NHL Fact: The Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils Haven’t Traded In 25 Years


By Chris Schaefer

1986 is a very long time ago.

Surprisingly the Philadelphia Flyers were in the same place that they are today in the standings at the end of that season, and the New Jersey Devils are too.

The Flyers finished the 80 game season in first place in the Patrick Division with a record of 46-26-8.

The Devils finished the 80 game season in last place in the Patrick Division with a record of 29-45-6.

This coincidence may seem pretty insignificant, but I bring it up for a reason.

Just a few short weeks ago, there were rumors that the (former) Devils’ captain Jamie Langenbrunner was headed to Philly. Anyone that’s followed the Flyers or Devils trade trends over the past 25 years probably knew that trade was never going to happen.

Fast-forward to the present day. Langenbrunner was dealt back to his former stomping grounds in Dallas for a hand-full of pretzels. It was reported that the Devils were seeking the young Flyers forward James Van Riemsdyk in exchange for that dinosaur Langenbrunner.

Anyone that knows anything KNOWS that would never happen. Even though Paul Holmgren has been flirting with the idea of bringing in a gritty veteran forward ever since he gave Bill Guerin a shot to make the squad in the preseason, he would never give up a talent like “JVR.”

He especially wouldn’t give him up to the Devils.

In fact, the Flyers and Devils haven’t exchanged players since 1986. It’s a fact that has been lost in the shuffle over the past 25 years.

The last time the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils made a trade was March 11th, 1986.

That trade brought Glenn “Chico” Resch to Philly in exchange for the 1986 3rd round pick who ended up being Marc Laniel.

An even crazier fact is the Flyers and Devils have only made two trades with each other in NHL history. Before the “Chico” trade the Devils sent Sam St. Laurent to Philly for future considerations. I wonder when those “considerations” expire?

So with all the rumors that float around trade deadline time every year, one thing is almost certain. Even if the Devils had anyone on their roster that the Flyers had interest in, these two teams probably wouldn’t be making a trade.

This article was also published here: Bleacher Report

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Philadelphia Flyers Danny Briere Will Play in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game


By Chris Schaefer

It was announced today that Philadelphia Flyers forward Danny Briere will replace Calgary Flames forward Jarome Iginla in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game.

Iginla bowed out citing family obligations. He lost his grandfather this year and with his grandmother’s health taking a turn for the worst he wants to use the NHL break to spend time with her.
His loss (no pun intended) is Briere’s gain.

Briere isn’t only excited to play in the All-Star game with the best players in the NHL, but he’s excited to bring his kids along. Danny was quoted during tonight’s Flyers game (Geico Quote of the Day) as follows: “I always promised (the kids) that the next time I would go (to the All-Star Game), that they would be there. How many chances am I going to have to go back and share it with them?”

Well, if Briere continues this furious pace next season he’ll have yet another chance to bring his nine, eleven and twelve-year-olds along again.

Briere should obviously have been in the All-Star game in the first place, but with Iginla skipping out it’s no surprise that Briere was next in line.

Briere netted his 25th goal in the first period of tonight’s game with a ripper over Ottawa Senators goalie Brian Elliot’s shoulder.

This article was also published here: Bleacher Report

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Trade Rumor: Philadelphia Flyers Are Looking to Acquire Forward Scottie Upshall


By Chris Schaefer

If Paul Holmgren has shown the Flyers faithful anything since taking over the General Manager duties in 2006 it’s that he’s always looking to fine-tune his team. Several sources close to the team said he made an offer to acquire former Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner before he was dealt to Dallas.

Now his sights are set on former Flyers forward Scottie Upshall. The Flyers currently have a logjam of centers and could use some more depth on the wing. A move like this would suggest that Daniel Carcillo or Andreas Nodl would be the odd man out.

Nodl has had an impressive season with 9 goals and 7 assists for 16 points. Carcillo has only played in 26 games this season and has been a healthy scratch for most of the other 16 games throughout the first half of the season.

Upshall was traded in 2009 to the Phoenix Coyotes along with a second round pick for Carcillo to clear cap space. It was a trade that was highly questioned especially since the Flyers then traded a sixth round pick to San Jose for Kyle McLaren.

Carcillo looked decent last year, but the Flyers are still waiting for him to show up this season. Last season he provided a spark on the ice that they needed and scored timely goals. This season he has be miserable.

Will Homer be able to pull something off to bring the speedy winger Upshall back to Philly? I guess we’ll find out sooner than later.

This article was also published here: Bleacher Report

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Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren’s Top 10 Transactions and Personnel Moves


By Chris Schaefer

This article can be read here: Bleacher Report

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SIDNEY CROSBY: HEADCASE. THE NHL GOT WHAT THEY DESERVED


By: Chris Schaefer

Sidney Crosby has suffered a concussion and the hockey world is up in arms. It’s speculated that he sustained a head injury in the Winter Classic vs. the Washington Capitals on New Years day.

The Winter Classic was supposed to be an outdoors affair bringing the game of hockey back to its roots. It was supposed to attract new viewers who don’t normally watch hockey games. It was meant to display the talent of the two biggest names in hockey today: Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. Crosby was supposed to put his team on his back and embarrass his Russian counterpart.
Instead, the Penguins lost the game and their captain.

I’ve always thought Crosby was a head-case, and now it’s medically proven. The NHL’s golden boy has had it too easy in the NHL.

He’s won an Art Ross Trophy, a Hart Trophy, a Lester B. Pearson Award, a Silver medal and a Gold metal. He is a talented hockey player but he’s far from the next coming of Christ.
With Sid the kid out of the lineup, the NHL is back on their heels. The league and all it’s sponsors are collectively holding their breath until Crosby is back. Head injuries take time to heal and each case is different.

The list of hockey players who lost their careers due to concussions is endless: Lindros x 2, Barnaby, Primeau, Stephens, Wallin, Grimson, Odjick, Deadmarsh, Richter, Stewart, Svoboda, Beukeboom, LaFontaine, etc. Some of these players suffered up to six reported concussions in their careers.
To say Crosby got what he deserved is kind of harsh. To say that the NHL got what they deserved is on point. They have hyped Crosby up as the poster child for way too long now. Crosby’s injury is a wake up call to the NHL marketing team.

The NHL needs to stop hyping up individual rivalries and start concentrating on what hockey actually is: A TEAM SPORT.

They should promote the Blackhawks unlikely cup victory. They should harp upon the achievements of the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers. They should promote the unsung and unexpected rookie goalie sensations that have taken over the league this season.

Or, they can wait until Crosby get smashed a few more times and lose all of their TV deals.

This article was also published here: Bleacher Report

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DONOVAN MCNABB HEADED BACK TO THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES TO BACK UP MICHAEL VICK


By: Chris Schaefer

Today the Philadelphia Eagles will announce that they’ve reacquired Donovan McNabb from the Washington Redskins for a 6-pack of Yuenling Lager and an autographed Freddie Mitchell jersey.

OK, the headline and first paragraph of this article are fabricated for your enjoyment, but the notion of McNabb returning to Philly isn’t as far fetched as you think. It was reported today that the “Kolb Era” which never actually took place most likely will come to an end when the Eagles put a franchise tag on this season’s savior Michael Vick. Kolb wants to start in Philly or wants to be traded. The Eagles will then be in the market for a new backup quarterback. Chances are the Eagles will get a few picks for him in which they could use to build up their defense OR could possibly trade for a QB.

Is McNabb out of the question? Is he at the point in his career that he realizes there’s not much gas left in the tank? Could his humbling stint in Washington have been the celebrity rehab type of experience he needed to become the veteran team player the Eagles need holding the clipboard on the sideline?

The jury is out on whether or not McNabb can actually still play. His legs are non-existent and his arm has gotten weaker and a little chubbier over the years.

It wasn’t too long ago that Randall Cunningham was out of football and laying floors in Arizona. He was given the chance to come back to the NFL in a Vikings uniform and surprised just as many people then as Michael Vick has this year. He was a running quarterback in his first NFL tour of duty but came back throwing for the Vikings to defeat the New York football Giants in the NFC Wild Card game by one point.
Cunningham’s situation is similar to the one McNabb finds himself in today. He hit rock bottom and the only thing to do was work hard for another chance. With Kolb’s pending exit looming over the organization they’ll need to fill his roster spot. McNabb could perhaps return to his old stomping grounds as a backup.

Stranger things have happened in the football world, especially in Philly.

This article was also published here: Bleacher Report

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“Philadelphia Flyers Have The Goalie They’ve Been Looking For: Brian Boucher”


By Chris Schaefer

OK, I’ve been saying it since the Flyers reacquired him from the San Jose Sharks: Brian Boucher is the Flyers #1 Goaltender. Boosh has proved himself time and time again for the Flyers organization and it’s nice to see him finally get the shine he deserves. He’s been called “old,” “streaky,” and “not worthy” among other things, and with the emergence of Flyers’ rookie Sergei Bobrovsky in the preseason and early in the regular season he was destined to be the back up in Philly for another year. Brian played his part. He kept his head low, practiced hard and mentored “Bob” to the best of his ability.

Bobrovsky got the first start of the season and Flyers fans wondered what would happen to him when Michael Leighton got healthy. The only question regarding goalies in Philly was would it be “Bob” or “Leights?” As far as most fans and experts were concerned, Boucher would be waived upon Leighton’s return.

Fast-forward 3 months. Bobrovsky lost heat after an amazing start and the Flyers needed to give him a break. Boucher stepped in as he always does and stood on his head. He kept the Flyers in games that could’ve been blowouts. He won games with point-blank saves with the clock expiring. He showed off his fundamentals and made the routine saves that other Flyers’ goalies couldn’t.
On December 30th, 2010 the Flyers traveled to LA to take on the Kings. I was in attendance and was really excited to see my first Flyers game of the season in person. I wondered if Bobrovsky would be in net or if it’d be Boucher. I was busy all day and didn’t get a chance to read the game preview or see which goalie was first off the ice in practice which usually determines the starter. To my surprise Leighton was on the ice and took most of the shots in the pregame warm up.
Little did I know that would be Michael Leighton’s last game in the orange and black. Sure, there is a chance that one or both of the current Flyers goalies can get hurt and Leighton will be back but I seriously doubt it.

This isn’t an article to bash Leighton. This is an article written to sing praises of Brian Boucher. With Leighton in the rearview Boucher is no longer looking over his shoulder. The starting job is his to lose.
On his 34th birthday Boucher got a hell of a present. He became the first Flyers goalie to log a win in Hockeytown since 1988. His demeanor hasn’t changed all season. He’s embracing his opportunity much like he did in his first stint with the Flyers. He’s ready to go when called upon and is focusing on staying healthy and playing well. A guy like this deserves all the credit he can get and it’s no wonder he’s a fan favorite.

As Michael Vick prepares his Eagles this week for the playoffs there’s a less outspoken leader across the street tending to his crease. He’s shown the same type of brilliance as Vick and surprised just as many people.

Boucher has been the leader the Flyers are looking for. He is the calm locker room presence that they needed. He is the team player that has brought this squad together time and time again. Brian Boucher is the goalie the Flyers have been looking for all these years. He is the guy that has been sitting all alone on the bench cheering on his teammates until he got his turn to contribute on the ice.

Also read my article written in November on BR regarding the Flyers goaltending situation: Philadelphia Flyers Should Keep Bobrovsky and Trade Michael Leighton

This article was also published here:Bleacher Report

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