes with his own offense which would generally cover Joffrey Lupul believe it or not. If you believe a full season out of Briere and Giroux combined won’t cover Mike Knuble’s offense then you’re imagining things.

So the Flyers are set offensively, thank you very much.

Does that mean that they should go after Heatley anyway based on this WIN NOW! approach the Flyers have going? Well, I’ll give you the facts and let you be the judge.

Trading Offense for Less Offense:

The rumors involving Heatley have pointed out a number of players as the main piece in the deal including Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne, Danny Briere, Scott Hartnell, and Claude Giroux. For those keeping track at home those are all of our true offensive weapons with the exception of captain Mike Richards. Right now rumors involving Heatley to Philadelphia have us giving up two of these pieces or one of them along with top prospect James van Riemsdyk. I can assure you that is not going to happen. Here’s a breakdown of each player’s offense over the last four seasons (if applicable):

Dany Heatley (Age: 28) – $7.50m/year through 2013-14

  • 2005-06: 82 GP – 50 G – 53 A – 103 P – 0.61 GPG – 1.26 PPG
  • 2006-07: 82 GP – 50 G – 55 A – 105 P – 0.61 GPG – 1.28 PPG
  • 2007-08: 71 GP – 41 G – 41 A – 82 P – 0.58 GPG – 1.15 PPG
  • 2008-09: 82 GP – 39 G – 33 A – 72 P – 0.48 GPG – 0.88 PPG

Danny Briere (Age: 31) – $6.50m/year through 2014-15

  • 2005-06: 48 GP – 25 G – 33 A – 58 P – 0.52 GPG – 1.21 PPG
  • 2006-07: 81 GP – 32 G – 63 A – 95 P – 0.40 GPG – 1.17 PPG
  • 2007-08: 79 GP – 31 G – 41 A – 72 P – 0.39 GPG – 0.91 PPG
  • 2008-09: 29 GP – 11 G – 14 A – 25 P – 0.38 GPG – 0.86 PPG

Simon Gagne (Age: 29) – $5.25m/year through 2010-11

  • 2005-06: 72 GP – 47 G – 32 A – 79 P – 0.65 GPG – 1.10 PPG
  • 2006-07: 76 GP – 41 G – 27 A – 68 P – 0.54 GPG – 0.89 PPG
  • 2007-08: 25 GP – 7 G – 11 A – 18 P – 0.28 GPG – 0.72 PPG
  • 2008-09: 79 GP – 34 G – 40 A – 74 P – 0.43 GPG – 0.94 PPG

Mike Richards (Age: 24) – $5.75m/year from now until the end of time

  • 2005-06: 79 GP – 11 G – 23 A – 34 P – 0.14 GPG – 0.43 PPG
  • 2006-07: 59 GP – 10 G – 22 A – 32 P – 0.17 GPG – 0.54 PPG
  • 2007-08: 73 GP – 28 G – 47 A – 75 P – 0.38 GPG – 1.03 PPG
  • 2008-09: 79 GP – 30 G – 50 A – 80 P – 0.38 GPG – 1.01 PPG

Jeff Carter (Age: 24) – $5.00m/year through 2010-11

  • 2005-06: 81 GP – 23 G – 19 A – 42 P – 0.28 GPG – 0.52 PPG
  • 2006-07: 62 GP – 14 G – 23 A – 34 P – 0.23 GPG – 0.55 PPG
  • 2007-08: 82 GP – 29 G – 24 A – 53 P – 0.35 GPG – 0.65 PPG
  • 2008-09: 82 GP – 46 G – 38 A – 84 P – 0.56 GPG – 1.02 PPG

Scott Hartnell (Age: 27) – $4.20m/year through 2012-13

  • 2005-06: 81 GP – 25 G – 23 A – 48 P – 0.31 GPG – 0.59 PPG
  • 2006-07: 64 GP – 22 G – 17 A – 39 P – 0.34 GPG – 0.61 PPG
  • 2007-08: 80 GP – 24 G – 19 A – 43 P – 0.30 GPG – 0.54 PPG
  • 2008-09: 82 GP – 30 G – 30 A – 60 P – 0.37 GPG – 0.73 PPG

Claude Giroux (Age: 21) – $0.82m/year through 2010-11

  • 2007-08: 2 GP – 0 G – 0 A – 0 P – 0.00 GPG – 0.00 PPG
  • 2008-09: 42 GP – 9 G – 18 A – 27 P – 0.21 GPG – 0.64 PPG

Basically, the gist of the matter is giving up two of those six pieces for Heatley would be absurd. Granted Heatley is better offensively than any of them over the last four seasons, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to hit 50 goals and 100 points in Philadelphia. Even then though, all six of Philadelphia’s top forwards are basically guaranteed anywhere from 20 to 50 goals in a healthy season. Four of them are pretty much set for anywhere between 70 to 90 points. Two for one would in fact hurt this offense even if Heatley plays his best despite the fact that he’s likely a future hall-of-famer if he continues his pace.

Salary Figures

At $7.50m a year Heatley would immediately become our biggest cap hit, overtaking Briere by $1.00m a season. For the Flyers that is just too much money for deal involving Heatley for a top six forward, prospect, and pick. Two roster players absolutely have to head Ottawa’s way in the deal. It obviously can’t be two of the Flyers’ top six forwards, and it won’t be any of Timonen, Coburn, Pronger, or Parent. On top of that it can’t be Claude Giroux for salary cap reasons or Mike Richards since he is the captain. That leaves Gagne, Carter, Briere, and Hartnell for the forwards and Carle and Jones for the defensemen.

Ottawa needs mobile puck-moving defensemen so Jones or Carle is certainly a start. If the Flyers are taking back another gigantic, long-term contract like Heatley’s though it would almost have to be Carle who may be expendable due to the Pronger acquisition. Parent has shown he can play in the top four, and Jones’ salary, which comes off the books this upcoming offseason, will go a long way toward re-signing both Coburn and Parent.

So from there all the package needs is a forward and either a pick or prospect. It likely won’t be Carter due to his age and status in Philadelphia. He recently was runner-up for the Rocket Richard trophy behind only Alexander Ovechkin. Players like him don’t come along often.

Gagne likely won’t be the one to go only because his contract will likely be used to give Giroux and Carter new contracts in two years. The four of Briere, Giroux, Carter, and Gagne will not all fit on this team two years from now. Should Gagne be traded for another large, long-term contract like Heatley’s it would almost secure a ticket out for Giroux or Carter unless Briere is moved. That’s not likely to happen.

Hartnell is certainly a possibility with the physicality that Philadelphia recently brought in on the blueline and among the bottom six. Everyone loves Hartnell, but he’s easily the smallest loss to the offensive stockpile out of the six. Included with Carle’s long-term contract the two would cancell out the salary taken on by bringing Heatley on board for at least a couple of seasons.

Briere even with his N0-Movement Clause remains the most likely candidate for the Flyers to ship out. Briere loves Philadelphia, and though he’s getting older he does not deserve half of the punishment he receives from the fans. In a healthy season Briere is the most offensively gifted forward on this team. He may be soft and a detriment in the defensive zone, but he is still an outstanding forward. At $6.50m he is the only offensive threat that could come close to Heatley’s salary, and it’s no question that Heatley would be an upgrade ignoring Heatley’s locker-room antics.

All of that being understood there is a choice of three packages that are about all I’ll offer from the Flyers point of view:

  1. Briere + Jones + Nodl for Heatley
  2. Hartnell + Carle for Heatley
  3. Briere + Carle for Heatley + another low cap hit roster player.

Any other deals just don’t make sense for the Flyers. Philadelphia right now holds the position of power over Ottawa, and if Holmgren can pull off a move that betters the orange and black for the future then I’m all for it. Unfortunately deals that would actually benefit the Flyers are limited.

I highly doubt Heatley joins the orange and black.


As per

Registration at for the general public, random ticket drawing will begin on Tuesday, September 15, 2009, at Noon, Eastern Time (ET), and will run through Monday, October 5, 2009 at 11:59 a.m. ET. Registrations received after the deadline will not be accepted. There is no fee to register. Limit one entry per person or household. Registrants selected in the drawing will be notified by October 20, 2009 of their opportunity to purchase one pair of tickets (seated together).

Basically if you want to get tickets you’ll have to register with the NHL. Each household is limited to one registration for the lottery. There is no fee to register, but if you somehow get your number called (I guess) you are allowed to purchase a pair of tickets to the game.

Season ticket holders for both the Flyers and Bruins will get their tickets some other way. I don’t know how they’re going to do that, but the odds are if you have a season ticket plan or even a partial season ticket plan your odds of getting a seat to the game is much higher; astronomically higher.

There are 37,400 seats at Fenway and the demand for tickets is nearly double what it was last year.

Winter Classic ticket info and NHL power rankings

Posted by Chris Shafer On August - 15 - 2009
Chris Pronger is awesome. Don't question it.

Chris Pronger is awesome. Don't question it.

We’re finally getting to that point of the summer when preseason rankings start to come out. ESPN of course, ever the one to ignore convention, did theirs a couple weeks ago, but who cares? It’s not like anyone listens to them right? Actually, I forgot that they are the “world’s leader in sports.” I guess they forgot to get the memo about being good at their job. The one thing that helps me sleep at night is even though some football analyst got the short straw to do the NHL preseason rankings for ESPN and butchered it in the same manner beer-thrower guy would be if he stepped into Philly or, if you prefer, in the same way that virtually every female Eagles fan jumped ship the moment Vick was signed (not judging because I have my reservations too), is that Chris Pronger is going to wreak havoc whether Mr. Terry Frei wants him to or not. After all when Pittsburgh wins the media wins; when Philadelphia wins 28 teams outside of Pennsylvania win. Pronger has the public duty of cleaning up this mess that league commissioner Gary Bettman left over in the western half of the state, and when Pronger goes to work you might want to hide the women and children.

So when we left off with the preseason power rankings a bit ago ESPN’s football analyst Terry Frei had just done his best impression of a fourth grader taking the SATs. Needless to say he was in a little over his head. The Flyers got fourth place in the East. We’re not even talking about the entire NHL. Granted I understand the philosophy that the previous year’s winner gets 1st place automatically, but the Flyers, who only made the biggest move of the offseason to better themselves for the playoffs, were dropped below a Washington Capitals team with a defensive deficiency that makes Randy Jones look like a solid NHL blueliner and a Boston Bruins team that has no cap space to get Phil Kessel under contract. Go figure right? Their top sniper is still sitting around at home as a restricted free agent, and camp is less than a month away. Even if Kessel is re-signed the Bruins are going to have to give up a sizable piece or their team to do it. Also don’t forget that there are salary cap issues elsewhere. The Penguins are still short two top six wingers with no money left to sign anyone.

Anyway, that’s the end of my rant. Here are your power rankings:

ESPN (Eastern Conference only)

  1. Pittsburgh Penguins
  2. Washington Capitals
  3. Boston Bruins
  4. Philadelphia Flyers – Chris Pronger had yet to take an ill-advised penalty for the Flyers when they signed him to a seven-year extension. His lack of discipline and unpredictability certainly is part of his game and thus his effectiveness, whether against the Penguins or Capitals or anyone else, and it’s not as if the Ducks’ approach was anything close to passive the past few years. John Stevens’ challenge is to keep Pronger — who knows the main reason he has been brought in is to harass the conference’s young superstars (well, except for Jeff Carter and Mike Richards), and probably already is taking Russian lessons to pick up a few terms for Army boots and worse — from getting too caught up in the Broad Street atmosphere and doing at least as much harm as good. But if Ray Emery indeed is a changed man, there will be a lot of general managers deservedly getting heat for not taking a shot at him — and we’re talking about a wrister from the slot.
  5. Carolina Hurricanes

The Hockey News (Eastern Conference only)

  • To Be Determined: The Flyers are not up yet and will likely be within 4 to 5 days. We’re at least in the top six in the East, but THN is a good outlet. Expect 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.

TSN (Eastern Conference only)

  • To Be Determined: The Canadians do hockey right. They’re waiting until closer to the opening of camps to determine who gets ranked where. It’s still the offseason right now and anything can happen.

Yahoo! Sports (entire NHL)

  1. Pittsburgh Penguins
  2. Chicago Blackhawks
  3. Boston Bruins
  4. Vancouver Canucks
  5. Philadelphia Flyers – Chris Pronger in a Flyers sweater? Even if he’s getting a little long in the tooth, something just feels very right about this. It should be fun.
  6. Detroit Red Wings
  7. Washington Capitals
  8. Calgary Flames
  9. Anaheim Ducks
  10. San Jose Sharks

Sports Illustrated (entire NHL)

  1. Pittsburgh Penguins
  2. San Jose Sharks
  3. Detroit Red Wings
  4. Philadelphia Flyers – Chris Pronger might be the most ideal late-career signing since Denis Savard joined the Canadiens. Pronger’s snarl and skill, even in decline, give Philly a top-shelf blueline to match a deep group of forwards. Together, they might just be good enough to cover up for the new and unimproved netminding tandem of Ray Emery and Brian Boucher.
  5. Boston Bruins
  6. Chicago Blackhawks
  7. Calgary Flames
  8. Carolina Hurricanes
  9. Anaheim Ducks
  10. Vancouver Canucks

And there you have it. Sports Illustrated has proven they have competent journalism compared to ESPN’s crap. Maybe I should get myself a subscription.

And as promised, Winter Classic Ticket Information as reported by Timmy P.:

Flyers fans bleed orange ‘n black, even during the summer.

One of the most requested things we’ve been asked via e-mail since July, is when the NHL is going to release ticket information for the Winter Classic.

The answer is, noon this coming Monday, when the league is expected to announce a limited lottery system for the New Year’s Day game between the Flyers and Bruins at Boston’s Fenway Park.

The league’s official announcement will be posted at

There you have it. On Monday at noon the NHL will release how, when, and where you can get your Winter Classic tickets, but here’s a run down on your odds:

  • Wrigley Field Capacity: 41,118
  • 2008 Winter Classic Demand: 240,000+
  • Fenway Park Capacity: 37,400
  • 2009 Winter Classic Demand: A lot more than last year.

So there you go. Demand has gone up quite a bit. Two gigantic hockey markets are battling it out at historic Fenway Park. Basically, unless your a season ticket holder you’re odds of getting a seat are slim to none. There’s always hope though.

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