Posts for nhl

This Roster is Broken: Thoughts after Flames 6, Flyers 5

Anthony SanFilippo - December 13, 2018

Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher is only in his second week on the job and one thing has likely become abundantly clear to him – he needs to break up the way his team is constructed.

Quite simply, the Flyers are broken.

Repeated and excessive inconsistency is a fundamental flaw that likely has more to do with the makeup of the roster and how those pieces fit together than the systems they are playing.

That’s not to absolve the coaching staff for the sins of their players, or their former general manager. No, they need to own the fact that they can’t find a way to maximize what potential there is on the roster.

But these players need to take ownership for themselves. They can’t be fragile. They can’t “play scared” as Jake Voracek said after a recent game. They can’t crack under pressure. They can’t lose track of their fundamentals and have it blow up on them game after game after game.

There was no reason the Flyers should have lost to Calgary Wednesday, and yet they did, 6-5 in overtime, allowing two goals in the final 1:08 of regulation and the game-winner in the first minute of the extra session.

The frustration for fans is understandable. The Flyers are a team who is equally adept at overcoming a two-goal deficit as it is blowing a two-goal lead.

There is skill and talent on this team; it just doesn’t mesh. Maybe it’s because despite that skill, this team is not collectively smart.

How so?

I’ll explain after the jump:

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Flyers Attendance: Is it as Bad as it Seems, or are we Missing Something?

Anthony SanFilippo - December 10, 2018

If you’ve been down to the Wells Fargo Center for a Flyers game this season, or if you have a discerning eye when watching or streaming the game, you may have noticed more empty seats than usual for Flyers hockey.

Of course, it depends these days on game time, which troubles me personally, because I don’t know when Philadelphia crowds became the late-arriving, early-leaving type, but the fact still remains that hundred of seats go unused every game.

There have been a lot of people putting photos out of Flyers games where attendance has looked bad. I’ve been guilty of this myself once:

And to be fair. this was taken early in the game. The place did fill up some after I took this photo, but it was a Tuesday night, and it was against Ottawa, so it didn’t get that much more full.

Still, there are more empty seats at games now than ever before. Even during 2006-07, which many agree was the worst season in Flyers franchise history, the attendance was, on average, about 100 people more than it has been so far this season.

And there is no doubt, that if this trend continues through the second half of the season, that that Flyers will experience the smallest average attendance in the history of the Wells Fargo Center.

That’s not good. But it also needs to be examined relatively.

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Sports Betting Updates

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FanDuel Sportsbook Review

Things have picked up for NJ online sports betting. FanDuel Sportsbook launched their sports betting app in September and they, along with DraftKings, have quickly become the leaders in the space. If you want to know how the sites compare to each other, read our DraftKings Sportsbook vs. FanDuel Sportsbook post. Otherwise, keep reading to get our review of FanDuel and their current bonus offers. Bonus: First deposit matched up to $100 Minimum Deposit: $10 FanDuel

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The Best New Jersey Online Sports Betting Offers This Weekend

Christmas is just a little more than a week away, so if you still haven’t gotten in on New Jersey’s legal sports betting action, now seems like the right time give yourself the gift of great promos and generous signup bonuses being offered by the best betting apps.  And who knows, maybe you’ll make a little extra spending money to finish up your holiday shopping, or, you know, pay for a round at the bar. Either

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DraftKings Sportsbook Promo Code: DraftKings Is Offering a $500 Free Bet

DraftKings Sportsbook has been live in New Jersey for over three full months now and a lot has changed since launch, including promos and bonuses. Here is the current best DraftKings Sportsbook promo code and full review. The season of giving is upon us and our partners at DraftKings Sportsbook are spreading the holiday cheer between now and the end of the month by increasing their $200 free bet offer, which they’ve been running pretty

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“I Want it to Work” – GM Chuck Fletcher Sticking With Dave Hakstol For Now

Kevin Kinkead - December 5, 2018

New Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher was introduced to the media today.

He spoke for 25 minutes and the question about Dave Hakstol finally came at the 21:14 mark of the press conference.

Said Fletcher on the coaching staff:

They’re our coaches, the coaches of the Philadelphia Flyers. I spent time with Hak yesterday and again this morning, talked to him about what we want to do for the upcoming road trip and which players we’re going to bring on the trip. He’ll get tired of me. I’m around after every game, I’m around every morning. I like to have coffee with the coaches and just get a sense of what they wanna do each day.

I think you have to give people a chance to show how they’re going to work with you, and it’s easy to have opinions on the outside, but I think when you’re talking about making a decision on the future of a coaching staff, I think you’d better have a little bit more specific information than what I have right now.

I want it to work. I want it to be successful with this group. It’s not a threat or anything, but as I’ve said, if we don’t have the solutions in house, we’ll look outside. There’s no timetable for any of that other than we’re just trying to get better. We want to make the playoffs this year. We want to win a Stanley Cup as soon as we can. Every decision we make will be towards that goal. Right now we’re just starting.

I think that’s what we expected. Paul Holmgren and Dave Scott could have axed Hakstol along with Ron Hextall, but they’re leaving the decision up to Fletcher, who looks like he’s going to give Hak a shot to prove himself.


Press conference video after the jump:

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Report: Chuck Fletcher Will be Next Flyers GM

Kevin Kinkead - December 3, 2018

Last week, TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger reported that the Flyers were meeting with ex-Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher. It was, according to Dreger, Fletcher’s “job to lose.”

Today Sam Carchidi over at the Inquirer is reporting that Fletcher will indeed be named the 8th GM in Flyers history.

Writes Carchidi:

A high-ranking club official said Fletcher will replace Ron Hextall, who was stunningly fired Nov. 26 while in his fifth season as GM. Bill Zito, a Columbus assistant general manager, was believed to be the runner-up to Fletcher.

Every general manager has his own take “on how it should be run,” the Flyers executive said. “For me, and I think Chuck has done the same, I think it’s how you treat your people, so everybody is included as to what’s going on. The people who work for you have to know you trust them and want their opinions and care about them — and it will be returned every time. Chuck will have that.”

Anthony can confirm this report from an organizational source.

This is also interesting, from Carchidi’s write-up:

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Hex, Spies, and Smaller Plates – A Final Analysis of the Flyers’ firing of Ron Hextall

Anthony SanFilippo - December 1, 2018

Work in and around professional sports long enough, and there are always going to be stories you cannot tell publicly.

It’s the nature of the beast. Keeping some stories under wraps is how you build trust. It’s how you develop relationships with sources. It’s how you become an “insider,” so to speak.

In my 18-plus years being around the Philadelphia Flyers, I have been told or personally witnessed a lot of stories that would have garnered huge, tabloid-esque headlines.

When weighing the journalistic value of these stories, it is important to determine if telling them publicly is the proper thing to do. Do they have any impact on the team? Will they potentially affect the player’s performance? Will they get somebody in trouble, and if so, do they deserve to get in trouble?

When you see incidents like the Kareem Hunt video that TMZ put out yesterday, the answer to that is yes.

When you are forced to help a player get his drunk teammate who is passed out in the hallway of a team hotel three floors below where his room is located at 3 a.m. the night before a game, in most instances, you should put that one in your back pocket.

(Yes, that happened with me and two Flyers players, many moons ago.)

As a result, in my near two decades around this team. I have a lot of stories. Some are hysterical. Some are sad. Many can never be shared in a public forum.

And then there are times when you are torn. There are times when you are given great information, but asked not to share it publicly. Or you are told you can speculate on it, but can’t actually report it – as I did with the Hextall information last Friday.

And I will tell you that since Hextall’s firing, I have been deluged with information from multiple people throughout the Flyers organization that just blew me away.

They all asked that I tread very lightly with this information, and I did so in this post that I published on Tuesday. 

Since then, I’ve read a lot of stories elsewhere about what happened. I’ve read as the Flyers organization has been criticized for making this move and others – such as firing assistant coach Gord Murphy and assistant general manager Chris Pryor.

I’ve watched President Paul Holmgren get vilified for letting his “old school” mentality get in the way of Hextall’s long-term vision with this firing. I’ve heard so many people say the Flyers fired the wrong guy, that coach Dave Hakstol should have gone instead.

And then yesterday, Hextall held his own press conference, and the response was, as expected – more criticism of the organization. More cries that this was a wrong decision. More shouting that the Flyers are a mess internally and don’t know what the hell they’re doing.

I can tell you, from the years I have spent both covering and working with Holmgren, that this is a well-thought out decision and one that was made with the best interest of the Flyers organization in mind.

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“Your Vision and My vision are not the Same” – Notes and Quotes from the Ron Hextall Press Conference

Kevin Kinkead - November 30, 2018

Ousted Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said that he felt his team was close to being a contender, but that they weren’t quite there yet. He didn’t want to trade young talent for older players on multi-year contracts.

That was the recurring theme as Hexy spoke with the media on Friday morning, four days after his firing.

Anthony SanFilippo talked to Flyers COO Shawn Tilger after the press conference, so he’ll flesh all of this out later in much more detail.

For now, these were the biggest takeaways from Hextall’s availability from the Wingate hotel across the street from the team practice facility:

  • Hextall “did not see” his firing coming. He said he was “shocked” and “stunned” by the decision. “The only thing (Paul Holmgren) said is that your vision and my vision are not the same.”
  • He said there were three stages of his tenure – 1. cleaning up the salary cap, 2. gathering assets and developing and implementing young players, and 3. ‘go time’, “I didn’t feel right now we were at ‘go time.’ I didn’t feel like the Winnipegs and Tampas and Nashville, I didn’t feel we were there yet.”
  • Hextall did say he was open to moving some players this year, had “active conversations.”
  • RE: the “philosophical differences,” Hextall said everybody thinks differently, said he asked Ed Snider for patience, which he agreed to give him. “He was on board.” Hextall talked about the six years it took Los Angeles to win.
  • He wasn’t willing to trade a 20-something year old player just to get stuck with an aging player on a multi-year deal
  • No tension build-up in recent months or recent years with Dave Scott or Paul Holmgren. “I think we were both after the same thing, but maybe we thought we’d get there in different ways.”
  • He was excited about this season with young kids who were supposed to be taking the next step, plus adding James van Riemsdyk. “I certainly expected to take a step this year, and it’s disappointing as hell.” On paper, he says it’s a good team.

More after the jump:

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Goalie Madness: Pickard Out, Darling In?

JoyOnBroad - November 29, 2018

Well, Flyers fans, the Cal Pickard era has come to an end after 11 mediocre-at-best games for the orange and black:

Pickard posted a 4.01 GAA and .863 save percentage. He will most likely be remembered for his final performance in a 6-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in which he allowed four goals on six shots and was chased out of the game less than thirteen minutes in.

Could his replacement come from Carolina?

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Report: It’s Chuck Fletcher’s “Job to Lose”

Kevin Kinkead - November 29, 2018

From TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger:

Fletcher is the former Minnesota Wild GM who now serves in an advisory role for the New Jersey Devils. Prior to his nine seasons in Saint Paul, he spent three years as Ray Shero’s assistant in Pittsburgh, a time in which the Penguins reached two Stanley Cup finals.

For background, here’s now Fletcher’s Wild teams performed over the years. He started in May of 2009, so his first full season was 2009-2010:

  • 2009-2010: 38-36-8, no playoffs
  • 2010-2011: 39-35-8, no playoffs
  • 2011-2012: 35-36-11, no playoffs
  • 2012-2013: 26-19-3, lost to Blackhawks in first round
  • 2013-2014: 43-27-12, beat Avalanche in first round, lost to Blackhawks in second round
  • 2014-2015: 46-28-8, beat Blues in first round, lost to Blackhawks in second round
  • 2015-2016: 38-33-11, lost to Stars in first round
  • 2016-2017: 49-25-8, lost to Blues in first round
  • 2017-2018: 45-26-11, lost to Jets in first round

Fletcher’s teams couldn’t get out of the second round, running into the Blackhawks in three straight seasons. They went 2-6 in playoff series during his tenure there.

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