In a move that can not be logically explained with Philadelphia’s current roster situation, the Flyers have signed former San Jose Sharks and New York Rangers enforcer Jody Shelley, to a three-year contract worth $3.3 million.
“We feel we have a guy who can play a role for our team that we haven’t had in quite some time, play a third or fourth line role, he’s a bigger body,” general manager Paul Holmgren told the media. “I’m talking about Jody Shelley – so we’re very happy with what we did today.”
In the midst of the post-game celebration immediately following the Flyers’ 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday to force a game 7, CSN cameras panned over to shoot the reaction of Flyers’ owner Ed Snider. But what the camera caught was a sight that would make any fan of the New York Rangers cringe.
Still frame courtesy of Poulinsflakjacket from Phillysportsforums.com
Former Rangers’ goaltender and Philadelphia native Mike Richter, was caught vigorously shaking hands and smiling with Snider immediately following Philly’s win.
It is unknown whether Snider had him in the building as the Flyers’ emergency goaltender.
It wasn’t long ago that Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Max Talbot, was on the giving end of a hockey-viral youtube.com video, putting his finger to his lips and shushing a ravenous Philly crowd just seconds after taking a beating from Flyers’ forward Daniel Carcillo in the 2008-09 post season.
There were even pretty funny shirts made.
But on Thursday night, after the Penguins downed the New York Rangers, 5-4, in overtime at MSG, the loss wasn’t the main topic immediately afterward, it was Sean Avery’s mimicking of Talbot’s feminine panic swings that had New York fans chuckling.
At one point in the 2009-10 offseason it seemed as if utility center Blair Betts and the Philadelphia Flyers were a match made in heaven. But with Friday’s season opener against Carolina creeping closer and Betts still remaining unsigned, it could very well mean any possible deal could be flat lining.
“I don’t know,” Holmgren told the media when asked if a deal would get done with the 29-year old. “We’ll see how it goes over the next day. If we don’t have anything done by tomorrow, it probably won’t happen.”
According to Betts, it’s the Flyers who are holding up the deal.
“I have no idea,” said Betts, when asked about what’s holding up the deal. “As the player, I honestly don’t know.
“[The Flyers] said they need a little bit more time and we are waiting to hear from them.”
When the Rangers acquired sniper Marian Gaborik this past offseason for 5-years, $7.5 million, many critics noted that if the highly talented, but fragile player could only hack an average of 50 games a season with Minnesota, there was little chance he’d suddenly become durable in New York. And so far they were right.
Gaborik, looked on to be the offensive catalyst for the Rangers in 2009-10, was held out of physical testing on the opening day of training camp because of soreness due to pre-camp light skating.
“We just want to be careful, he’s a little tender,” said Rangers’ coach John Tortorella. “He was skating the other day, he’s just a little sore from that. We don’t want to do anything stupid.”
Gaborik needed serious hip surgery last season which only allowed him to play 17 games.
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.”
As I first reported on my Twitter (@philabright), the Flyers have signed forward Blair Betts to a training camp try out beginning on Sept. 13. At 6’3, 210 lbs., Betts is a top-notch defensive forward and penalty killer. Averaging about 50% on faceoffs in the last three seasons with the Rangers, the 29-year old would top the Flyers in that statistic.
If Betts does make Flyers’ roster as a third-line center, it could push forward Claude Giroux to the first or second line. That would make a big difference in whether the team continues a search for a UFA winger.