With the memorable 2009-10 season complete with the Stanley Cup still not in Philadelphia, attention is now immediately turned to next year’s Flyers team and what, if anything, will change with regards to personnel.
During the “clean-out” day on Friday morning, Philly general manager Paul Holmgren made one thing clear — whether minor or major, change is coming.
Philadelphia Inquirer writer Sam Carchidi reported from the media day that Holmgren said it was “Highly unlikely” that this Flyers team stays intact moving into next season. That brings up the question of who is on the outs and who might come in?
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The Chicago Blackhawks do not like Chris Pronger.
Two days after the Hawks won the Stanley Cup over Pronger and the Flyers, a picture has surfaced featuring the graffiti “Pronger is gay” on the Chicago locker room white board during the Hawks post-game celebration in game 6. The classless and childish epithet came a day after a video was released of Chicago’s Adam Burish verbally attacking Pronger in a media interview during on-ice celebrations.
However, this slight on Pronger has taken it one step further.
Known more as a talker than a tough guy, Chicago Blackhawks forward Adam Burish didn’t let winning the Stanley Cup sugar coat his opinion of Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger.
“I think Chris Pronger is the biggest idiot in the league,” Burish bravely told the media while his team celebrated with the Cup. “I can’t stand the guy one bit, I hope I never have to see him again. If I see him out there I might punch him.”
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The Flyers have nothing to be ashamed of.
What began as a group of unlikable, vacation-taking pub crawlers, transformed, on a blood-stained playoff proving ground, into a gritty, gutsy, never-say-die team. The type of squad that, win or lose, gets etched into lore and has made Philadelphia proud.
“I’m proud of our team and the way we compete,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette told the media after his team’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks that gave Chicago the 4-2 Stanley Cup Finals victory. “The way we played, the way we never quit. We never gave up. They kept fighting.”
With unimaginable pressure leading into game 6 tonight with his team facing elimination down 3-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks, Flyers forward Danny Briere still manages to keep it all in perspective.
The community-driven veteran acquired valuable game 6 luxury box tickets for a group of children currently receiving cancer treatment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“I’ve been extremely lucky. I am doing what I love to do, and playing in a series every hockey player dreams of,” Briere told the media. “I wanted to share this moment, not only with my friends and family, but with a few kids that are in a need of a reason to smile.”
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Two days off in between games 5 and 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals couldn’t come at a better time for the Flyers and Danny Briere.
According to Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly.com, Briere was in such bad shape after receiving stitches under his right eye as a result of third period high stick, that he was unavailable to the media during the post game.
“At first glance, I almost thought it was intentional,” Laviolette told the media. “The puck wasn’t even around. Looking at it again, it should have been a four minute penalty. You have to be in control of your stick out there. Dangerously close to a severe eye injury.”
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During the late stages of Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime Stanley Cup Finals victory of the Chicago Blackhawks, Flyers captain Mike Richards looked sluggish. With little jump, the 25-year-old center could be seen hunched over with elbows on his knees, as he coasted back to the bench.
It looked like he was out of gas.
“At times, it looks like he wants to do something but his body just won’t allow him to do it,” one unnamed former played told Steve Simmons of the QMI Agency. “It looks to me like he’s physically worn down.”