I’m not sure anyone saw that coming. Not even the Flyers themselves.
After all, Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher told Russ and I on Snow the Goalie that Seattle GM Ron Francis is a good poker player and holds his cards close to his vest.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around this selection by Seattle.
While I discussed several possible avenues with hockey people for Seattle to go with the Flyers – including one where the Flyers would acquire St. Louis sniper Vladimir Tarasenko and part of what would go back the other way was Jake Voracek and a draft pick (and maybe more) – at no point did anyone I spoke with at the Flyers, at the league level, or in other circles where good rumblings come from – indicate that Seattle would take Twarynski.
Going as far back as the regular season, I heard James van Riemsdyk would be the Kraken’s target. Obviously I heard about a Voracek trade, or even an enticement for Seattle to take Voracek straight up in the expansion draft. I had heard Robert Hägg (in conjunction with the potential Tarasenko deal) and I even had heard Justin Braun’s name come up.
But Twarynski? Not once. Seriously. Good for him though. He’s a good kid. A hard-worker. I hope he finds a role and fills it nicely for the Kraken, but if the leaked names are to be believed, and there’s no reason to doubt them considering where they came from, the Kraken don’t have anything close to the resemblance of an NHL-caliber offense.
Nor are the Kraken operating even at the salary floor with the leaked picks.
That means there have to be other shoes to drop. Seattle has to be active, maybe as soon as tonight, and potentially moving forward through the draft and the start of free agency.
Will one drop with the Flyers? It’s hard to say, but I’m still believing yes. The big deal that I proposed and was also reported, albeit slightly differently, by Frank Seravalli and Jason Gregor on their Daily Faceoff podcast, certainly won’t be happening with Seattle.
It was also reported by anonymous but often accurate hockey news breaker @NHLRumorsDaily. Even Elliotte Friedman on his 31 Thoughts podcast with Jeff Marek, said the Flyers were interested in Tarasenko through Seattle before someone “poo-pooed” that it would happen to Friedman on Tuesday.
As I mentioned in my post on Sunday night, these things are fluid, and the ball was no longer in the Flyers court and was instead in Seattle and St. Louis’.
It didn’t come to fruition. In the span of 48 hours from the time I published my story to the time Friedman reported that the trade was unlikely, a lot shifted. These things happen in sports all the time.
That doesn’t mean it won’t still happen eventually – maybe it just occurs in another reincarnation – as was the case with Ryan Ellis and Nolan Patrick as I outlined in the story Sunday.
Or maybe it never does, and all the teams involved pivot to another name. Another target. Another transaction.
Do you think the sudden and surprising addition of Montreal goalie Carey Price to the mix for Seattle to discuss over the last few days could have altered some plans? It doesn’t sound like they claimed Price, but man, that had to make Seattle consider and reconsider several things in the last few days.
I still suspect there will be something additional from this Seattle expansion draft as far as the Flyers are concerned, but it’s definitely not going to be Tarasenko now, as Seattle is reportedly taking Vince Dunn from the Blues.
But if the Flyers want to revisit that possibility – as Tarasenko has them listed as one of the teams he would accept a trade to as part of his modified no-trade clause – they’d now deal directly with St. Louis and not include Seattle.
But the Flyers might still have something cooking with the Kraken, we’ll just have to wait and see.
On another note, the NHL botched this expansion draft. Completely. Utterly. Almost comically. And definitely sadly.
Here is the NHL, making its triumphant return to the World Wide Leader with the expansion draft airing on ESPN2, and they had Seattle submit their picks 10 hours earlier and then leaked them out to all their newsbreakers hours in advance of the show.
So, why tune in now? Do we really want the studio analysis of Twarynski? I’m guessing most of the ESPN talent are like, “who’s he?”
Wouldn’t it be better if they just went pick-by-pick, like an actual draft? Let everything be done in real time. Let the talking heads predict a pick, and be either right or wrong and then debate it for a couple minutes before moving on to the next one. Isn’t this what has made the NFL draft such a successful TV program?
It wouldn’t take long. An hour? 90 minutes? And if there are any trades to announce, they can happen too. But man, in lieu of trades coming in tonight, this draft broadcast is going to be a dud because it’s going to feel like a rerun, which it shouldn’t and which is a huge swing and a miss for the NHL.
The Wells Fargo Center is hosting a cool event in late September to gear everyone up for the Winter sports seasons that will begin soon thereafter.
On Saturday, September 25, the pregame will be THE GAME at Wells Fargo Center when the arena hosts The Philly Tailgate Games presented by Yuengling Traditional Lager. At this block-party-style event, fans can close out their summer and kick-off tailgate season by competing for tailgate glory in games like Cornhole, Ladder Golf, Washers, Jenga, and more for epic prizes like a year of free beer and Flyers season tickets. The games will also feature great food, great Yuengling beers, and live music from Lost in Paris right outside Wells Fargo Center.
Whether you plan to be a competitor or just want to attend an unforgettable block party, all ticket holders will have the chance to enter and win the evening’s epic raffle prize, a pair of tickets to every concert at Wells Fargo Center for a year. Tickets for The Philly Tailgate Games are on sale NOW at PhillyTailgateGames.com. Both Tournament tickets ($40) and General Admission tickets ($10) are available for purchase.
We love this idea and are working right now to find a way for Crossing Broad and/or Snow the Goalie to be part of it. Stay tuned!
Finally, for those who want to try and discredit those of us who report what we’re hearing – feel free. Enjoy yourself. I’ve never been someone seeking the spotlight nor do I ever care if, like Russ loves to say, “I had it first.”
Means nothing to me.
I only report what I’ve ben told by people I trust and who are in a position to be a credible source in the sport of hockey – and even then I don’t always do it. I can’t tell you how many things I am told that I never run with because I can’t corroborate them. I’m asked not to say anything publicly at all, or I’m told I can’t even use the information in a speculative fashion.
I mentioned Carey Price earlier. There were lots of “will they or won’t they” stories that came out about the Kraken and their interest in Price. Many said they were considering it. They ultimately didn’t take him, but does that make those reports wrong? Or was Seattle actually considering it? I’d tend to believe the latter.
So if you want to send me a tweet and say, “Hey, Ant, your Tarasenko report was wrong,” that’s OK. No complaints from me, even if I don’t agree with you that it was “wrong.”
Or, even if you want to passively-aggressively tweet out that some people need to be called out for being wrong, when we all know who you’re talking about but you are too gun-shy to say it, that’s fine, too.
I’m always here to answer for myself. I’m always here to clarify or update or share what I can. If I’m wrong about something, I’ll admit it. Hell, I have to buy Russ a dinner at Nifty Fifty’s because I was wrong about something on the podcast. It happens from time to time. None of us are infallible.
But the one thing that I have always promised for the past 22 years, and will continue to promise as long as I am doing this job, is that right, wrong or in between (like this time), I will never make up a story, use a phony source, or source a friend, co-worker or other reporter, as part of my reporting. That’s shameful.
And if that last paragraph bothered you, then good, you know who you are.
For more Flyers coverage, follow Snow The Goalie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also be sure to tune into The Press Row Show as Anthony SanFilippo and Russ Joy provide pregame and intermission coverage of every Flyers home game from press row of the Wells Fargo Center via the Crossing Broad Facebook page, YouTube Live, and Twitter, and their Twitter accounts Follow @SnowTheGoalie Follow @AntSanPhilly Follow @JoyOnBroad