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Shea Weber agrees to an offer sheet with the Flyers
By Kevin K

If you weren’t lucky enough to stay up past midnight last night, you have no idea the amount of craziness that broke social media. Darren Dreger of TSN broke the news late last night that Nashville Predators defenseman, 26 year old Shea Weber, agreed to an offer sheet with the Flyers on a 14 year deal that’s worth upwards of $100 million. The Predators now have 7 days to match the Flyers offer (Nashville has until match by Wednesday, July 25th)  .

In other words, it is going to be a long seven days  for Flyers fans. 

Weber is one of the NHL’s best defenseman, and as Frank Seravalli put it on philly.com, “The Flyers may be well on their way to landing their biggest prize since Eric Lindros arrived in Philadelphia via trade in 1992”. 

Seravalli also points out what the Flyers may have to give up for Weber. “If the Predators do not decide to match, or do not acknowledge the offer sheet within the 7 day window, Weber would be a Flyer. The Flyers would then likely owe 4 first round draft picks in consecutive years to Nashville, depending on his actual total dollar figure. If the Predators do decide to match Weber's offer from the Flyers, they would be locked in at the exact same term and dollar amount, with the inability to trade him for an entire calendar year.”

As always, we will keep you updated on the progress of possibly having Shea Weber in the orange and black next season. 

After Homer missed out on Parise and Suter we thought it was all over for the Flyers, but now it seems like they are just beginning. 


Read more from Frank Seravalli: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/frequentflyers/Shea-Weber-signed-to-100M-offer-sheet.html 

 
 
Flyers are making moves at the right time
By. Kevin K

Last year the Flyers acquired winger Kris Versteeg close to the trade deadline; a trade in which I believe hurt the team. Versteeg came in at a time when the Flyers were "flying high" and playing very well together, ready to make a Playoff run. Their momentum seemed to diminish over the last few months of the season with Versteeg on the team.

This year is a lot different from last. Right now the Flyers are slumping (and it is a good time to slump, as long as they are playing well again come Playoff time). They needed to make a move to make this team better while helping their momentum. Enter two trades. In a period of two days, the Flyers made their defense and team all-in-all, better. On Thursday , they acquired Nicklas Grossman, who is not known for his offense, but will get in front of the puck and hit people. Exactly what the Flyers need lately as teams seem to have found holes in the Flyers defense. Grossman is the man that is here to fill in those holes.

Another player to fill in those holes is Pavel Kubina, a player in which the Flyers traded for on Saturday night after a loss to the Penguins. Kubina brings strong play to a weak defense and will be a great player, both offensively and defensively for the Flyers.

Our friend, Dan MacNeal at CrimeSpreeHockey makes a great point in his recent blog, "What Eventual Cup Champions did at the Deadline".

    "Really only one of the trades made by eventual champions (since 2006) was a big name (Kaberle), and he wasn’t      even a major contributor in the playoffs. Don’t count out teams who make a big splash (Nash, Semin) but the          teams who have won in the past have just added spare parts at the deadline."

You can read about all those trades over at CrimeSpreeHockey.com

It also had me thinking of the moves that helped the Flyers make the Stanley Cup a few years ago. There was no big trade deadline acquisition that helped them get there; however, there were waiver deals in Michael Leighton and Ville Leino that made the difference.

Grossman and Kubina are there to add depth to the Flyers roster and elevate them to the next level. These two trades may be the key to the Flyers postseason success.
 
 
Flyers Winter Classic Alumni Roster
By. Kevin K

As part of "Winter Classic Weekend" the Flyers and Rangers Alumni will go at it on New Years Eve at 1:00. The roster was announced on 94.1 WIP.

Here is the complete roster:

Head Coach: Pat Quinn
Assistant Coaches: Mike Nykoluk, Keith Primeau

Off-ice Ambassadors:

Gary Dornhoefer
Bernie Parent
Dave Schultz

Goalies:

Mark LaForest
Neil Little

Defense:

Chris Therien
Derian Hatcher
Kjell Samuelsson
Larry Goodenough
Terry Carkner
Eric Desjardins
Joe Watson
Brad Marsh
Mark Howe

Forwards:

Shjon Podein
Jim Dowd
Orest Kindrachuk
Bob Kelly
Reggie Leach
Bill Barber
Bobby Clarke
Ken Linseman
Dave Poulin
Al Hill
Mark Recchi
Brian Propp
John LeClair
Jeremy Roenick
Eric Lindros
Rick Tocchet

 
 
Flyers 2011-2012 Season Preview
Casey Simpkins

            Hockey is back everyone!  I know that I cannot wait to see the new-look Flyers this season, as the front office made a conscious effort to fix the issues that plagued through the tail end of last season, and which eventually led to their early exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

            Though many fans are probably still reeling over the losses of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Ville Leino, and others, I am putting the past behind me, and seriously looking forward to seeing some fresh faces and a new mentality from this Flyers team.  Following a statement by the Flyers front office that they would not let goaltending plague them any longer, they went out and got the most highly sought goaltender on the market in Ilya Bryzgalov.  With this move, the Flyers go from having one of the more questionable goaltending tandems in hockey to perhaps the best (let’s not forget about Bob).

            In addition to Bryz, the acquisitions of Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds bring youth, skill, and grit to the Flyers, as both players will be top six forwards on their new team, a they will join Danny Briere on the second line.   In addition, Max Talbot brings several intangibles that will most likely make Flyers fans instantly fall in love with this once hated Penguin. Perhaps the biggest surprise out of camp has been 18 year old rookie Sean Couturier, who has played brilliantly both on offense and penalty killing assignments.  Couturier has apparently made the 23 man roster, this is perhaps why the Flyers felt it was ok to waive penalty killing specialist Blair Betts, who was claimed by the Montreal Canadiens this afternoon.  However, Flyers other heralded rookie, Brayden Schenn, looks to be headed to the AHL, as an unhealthy preseason and salary cap issues have forced the Flyers to need a better look at Schenn before promoting him.  I don’t think Schenn will have a long stay in the minors, but it does save the Flyers a little over $1 million in cap space if he does not play in all 82 games this season.

            What I am most excited for this season is the likely emergence of my favorite Flyer, James van Riemsdyk.  I am all in on JVR this year, as he absolutely dominated in the postseason last year, and he will now be receiving top line minutes, with Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr.  To say this line is scary is an understatement, as Jagr looked superb in the preseason and called this team’s superstar, Claude Giroux, a “mini-Lemieux”.  The huge question for Jagr of course, is whether or not he can hold up for a full NHL season, and that’s something I think the Flyers will monitor as an organization.  I feel that Jagr will be fine, as he has been working extremely hard on and office the ice, and seems to have a new outlook now that he is in a Flyers uniform.

            Some other Flyers that impressed in preseason and seem to be making the 23 man roster are Matt Read, Zac Rinaldo, and Matt Walker.  Jaromir Jagr needs only 42 points to surpass Joe Sakic for 8th all time on the NHL scoring list.  Jody Shelley will miss the first 5 games of the season due to suspension.  Ian Lapperiere will most likely be put on the LTIR list.

            To wrap things up, in a tough division and conference, we will have to see how the new faces on the Flyers pan out throughout the course of the season, but I definitely think the Flyers are a team that will be in the playoffs and will earn a top 5 spot in the division, as they will finish with between 90 and 100 points.  Though they have lost a few big scorers, the Flyers now have a rock in net, a new attitude, and a ton of young talent and depth that could absolutely surprise the NHL this season.

LET’S GO FLYERS!

Projected 23 Man Roster:

Forwards: JVR, Claude Giroux, Jaromir Jagr,  Jakub Voracek, Danny Briere, Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier, Matt Read, Scott Hartnell, Zac Rinaldo, Max Talbot, Andreas Nodl, Jody Shelley, and Ian Laperriere.
 
Defense: Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Matt Walker, Braydon Coburn, Andrej Meszaros, Matt Carle, and Andreas Lilja.
 
Goalies: Ilya Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky.

 
 
Flyers name Pronger Captain
By Kevin K

The Flyers officially announced that Chris Pronger will be the 18th Captain in Flyers history. Pronger was the clear favorite to be named Flyers captain since Mike Richards was traded earlier in the summer.

Pronger has been outspoken and a very good leader for the Flyers ever since he was signed here. He stepped up his game and how he leads on and off the ice. Although injury prone (and may or may not be ready for Opening Day), Pronger continues to be the Flyers emotional leader.

Danny Briere and Kimmo Timonen will both wear the "A" for alternate captains during the season.
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by Kevin K

On Tuesday, the Flyers (and JVR via Twitter) announced that the Flyers have given JVR a 6-year extension worth $25.5 Million (with a cap hit of $4.25 Million).

JVR had a great postseason in 2010-2011 season and is poised to break out and take over more of an advanced role for the Flyers after trades of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards.

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Endless weeks
By Kevin K

I am officially back! If you haven't noticed, I took a couple week hiatus from the Philly Phans page to take a little bit of a break. I won't lie to you, I was seriously thinking about ending the Philly Phans two weeks ago because of how much time it was taking from my life, but then something big happened that changed my mind completely. Both Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were traded the day after I went on hiatus and the Flyers announced the signing of Ilya Bryzgalov to a 9 year contract.

This opened up my eyes more than anything because I wasn't the first one there posting the moves on the Philly Phans page.

Now after two endless weeks, I finally will give you me thoughts on the moves the Flyers have made in the past two weeks. As soon as I heard the both Carter and Richards were traded my first reaction (like many) was WTF. WTF are the Flyers doing to their team and why is Bryzgalov coming off as the Yoko Ono who broke up the Flyers. And then I got to really thinking. In my mind the Flyers did something the Eagles, 76ers, and Phillies wouldn't do and that is get rid of the players that couldn't put you over the top. In 2009-2010, the Flyers made a great Stanley Cup run only to lose to the Chicago Blackhawks. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter had another year to prepare and to prove they were on the best team in the NHL in the 2010-2011 season. The thought looked great in the beginning of the year and then the Flyers changed. The Flyers offense was playing lazy and not scoring. So what did the Flyers do? They traded away the two stars of the team who couldn't put them over the top. Look at the 2001 76ers. Allen Iverson was at the top of his game, but could not put the 76ers over the top. The Sixers then wouldn't trade Iverson at max value because of just that, he was a star. The 2004-2005 Philadelphia Eagles lead by QB Donovan McNabb. The prime of his career and he couldn't get the Eagles over the top. It took five more years before McNabb was moved, five years too late. Neither Iverson nor McNabb got their Philadelphia teams back to the Championships. Could this mean that Richards and Carter wouldn't either? Possibly.

Now we all knew it was going to take some money to sign Bryzgalov, money in which the Flyers cleared quickly by trading Carter and then Richards. Yes the Flyers lost two key offensive stars, but it takes goaltending to win a Stanley Cup, and the Flyers haven't had a good, solid goalie like Bryzgalov since Hextall. Now we know how good Bryzgalov was in the NHL before joining the Flyers, and for his sake I hope he plays and wins multiple championships for the Flyers, if not he will forever be known as the Yoko Ono of the Flyers.

Now to Free Agency, the ULTIMATE WTF! The Flyers not only brought in Jagr, but also Talbot (both former Penguins and hated rivals of the Flyers). Many fans are still going crazy over these moves, but I say let it be. The Flyers now have players playing in their NATURAL positions and not looking to move centers to wingers. They have the offense to continue scoring even without Richards and Carter. Jagr is a great pick up for the Power Play, which the Flyers were so bad on in the playoffs and Talbot is a great pick up for the Penalty Kill, which will be even better this season because of him.

Many fans are still scratching their heads over the complete overhaul change of the Flyers for the upcoming season, but the Flyers may actually be better than they were in 2010-2011.

The key to being a better team was signing the goalie, which they have done. The Flyers still have some cap space to make another move, whether via trade or Free Agency.

Keep an eye open the next few days on what the Flyers will do.

FORMER FLYER WATCH

Ville Leino signed a deal with the Buffalo Sabres. Leino was a key to the Flyers offense the past two seasons, but a dispute with money forced the Flyers hand to let him test the market.

Brian Boucher signed a deal with Carolina. You do not get much classier than Boucher and I am one who is very happy he landed with a team. After the signing of Bryzgalov there was no room on the roster for Boucher.

Dan Carcillo and his suspension signs with the Chicago Blackhawks. Carbomb joins the squad that beat the Flyers in the 2010 Stanley Cup and brings grittiness to the Blackhawks team. Many Flyers fans will miss him, I really will not.

Sean O'Donnell also joined the Blackhawks. The veteran defenseman played one year with the Flyers and showed great leadership qualities with the team.

Simon Gagne joined Flyers West in the LA Kings. Gagne was rumored to be in pursuit by the Flyers, but he joins his former teammate Mike Richards in LA.

Kris Versteeg was traded to the Florida Panthers. Versteeg was acquired by the Flyers during the 2011 season and looked to make his back to the Stanley Cup. He did not and found himself traded by the Flyers in the offseason.


 
 
Bryzgalov wants to be a Flyer
By Kevin K

A year ago the Flyers traded for the rights of Goalie Evgeni Nabokov, the move didn't work out. Neither side could agree to terms and nothing happened. Nabokov ended up not playing in the NHL most of the season and signed with the Islanders, in which he continued to hold out due to money.

It doesn't seem as if we will have that issue with Bryzgalov. In a press release Bryzgalov said, “I am pleased the Flyers thought enough of me to make the trade with the Coyotes. Philadelphia is a great city, a great organization and a great team with a rich history. I am looking forward to meeting with Paul Holmgren to discuss the possibility of us working together for many years to come. I would very much like to have the opportunity to play for the Flyers and be a part of the team Paul has assembled and to work with Paul and Mr. Snider to see if we can achieve the ultimate goal.

“I believe the Flyers are right there and I would love very much to be a part of the team that brings the Stanley Cup back to Philadelphia. It would be a great honor. And it’s time!”

July 1st is right around the corner as we sit and wait to see what the Flyers do with the rights of Bryzgalov. It looks this time that the Flyers may have found their man, the question remains though, who goes to clear up cap room?

Press release courtesy of PhillySportsDaily

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Transcript courtesy of CrossingBroad.com

Paul Holmgren held a conference call with the media tonight to discuss the Bryzgalov trade. Here is the conversation via

Q: Are you confident that you can sign Bryzgalov?

“We’re going to give it our best shot.  Obviously we gave up an asset to get a chance to get in early so we have every intention of trying our best to get a deal done.”

Q: I spoke to Rich Winter yesterday for quite a while and he wants four or five years.  Are you willing to go that far with Bryzgalov?

“Well, we’ll see what we can do.  He’s certainly not an old goaltender.  He’s 30 or 31 years old.  I feel like he’s got a lot of good years left in him.  We’ll see how it goes.  When you get into a negotiation like this, you’re dealing with a salary cap, you try to get a number you can live with.  We’ll see.”

Q: Would you have to part with one of your pieces up front in order to make this work and are you comfortable doing that?

“Well, once we know what the salary cap is going to be next year, we’ll have a better idea what we need to do down the road.  We have options.  We’ll just see how it goes.”

Q: Do you think it’s possible to sign Bryzgalov and Ville Leino, or if you sign Bryzgalov would it be almost impossible to re-sign Ville?

“I don’t know Sam.  Obviously we still have the intention of trying to sign Ville.  With the salary cap, you can only do so much.  We’re trying to get the best team we can get to get ready for the 2011 season.  We’ll see how it goes.  There’s a lot of things that need to happen between now and July 1.  We’re going to see what we can do.”

Q: Can he mentor Sergei Bobrovsky?

“I don’t know him that well – in fact I hardly know him at all.  Just from talking to some of our guys… when Chris Pronger and Sean O’Donnell played with him, he was a young kid behind [J.S.] Giguere.  Some of the information we have on him from his days in Phoenix, it’s all good.  He’s a team guy, and he must have gotten along pretty well with the guy who was playing behind him in Phoenix.  I don’t see an issue with that.  I think the fact that they’re both Russians probably would help.”

Q: Do you ever know when you go into this what you’re looking at in terms of money and length of contract?

“I probably don’t know now.  We have some ideas we’ll bounce around… I’m sure Ilya’s agent has some ideas of his own that he wants to bounce around.  We’ll see if we can get a deal done.  We got our foot in the door now, we have some time to look at certain things and try to work through the issues and get a deal.”

Q: Are you comfortable negotiating before the actual salary cap number for next season is known?

“I’m not sure it matters, Frank.  We kind of have an idea what it is, we don’t know the exact number but we do have an idea what it’s going to be.  Obviously because of our tagging space right now, I don’t know that we could sign a guy right now, at this time – for the same reason we couldn’t sign Ville at this time.  We’ll do what we can do, and as I continue to say, try to get a deal done.  We didn’t make this trade to acquire his rights just to try to hang around.  We’re going to try our best to get him signed.”

Q: What’s the conditional pick?

“I’m not going to talk about it just because it’s a moot point right now, and when it happens, it happens.  It’s not a first round pick or a second round pick, so you can go from there.”

Q:  Is that the reason you did this now instead of waiting closer to the draft, so you do have the time to hammer out something?

“You never know what’s going to happen. You gamble and wait till July 1, you don’t know who else is involved.  This gives us negotiating rights, which nobody else has.  Is it an advantage?  I don’t know.  At least we get first crack at it, and we’ll see what we can do.

Q: What does this deal mean for Bobrovsky?  Do you still see him as the goalie of the future?

“I don’t know.  We’ll see if we can get a deal done with Ilya.  I still think the world of Sergei and I think he’s one of the top young goalies in our game.  Having said that, and again as I said at the end of the year, we continue to try to make our team better.  Right now the position we’ve put ourselves in, negotiating with Ilya, if we can get him signed, it’ll make our team better.”

Q: There’s been a perception outside the organization for years that the flyers haven’t invested a lot in goaltending.  Inside the organization, does that end the discussion if you sign him, that you have made an investment in goaltending?

We’re trying to get better, as we try to do every year.  Our idea is to put ourselves in the position to win the Stanley Cup.  We haven’t really had an opportunity to talk to Ilya’s agent yet.  Once we get the ball rolling there, we’ll see if we can get him signed.  If we do, I think we’ll have one of the best goaltending tandems in the league.  I feel confident in saying that, anyway.

Q: What interests you about Bryzgalov?

“Well, you look at how he played not only when he was in Anaheim, but the last few years in Phoenix, I think he’s probably one of the reason, probably the biggest reason why they became a playoff team the last two years, with his play in the regular season.  I know last season he and his team took Detroit to seven games in a hard-fought series, and this year was obviously not as good for Phoenix in the playoffs, but he’s one of the better goalies in the league.  You can make the argument that he’s among the top 10 goalies in the league, if not higher.  We’re happy to get this opportunity to talk to him early and we’re going to try our best to get him signed.”

Q: Ed Snider was pretty adamant that he didn’t want to go through another season like this again with the goalies.  How much did that weigh in on this?

“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to field a good team.  We want to win a Stanley Cup. We’re trying to make ourselves better in all areas.  We’re going to give it our best shot.”

 

 Q: Are you comfortable exceeding the salary cap once it’s announced, like you did last year?

“We’ll see, Frank.  It’s not a comfortable spot to be in.  The more you get into the summer, the more difficult it becomes to move money.  We’ll see how it goes.”

Q: You said you could not sign Bryzgalov until the new cap is announced – is that correct?

“Unless we made some kind of a deal.”

Q: In the past you’ve had success doing this obviously with Kimmo and Scott Hartnell, and it didn’t quite work out last year with Dan Hamhuis.  What point in your mind do you say we have to get this done or move on to something else, or do you not worry about that at this point?

“I’m not really too worried about it right now.  I think we have some time.  Ideally before you get to the Draft, you’d like to know if you have a deal in place, and then we’ll see what we can do at the draft in order to – if we need to make some adjustments or whatever.  As long as we sense over a period of time that we’re making some progress, I don’t feel uncomfortable going late into June 30.”

Q: Is it the goal to do this and keep the team, at least the core players, intact?

“[We have some] good pieces that you need to win a Stanley Cup.  In acquiring Ilya, we have an opportunity here to negotiate a contract and get him signed sort of ahead of other teams that might have had those same ideas in mind.  So we’ll see what we can do.  If we can agree to a deal, and then necessary adjustments in order to get him in the salary cap, I think we’ll still have a good team – if not better.

Q: If you’re able to sign him, do you think he’ll have a good impact on Bobrovsky?

“I would assume he had a good relationship with his [other] goaltender in Phoenix.  From what I can gather talking to Chris Pronger and Sean O’Donnell about his time in Anaheim, he was sort of behind Giguere when they won the Stanley Cup.  He was in a little bit of a different role, but he was a good kid, certainly no issues that we hear of with the guy.  He’s a good goalie, and I think the fact that they’re both Russian can’t hurt.

Q: When Ilya was in Phoenix he had a pretty significant workload.  Do you see him doing that here or do you think you can pare that down just a little bit?

That’s one of those things that you play by ear.  I’ve said numerous times, that I really like Sergei and that he’s got a really bright future as a Flyer, so we don’t want to lose track of that.  Having said that, if we can sign Ilya, he’s a guy that is used to the workload.  So there’s a little bit of give and take there.  He played 70 in Phoenix… maybe he can play 65 here with I assume easier travel than they have in Phoenix, maybe he can play more than 70.  We’ll just play that as it goes if we can accomplish what we need to accomplish and get him signed.  First things first right now – we’ll deal with that later.

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Flyers get a goalie, can they sign him?
By Kevin K

The Flyers traded for the rights of Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov from Phoenix in exchange for LW Matt Clackson and draft picks.

The Flyers now have until July 1st to sign him to a contract or he becomes an UFA. The Flyers have traded for the rights of players before and it has worked out (Timonen and Hartnell); however, recently it has not (Hamhuis and Nabakov).

This move is a little bit of a risk for the Flyers because now they have to find cap room to sign Bryzgalov to a deal. The upside is that the cap looks to expand in a couple of weeks; however, the Flyers still need to look for a way to open up more space to sign him.

“We’re going to give it our best shot,” Holmgren said of Bryzgalov. “You give up an asset to get in early, so we have every intention of trying to get a deal done.”
 
Winter will be looking for a minimum of a four-year deal worth at least $5 million a season for Bryzgalov, who has six years of NHL experience.
 
“We’ll see what we can do,” Holmgren said of signing the Russian goalie. “He’s certainly not an old goaltender. I feel like he has a lot of good years left in him. We’ll see how it goes. When you get into a negotiation like this you are dealing with a salary cap and you try to get a number you can live with.”

If the Flyers can get a deal done with Bryzgalov, it leaves an opportunity open for him to mentor another Russian goaltender in Sergei Bobrovsky. "Bob" is the goalie of the future for the Flyers and could look strongly at the Flyers signing another Russian to the team.

If the Flyers are going to get the deal done, they are going to have to make another move. Whether it involves Carter, Hartnell, Leino, Shelley, Lappy (retirement?), etc. we will now soon, and we will keep you updated.
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