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I'm a newbie here and I was wondering what would give (or who would go) with the new salary structures. It's sad to see them go but inevitable I guess.
I just want the Flyers to win the cup again and bring it back where it belongs. Now that the Phantoms have won the Calder cup once again hopefully it'll rub off.

By the way, I hate the shootout rule.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Somik wasn't re-signed. Timander and Ragnarrsson are staying in Europe. Fedoruk was just traded to the Ducks for a 2nd rounder. Other than that, same team along with Carter, Richards and Knuble and Stevenson.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Flyers aim to get physical

Flyers seek to get physical

They will try to obtain a strong defenseman when free agency begins today.

By Tim Panaccio

Inquirer Staff Writer

NHL free agency officially begins at noon today. It should be a whirlwind of activity for some clubs competing for a few select players while dealing with the new $39 million salary cap.

For the Flyers, it's all about the blue line. They desperately need an impact defenseman with size.

Think about the Eastern Conference, which has Mats Sundin, Jaromir Jagr, Alexei Yashin, Mario Lemieux, Joe Thornton and Vinny Lecavalier. All are big, strong forwards.

Whom do the Flyers have on defense to play any of them man-to-man? Vladimir Malakhov didn't re-sign. Danny Markov plays above his 195 pounds, but he can't do that every night in the NHL.

Eric Desjardins is 36 and is not a physical defenseman. Though he remains a trusted staple, he has been hurt in each of the last two postseasons - a critical factor in the Flyers' not advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2003-04.

General manager Bob Clarke acknowledged that defense is his priority.

"Getting a defenseman, maybe two defensemen," Clarke said. "We will hear from the agent or call the agent and find out what it will cost. We know what the order is, but money is a factor right now. We have a list as to what our priorities are. It all comes down to whether you have enough money under the cap to get them."

Though Joni Pitkanen and Dennis Seidenberg are expected to become full-time regulars this fall, the Flyers still lack a physical presence.

Usually a forward or goalie heads the list of available talent in free agency. This summer, however, it's New Jersey defenseman Scott Niedermayer.

Given the interest, Niedermayer should get $7 million (the maximum allowed is $7.8 million) - which takes the Flyers out of the picture because their projected cap room is $8.4 million. Clarke wants to be at least $2 million under the cap.

Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues, who made a $7.2 million qualifying offer to defenseman Chris Pronger rather than lose him to unrestricted free agency, are trying to deal the former Norris Trophy winner. GM Larry Pleau has little cap room, with nearly $20 million tied up in Pronger, Doug Weight and Keith Tkachuk. Pronger would be an ideal fit for the Flyers if they could rework the deal long-term.

If Niedermayer goes to Anaheim to join brother Rob, as some expect, look for the Flyers to consider Derian Hatcher, Adam Foote and Pronger. That's the Flyers' short list of impact blue-liners. After that, a lower-tier player such as Adrian Aucoin is on the long list.

As much as Brian Rafalski is a tremendous talent, he lacks the size the Flyers need. Besides, if Niedermayer leaves the Devils, as everyone assumes, GM Lou Lamoriello will have to re-sign Rafalski and Scott Stevens.

Hatcher and Foote are the most logical choices, since Niedermayer's salary demands are going to be very high. Hatcher, 33, has had some health issues. Foote is 34. Colorado GM Pierre Lacroix doesn't have enough money to re-sign Peter Forsberg, Paul Kariya, a couple of restricted free agents, and Foote without trading someone.

The Flyers seem willing to commit a total of $6.5 million on defense. That means they either sign one player at $6 million or two lesser players for a combined $6.5 million.

"It won't take $6.5 million to sign Adam," his agent, Rick Curran, said yesterday.

Inky
 

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"It won't take $6.5 million to sign Adam," his agent, Rick Curran, said yesterday.

Duh. :haha:

Aucoin turned down 3.25 a year from the Isles, so it sounds like he either wants more or just wants off the Island. I'm guessing the latter, 'cause if Zubov can sign for 4 a year, there's no way Aucoin's worth more than 3.5.

Clarke could probably get Foote and Aucoin for 6.5 pretty easily. That's *my* preference! :)

Tom

*Edited to correct mistake on Zubov salary.*
 

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Well so much for Foote (who signed with Columbus)

But Aucoin is definetly better than Zubov, maybe not offensively but defensively hes much more responsible, hes just underrated and hopefully we could sign him, I would love to have him

Our defense right now is

Johnsson-Pitkanen
Markov-Desjardins
Seidenberg-Meyer/Jones

Rookie defensemen dont help teams win championships, especially when theres 2 of them in your D-corps, we need atleast one, but preferably 2 defenseman, An Aucoin type who is good in both zones to fill in for Desjardins in the second pairing, and a Physical big defenseman to pair with Desjardins/Seidenberg on the third pairing


On Offense our team looks like:

Kapanen-Primeau-Roenick
Gagne-Handzus-Knuble
Radivojevic-Carter-Sharp
Brashear-Richards-Stevenson

We need third line wingers, unless Richards moves to the right wing on Handzus' line, Knuble would then take Sharps spot on the third and Sharp would center the third line. But in any case we need an experienced wing.

So weve got about 8 million, we need 1 maybe 2 defenseman and 1 wing, I think if Oneill went to Toronto for 1.5mil? then we should be able to sign three good players for about 2 million each
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Flyers work the phones in search of defense

There is an article for Adam Foote but there is no point of posting that now:

Flyers work phones in search of defense

By Tim Panaccio

Inquirer Staff Writer

Is it Derian Hatcher?

Long after many agents had called it a day on the first day of NHL free agency, Flyers general manager Bob Clarke and his personnel staff remained sequestered at the Skate Zone in Voorhees late last night.

Hatcher is represented by Newport Sports' Don Meehan and Pat Morris. Coincidentally, they, too, were barricaded in their Mississauga, Ontario, offices.

Clarke's "elite" list included Hatcher (Detroit) and Adam Foote (Colorado), both of whom got calls yesterday.

Chris Pronger? He, too, is represented by Morris, but his $7.2 million qualifying offer from St. Louis took the Flyers out of the picture, even with a trade.

New Jersey's Scott Niedermayer? He's out of the picture, as well.

"I talked to 14 clubs, but the Flyers were not one of them - and that's disappointing," his agent, Kevin Epp, said from Vancouver.

That the Flyers didn't talk to Epp speaks volumes about what Clarke thought was too high a price for Niedermayer - $7 million plus. Clarke has budgeted about $6.5 million to land at least one or two defensemen, leaving the club about $2 million under the $39 million salary cap.

Hence, the closer focus on Hatcher and Foote, who is now off the market. The Web site tsn.ca reported last night that Foote had signed a three-year, $13.5 million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

So Hatcher appears a likely candidate.

The Flyers' one glaring need is a big defenseman for opposing forwards to fear when they cross the blue line. They haven't had that kind of presence since Luke Richardson and Dan McGillis skated here earlier this decade.

There are questions about Hatcher's right knee. The 33-year-old missed 64 games during the 2003-04 season with torn ligaments. Hatcher, Morris and others who have seen him recently say the lockout allowed Hatcher to fully recover.

Foote wanted very much to remain in Colorado but general manager Pierre Lacroix has too many other free agents to re-sign. Rick Curran, who represents Foote, took 14 calls yesterday.

Foote and Curran prepared a cut list of clubs from which Curran began negotiating.

"Everything Adam did today was in non-economic terms," Curran said. "He talked to the teams that expressed interest in him."

The consensus among agents, personnel managers and coaches yesterday was 14 to 15 of the same clubs are trying to access the marketplace, expressing interest, but not committing themselves.

"Everyone is frozen," one coach said. "They don't know what to do until they sign their major players and see what they have left under the cap. And you have all the same teams competing for the same players, driving up the price."

For example: Dallas' signing of 35-year-old Sergei Zubov (three years, $12 million) sets the salary bar higher for a younger, offensive defenseman, like New Jersey's Brian Rafalski (31) or the Islanders' Adrian Aucoin (32).

The Flyers talked to Bill Zito, who represents Rafalski. It was not specifically about Rafalski, but about minor-league prospects Zito represents. However, the Flyers were curious as to how much Rafalski wanted.

Among the Flyers' "B" list of players are Rafalski, San Jose's Mike Rathje, 31, and Aucoin. The Flyers eliminated Aucoin because his asking price was too high, said agent Larry Kelly.

Clarke also called Art Breeze, who represents Rathje. So did the Devils, Rangers, Islanders and Pittsburgh.

It's a scrum right now.

Loose pucks. Pittsburgh has all but locked up Alexei Kovalev and was involved in discussions with Peter Forsberg and Niedermayer... . The only true movement was Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk signing with Florida.

Philly.com
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Comments from our newest Flyers

The players had the following to say about signing with Philadelphia:

Derian Hatcher:

“I am excited. Bob Clarke drafted me back when he and I was in Minnesota and obviously I had some great years under Ken Hitchcock in Dallas. Those two combinations were big factors in my decision. I know the Flyers are a very good, competitive team and that’s another thing that weighed in on my decision. I truly feel that they are out to win at least a Stanley Cup. That’s what I know about them.”

Mike Rathje:

“I am really excited, actually. It is kind of going to be an awkward position for me because I was in San Jose for such a long time and I have never been through this before. I am sure things will work out in Philadelphia. I am definitely going to make their blue line solid. I can play every night and play 25 minutes a game and maybe add a little bit of offense.

Question: What do you know about the Flyers?

“I know that they are a big team that works hard every night. They made it to the conference finals in 2004 and came close to making the finals just like the Sharks did. There is a lot of tradition in Philly and that was one of things I figured that if I was to play for another team that Philadelphia would be a team to play for.”

Chris Therien:

“It feels great to be back. This is the place I really wanted to be. A lot of my realy close teammates and friends are here. This is a great team with a legitimate shot to win the Stanley Cup. I am really thrilled.

Question: What about Primeau and Roenick going to bat for you?

“That’s part of the reason I wanted to come back. I am very thankful to Primeau and JR for doing that. They are two good friends and two great teammates and it’s one of the big reasons I wanted to play for the Flyers.”

Flyers
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Roenick, Hatcher: Ex-foes bring grudging respect

Posted on Wed, Aug. 03, 2005

Roenick, Hatcher: Ex-foes bring grudging respect

They were once bitter enemies on the ice, but vow to be professional as Flyers teammates.

By Tim Panaccio

Inquirer Staff Writer


It wasn't that long ago when Jeremy Roenick and Derian Hatcher were mortal enemies.

In the 1998-99 season, when the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup, any game involving the Phoenix Coyotes and Ken Hitchcock's Stars bordered on a melee.

Roenick was with Phoenix, Hatcher with the Stars.

"There is a mutual-respect thing when you have battles with those teams, and it bordered on vicious during the regular season," Hitchcock said a few years ago. "Once injuries came into play, it went to the next level.

On March 23, 1999, Roenick laid out Stars center Mike Modano with a high, clean hit in the corner. The Dallas players were incensed. In their next meeting, on April 14, Hatcher retaliated and broke Roenick's jaw.

"Modano getting hurt and Jeremy getting hurt, there were reprisals," Hitchcock said. "There was a genuine hatred there between the two teams. Jeremy was the focal point of their team, just as Modano was ours. But there was always that grudging respect."

Two years ago, Roenick said his relationship with Hatcher has never been the same. Now, the Flyers center and Hatcher are teammates, with the defenseman's signing late Monday night.

"He is not my favorite person, but he doesn't have to be my favorite person in the world to be my teammate," Roenick said. "The bottom line: He is a warrior to the max."

The two have had numerous run-ins, with Hatcher even taking out Roenick's knees when Roenick was with the Chicago Blackhawks.

"I give J.R. so much credit," Hatcher said. "Every time I see him, he goes out of his way [to be nice] and he knows I feel a little awkward. I hurt his knee once in Chicago. He always had a good attitude about it, and I respect that. He is one of those guys that, if he is not on your team, you don't like him. But if he's on your team, you love him."

Roenick said he would be professional because "you have to take everything with a grain of salt."

"We always got along during international competition with Team USA," the Flyers center said. "It's better to have Derian as a teammate than an opponent. I can tell you that my jaw and my knees appreciate that. I don't hold grudges on people."

Roenick said he would forget the past and focus on the positives that Hatcher brings to the Flyers.

"How can I ever be disappointed in a Derian Hatcher, a Mike Rathje and Chris Therien making us a better hockey club and bringing us close to a Stanley Cup?" he said. "Derian is such a force in front of the net.

"His size is going to be very good for us back there now. I don't know if the new rules and the crackdown are going to affect his game - maybe it could hurt him. But he is going to help us a lot."


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Contact staff writer Tim Panaccio at 215-854-2847 or [email protected]

Inky
 

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Discussion Starter #50
More on Markov -- Mouthed off to NHLPA

Defense will feature some extra beef now
By ANTHONY J. SANFILIPPO, [email protected]
08/03/2005


VOORHEES, N.J. - It was a long night for the Flyers brass Monday, but once the sun came up Tuesday, the fruits of their labors were quite evident. The Flyers signed four unrestricted free agents -- a couple of familiar names to Philadelphia hockey fans -- and traded another player as the 2005-06 roster molded into shape.

The Flyers bolstered their defense by bulking up in size, signing Derian Hatcher and Mike Rathje to multi-year deals and bringing back Chris Therien for one season. All three defensemen stand at 6-5.

The biggest fish reeled in was Hatcher, 33, who signed a four-year, $14 million contract to come to Philadelphia after spending parts of 13 NHL seasons with the Minnesota North Stars, Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings.

"Derian’s always been the best player in the biggest games," said Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock. "He doesn’t say anything and he doesn’t need to. His presence, his mannerisms and his body language tell you everything. The bigger the stage, the better he plays.

"He’s a fierce competitor who’s always at his best when things are emotional."

Rathje, 31, inked a five-year, $17.5 million deal, leaving the San Jose Sharks, where he had played each of his 11 NHL seasons.

Therien, 33, returned to the Flyers on a one-year, $500,000 contract after being traded to Dallas prior to the 2003-04 trade deadline.

The Flyers also signed Jon Sim to a one-year contract at the league minimum salary of $450,000.

Sim, 27, starred for the Phantoms last season, helping them to a Calder Cup championship after being loaned by the Utah Grizzlies in exchange for Peter White.

As a result of the four signings, the Flyers needed to clear a little bit of room below the salary cap and in turn traded defenseman Danny Markov to the Nashville Predators for a third-round pick in the 2006 draft.

Markov allegedly mouthed off to the NHL Players’ Association membership during the ratification vote of the new collective bargaining agreement and threatened to return to Russia and never return to the NHL at the conclusion of his current contract.

Markov will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.


"It was our feeling that we lost (Vladimir) Malakhov, (Mattias) Timander and (Marcus) Ragnarsson -- three big men on defense --and we felt we needed more size back there," said Flyers G.M. Bob Clarke. "We believe we improved our skill and our defense as well as our offense from the defense from these three guys.

"Sim will be a utility guy for us. He can score, he’s an agitator. He was really, really good for the Phantoms last year and he can play anywhere up front for us other than center."

After some quick math, the Flyers new team salary now stands at slightly more than $36 million.

Bringing in players the quality of Hatcher and Rathje should really excite Flyers fans, but no one was as excited Tuesday as Flyers forward Jeremy Roenick.

"I think it makes us, without a doubt, the odds-on favorite (to win the Stanley Cup)," Roenick said. "We’ve maintained our reputation as the biggest team in the league. We’ve improved our team tenfold. I’m juiced about it."

Roenick has had a storied past with Hatcher from their days battling in the Western Conference.

In a 1994 game between Dallas and the Chicago Blackhawks, Hatcher went knee-to-knee with Roenick and forced Roenick to miss time with a severe hyperextension.

Then, in the 1996 playoffs between Dallas and Phoenix, Hatcher retaliated to a cheap shot Roenick put on Stars stalwart Mike Modano by breaking Roenick’s jaw with a crushing hit.

Much was made of the bad blood between the two players, but both insisted that those feelings are a thing of the past.

"He’s caused me more pain and suffering in the game than anybody ever has," said Roenick. "I’m not going to tell you he’s my favorite person in the world because he’s not. But I love the fact that he’s on my hockey team.

"How can you dislike being with a guy that makes your team a favorite to win the Stanley Cup. He’s got the grit and talent and determination that doesn’t come around very often. I’m juiced about it."

Hatcher also took the high road about Roenick.

"I give J.R. so much credit," he said. "Every time I see him, I think he goes out of his way to say, ‘Hi’ because he knows I feel awkward.

"He’s one of those guys who when he’s not on your team you don’t like him, but if he is on your team you love him."

Hatcher said a lot of factors went into his decision to come to Philadelphia. Clarke drafted him when he was the G.M. of the Minnesota North Stars in 1990. Hitchcock coached him for six years in Dallas, and they won a Stanley Cup together in 1999. And, the length of the contract was significant.

"I have a wife and four kids and I didn’t want to get into a position where I was moving my family every two years," said Hatcher. "And from what I understand, Philly’s a great place to live."

The one concern about Hatcher is his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee that he suffered in October of 2003. The injury limited him to just 39 games in both the NHL and the USHL since, but Hatcher said his knee feels better now then it has in at least five years.

Rathje is a player who has flown under the radar in the NHL but has consistently been one of the best stay-at-home defensemen in the league.

"He’s the type of player that has a lot of subtleties to his game that you don’t appreciate until you get to watch him a lot," said Flyers professional scout Dean Lombardi, who drafted Rathje when he was the G.M. of the Sharks. "He always plays against the other team’s top players. "He’s not a highlight film. His job is to stop highlight films from happening."

Rathje was also sold on the lengthy contract, which was what sold him on moving his family from their Northern California home they have known for much of the last decade.

"I wasn’t really planning on leaving San Jose," said Rathje. "But the Flyers showed me that they really wanted me there and I was more than happy to come."

Therien was just happy to come back home after 17 months in flux.

"I wanted to let them know that I thought I was a good fit for them," Therien said of the Flyers. "I live in the area. And it’s really where I wanted to be."

Clarke said Roenick and Flyers captain Keith Primeau and both called him and lobbied for Therien to be brought back to the team.

"It means a lot to me," said Therien. "They’re great guys and great people. When you hear guys do that for you it really means a lot."

Sim, who has had a reputation as a guy who didn’t stay in the greatest shape to play hockey at the NHL level, earned himself a chance with a commitment to a better work ethic displayed when he led the Phantoms in goals (37) and points (65).

"Sim’s the kind of guy who can’t just be in good shape if he’s going to succeed, but he has to be in great shape," Hitchcock said. "I think over the last couple of years he’s realized that."

Sim agreed with his former and now current coach.

"Hey, I’m only 5-foot-10," Sim said. "I can’t push guys around unless I’m in top shape. I know that. That’s why for the past three weeks I’ve been working out as hard as I can so that when camp opens up I can prove that I belong and earn a spot in the lineup every night.

"It’s only August, but I really wish it were Oct. 5, that’s how excited I am."

Hitchcock likes what the new additions do to the framework of the Flyers.

"We got young players coming in who are going to play a lot," Hitchcock said. "We need to give them confidence to play on a nightly basis. By adding size and ability on the back end we feel it’s going to give confidence to guys like Joni (Pitkanen) and Dennis (Seidenberg) on the back end and guys like (Jeff) Carter, (Patrick) Sharp and (Mike) Richards.

"Hatcher’s coming here to help Primeau. We’ve got Keith on the front end and now Eric (Desjardins) and Derian on the back end and that’s significant. Two quiet people who say the right thing at the right time, and that’s going to help Primeau."

Delco Times
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Flyers commit to defense appropriations (new guys to be paired with young guys)

Flyers commit to defense appropriations

By ED BARKOWITZ

[email protected]

When last we saw the Flyers' defense corps, coach Ken Hitchcock was holding the group together with medical tape and safety pins.

It was 2004, and Eric Desjardins had a broken forearm, Kim Johnsson had a broken right hand and Joni Pitkanen had a head injury and a case of the playoff yips. Remember? Sami Kapanen was playing "D.''

The Flyers, it was considered after the fact, were one defenseman away from beating Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference finals. Alas, they lost in seven grueling games and the Lightning went on to win the Stanley Cup.

Then the lockout hit and it became obvious that Marcus Ragnarsson, Mattias Timander and Vladimir Malakhov were not coming back to the fold. The Flyers had a real problem.

Yesterday, Flyers general manager Bob Clarke addressed that concern in a big way - literally. And he did so while managing to meet his goal of staying under the $39 million salary cap.

The Flyers signed unrestricted free-agent defensemen Derian Hatcher from Detroit to a 4-year deal at $3.5 million per and Mike Rathje from San Jose to a 5-year deal at $3.5 million annually. Additionally, they signed pesky forward Jon Sim, who led the Phantoms in goals (35) this past season, to a 1-year NHL contract for the veteran minimum of $450,000.

The Flyers also brought back Chris Therien, signing the popular locker-room leader to a 1-year deal for $500,000.

Defenseman Danny Markov, though, was a cap casualty. The Flyers sent him and his $2.356 million salary to Nashville for a 2006 third-round pick.

The Flyers' salary cap sits at $36,040,000, a number that gives Clarke flexibility in case of injury.

These moves, according to Jeremy Roenick, make the Flyers the "odds-on favorite" to win the Stanley Cup.

Of course that kind of talk, especially in a city where folks haven't drunk from the holy chalice in 30 years, is always a little dangerous.

Although he says he's "better than he's been in 5 years," Hatcher is 33 and coming off a serious knee injury that limited him to 15 games with Detroit in 2003-04. During the lockout, Hatcher played 24 games with Motor City, of the UHL.

Hatcher originally was drafted by Clarke for the Minnesota North Stars eighth overall in 1990 and was Hitchcock's captain in Dallas when the relocated Stars won the Cup in 1998-99. He was a quiet leader and probably would have won a Norris Trophy if he scored more. Hatcher never really fit in with Detroit, especially after he hurt his knee early on in the season.

"Derian's a guy that plays big minutes and he plays heavy minutes, real heavy minutes," Hitchcock said. "If you look at his minutes, he plays not much on the power play. He plays a lot of minutes 5-on-5 and a lot of minutes killing penalties. He and Mike are similar players in that they play a huge amount of time, all in significant minutes."

Reuniting with the old coach is nice, but this being a business, the Flyers' offer of a 4-year contract was also a key.

"I have a wife and four kids and I didn't want to be in a position where I'd have to be moving on after only a few years," he said. "From what I understand, Philly is a great place to live."

Rathje, who has spent his entire 11-year career with the Sharks, came highly recommended by Flyers scout Dean Lombardi, a San Jose executive from 1992 to 2003.

Adding Hatcher (6-5, 235), Rathje (6-5, 245) and Therien (6-5, 235) to a mix that includes veterans Desjardins and Johnsson and developing youngsters Pitkanen and Dennis Seidenberg gives the Flyers a blend of size, strength and skill.

But it's the size that the Flyers needed, especially in the Eastern Conference, and that's something Hitchcock says the new guys will learn quickly.

"This is a conference with a lot of big forwards. That's going to be a little bit of a change for them. You're not playing against one or two teams with big forwards," said Hitchcock, who then proceeded to rattle off examples like Joe Thornton, Mats Sundin, Bobby Holik, Jaromir Jagr and Dany Heatley

"Those are big men," Clarke said. "Small guys aren't going to be able to handle them. You've got to have some size back there."

Hitchcock dismisses the notion that the new rule changes, intended to open up the game, will have an adverse effect on big defensemen such as Hatcher and Rathje. Hatcher, whose career high is 31 points, shares that sentiment.

"I'm actually excited about the new system," he said. "I know some people have their doubts about bigger defensemen, but I'm real excited about the new system. I don't like the [elimination of the] red line, though."

It's ironic that the same salary cap that was supposed to hinder the previously free-spending Flyers actually helped them land the bruising Hatcher. The 13-year veteran was too expensive for Detroit, which bought out his contract and thus made him an unrestricted free agent.

Of the other top available defensemen, New Jersey's Scott Niedermayer wasn't an option because he reportedly wants a $7 million-a-year contract. Colorado's Adam Foote signed with Columbus and Sergei Zubov re-signed with Dallas.

"For our needs," Clarke said, "these are the two we wanted to get."

Hitchcock indicated that he's leaning toward pairing Hatcher with one of the team's younger defensemen, like Pitkanen, 21, or Seidenberg, 24; and Rathje with the other.

"We're hoping that the addition of these three players will allow people like Dennis and Kim and Joni to have the confidence to use their [offensive] skills more often and not play with any fear or tentativeness that can sometimes happen with younger players," Hitchcock said.

Therien, 33, played 10 seasons here but left somewhat disgruntled when his role diminished. He was traded to Dallas late in 2004 and after the lockout ended, he was a free agent again. Therien says he realized the ice isn't always colder on the other side.

"My mind-set's a little different, having seen another [team]. That's not a shot at Dallas, that's a great organization," Therien said. "Whatever [the Flyers] need is what I'm going to provide for them. That's not going to be a problem."

When the curtain comes up for the Oct. 5 season opener against the Rangers and Jaromir Jagr is skating freely through the neutral zone, all eyes in the Wachovia Center will be on Hatcher. All eyes, Flyers' fans hope, except for Jagr's.

"I don't think it's any secret that I'm a physical defenseman," Hatcher said. "I like to play that way and to be honest, when I'm playing my best, that's how I'm playing. I know that that's what they're looking for. I think I fit that Philadelphia Flyer style."

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Discussion Starter #52
Roenick knows this may be last chance

By ANTHONY J. SANFILIPPO [email protected] VOORHEES, N.J. - While he hasn’t publicly used the "R" word, Jeremy Roenick has been dropping hints this may be his final season. When expressing his excitement about the Flyers’ latest free-agent signings, Roenick again intimated that the end of the Flyers’ season was going to be the end of his career.

"I told (Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock) that I wanted to be used in an important role and important situations," Roenick said. "When the day comes that I’m no longer important and not being used in important situations then it’s time for me to hang up the skates and start hitting the golf balls."

Roenick will still be used in important situations for the Flyers, but not at his natural position as a center.

With the arrival of young stars in the middle like Jeff Carter an Mike Richards, Roenick thought he might be out of a job.

"With the kids coming up, I wans’t sure about my future," Roenick said. "I didn’t know what kind of leverage that left for me."

The leverage was moving Roenick to right wing, a position he played briefly during the 2003-04 playoffs with some success.

"Me moving to wing allows the team to keep me around and be a part of the club," said Roenick. "I respect that and I respect Hitch’s wishes because he’s one of the best coaches in the game. I’m sure there’s going to be times during the year that it’s going to be frustrating for me and I may let the emotions get the better of me, but that’s the way I am. I want to do what’s going to be best for the team."

Yet, while Roenick will be back this season, for much of the spring and summer, that wasn’t anything close to a certainty.

"I talked with Hitch in the spring and I told him I was coming to Philly solo this year and my family was staying back in Scottsdale, Ariz.," Roenick said. "I (also) started some personal business (construction real estate in Phoenix and Chicago) for life after hockey and I don’t think Hitch liked that too much. I think he thought I would be distracted by either the new business or not having my family being around.

"(Flyers G.M.) Bob Clarke called me soon after to make sure I wanted to be there. He said ‘if you don’t want to be a Flyer we understand and we’ll do our best to make sure your wishes are met. We understand family is No. 1 and if your not comfortable coming here without them and your not going to be here mentally then we’ll do our best to get you in the proper place.’"

At which point, Roenick made up his mind.

"I told him I signed there with one thing in mind at that was to win a Stanley Cup and this is my last opportunity to do that and I want to be there," said Roenick. "I hugged (Flyers Chairman) Mr. (Ed) Snider and told him I’d bring him a Stanley Cup and I want to do that because this is my last opportunity."

And then there’s the Olympics in Italy in February.

"I got a call from (Team USA G.M.) Don Waddell the other day and he said not to panic because my name’s not on the list (of invitees) for the camp in Colorado Springs because they want to bring the young guys in and see what they can do," said Roenick. "They don’t want the veterans to have a camp and then another camp (with their NHL teams).

"I’m very confident that I’m going to be on (the team). I want to play in these Olympics more than any other because my kids are at an age where they can enjoy it and appreciate it and it’s my last shot at a gold medal."

A yearning to be deemed important to a hockey team. One last opportunity to win a Stanley Cup. One last shot at a gold medal.

The word "retire" may never have escaped his lips. But the message was loud and clear.

Delco Times
 

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Clarke, Snider and Forsberg comments

Flyers chairman Ed Snider, general manager Bob Clarke and center Peter Forsberg all took part in seperate media sessions in regards to Forsberg signing a two-year deal with the Flyers. Below are there comments.

To hear audio clips of Clarke and Forsberg, click here.

Bob Clarke

“When we were at the draft, I spoke with Don Baizley, who represents Forsberg. I just asked him if he was going to be out on the market. He said he didn’t know, but if he was, we would be a team that Peter might be interested in. After we got our defensemen in order, I called [Baizley] yesterday around noon, and just asked him where everything stood. He said that he obviously had quite a few offers for him, and the one that Peter was going to take, they were running out of time. So, we actually had from noon until 4:00 to try and clear some space on our $39 million cap. I immediately called [Jeremy Roenick] and told him what was going on, and he said, ‘Clarkie, if you can get Forsberg, I understand you have to trade me and I have no problem.’ I said, ‘J.R., I’ll give you your preference of teams. I may not be able to send you there, but let me know who you’re interested in.’ [He said] Phoenix, L.A., San Jose and a couple other teams. He wanted to stay on the West Coast. Over the course of the afternoon we had lots of conversations. Other players’ names were involved and it just got really complicated. Mr. Snider was part of it all, and we finally said to Mr. Snider, that we could sign Peter and go 10 percent over the cap, but I guarantee you that we won’t be over for long because we have enough players to trade to get under the cap. I think you guys know Mr. Snider and know he has lots of (guts), and he’ll take that gamble. He just said, ‘sign Forsberg.’ So, we called up [Baizley] at ten minutes until four said we’re going to sign him. It’s going to put us over the cap, but we’ll clean up that space.”

“We were late, in comparison to some of the other teams, obviously. We had to get the defense in order first, we thought. I think when you’re talking about a player like Forsberg, a lot of times you convince yourself that this player is so good that you’re never going to be able to get him any way. But, [Baizley] said that he was interested in us, and he gave us a chance so we jumped at him.”

“If he wanted to play in Sweden he could have, but he obviously wanted to come back [to the NHL]. Sometimes a change for a player who has been in the same spot for a long time rejuvenates a player. I don’t know if Peter needs to be rejuvenated or not, he’s obviously one of the best players in the game and he will continue to be that.”

On Forsberg’s previous injuries:

“I think when you play as hard and as physical as him, you’re going to get some injuries. Some of the things like a broken arm; that can happen to anybody. It happened to Desjardins. But a ruptured spleen and stuff like that, that’s just tough luck. We weren’t really concerned about that.”

On if he remembers seeing Forsberg when the Flyers drafted him:

“I saw Peter play as a junior in the World Championships. I think one night he got like 10 points, he and [Markus] Naslund were like men against boys. When he went out West and you seen him play, he’s always the best player on the ice, regardless of whether it’s the playoffs or a game in January. I think the decision to sign Peter was an easy one.”

“When I told you that I wasn’t going to sign anyone else, that was our intent. At the time, we thought, this is who we’re going to go with. When we had a chance to get Peter, we just said we’d be dumb not to do something like that.”

Ed Snider

On if he had to think about signing Forsberg:

“You do have to think about it, but in the final analysis, these opportunities only come along once in a lifetime. You can’t pass them up. We knew that we’d be able to do something to get under the cap, so therefore we made the move. I okay’d it from Bob, and I’m just fascinated that Bob had the opportunity. I have to say this, though: I’m going to miss Jeremy Roenick. He was a class act for our club, and when I think of all the injuries that he played through, particularly in the playoffs the year before last, Jeremy is a heck of a guy. He also was a class act in the way in the way he handled this whole thing, because he had a no-trade and we asked him in advance of making the deal. Jeremy was 100 percent in favor of us going forward. You don’t meet guys like that too often.”

On the Flyers taking risks with big moves and trades in comparison to other Philadelphia teams:

“I’m not going to comment on what goes on with other teams. I mean, we can only do what we do. We do the best that we can to try and win, and I think every team in the city is doing that. Obviously, the Eagles have done a tremendous job. We’re the same people that own the Sixers, and I don’t know who you’re talking about, but I think the Phillies are doing everything in their power to try to win. It’s not easy.”

On when he found out:

“I just found out yesterday, when Bob called me and told me. I was stunned, to be honest with you. Bob did a masterful job. He only had a couple of hours. He had a two-hour window to make the deal, one way or the other. We decided to take the gamble to go over the cap, knowing that there would be options for us to get back under. I can’t congratulate Bob Clarke enough for what he has accomplished in this time.”

On Peter wanting to come to Philadelphia:

“I think it’s a credit to our entire organization. I think throughout the NHL, everyone knows, and the players especially know, that we do everything in our power to win. We do everything in our power to make our players feel comfortable. We try to treat all of our players fairly and with consideration. I think Philadelphia is a destination that is among the top in the league as free agents wanting to come. That puts us in a very good position in this new CBA.”

Peter Forsberg

Q: What was your initial reaction after being signed by the Flyers?

A: "I’m excited - it’s one of the teams that has always wanted to win. It’s a great organization, so as soon as I heard they called I got really excited."

Q: Peter, you supposedly could have signed for more money in Colorado. Why did you come to Philadelphia? I know there were four or five teams with offers.

A: "Well, there were a couple options but I think you know about the system. Without the system, I probably might still have been in Colorado, but with the new system and everything it didn’t really work out. I was talking to a few teams when Philly came in. They came in pretty late, but when they came in I was really excited and very interested and it went really fast from there."

Q: You helped Colorado win two Stanley Cups. Is it an extra motivation for a player such as yourself to come here to Philly and help them since they struggled to win a Cup now for the last 30 years?

A: "It’s a lot of pressure to play in Philly because you haven’t won in a long time, but I think that’s good. It’s an organization that always has shown the last I don’t know how long that it really wanted to win every year. They always put out a good team and it’s a classic organization. I don’t know if it puts too much pressure but of course I want to show them that I am a good player and help the team be able to go as far as we can. I think there’s no question that everybody expects us to go far and hopefully win the Cup."

Q: How happy are you right now?

A: "I am very happy. Like I said, it didn’t work out in Colorado but when I heard that Philly was interested of course I’m happy. I got to go to one of the teams I wanted to play for. I was drafted by them way way back and it has been a long time coming. I am here now with the Flyers. I am very excited to get the season started. You should look at the roster - it’s a great physical team and it’s a good team. It is going to be really exciting to get started at training camp and start the season."

Q: How is your health?

A: "I’m good. I’m fine. I had a tough year last year. I broke my hand but everything is fine and I should be one-hundred percent when the camp starts."

Q: Peter, do you remember back to when you were traded originally from the Flyers--was that disappointing to you that you didn’t end up going to one of the top franchises at that time?

A: "Well, I was kind of young then and I didn’t really know too much about the NHL, to be honest with you, when I was drafted. I can’t complain. I’ve been with a great organization in Denver for so long and it worked out pretty well. I can’t say anything else. But, on the other hand, right now I am very excited to be here. You know, things happened back then and they went in a different direction and I wasn’t part of it. Right now I feel great - they really want me here now and I’m happy."

Q: Peter, talk about the new rules and how they affect how you play the game?

A: "It’s definitely good for all the forwards, you know, you’re trying to score goals and it’s going to open up the game a little bit. Put smaller pads on the goalie and I think its good. I’m trying to score goals - I think it’s going to help me. I don’t like grabbing and holding, but on the other hand, I don’t mind physical play and that’s what they kept, so I think it’s good for me and hopefully I can do good over there."

Q: The last couple of years you’ve talked about going over seas and staying overseas and maybe your would return, maybe you would come back to Colorado, maybe you would leave Colorado. Did you feel that you needed a change of scenery, something different and this is it?

A: "I don’t think I necessarily need a change. I think in 2001 when I missed the whole season and I sat out and I felt like I do really miss the game and I do want to play. I enjoyed playing again and I had fun and everything feels great. Last year with the lockout you get to rest your body another year so I have no problem. I don’t know how long I am going to play. Maybe a few people are a little surprised I signed a two year deal instead of one because I always said I only wanted to take one year at a time, but I feel great and I have fun playing and I know I am going to be playing on a great team so it’s going to fun."

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Discussion Starter #56
Johnsson interview from Swedish newspaper

Aftonbladet

Ok, based on my rough translation using systran the article says the following:

We can with the Cup with Forsberg absolutely. KJ is the only other swede on our team and twice has been our best d-man. He, along with other teammates are ready to welcome Peter to the team. He basically said it was unreal that the Flyers got to sign him to the team. He was along the same lines as Hitch laughing because he couldn't believe that Peter is coming here. Few people can play with him and he is the best player in the world.

Forsberg fights in all situations, never gives up and will help our team alot. Says him and Peter are friends. He really didn't believe Clarke got Forsberg, now he is just happy.

Says we are great on paper but we have to translate that onto the ice. But that also applies to every other team.

They ask how will Forsberg be received in Philly. KJ says this is a hockey city and we have a packed house every game. He will be welcomed very well or warmly.

Will he enjoy Philly? It's not the funniest town but he will enjoy it?

It's a big setback for Colorado, that's the route they decided to take. They blame themselves probably. Only thing we can do is welcome Forsberg to the team and the town.


Other important news tidbit: Marcus Ragnarrsson was interviewed over in Sweden as well in regard to the deals. Said it was great the signings the Flyers have made. Also said that he called Clarke about a week ago to talk about maybe coming back to the team. Just a rumor for now but who knows.
 

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Marcus Ragnarrsson was interviewed over in Sweden as well in regard to the deals. Said it was great the signings the Flyers have made. Also said that he called Clarke about a week ago to talk about maybe coming back to the team. Just a rumor for now but who knows.


I would like to see Ragnarsson in a Flyers jersey again if it could be done, as he was a quality d'man. More than likely I don't see it happening with the kids and FA's that they picked up though. Too bad because I thought he was a great addition a few years back and would be an asset to this team.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Hatcher and Rathje introduced as Flyers



New Flyers defensemen Derian Hatcher and Mike Rathje were introduced to the Philadelphia media at a press conference at the Sovereign Bank Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J. on Tuesday. Below is a transcript of that press conference.

Bob Clarke: “I think, first and foremost, it gives us really solid defensive play with some size. We had to replace guys like Malakhov, Timander and Ragnarsson, who were pretty big players on our club. Our defense was awfully small. Both of these guys are premier defensive defensemen. [Hatcher] has probably got a little more offense and I know [Ken] Hitchcock has used him on the power play before.”


On how the new rules changes will affect big defensemen:

BC: “I think each team is going to have to look at how the game is going to be played now with the tag-up offsides and no red line. We don’t think the offsides and long passes are going to be a big factor. The tag up offsides is going to make more end zone play. Hopefully it will be in the other team’s instead of ours, but to play end zone play you’ve got to have some size.”

On how having no red line will affect his game:

Derian Hatcher: “I think most of the players in the league at one point or another have played without the red line. I’m not worried about it. When you go over and play in the Olympics or World Championships, there’s no red line and I really don’t think that it effects the game that much.”

Mike Rathje: “They are adjusting the blue lines too, so there won’t be much of a difference. It will be better for speed, and more offense. Playing out on the west coast, that is what everything is based on is speed.”


On the league cutting down on obstruction and how that will effect defensemen:

DH: “I always get asked these questions every time there is a rule change. No. Either you can handle it or you can’t handle it. Personally, I’m not worried about it. I think for 10 years now the league has been saying they are going to cut down on obstruction. I hope they do. They’ve been saying it for a long time, and I hope they do.”

On his relationship with Ken Hitchcock:

DH: “I was five years with Hitch, and I guess some players have problems with him and I guess in five years I had a few problems with him, but we always seem to hammer them out. To me, the bottom line is that everywhere Hitch goes, he has that tendency to win. I think if you can keep that as the focus, then like it or not the guy knows what he’s talking about. To me, that’s the bottom line.”

On Peter Forsberg:

DH: “This is an easy question. I think he’s the best forward in the game, if not the best player in the game. I had a lot of good battles with him, and I have the utmost respect for the guy. Not only can he do things with the puck that most players in the league can’t, but you have to know when he’s on the ice or he’ll hit you and make you pay the price as well. I think he’s a great player. I vote for him every year in the players’ balloting, so that’s what I think of him. I’m looking forward to playing with him.”

On all of the time off he has had:

DH: “Right now I’m not worried about it. I feel like I’m going to be fine. Until you go on the ice and start playing you never know, but I’m not anticipating any problems.”

On the Flyers’ roster:

DH: “On paper, this team looks great. It’s exciting going into the season, but until you go out there and put it out there and win a lot of hockey games and reach the ultimate goal, it doesn’t really matter a whole lot.”

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


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Discussion Starter #59
Peter Forsberg Arrives in Philadelphia



Flyers center Peter Forsberg arrived in Philadelphia over the weekend, and met the media on Monday morning in the Hall of Fame Room at the Wachovia Center. Below is a transcript of his press conference.

Bob Clarke: “This is obviously a very special moment for the Flyers. For the longest time, we’ve tried to be the best team we can be, and we think that this is the best player that we’ve had in years and years in this organization. At this time in August, we’re a great team. We’ll see where we are in November, but we’re really, really excited to have Peter here with us, and we hope he puts the finishing touches on our team.”

Peter Forsberg: “It’s kind of a new chapter, but I’m really excited. I played in Colorado for a long time, for 10 years, but the pages are turning and I’m really excited to be here. I didn’t really know when I became a free agent where I was going to end up, but I’m really happy that I ended up here.”

On the Flyers’ additions and their roster:
PF: “If you look at the team – of course, I looked at the team too before I signed here. I am definitely happy that we have a big team. If you look at our defense, they are physical. Of course, for me, I was playing against [Derian] Hatcher and [Mike] Rathje and I know they are great players. We have young players that are hungry, and we have some older, experienced players. Just looking around the dressing room, and looking at the names, it’s going to be a good squad. But, you never know until you get on the ice and start playing. I think everybody knows, if you’re a Flyers fan, you know they are going to play hard. I think this year we’re going to have a tough team, and it’s going to be the same way this year.”

On if he talked to any players who played in Philadelphia before he signed:
PF: “Definitely. Rumors go around the league on who is treating players well, and who wants to win and stuff like that. I played with [Mattias] Timander last year. He was here a few years ago and we’re from the same town. He really enjoyed it here and thought it was a great place to play.”

On how he perceives the fans in Philadelphia:
PF: “It’s all good (laughs). As long as you play well, they are good to you. It’s a big hockey town, and a great building to play.”

On how he ended up in Philadelphia:
PF: “I kind of made a decision when Colorado had a week there before everybody else got in to negotiate. I don’t know exactly when it was, but I think when I became a free agent there was no turning back. I had to move on. Everything with the Flyers came in pretty late I have to say. Like I said, I was really excited when they called me, and after that it went really fast.”

On almost being here when he was drafted:
PF: “Back then, I was a young kid and I really didn’t know too much about hockey. I never played for the Flyers, so I didn’t really know what it meant to be dealt to Quebec either. I think it was lucky for me that Quebec got sold to Denver; otherwise we wouldn’t have had that team that we had for a long time. I didn’t think too much about it, but I was making sure this time I got a no trade clause in the deal (laughs). So they can’t get rid of me.”

On the city expecting a Stanley Cup and the pressure it may bring:
PF: “I think that’s going to be our goal anyway. There’s no secret that everybody is…I don’t know if they expect it. It’s a long season and a lot of things have to go right. There are a lot of teams that are going to have to put good squads out there on the ice. I think definitely, our goal is going to be to win the Cup. For me, personally, I don’t really look around at what people are saying or writing or anything. It’s just what we have to go as a group and how we have to achieve that goal.”

On the passion that he has playing right now:
PF: “There were a lot of injuries and hurting every time I got on the ice. There were minor injuries, and a spleen and everything. It was a little tough there for a while I have to say. I sat out the whole year, and I thought it was good that I sat out, and I realized this is what I want to do. I really missed playing hockey. That was 2001. After that, I’ve enjoyed playing every game. So, I don’t know how long I’m going to play, and how long I’m going to continue to play, but I’m enjoying it right now and it’s going to be a great feeling to get out there and play. It was a little tough there for a while because I didn’t play as well as I wanted and there were a lot of things going on, so it was tough, but I got the joy back for the game and it’s great.”

On the rules changes in the NHL:
PF: “The rule changes they made is for more offensive hockey and for more goals. I wouldn’t mind it. I think it’s going to be great for hockey to see more goals. I don’t think it’s going to change the game that much, maybe a little bit, but just the smaller equipment on goalies and other things is going to help out. If the referees start calling the game a little closer, with the hooking and holding, I think that’s going to help it. Overall, it’s just good for hockey I guess. The scoring has been going down for a long time, and I think it’s time to go the other direction for a little bit. The goalies were getting so good, if you look at 20 years back they barely had any pads. But now, they are bigger pads and the goalies are unbelievable and good. It’s hard to score on a regular shot; they almost have to get screened. I think it’s a great thing that they made the equipment smaller. So, it’s going to benefit the whole game to have more goals.”

On the Flyers selling many tickets because of him:
PF: “Definitely, it’s better than not selling out (laughs). We just have to go out and perform now. Everybody has said before that it’s a great hockey town, and I think people have missed hockey. It was a tough year for everybody. I’m sure the fans were mad, and it’s tough for the players to sit out the whole year. But now, we’ve got to work together. The players, the league and the fans have to try and make the league better. Of course, it’s much more fun as players to play when it’s sold out if the crowd gets into it. Hopefully we can work together to make the game better and better every day.”

On if it was a difficult decision to come back to the NHL rather than stay in Sweden:
PF: “Oh, not this year. I made it clear right from the beginning that I wanted to come back and play in the NHL. I just didn’t know where.”

On Bob Clarke saying he is the best player in the game:
PF: “It’s a lot of pressure (laughs). No, it’s definitely good to hear that, but I just have to make sure I come here to play every night. That’s what I have always done, and I’m just going to go out and do my best and hopefully everyone is going to be happy. I don’t know, but we’ll see. I am just really excited to come here and play, and I’m just going to go out and play my heart out every night.”

On how difficult it is to relocate after being in Colorado for so long:
PF: “That’s a tough question, actually. I had a good time in Colorado; I can’t say anything else. It’s a good organization and we had a great team for a long time. But, when the time comes, I made up my mind that I was moving on. I had to forget about what was in the past, and just look forward. Like I said, this is a place I really wanted to go to, and I had a chance to come here, so now I just have got to look forward. I can’t look back. I have to look forward and try to win a Cup over here.

“It was hard, because I played with a few guys for 10 years. I don’t think I’m known as a player who moves around and wants to change teams and creates problems where I am. I don’t think I’m that kind of guy. So, it was a little tough, to talk to the guys I played with. But, I think everybody understood. With the new system, it created a lot of players to move around. I was not the only guy who left. Adam Foote was there for 10 years too, at least. He played with me for 10 years, and he moved on too. It’s just part of the game and part of the new system. There’s nothing you can do, of course. I’m sure some people are frustrated to see Foote and I leave, but they have some good young players there so they are moving on, and I’m sure they are going to have a good team anyway.”

On if he is going to help young players such as Jeff Carter and Mike Richards:
PF: “From what I have heard, they are really good players already. I haven’t even met them or seen them play, so I’m going to be excited to see them coming into camp and see what they can do. Definitely, I’m going to try to help them out. I’m older now, so definitely I’m going to try and help them out. That’s just the way it goes.”


Publicity shots were taken after the news conference.

Flyers

http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com/tempVideos/pf21_1.rm
http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com/tempVideos/pf21_2.rm
http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com/tempVideos/pf21_final.rm

Clips from the press conference are above.
 

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does anyone respond to your topics? i went over to flyersphans.com and i dont see myself welcomed there. i wouldnt mind to get this one started. thoughts?
 
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