Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia Flyers’

Can We Start Talking About Hockey Again?

September 28th, 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a rant.

In the latest of what seems like the most trivial NHL pre-season ever, news surfaced Monday night that Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds called New York Rangers pest Sean Avery a derogatory name following an on ice scuffle. Yes folks, one young man called a slightly older young man a bad word. I’m still gathering myself.

In case you didn’t click the link above, Simmonds allegedly called Avery a “Faggot.”

I’m not one to make assumptions, but I’m pretty sure it’s the first time something like this has ever happened.

» Read more: Can We Start Talking About Hockey Again?

A Bit Too Much Faith?

June 26th, 2011

Much has been made of the two blockbuster trades made on Thursday that saw the Philadelphia Flyers send captain Mike Richards and sniper Jeff Carter to Los Angeles and Columbus, respectively.

The return? Youth and potential.

Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, a future 2nd round draft pick (from Los Angeles), and the 8th and 68th overall picks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft (both from Columbus).

That’s a whole lot of unproven potential, although I’ll acknowledge Schenn is about as close to a slam dunk as a 19-year old prospect can be.

The Flyers change of direction, moving towards youth and the future, is an interesting one, but perhaps one that puts too much faith in their organization.

» Read more: A Bit Too Much Faith?

Some Random Hockey Thoughts

November 20th, 2010

Good evening.

I’m not very good at remembering to post links to my other (less ridiculous) work. So instead I’m going to post several links below with the hope that you read them, as well as the promise that I’ll try to update these links daily on Stayclassy. Anyways…

I’d like to bring your attention to some random hockey thoughts I recently wrote. The thoughts concern Carey Price’s strong play this year and how I think it’s masking how badly the Montreal Candiens screwed up the Jaroslav Halak trade, in addition to whether Steve Stamkos can hit the 70 goal plateau this year (for the record, I put this up before everyone else started the 50-50 club talk… followers!) and the sweet, sweet irony of Marc Savard’s eventual return to Boston (hint: it’s going to affect both Greg and Colin Campbell).

Read the whole thing here.

As well, I wrote about the former 2007 2nd overall pick James van Riemsdyk and why I think he could be the odd man out in Philadelphia sooner than later. There doesn’t seem to be room for him, considering the strong group of forwards the Flyers have (in addition to the emergence of Claude Giroux). If (and that’s a big if) the Flyers traded JVR, I believe they could get some salary cap relief, in addition to a mid-late 1st round draft pick.

Read “James van Riems-Trade” here.

Lastly, when you think of teams who sign their core players to long-term contracts, you think of the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins. Obviously the Penguins and Blackhawks are recent Stanley Cup Champions, while the Flyers came pretty close too. And then you have the Vancouver Canucks who have locked up their core players, minus the same kind of results as the teams I mentioned. Interesting. And then you see “buzz teams” like the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings doing the same thing, with even less results than the Canucks. NHL General Managers are in a tough place these days.

Read “Long-Term Faith” here.

And one final note today… RIP Pat Burns. Burns was a terrific coach who made such a huge impact wherever he went. The hockey world lost an amazing ambassador yesterday.

Stay classy, Pat Burns.

Why drinking beer at a hockey game is good for you

August 9th, 2010

The last few times I managed to get myself to an NHL hockey game, it was one of these mad dash drive-home-from-work-grab-tickets-rush-to-the-rink affairs. No big deal, I thought. I’ll just grab some food at the arena.

Not so fast.

A comprehensive study released by ESPN found some pretty bizarre (read: scary) food violations that would make anyone think twice when ordering anything that doesn’t come pre-packaged in several sports arenas. Some NHL highlights (or lowlights): Arena – Phoenix Coyotes
“Inspectors reports mention a server scooping ice with his bare hands instead of using scoops.”
When asked asked why he didn’t use the scoops provided by Arena and team owners, the server replied “the new scoops Ice Edge gave us have way too many holes in them.”

Joe Louis Arena – Detroit Red Wings
“Inspectors noted cockroaches below a soda dispenser.”
Must be a neat promotion the Red Wings are doing to welcome Chris Chelios back to Detroit. Just like cockroaches, you can’t kill Chelios either!

RBC Center – Carolina Hurricanes
“Inspectors saw employees handle raw, breaded chicken and then handling cooked food without changing gloves or washing hands. The employees placed cooked chicken back in the same container used to hold raw chicken.”
The Hurricanes have finally found an area star Jiri Tlusty can help the organization.

Mellon Arena – Pittsburgh Penguins
“Inspectors found a live cockroach on top of a soda dispenser holster behind the bar.”
Don’t worry, the Penguins new Consol Energy Center houses state-of-the-art, bigger and better everything. Of course that will include nicer digs for all walks of life including cockroaches and Matt Cooke.

Wachovia Center – Philadelphia Flyers
“Inspectors found evidence of mouse and fruit fly infestations at one bar location.”
Upon further investigation, it was determined the fruit flies weren’t a result of poor sanitation or cleaning. The mouse and fruit flies came directly from Scott Hartnell’s hair.

BankAtlantic Center – Florida Panthers
“Inspectors issued several violations for soiled ice bins and coolers.”
Wait. Where?

Rexall Center – Edmonton Oilers
“At one location, workers used contaminated cleaning items.”
I bet Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini deliberated for months on what to do to before reaching a decision that any one of us “non-hockey people” would make in about two minutes.

American Airlines Arena – Dallas Stars
“Inspectors find expired milk, brown lettuce and employees caught drinking or eating while they were working in the stand accounted for some of the stadium’s critical violations.”
How long has this been happening for? Once the milk, lettuce or bad employees have been with the Stars for 20 years, they’ll be sure to let them go promptly.

Phillips Arena – Atlanta Thrashers
“At a couple of locations, inspectors found food not being protected from contamination.”
I wonder if this was happening in Chicago last season?

I’m still trying to picture the customer’s reaction when he saw the guy scooping the ice cream. Will that be one scoop or two?

Stay classy, hungry hockey fans.

Thoughts on the recent NHL activity

August 2nd, 2010

I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers apologizing for the lack of updates recently citing “a lack of hockey news” as their primary reason. It’s not that I disagree, I just refuse to apologize. Mostly because I’m a jerk. But a pro tip I’ve come to discover: the less you post, the more there is to talk about. It requires less work and minimizes how much of me you – the good reader – have to put up with! So win-win, right?

OK here’s some actual hockey thoughts from recent NHL activity. Things got pretty interesting today!

Who does arbitration hurt more?

Marty Turco - Chicago Blackhawks | Stayclassy.netWhen talking about arbitration, typically it’s looked at in terms of how much it damages a player’s ego. Many have suggested teams taking their players to arbitration fractures the team-player relationship in the eyes of the player. It basically represents the team saying they don’t believe the player is worth what he think’s he’s worth and that gets ugly fast. If we’ve learned anything from the Antti Niemi fiasco, it’s that it can be the other way around too. Niemi rejecting a multi-year deal prior to arbitration forced Stan Bowman’s hand, made such a process a reality and probably pissed off the Hawks enough to ensure a standing contract was made with Marty Turco prior to Niemi’s hearing even starting.

Price with Niemi

I’m so clever. You don’t actually think I meant dollars did you? Of course not! Obviously I meant Carey Price. Contract talks between he and the Montreal Canadiens don’t seem to be going anywhere. Makes you wonder why Montreal would trade Jaroslav Halak without signing Price first. I don’t think Bob Gainey is still running the show in Montreal anymore…  Anyways, with a better and slightly more proven goalie on the market, one has to wonder if Carey get’s his act together and signs with the Canadiens sooner than later. Although if the Habs can swoop in on Niemi, I’d pay big bucks to hear him say (with Finnish accent and all) “The price is wrong bitch” to Carey Price.

Still on Niemi…

It should be interesting to see where Niemi lands. Like everyone else I’m guessing San Jose. Touche Doug Wilson. That was a pretty sly move signing Niklas Hjalmarsson to a slightly high offer sheet last month. Wilson knew this offer sheet would make resigning Hjalmarsson and Niemi nearly impossible for Bowman and the Hawks. It’s my understanding that the Sharks have wanted Niemi all along. I reserve the right to retract that statement if Niemi ends up somewhere else.

Tim Kennedy on waivers… Huh?

Earlier on Monday, the Buffalo Sabres placed Tim Kennedy on waivers with the intention of buying out his $1 Million arbitrator awarded contract. The confusion comes for two reasons. One: why are the Sabres buying him out if they just signed him to the contract awarded by an arbitrator? That answer can be found here (in short, they have no choice). Two: The Sabres have a problem with paying $1 Million/year for a 24 year old hometown kid who scored 26 points in 78 games last season? I’m thinking someone claims him in the next 24 hours.

Marty Turco’s $1.3 Million salary

Congrats to Turco on landing a gig with the Chicago Blackhawks this coming season. I guess turning down the Flyers a few weeks ago wasn’t such a bad decision after all. But it’s not all roses for Turco – New York Rangers star Derek Boogaard makes $350,000 more than him. For three additional years. Ouch. On the plus side, Turco’s name hasn’t been discussed this much since well, ever. Oh and speaking of which, can the Blackhawks drama finally be over soon? I’m kind of sick of talking about them.

Stay classy, slow NHL news stories.

If LeBron James played in the NHL

July 9th, 2010

Finally the LeBron James fiasco is over. James, Dwyane Wade and some other “star” have all signed with the Miami Heat. I guess that’s the NHL equivalent of Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Manny Malholtra all signing with Washington (or some other team). Man, what a disaster for sports. Anyways I’m sure hockey fans around the world were wondering the same as me on Thursday night: “What if LeBron James played in the NHL?” Luckily, you have your answers:

  • TSN would air a day-long broadcast complete with instant analysis from Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and two former NHLers named Mike who no one remembers.
  • The Ottawa Senators wouldn’t show interest in a non-Russian born star who isn’t far removed from his prime.
  • If Darryl Sutter hasn’t signed him before, he’s not going to now!
  • The Vancouver Canucks would offer to retire his jersey with a nice ceremony set for next season. Even if his career ends up being just OK.
  • Simon Gagne would still be asked to waive his no trade clause for completely unrelated reasons.
  • The Los Angeles Kings wouldn’t have interest in him. But then they would. And then they wouldn’t. And then they would… Oh god! Make it stop already!
  • LeBron James is definitely the solution to get the Lighthouse Project afloat.
  • The Montreal Canadiens bid for James would inevitably come up short.
  • Strangely, Philadelphia-based “insiders” would rate the odds of James ending up a Flyer a solid e4 or higher.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs would have little to no interest in James. Not because he’s an excellent player or financial commitments to other players but because he’s not a defenseman.
  • Gary Bettman would declare the intense coverage of LeBron-gate a successful part of the NHL’s expansion strategy.

Stay classy, LeBron James.

The awkward part of No Trade Clauses

July 6th, 2010

It seems whenever a new contract is signed a no trade clause is the first thing reported, often before the term of the deal. Players want NTC’s to be in control of their career and to see teams commit to them (I guess being offered Millions of dollars isn’t enough…). GM’s offer NTC’s because they have to. If they don’t some other GM will.

But do players ever stop to wonder how awkward it would be if asked to waive their NTC’s? Regardless of how well a team or GM approaches the subject, it still says a players’ services are no longer valued as much as they once were. Let’s take a closer look at some players who’ve recently been asked to waive their NTC:

Sheldon Souray
The prospect of Steve Tambellini telling Sheldon Souray he’s going to be traded makes me laugh. In a round about way, the Oilers came to the conclusion that Souray wasn’t good enough to play on the worst team in the NHL half way through the 09-10 season when most of their roster was sick, injured, wedding ring shopping, hiding, etc… I have it on good authority that after telling Souray this, Tambellini quickly offered up a “… but no offense. It’s nothing personal.”

Simon Gagne

News of Simon Gagne being asked to waive his no trade clause hit the internet last week. It might come as a shock to some fans but probably not to Gagne. His name has been kicked around the rumor mill for some time now. But here’s the best part: Apparently the Flyers don’t have any particular team asking about Gagne. Assuming that’s factual, can you imagine that conversation between Paul Holmgren and Gagne? Philadelphia are essentially saying “You are the one player we’ve identified as getting rid of regardless of the return. Trading your contract gives us room to qualify Daniel Carcillo’s new contract.” Ouch.

Marc Savard
Around the last month’s NHL draft, word was going around that Bruins center Marc Savard was available. Apparently Savard has said he would waive his NTC to go to either Ottawa or Toronto. What do you think that conversation between Savard and Peter Chiarelli was like? Purely speculative on my part but probably something like this… “Marc, we didn’t draft Taylor Hall like we really wanted to. We ended up with Tyler Seguin and because of that, we can’t get rid of you soon enough. *Starts speaking slowly* Now, do you remember signing that seven year extension a few months ago?? No? Perfect. Just sign here… and here… and repeat ‘I, Marc Savard waive my NTC’… perfect… OK, we’re good to go. And oh – by the way, training camp is in Toronto this year… yeah… thanks!”

OMG!! It must be so awkward! I bet hockey players won’t stop asking for no trade clauses though. Let the awkwardness continue!

Stay classy, NHL players requesting no trade clauses.

Some hockey action to talk about!

June 20th, 2010

Finally! Some hockey news we can actually get excited about! I thought I’d change things up a bit today and comment on some of the trades and roster changes we’ve seen recently. Here we go…

  • said it perfectly when he said described the pressure Carey Price is about to face. “People thought Carey Price had pressure last year. Just wait until next year!” I couldn’t have said it better.
  • Speaking of Montreal, I don’t understand why they traded Jaroslav Halak last week. Most people sighed a collective “that’s it??” when seeing the return for the Habs Playoff hero. I like the trade for Montreal (in building their thin prospects pool), but I would think holding onto Halak until draft day would have maximized his value. Are you seriously telling me Chris Pronger can fetch two 1st Round Picks plus a good prospect (Luca Sbiza) on draft day and Halak can’t even get half of that?
  • I am completely confused by the direction of the New Jersey Devils. In fact I’ll pay someone a lot of money to explain to me why the changes they’ve made over the last six months make sense.
  • While most people have finally caught on to Chicago’s salary cap problems, no one is talking about Brent Seabrook. Seabrook currently earns $3.5 Million and is entering his last year under contract with the Blackhawks. I’m not sure the Hawks have the depth to lose him in addition to some of the other players they’re about to lose. It goes without saying Seabrook is due for a raise and has played a big part in the Hawks success and Duncan Keith’s development.
  • Both Fantana and I are convinced Paul Holmgren’s philosophy when it comes to building the Philadelphia Flyers is similar to how we build fantasy teams in NHL10 (all scoring, no goaltending).  His quote about not being in the Halak discussions – the best goalie even remotely available this summer – is telling as to why the Flyers haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1975, despite having some great rosters.
  • I’ve seen those Spezza to Columbus rumors pop up more and more lately. As someone who follows the Senators pretty closely, I love that deal for Ottawa (to clarify: Spezza for the 4th overall pick and Derick Brassard – plus some other pieces on each side). I know Sens fans would feel like another Ottawa star would be leaving for nothing, but Brassard is a hell of a player and a 4th overall pick means Ottawa could draft stud defenseman Erik Gudbranson. He plus Erik Karlsson and (maybe) Jared Cowen is a strong foundation Ottawa can build around for years to come. Brassard’s cap hit ($3.2 Million for the next three seasons) would give Ottawa far more flexibility than Spezza’s ($7 Million for the next five seasons).
  • I agree with EVERYONE that Dan Hamhuis to the Flyers plus the emergence of Claude Giroux means one of Simon Gagne, Jeff Carter or Scott Hartnell will be traded. My guess is Jeff Carter because of his market value, his $5 Million cap hit and RFA status after next season. Maybe – just maybe – the Flyers will go after a solid NHL goalie. Perhaps a goalie like Chris Mason? Trading for Hamhuis might also mean Braydon Coburn’s time as a Flyer is up. Coburn is an RFA and is due for a raise over his $1.4 Million cap hit from last season.
  • Speaking of the Nashville Predators, something is clearly up. Perhaps they are clearing room for some UFA signings or a big trade? While that isn’t their style, it would be great to see. I don’t really have “sources” and I don’t make a living creating ridiculous rumors but I could see the Predators going after a high end player like Alex Semin this summer.
  • I think we’re seeing a changing of the guard of sorts. It seems like the NHL is shifting from blockbuster trades during the trade deadline to seeing the flurry of activity happening between the Entry Draft and July 1st. This actually forces more accountability onto GM’s. It also means we might see more GM’s fired in the next few years…

Stay classy, NHL trades. Glad to have you back.

A closer look at the NHL’s trade market

June 18th, 2010

The 2010 NHL Entry Draft is just one week away! Stay calm and collected my friends, this is the best news I’ve heard since the Blackhawks ended the season last week. As with every year, the Draft is always the start of some significant roster moves around the league.

In light of yesterdays blockbuster Canadiens-Blues trade (clarification: would-be blockbuster deal, provided Montreal actually got something in exchange for Halak), I had several teams complete a quick “need and available” survey. Let’s look at the needs of a few teams who’s names have been in the rumor mill in recent weeks:

Montreal Canadiens
Needs: A number one goalie, someone who can actually keep up with PK Subban and a good knee brace for Andrei Markov.
Available: Potential franchise goalie and whoever the current coach of our AHL team is.

Chicago Blackhawks
Needs: To shed salary without damanging the core of the team.
Available: Marian Hossa and Cristobal Huet. Any takers? No? OK. How about this: Huet was a mentor to Halak… still nothing? How about this: Hossa managed to score some nice goals in 22 playoff games… ( Good luck Stan Bowman!)

Philadelphia Flyers
Needs: To rip off a team with a great available goalie like the St. Louis Blues did.
Available: Daniel Briere and his no movement clause. Apparently that clause applies to local highways too.

Ottawa Senators
Needs: To acquire a point per game center/playmaker. Also needed are elite goal scorer(s), a shutdown defenseman and number one goalie.
Available: A point per game center/playmaker and a bunch of players no one wants.

Toronto Maple Leafs
Needs: Another assistant General Manager and another roster shake up (It’s been like, a few weeks since the last one…).
Available: Pretty much everyone except Dave Nonis. He’s probably the most untouchable person in the organization. And if you do somehow get him, I (Burkie) will pull him right back!

San Jose Sharks
Needs: Veteran leadership, proven playoff performers and a new team captain (just like every off-season in San Jose).
Available: All of our good players except Dan Boyle and the grinders like Manny Malholtra.

Minnesota Wild
Needs: … uhhh actually, what/who do we have???
Available: N/A.

St. Louis Blues
Needs: A veteran forward and some young prospects.
Available: The negotiation rights for goalie Chris Mason. Our asking price? Free or best offer. Did you see what we got Halak for???

Stay classy, NHL teams looking to make trades.

Signs you’re ready for the next NHL season to start

June 15th, 2010

It hasn’t even been a week since the final NHL game of the season and already it feels like an eternity has passed. I’m so bored and I don’t remember what I did last summer or the one before that to pass the time. I also don’t recall feeling this lost less than a week after the hockey season ended.

In between spouts of depression and anger I’ve come to learn hockey fans want their hockey. Here are a few signs you know you’re ready for the next NHL season to start. Feel free to add yours below.

  • You miss Bob McKenzie’s insider analysis so much the HF Boards trade suggestions don’t actually look that bad.
  • In addition to announcing Dion Phaneuf as their new team captain on Monday, the Toronto Maple Leafs showcased their new brand new jerseys. Most people didn’t realize this since they looked exactly the same as any other blue Leaf jersey made in the last 30 years. This is hockey news in mid-June folks…
  • You actually know how to spell and/or pronounce “vuvuzela.”
  • You just found out about this hugely popular TV show called Lost that apparently ended a month ago.
  • Never in a million years did you think you’d actually be interested to hear what Taylor Hall says on draft day.
  • Upon further thought, maybe Jim Hughson wasn’t as annoying in the Playoffs as originally thought??
  • Reading one of Eklund’s “why I need three iPad’s to blog about hockey” was almost worth the annual $20 membership fee.
  • You actually read that article about Peter Forsberg nearly playing for the Flyers this season and didn’t want your last two minutes back.
  • You are bankrupt so you are pretty much ready to get back to work right away to pay for that tanking family construction business.
  • Wait. “Sports Talk Radio” actually exists in the summer?
  • Hey it’s been a week since you last saw a Sidney Crosby commercial!
  • You wonder if  a Rangers/Islanders  3-D NHL broadcast would be exciting to watch. Oh wait. No it wouldn’t. There’s no way the NHL would ever do something that gimmicky.
  • You unexpectedly enjoyed a quiet and relaxing last few months, you know, because your name is Carcillo.
  • Suddenly you realize going two full months without shaving isn’t that awesome and kind of gross.
  • Hey it’s been a week since you last saw a Bruce Boudreau commercial!
  • You watch CBC’s great Playoff montages to get pumped up for the World Cup.

Stay classy, NHL off-season. My god this is going to feel like forever! Is it October yet?


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