Monthly Archives: June 2011

Selecting Couturier was Right Choice for Flyers

It was unexpected and certainly not a selection of need, but with the eighth pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in Minnesota on Friday, the Flyers choose the best player available in center Sean Couturier.

And despite the surprise, it was the correct decision.

With Chris Pronger, turning 37 in October, and Kimmo Timonen, 36, hitting the twilight of their careers, it would have made sense for general manager Paul Holmgren to re-stock his team’s defensive cabinet and pull the trigger on 6-foot-4 blueliner Dougie Hamilton or 5-10 defensive waterbug Ryan Murphy. In fact, many experts believed that the two talented rear guards to be the best players available when the Flyers hit the podium to make their selection.

But when Winnipeg reached off the board to grab Mark Scheifele with the seventh pick, suddenly, and to their pleasant surprise, the Flyers had a top-five forward talent in Couturier fall right into their lap. Throw in the fact that when selecting in the top 10, avoiding need and grabbing the best player available is really the only choice, making the decision to steal Couturier was the right one.

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Trading Carter, Richards Changes Everything for Flyers

It will go down in Flyers history as the Day of Reckoning.

General manager Paul Holmgren took his organization across the hockey Rubicon and with guts made of iron, changing the course of the Flyers’ future for the next decade.

The afternoon of June 23, one day before the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Holmgren ripped the spine out of the Flyers by trading Mike Richards and Jeff Carter less than an hour apart, and replaced it with a younger, more talented but less-proven set of discs and cords.

The Flyers needed salary cap space to sign goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. They just needed a minor shuffle of the deck and to re-load for a run at the Stanley Cup next season. Instead, they wiped the slate clean.

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Bruins Thomas Proves to Flyers That Goaltending Still Matters

As he grabbed the Stanley Cup from the hands of teammate Mark Recchi on Wednesday and raised it to the rafters in celebration at Rogers Arena, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas made a statement.

The Conn Smythe winner, who almost single-handedly toppled the President’s Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks in seven games, sent a message that rang throughout the NHL.

That message was, “Yeah, you do need goaltending to win a Stanley Cup.”

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In Bryzgalov, Flyers Have Right Man for the Job

Immediately following their eye-opening sweep by the Boston Bruins in the second round of the playoffs, general manager Paul Holmgren and the Flyers went on a job hunt.

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Flyers Get Their Man in Bryzgalov, Now Need Money

With the headstrong decision to acquire the rights to Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov on Tuesday, the Flyers and general manager Paul Holmgren have got a legitimate No. 1 in their grasp.

Now they just need the money to pay him.

“We didn’t make this trade to acquire his rights just to hang around,” said Holmgren on a conference call. “We’re going to try our best to get him signed.”

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Flyers’ 2006 Draft Blunder Hard to Ignore

Playing the ‘what if’ game with regards to the NHL draft is a time-honored tradition and hindsight is always clear as crystal. Looking back to see which team passed on Loui Eriksson, Shea Weber and Corey Crawford in favor of Dmitri Chernykh, Shawn Belle and Mike Egener, is as entertaining and heartbreaking as it is meaningless.

However, when it comes to the 2006 NHL Entry draft in Vancouver, the Flyers didn’t just make just one mistake to look back on and groan, they made three — in the same round.

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Losing Prospects Continues Spiral for Flyers Farm System

With an overall disregard and an organizational back turn on drafting young talent, the Flyers prospect system is among the worst in the NHL. And as of Friday, by officially losing the rights to goaltender and lead prospect Joacim Eriksson, along with defenseman Simon Bertilsson, goalie Nicola Riopel and forward David Labrecque, they began cutting it from both ends.

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