Mike Richards isn’t the problem and neither is his captaincy with the Flyers.
After being swept out of the postseason in effortless fashion by the Boston Bruins in the second round, fingers were pointed and blame was assigned — most of it landing on the shoulders of the 26-year-old, who was playing with a torn ligament in his wrist.
According to Anthony SanFilippo of the Delco Times, the contract of Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has been extended for three years. The deal extends Holmgren through the 2013-14 season. As per team policy, the financial terms were not released.
On July 27, Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger underwent minor surgery to clean out his damaged right knee. Following the successful procedure, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren stated that the 35-year old would be “ready for the start of camp.”
Holmgren may have been a bit optimistic.
“No. I can tell you that much,” Pronger said, when asked by PR staff if he would be 100-percent for the start of training camp in Sept. “With the amount of atrophy, it is going to take a lot of hard work to build the leg muscles back up.
“Obviously, I will spending a lot of hours in the gym trying to strengthen my knee and the rest of my body.”
At 22 years old, Flyers’ defenseman Ryan Parent has suffered a plethora of injuries not equal to his age. Shoulder surgeries and groin issues have hampered his young career. But on Dec. 26, before a contest in Carolina, Parent quickly left the ice after warm ups and didn’t return. The prognosis — back spasms.
For all the Flyers’ fans expecting and clamoring for a trade before the holiday freeze on Dec. 19 — don’t hold your breath.
On Wednesday, general manager Paul Holmgren made it clear that he wants more time to observe the team under newly minted head coach Peter Laviolette before making a team-shaking move.
“I’d like to evaluate things under the new coach for a while and see how things go with the guys coming back,” Holmgren told the Inquirer, when asked about making a move.
Blair Betts (shoulder) is set to make his return tonight versus the Penguins, while Simon Gagne (hernia) and Darroll Powe (shoulder) are expected to return to the lineup before the New Year.
Holmgren hopes the influx of fresh bodies and minds helps rejuvenate a sullen Flyers team that has lost 11 of their last 14.
If that doesn’t help, heads are sure to roll.
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.”
During the second intermission of the Flyers’ final preseason game versus the Minnesota Wild, general manager Paul Holmgren held a small press conference saying that Blair Betts being inactive for the final game was simply circumstantial. He also mentioned ongoing meetings with Betts’ agent that include one and two-year deals.
“The fact they we have been talking is a good thing for us,” Holmgren told the media “We’ll see. The saga is not over.”