Archive for August, 2008

Defenseman Bryan Berard to Try Out for Flyers

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 27, 2008 by flyersfan44

Defenseman Bryan Berard, the number one overall draft pick in 1995 and Rookie of the Year in 1997, will attend Flyers training camp this season in the hopes of winning a job on the Flyers’ blue line.  Berard severely injured his right eye in 2000 when playing for Toronto, taking an errant stick and losing almost all of his sight in that eye.  He amazingly came back from what was thought to be a career-ending injury, enduring seven eye operations and  returning an insurance settlement of over $6 million.  Berard has also had back surgery twice after returning to hockey.  Playing with the Islanders last season, he scored five goals and had 17 assists in 54 games. 

The Flyers will have 21 defensemen when training camp opens in September.  That Berard has been granted a tryout along with this high number of blueliners makes me think that GM Paul Holmgren may be worried that the off-season additions to their defense may not be adequate.  They made no move for an offensive defenseman in the free agent market, so they may be hoping that Berard will be able to fill this void.  One must wonder, however, if the 31 year-old Berard will be the answer or if he’ll end up with the Phantoms as an emergency call-up.

Third Jersey News

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 19, 2008 by flyersfan44

One of my sources indicates (I love that – makes it sound really mysterious, eh?) that the Flyers new third jersey will be worn on-ice for the first time on Friday, November 28 in a game against Carolina.  Retailers will get the jersey on Wednesday, December 3.  It’s definite that the jersey will be the orange one they wore in the 1970’s, with the same numbering (white outlined in black on the back and orange outlined in black on the sleeves).  The traditional logo will be on the front.  Only question is whether the white nameplate with black letters or orange nameplate with white letters will be used. 

If this source is correct, then so much for my earlier prediction that they would debut the jersey in the pre-season game against Carolina at the old Spectrum, which will be in its last season.  That would have been too cool.

Anti-Flyers Conspiracy?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 17, 2008 by flyersfan44

Faithful reader Duffy has suggested a blog posting asking about whether or not there is some sort of conspiracy against the Flyers that leads to excessive or unwarranted penalties or perhaps harsher disciplinary measures leveled by the league against the Orange and Black.   I’ll put my opinion out there:  From my perspective during the playoffs, there were some unbelieveably horrendous calls and non-calls that went against the Flyers and at several points we were wondering if the NHL wanted the Capitals to advance because of Ovechkin and the Canadiens to advance because, well, they’re the Canadiens.  Thinking back to early in the season, there were five Flyers suspended (Boulerice, Downie, Cote, Jones, Hartnell) at various times for aggressive hits that sometimes resulted in injuries.  A couple of these suspensions, at least, were questionable.  That being said, I would have to argue against the idea of a premeditated conspiracy against the Flyers at the league level.  I think the NHL wants to have integrity in its officiating and discipline and to remain fair in its dealings with all teams.  NHL officiating is not the best, however, and I’m sure fans of every team can cite terrible calls that went against their clubs.  Now, it may happen that individual refs carry a subconscious bias or trepidation in regard to the Flyers, especially since the highly aggressive play that resulted in the early-season suspensions recalled the old Broad Street Bullies, which I am sure no ref or the league wishes to have to deal with.  At any rate, hopefully the league will continue to work to see that the best and most impartial offciating possible will be the norm across the NHL.  That’s how I see it.  I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.

Questionable Kovalev goal

Questionable Kovalev goal

Craig Berube Named Assistant Coach

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 10, 2008 by flyersfan44

Former Flyers’ tough guy Craig Berube was promoted from head coach of the Phantoms to Flyers’ assistant coach to fill the vacancy caused by the departure of Terry Murray to the Kings.  Former Flyers’ player and former Ottawa Senators head coach John Paddock was named head coach of the Phantoms.

Hockey Player for Life

Posted in Uncategorized on August 3, 2008 by flyersfan44

NHL news is slow right now so this may be a good time to let you know about a new book about hockey that will be available in October.  Hockey Player for Life, by author Howard Shapiro, promises to be a book that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.  It will have a foreward written by former Flyers’ captain Keith Primeau.  For more information, visit www.hockeyplayerforlife.com.