Category Archives: Flyers

Quick Thoughts: Kimmo Timonen Has Blood Clots; Flyers Sign Del Zotto

Kimmo Timonen, the Flyers long-time top defensemen and man’s man, has been diagnosed with blood clots in his legs and lungs. The Flyers have since signed Michael Del Zotto. A few quick thoughts on the matter with more likely to come in the podcast:

  • This doesn’t necessarily mean that his career is over. Yes, this is likely Kimmo’s last hurrah, but given that he’s a stubborn old man that never leaves leaves the ice if injured, I would imagine he tries to come back ASAP if medically possible.
  • I didn’t mind the idea of Timonen sticking it out for one more year even though his play has noticeably declined. The Flyers are weak on the blue lines and any knowledge you can squeeze out of him to your younger defenseman would be a plus.
  • Perhaps Kimmo could retire and Finnish (yes, bad pun!) the season as an assistant on the bench. His experience and knowledge is useful for the next generation of defenders.
  • Michael Del Zotto, who has been signed following the Timonen injury is only 24 years old. He could be such a case.
  • However, the fact that a 24 year-old defender is on the market in August is not exactly comforting. A change of scenery certainly hasn’t improved Luke Schenn.
  • Can someone build a time machine and get JVR back? I’ll kiss you.

Welcome to the Free Agency Midnight Bonanza!

Hextall will be overseeing his first free agency as a GM

Hextall will be overseeing his first free agency as a GM

Yes, folks, the NBA and NHL free agency periods begin tonight at midnight and noon respectively and Twitter may very well implode as a result.

In general, the start of free agency is so much fun because it’s the closest you get to fan fiction. Among tonight’s story lines you’ll most likely see things like “Carmelo has great talks with Bulls—looking like frontrunner”, “Nashville aggressively pursuing Paul Stastny” and “LeBron James kidnapped by Cleveland, brainwashing inevitable.” There’s so much hope and chaos that it’s nearly impossible to not get sucked in as fans bases live and die by the second, breathless as their teams negotiate with the next franchise savior.

However, as much as LeBron coming to Philly makes sense in my untidy bubble, it’s not going to happen. Nor are the Flyers making any big signings until they can unload Vinny LeCavalier. Instead, the Sixers and Flyers will follow the stars a different way—as scavengers rather than suitors. It’s not glamorous, but it’s for the best.

Let’s start with the Flyers. First off, they’re the only team in the league that is currently over the salary cap. Now, while that’s not illegal at this point of the year it matters in a few months. They’re going to need to reduce salary eventually and throwing lots of money at star players is not going to do that. Plus, Ron Hextall has made it abundantly clear with the Scott Harntell move that the Flyers will be more cap conscious moving forward. There’s young talent on this roster that needs to be cultivated and signed-long term.

So, what moves will they make? Back-up goaltender is the most likely position for the team to make noise with, which in itself suggests that they’ll be dull. In addition to Ray Emery, who backed up for the Flyers last year, Jonas Hiller, Thomas Greiss and a whole slew of others will be available to back up Steve Mason. As we discovered during Mason’s playoff absence, back-up netminders matter.

Outside of that, the Flyers could throw some shit at the wall for 4th line forwards and camp fodder defensemen. Offensively they have too many forwards as is which is in part why LeCavalier has been such a disaster. They’ve also got six defensemen under contract for this upcoming season including Andrew MacDonald, who the team signed through 2020, and Kimmo Timonen’s 39 year-old bag of bones. If they resign restricted free agent Erik Gustafsson then they’re really reaching for talent.

Given the team’s mission to unload LeCavalier and his salary, the Flyers will be waiting for the market on centers to thin out so that a team like Nashville returns to the bargaining table. That is far and away the Flyers top priority heading into this free agency period. Get it done, Hexy.

Sam Hinkie

He’s reading your mind right now…and laughing

For the Sixers, they’re in a tough boat as well with signing players. Specifically, they’re so appallingly bad that even Brett Brown has admitted that no one wants to come here. If the Sixers were to bring any players aboard, they’d have to grossly overpay for their services. Given Sam Hinkie’s track record, there’s better odds that you’re bitten by Luis Suarez.

What the Sixers will do is continue to buy low on players with potential (a la James Anderson last year) and try to work their way into three team deals. The free agent frenzy that GMs are in has hit an all time high as LeBron, Carmelo, Kevin Love, and more could be had. The Sixers conveniently pay bottom dollar and would be able to absorb any and all bad contracts in exchange for picks, projects, and a misfits like Tony Wroten. So while the Sixers won’t be involved in any major rumors, you can guarantee they’ll be sniffing around them.

At this point, the best fit and most commonly tossed around name will be Chandler Parsons of the Rockets. Parsons is a young, talented swingman that has connections with Hinkie from Houston and is likely to be shipped out of town if the Rockets can land a star to compliment Dwight Howard and James Harden. At 26, Parsons length, shooting ability, and likely reasonable contract from a sign-and-trade makes too much sense to ignore. His name will pop up frequently.

But like I said earlier, the Sixers have more cash than Scrooge McDuck so I’m going to dream for now too….#LeBronToBrotherlyLove

 

Around the Cooler 6/29/14: Tip Not Included

Payton MCWHere’s what we’re talking about:

  • NBA insider Derek Bodner stops in to talk Sixers draft with us.
  • The Flyers hosted a draft too! How much do we like Hextall so far?
  • Cab fares, tipping, and the Wooder Cooler wooder cooler

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What are you talking about around the Wooder Cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

Theme done by the amazing Matt Schwalm

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Broken Up From Trading Hartnell? Nah.

So long, Hartsy

So long, Hartsy

Scotty Hartnell has been dealt to Columbus for R.J. Umberger and a 4th round draft pick in 2015. It was a surprising move, something most fans didn’t expect to see, but I’m certainly not too broken up about it.

Hartnell was frustrating to watch because he performed well during his tenure, but was very inconsistent. That is not the type of play you need from a top-line winger. You also have to consider that his lack of skating ability made him a liability on the ice and that he often let his emotions get the best of him, which led to costly and unnecessary mental errors.

As a result, I think Hartnell would have been better suited as a third line winger. In that case, he would have complemented Matt Read and Sean Coutourier instead of bearing the responsibility of a top line containing two of the most talented forwards in the league.

Interestingly enough, it’s been said that Umberger is the same player as Hartnell, but with less skill. I’m not sure how that can be said when he’s so much more versatile than Hartnell. I think a more fair comparison would be a player like Max Talbot, but with more talent. He can play any forward position, and, more importantly, he can play the penalty kill. With the likely departure of Adam Hall, Umberger will probably fill that role as a defensive forward on the PK to support Giroux, Coots, and Read.

In the long run, the Flyers shaved two years of salary and added a draft pick, which makes the move more appealing. When Umber’s contract expires in 2016 Brayden Schenn, Coutourier, and Michael Raffl will be free agents. Not to mention we have young guys that will be playing for the Orange and Black in the next few years that hopefully develop into solid NHL players—guys like Scott Laughton, Sam Morin, and Shane Gostisbehere.

Hextall said from the start that his goal was to build the team with young talent through the draft and player development. This move fits that mentality and puts us in a better place to build a long-term contender.

Overall, it’s worth it.

Around the Cooler 6/8/14: African American Studies

McCantsHere’s what we’re talking about:

  • Rashad McCants and educating college athletes
  • The Phillies draft, Ken Giles, and the basement of the MLB
  • A Fan Question, the Cup, the NBA Finals, and team dynamics.

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What are you talking about around the Wooder Cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

Theme done by the amazing Matt Schwalm

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Around the Cooler 5/25/14: (Lottery) Ballin’

The oddest things have been the most exciting under Sam Hinkie

The oddest things have been the most exciting under Sam Hinkie

Here’s what we’re talking about:

  • We finally know the Sixers draft order! Who do they take with the third overall pick?
  • Feminine Persuasion gets catty
  • Should the NHL be concerned with the KHL’s growth?
  • TWCNN gives us a newsbreak
  • Ruben Amaro is in the running to be the MLB commissioner. Seriously.

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Theme done by the amazing Matt Schwalm

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Around the Cooler 5/18/14: Identity Crisis

100 wins for Cole Hamels!

100 wins for Cole Hamels!

Here’s what we’re talking about:

  • A quarter report of the Phillies and the future surrounding Cole Hamels
  • Sixers prospects at the NBA combine
  • We begin our partnership with The Wooder Cooler News Network (TWCNN)!
  • We completely disagree on the merits of jockeys in horse racing.

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Flyers Gettin’ Hexy with New GM

Am I winking? I can't tell. It's hard.

Am I winking? I can’t tell. It’s hard.

Because this is the Flyers and of course, Paul Holmgren has been promoted. However, it’s not to award Holmgren but to promote Ron Hextall to GM.

While Hextall is well-respected, the main concern is that Holmgren is still with the team and Ed Snider isn’t getting enough marlocks to live forever. Nothing is going to change until Snyder dies. I don’t buy it.

Teams wanted to get hot and heavy with Hexy and the Flyers knew it. Vancouver and Washington specifically were mentioned as teams that were possible destinations for the former Flyers goaltender.

However, he worked with Holmgren and Snyder this year. He lived through a season that included major free agent signings and the firing of a coach. He’s aware of what he’s getting himself in to. So why would Hextall—a man in demand—settle for a job where he’s constantly overridden by upper management when he could have total freedom somewhere else?

So, assuming that Hextall will actually have say over the team what is there to expect?

Primarily, Hextall is known for his role in building the LA Kings into a winner with the help of guys that Holmgren traded away. Now he’ll bring a development-based mindset to an organization that took pride in annually rubbing their junk on antique lamps in hopes of finding a genie.

What does that mean in non-disturbing terms? I’ll explain!

Remember trading James van Riemsdyk? Remember all of the trade rumors surrounding Brayden Schenn, Sean Coutourier, and Scott Laughton? Those are done. This team will build up with their youth instead of adding players in their 30’s and hoping for the best.

It’s a new direction for the Flyers, which is all you could ask for.

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Around the Cooler 5/4/14: Lint Rollers

nfl_draft_14

High expectations, young kids.

Here’s what we’re talking about:

  • What character concerns mean during the draft, and how that impacts the Eagles
  • Paul Holmgren and Ron Hextall’s relationship
  • We try some new segments–you’ll have to see for yourself!
  • The NBA playoffs

Follow us on our iTunes Stream, Right Click to Download, or play on your mobile device!

What are you talking about around the Wooder Cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

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2 Best Words in Hockey: GAME 7

Just like the regular season, the Flyers postseason has been up and down like Kingda Ka at Six Flags, on a loop. But it’s lead to these 2 magical words

GAME 7

It’s a beautiful thing in the NHL playoffs. Nothing compares to a game 7 in the NHL. One shift, one goal, one hit could change the temp in seconds.

The Flyers are coming off a very impressive win last night in Philly, 5-2 over the Rangers and I would even give them some momentum going into tonight.

But what makes a game 7 special is a team can have all the confidence in the world going into it, and still be scared shitless. The intensity of a Game 7 surrounds you with those emotions, you’re happy, nervous, and scared all at the same time.

The game tonight, of course, is in New York. And history shows it’s no friend for the Flyers. Flyers have just 1 win in their last 10 games in the Garden, including the regular season. Rangers are 5-0 all time in game 7’s in MSG, along with King Henrik being 2-0. But in game 7’s history is thrown out the window for the players.

If I were to ask Mason or Giroux about those stats they’d scoff and focus on the now. The now looks good too for the Flyers. The way this schedule has worked out, the Flyers will have an easier time carrying the momentum from last night into tonight. Compared to the Rangers win, and the teams having two days rest until the following game.

So how is your confidence level for the Flyers going into tonight? I’d love to know. It should be high. If it’s not tell me why, lets have a discussion.

Leave your comments below or interact with us on twitter!

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