Not many people know the name Mika Pyorala. But they may want to learn.
On day one of Flyers’ training camp at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., Philadelphia coach John Stevens paired 28-year old Pyorala on a line with Scott Hartnell and Jeff Carter. With a healthy number of hopeful forwards looking to make an impression, no one expect the move to stick. But it did.
“They are very offensive guys that get a lot of points,” said Pyorala (PURE-ella), who will likely be matched up with the same line in the team’s first preseason game Wednesday in Detroit. “I know if I am going to play with them I have to try to balance the lines because I’m a defensive player.”
VOORHEES — For those who assumed that Blair Betts’ training camp try out would automatically end in a roster spot – think again.
On his first day of skating at the Flyers’ practice facility at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., Betts didn’t seem confident that he was a shoe-in on the Flyers’ roster.
“We have been talking to the Flyers for a couple months and there seems to be a little bit of interest from them,” said Betts, who spent the last four years with the Rangers. “There is an opportunity (to earn a contract) but I don’t know how great of an opportunity it is.
“My conversations with them (Paul Holmgren and John Stevens) were very short. I was told to play hard and work hard and an opportunity may open up for me. That’s all I’m focusing on right now.”
It was reported but not confirmed that defenseman Steve Eminger would attend Flyers’ training camp as a try out, similar to what Bryan Berard did last season before signing in the KHL. But I have been told by a Flyers source very close to the situation that there is “No truth to the rumor at this time.” Eminger may still receive an open invite to try out at training camp, but contrary to rumored reports nothing is official
Eminger signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia last offseason, but was traded to Tampa Bay with Steve Downie for defenseman Matt Carle. He was then traded to Florida. Eminger is a unrestricted free agent, but has yet to sign with any team. He scored 23 points in 50 games with the Lightning.
According to the Swiss League hockey magazine Slapshot, defensive center and former Blue Jacket Jiri Novotny, is waiting on a contract offer by the Flyers before making the decision to depart for the KHL.
Per rough google translation …
“The defensive center Jiri Novotny (26) will wait until Monday to receive an offer from Philadelphia. If he gets no NHL contract,after seven years in North America, he will leave and return to Europe. He has offers from Servette (Swiss league) and from Russia.”
Other than being one of the top defenseman in the league, Chris Pronger was brought in by the Flyers to be an active leader and influence for the young core. And with a month still remaining before training camp on Sept. 13, the veteran defender’s job as a role model has already been put in motion.
“I’m usually here around this time trying to start skating and preparing for the season, and doing all the little things that it takes to be ready to go for the start of camp,” Pronger told the Flyers’ Kevin Kurz, about showing up to camp a month early.
After putting on the stall tactics for a day, the Flyers have officially inked 25-year old defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen to a one-year deal. Terms were not immediately disclosed.
“I feel great. I am really excited to be coming to Philadelphia,” OKT said. “I have always been a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers and what they are all about.”
According to the initial report on Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, the gritty blue-liner was all-but signed pending a passed physical. Well, the physical results are in, but Tollefsen remains just “a player of interest.”
“He checked out OK,” General Manager Paul Holmgren told the media.
Anthony SanFilippo of the Delco Times is reporting that former Columbus defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen will be in town by the end of the weekend for a physical. And if the 6’2, 211 lbs. blue liner passes all that’s thrown at him, he will become the newest Flyer.
After weeks of speculation, the Flyers have made it official with former San Jose forward Lukas Kaspar. The former first-round selection in2004 was let go by the Sharks after underachieving and spending the majority of his pro career in the AHL. Kaspar played just 16 games with the Sharks, scoring four points in the process.
The 23-year old has the size to be a force at 6’2, 225 lbs., but doesn’t play like a power forward. Despite having a sniper’s shot and decent hands, Kaspar is inconsistent and plays a shy game. He has signed a two-way contract and could see some time with the Flyers, if his performance in training camp and his time with the Phantoms are productive.
With the signing of Kaspar, the Flyers continue to load up the AHL-NHL tweeners. With Krys Kolanos, Mika Pyorala, Jason Ward and now Lukas Kaspar in the mix, the Flyers have incredible forward depth in the system. Not to mention if one of these players finally hits their potential, they could quickly become an everyday NHLer.
Despite clear interest by the Flyers’ organization, prospects Mario Kempe and Denis Bodrov will not attend any sort of training camp this season.