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ArkeBraydon Coburn’s Injury Puts Defense in Interesting Position

October 9th, 2014 at 7:23 PM
By Tyler Ruby

After a crushing 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Boston Bruins Wednesday night, the Philadelphia Flyers were dealt a bigger blow hours before their home opener against the New Jersey Devils. Braydon Coburn was introduced to the crowd on crutches, and Ron Hextall admitted that this could be a lengthy absence due to a lower-body injury.

With Coburn's injury, the question marks surrounding the Flyers defensive corps increase even more.With Kimmo Timonen already out indefinitely as he deals with blood clots, Coburn and his linemate Mark Streit were supposed to be the rocks on the back end, but with Coburn's availability in doubt for the next few weeks, there will be increased pressure on Andrew MacDonald, Nicklas Grossmann and Streit. It was already a weak unit to begin with, but this injury makes it a worse situation.

It will be interesting to see what, if any, moves Hextall will make. It is widely known that the Flyers have a stable of quality defensive prospects, headed by Shayne Gostisbehere and Robert Hagg. Samuel Morin could also be a short-term option, as he can only play in nine games before burning a year on his contract. Surely the rumors that Hextall would be open to moving Luke Schenn or Grossmann are tabled for the time being until the Flyers finally get some clarity with their defensive pairings.

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Season Preview: Defense Will Be Key to Season

October 8th, 2014 at 3:26 PM
By Tyler Ruby

Hello, Philadelphia Flyers fans. It's hockey season once again as the Flyers take on the Boston Bruins tonight in their season opener.

The Flyers will be looking to improve from their 2013-14 season, when they were eliminated by the New York Rangers in seven games. Getting off to a better start will be key to a different season. In 2013, the Flyers got off to a dreadful start that eventually cost former head coach Peter Laviolette his job. Now with one year under Craig Berube, expect the Flyers to continue that style of hockey.

The Flyers have a bona fide superstar in Claude Giroux, and Wayne Simmonds should turn into the best power forward in the league. It will be interesting to see how the Flyers will adjust to not having Scott Hartnell in the Flyers orange. He was universally loved by the players and fans, but the Flyers and new general manager Ron Hextall traded him to the Columbus Blue Jackets for former Flyer R.J. Umberger. While they have had changes on the offensive side, they should be fine with Giroux and Jakub Voracek leading the way. However, the key to the Flyers' season will rely on the defensive corps.

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Philadelphia Flyers Sign Michael Del Zotto to One-Year Deal

August 5th, 2014 at 9:00 PM
By Tyler Ruby

In an attempt to increase the depth of the blue line, the Philadelphia Flyers signed Michael Del Zotto to a one-year, $1.3 million.

This move comes on the heels of learning that Kimmo Timonen will be out indefinitely due to blood clots in his leg and lungs. With Timonen's immediate future up in the air, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall responded quickly with this move. The former New York Ranger and Nashville Predator will have a chance to re-ignite his once-promising career with the Flyers.

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The 24-year-old Del Zotto is an offensive defenseman and a good skater. He can move the puck easily up the ice, and he possesses great speed. It's really a low-risk, high-reward move for the Flyers, and it's one that could pay off for them this year. He may be young, but he has plenty of experience playing in high intensity situations and the playoffs. 

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Philadelphia Flyers Draft Travis Sanheim with the 17th Pick in the 2014 NHL Draft

June 27th, 2014 at 11:11 PM
By Tyler Ruby

In front of their home fans at the Wells Fargo Center Friday night, general manager Ron Hextall took the stage to announce the Philadelphia Flyers' first pick of the 2014 NHL Draft. It was Travis Sanheim, a defenseman out of Elkhorn, Manitoba. 

It's a name that many Flyers fans may not be familiar with, but he rocketed up draft boards as he continued to get better and better with each season that passed and each game he played. He played for the Yellowhead Chiefs in the Manitoba Midget Hockey League, and he tallied a total of 74 points in two seasons with them. This past season Sanheim spent time with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL,, and he recorded 29 points in 67 games. 

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He is only going to get better, and he certainly has the time to develop into a top-four defenseman in the NHL. He measures in at 6'3" and 181 pounds, so he does need to grow into his frame a bit, but once he does, he could be a real steal of the draft for Flyers. He has been praised for his excellent skating and puck-moving ability as an defenseman.

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Philadelphia Flyers Trade Scott Hartnell to Columbus Blue Jackets for R.J. Umberger

June 23rd, 2014 at 4:29 PM
By Tyler Ruby

There is just something about the date June 23. Three years ago, then-general manager Paul Holmgren traded Mike Richards and Jeff Carter after they flamed out in the playoffs, and now, Ron Hextall follows suit as he traded fan-favorite Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets for R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round pick.

It's a curious move to say the least, but what makes it most interesting though is that Hartnell had a no-trade clause, and he has always expressed is love for Philadelphia and the fans have reciprocated. So what happened there? Also, while Hartnell had a down past two years compared the his lofty standards that he set for himself in the first few years with the team, he is still a valuable piece offensively, especially on the power play. 

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Umberger and Hartnell are the same age, and Hartnell has earned more points than Umberger in the past five seasons. Yes, Umberger is an ex-Flyer, but  may be most-known for getting blown-up by Brian Campbell in the 2006 playoffs. He doesn't possess the same speed that he once did, and he doesn't provide the physicality that Hartnell does, so this move doesn't make much since. But maybe it's a sign that there is more to come as there have been rumors of the Flyers moving up to the top of the NHL Draft in a week.

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