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.”
The Flyers did not have to wait until the AHL season got underway for James Van Riemsdyk to suddenly turn it on.
The former second-overall selection in the 2007 draft dominated in the third annual Flyers – Capitals rookie scrimmage, scoring four goals and assisting on one, as the Flyers walloped the Capitals, 7-3, Friday at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J.
VOORHEES — With all but one forward roster spot filled for the 2009-10 season, the biggest question for the Flyers becomes … who is with who?
“I like the combination of forwards we have now,” said defenseman Kimmo Timonen. “We have three really good lines and we have a ton of guys who are competing for a spot on the team. And that’s a good situation to have going into training camp.”
The Flyers open training camp on Sept. 13 at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J. And although the team is primarily keeping the same line chemistry as last season, there will be some changes.
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.”
VOORHEES –Three-year rookie camp veteran and former third-round pick Jonathan Matsumoto is in organizational suspended animation.
The once mid-level center prospect, who just three years ago showed promise as a depth player, has quickly stagnated in the Flyers’ system, getting passed on the depth chart by centers Darroll Powe, Jared Ross and Jon Kalinski. And although the soon-to-be 23-year old put up 107 points in 156 games with the Phantoms, he hasn’t seen one minute of NHL ice time.
“If I knew what was holding me back I would have worked on it already,” said smiley and soft spoken Matsumoto. “They told me to come to camp in shape and I’m feeling good now. I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. Hopefully I just get a chance to show what I can do this year.”
According to the Edmonton Journal, 23-year old flashy forward Rob Schremp, who is fresh off a one-year, two-way deal with the Oilers, may be available via waivers or trade and the Flyers have shown interest.
“Schremp could have signed for less than $715,000 to make him more marketable to somebody else–the Philadelphia Flyers have also been sniffing around, but don’t have a lot of salary-cap room–but his two-way deal makes him attractive.”
According to the Flyers’ website, (thanks to ClockworkFlyers for the find) the team will unveil their Winter Classic jerseys on Sept. 11. at 2 P.M. In the past few years of the event, the teams involved in the Classic have worn throwback uniforms, most notably the Chicago Blackhawks from the 1930’s.
My guess would be the Flyers will decide on the team’s road whites from the Stanley Cup champion teams of the 70’s, but nothing is official.
Courtesy of NHLuniforms.com
The 2010 Winter Classic will take place on New Year’s Day at Fenway Park, against the Boston Bruins.