Category Archives: 2011 offseason

Despite Age, Nylander is Good Addition to Flyers Training Camp

He may not appear like much on paper, but unsigned tryout Michael Nylander will be a welcomed sight at Flyers training camp beginning in late September.

Sure, at 38, his best years are clearly behind him. Having been pushed out of the NHL since 2008-09 isn’t ideal and the broken neck he suffered in October of 2010 doesn’t typically spell a recipe for future success.

However, what the veteran center does bring to training camp is an interesting variable to the seemingly set Flyers roster equation. Nylander represents possibilities, options and at worst, free competition.

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Healthy Crosby is a Good Thing for Flyers

Easily the most detested, scathed and ridiculed player the Flyers have faced since 2005, Sidney Crosby has played the part of shining white knight to Philadelphia’s dark side bullies with perfection.

With his nice-boy image and his sparkling reputation around the league, the 24-year-old is everything the Flyers aren’t. As the poster-child for the new NHL, he is the Flyers’ antithesis. He is their most recognizable nemesis.

So when the news broke on Monday that Crosby’s concussion symptoms have continued to haunt him and that he might not be cleared to participate by the start of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ training camp, it isn’t just the NHL and the Penguins who should groan, Flyers fans should be there too.

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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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