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.
With less than two weeks until the Flyers open their 2009-10 training camp, the team has announced the official roster with one curious addition.
Along with many of the regulars assumed to show up, the Flyers have added 29-year old, 6’2, 220 lbs., forward Mark Bell to a pro try-out. Not unlike what the Flyers did with Jim Dowd and Bryan Berard last season, Bell is different, simply because he actually stands a chance to make the team.
For one week, beginning on Sept. 7 at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., 29 Flyers’ prospects will take the ice for the team’s annual rookie camp. Among the attendees are former second-overall draft pick James van Riemsdyk, defenseman Kevin Marshall, Marc-Andre Bourdon and Patrick Maroon.
The Flyers’ prospects will conclude the camp with a scrimmage against the Washington Capitals’ prospects, held at the Skate Zone on Sept 11.
According to multiple reports out of Team Canada’s Olympic camp in Calgary, Flyers’ forward Simon Gagne has suffered a hip injury practicing with the team. Darren Dreger of TSN is reporting that Gagne will miss the rest of the week-long camp.
The injury is not serious, but just a tweaking of the right hip, the same in which Gagne had a clean up procedure on in late May.
“For now it’s nothing serious,” Gagne told Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post. “The pace was a little faster than I was used to this summer. I think I’ll be OK for training camp.”
Gagne believes that the fast pace of the camp contributed to soreness.
“It was a little tight when I was skating on my own, but the tempo here is a lot faster than the pace I set this summer,” he said. “It’s faster than I expected and I’ll need to do some more rehab.”
The injury is likely to keep Simon on the shelf until Flyers’ training camp on Sept. 13.
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.
Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen caught up with second-year Flyers’ forward Claude Giroux, who expressed his excitement for the upcoming season.
“Our team didn’t finish really well, but personally it went pretty good,” Giroux said, while playing street hockey with local children near his home of Orleans, Ontario. “And hopefully this year I’ll get a chance to prove myself. I think the team next year looks pretty good and I’m pretty excited about that.”
And who can blame him?
The Flyers’ roster became a little more settled on Tuesday, when coach John Stevens announced Claude Giroux will begin the season at center and Danny Briere at right wing.
In a Q&A piece from The Courier Post, Stevens made it clear where he thinks Giroux fits on the Flyers this season.