On Thursday, the Philadelphia Flyers released the long-awaited 2008-09 preseason schedule. The Flyers begin at home against the New Jersey Devils on September 22 and wrap up on October 4 on the road against those same Devils.
Monthly Archives: July 2008
As many speculated, the Philadelphia Flyers, along with many other teams, will sport brand new alternative “third” jerseys for the upcoming 2008-09 season.
The Flyers skipped the post practice scrimmage Friday, likely due to a limited amount of healthy players. Josh Beaulieu missed his third practice after taking a shot to the skate and leaving the ice Tuesday. Steve Downie missed his second practice in a row. Mario Kempe was not available due to an injury he suffered Thursday that caused him to be helped off the ice. Claude Giroux also skipped Friday’s practice for unknown reasons.
Thursday’s scrimmage was forced to switch to four-on-four, midway through the contest, due to limited roster by both teams.
Claude Giroux finally came alive, scoring a pretty breakaway goal and looking more like the player everyone expected in Thursday’s prospect scrimmage. Forward Steve Downie did not take part in drills or the scrimmage for unknown reasons and after a very good start from Mario Kempe, the speedy forward had to be walked off the ice and into the locker room due to an injury.
As the Flyers’ prospects take a break from the ice and head to Avalon, N.J. for the long running Trial on the Isle, a triathlon followed by a charity softball game, Philabright reviews the first half of camp from the Flyers’ Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J.
According to Bob Stauffer of team 1260 radio in Edmonton, the Philadelphia Flyers have come to terms with 24-year-old forward Joffrey Lupul on a four-year deal that would extend his contract with the Flyers through the 2013-2014 season. Because the deal was signed after July 1, Lupul will fulfill the remaining year of his contract at his previous salary of $2.3 million and will revert to his new salary on July 1, 2009. Stauffer said the official announcement would come Monday.
Lupul will likely get a raise of about $2 million, pushing his salary to around $4 million a year. But before the salary scientists pull their hair out over the specualtion over the Flyers’ numbers, Philadelphia will have roughly $17 million worth of cap space next season not counting a possible cap rise. Lupul, who scored 20 goals and 26 assists while missing 20-plus games with a concussion, will be the first crossed off the 2009-2010 free agent list that still includes Scottie Upshall, Mike Knuble, Steve Eminger, Lasse Kukkonen, Ossi Vaananen, Antero Niittymaki and Marty Biron. Lupul’s most memorable moment in his one year with the Flyers was his game 7 overtime goal against the Washington Capitals to send the Flyers into the semifinals.
The Philadelphia Flyers start the 2008-09 season against the division rival New York Rangers, following up with 2008 playoff foe Montreal Canadians and then the orange and black head to Pittsburgh for the first road game of the season against the hated Penguins. After that the Flyers face the San Jose Sharks in a first-ever home and home series against the pacific division club then come back home for another home and home with the New Jersey Devils. The Flyers will also be traveling to Chicago the day after Christmas, then going through Columbus and Vancouver and finally finishing the holiday road trip at the Washington Capitals on Jan. 6. March 17 the Flyers head to Detroit to play the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, a place they haven’t won at in what seems like 20 years.
The full Philadelphia Flyers 2008-09 schedule will be announced tomorrow, but an official sneak preview to the upcoming season has been released on the Flyers’ website.
The release officially states that the Flyers will open their season on Oct. 11 at the Wachovia Center against Atlantic Division rival New York Rangers.
Starting this season, the NHL put in place a new scheduling system in which each team from the Eastern Conference will play every other team from the Western Conference at least once. Also, each Eastern Conference division will be matched up with a Western Conference division and each team will play three teams from the designated division.
The Atlantic Division will face the Pacific Division and the Flyers have been selected to face the Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings twice, one at home and one away.
Tomorrow I will post the full schedule, when it is announced at noon.
The Philadelphia Flyers drafted defenseman Joni Pitkanen fourth overall in the 2002 NHL entry draft, with hopes that the gifted blueliner would reach his potential and become one of the best offensive-minded blueliners in the league. But what the Flyers soon learned about Joni, was that despite his high ceiling of potential, his head was never quite there.
Gator gone… no ill will.
Former Flyers’ captain Jason Smith, finalized a two-year deal with the Ottawa Senators worth $2.6 million per year. Smith was warrior for the Flyers in his lone year with the club, but appeared to run out of gas down the stretch, possibly due to devastating injuries to both his shoulders and elbow. Smith, along with Anton Volchenkov, gives Ottawa a nasty physical presence on the blueline, and will be a breath of fresh air in the leadership department after scandalous and immature acts self destructed the juggernaut Sens’ 2007-08 season.
Thor, we will miss you … but not that much.
Restricted free agent forward Patrick Thoresen declined an offer by the Flyers and opted to play in Europe for the 2008-09 season. The 24-year-old Norwegian will be most remembered for laying his body on the line to block a shot in the playoffs that shaterred his protective cup and severely bruised his testicle, almost forcing emergancy removal. In a gutsy move, Thor was back in the lineup just days later. The Flyers were quick to replace Thor by signing veteran tough guy Arron Asham to a multi-year deal.
Modry back to Europe.
Short lived Flyers’ defenseman Jaroslav Modry, has reportedly signed a deal with a Swedish tier 2 team and will likely remain in Europe for the final years of his hockey career. Modry will be remembered negatively for his time in Philly, mostly due to his being on the ice for ALL of the first 12 goals scored against the Flyers in the 2007-08 playoffs. Hearts did go out to the veteran when his father passed away during the start of the playoffs, but instead of leaving the team to mourn, he stayed to compete. His poor play led him to be a healthy scratch as the playoffs progressed, and he was able to be with his family.
Official camps starting NEXT Friday.
Next Friday at the Skatezone in Voorhees, New Jersey, the Flyers will be conducting their annual prospect conditioning camp. The players joining the team for camp will be all of the Flyers’ prospects not in the NHL and not from Russia. Some current Flyers may join the young group in their workouts, particularly ones returning from injury like Simon Gagne. Players to watch will be the newly drafted Luca Sbisa, burly defenseman Kevin Marshall, super thug Garrett Klotz, and my dark horse for success — defenseman Patrick Hersley.