The Flyers have improved to 2-1-1 in their first four games of the post season.
As I've reported in my previous blog, the Flyers would re-evaluate on Saturday and they did just that.
At 3:01 PM the Flyers have cut 17 Players.
Goalie Johan Backlund was a notable name. Backlund has struggled since his surgery and hasn't been the same when the Flyers signed him as "The goalie of the Future." This of course was before they club found Sergei Bobrovsky and we all know the history from there.
Among the cuts were:
Jason Akeson, Tyler Brown, Shane Harper, Ben Holmstrom, Ty Mcginn, Luke Pither, Mike Testwuide, Eric Wellwood
Marc-Andre Bourdon, Tyler Hostetter, Blake Kessel Oliver Laurdsen and Kevin Marshall
It's also possible Michael Nylander's tryout contract will be terminated.
Nylander has yet to make a preseason game as he battles an injury. The Flyers are not going to give him any room as they're trying to form their team over the next week.
It's possible he may get a "courtesy" game.
Jody Shelley is serving his 10 game ban and it's very possible the 36 year old could find him out of a roster spot.
I want to quickly say something about Shelley as there are a lot of fans who don't like him. I have met Shelley and he's one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.
He's not a goal scorer and he knows that. He's pretty much an older version of Riley Cote. His role is simple, protect your teammates, stick up for them and play physical.
Shelley has lived up to this role. I do not knock the guy at all. However, his contract isn't friendly with the salary cap era, has had some trouble with discipline and due to his suspension isn't really having a great camp.
With the younger guys looking great, it's making it hard for the coaches to keep Shelley. Is he going to continue to play recklessly? Is his contract going to affect other rookies such as Schenn, Couturier, Read, and Rinaldo?
I wish people would stop saying "Shelley sucks" or remarks similar. I've been guilty of things like this in the past, but you have to look at the overall picture. Danny Briere is paid to put pucks in the net and have his name all over the stat sheet. Players like Shelley are paid to play the enforcer role and nothing else. Now I know there are some players in the Flyers organization can play the enforcer role, have speed and can scratch the surface of the stat sheet. Do I think this could be a better option for the Flyers? Yes. I'm a firm believer in "what is best for the team." If Shelley is waived, traded or cut through other means, I look at it at a business decision and nothing else. I never like to see a hockey player out of a job.
The annual Flyers BBQ for Season ticket holders in on Monday and I hope to speak with several alumni as well as some players on their thoughts of the rookies, the new dean of discipline and hits that warrant suspensions.
FLYERS UPDATE: 3:28 PM. The Flyers have released Adam Mair and Michael Nylander from their Try-out Contracts.
LA Kings Restricted Free Agent Drew Doughty has yet to sign a contract.
Doughty is reportedly seeking a $7mil per year contract. However, LA GM Dean Lombardi has stated that he will not pay him more than Anze Kopitar who makes $6.8 Mil. This is bad for the Kings and I think it’s worse for Doughty. They’ve had all summer to hammer out a deal. Doughty hasn’t reported for training camp either and is missing up to $25,000 each day. This also can cause a distraction to the locker room.
Obviously his teammates want him there. He’s their top defenseman as well as a major leader in the locker room. "Hopefully it gets done sooner than later," said Kings centre Jarret Stoll. "We need him on our team, I think everybody knows that. We feel we've still got a good team without him but hopefully it gets done.”
Newly acquired center Mike Richards also chimed in with his thoughts, "Obviously we'd love to have him, If he's here great and if not we have to focus on the beginning of the season with the players we have in this dressing room.”
My take on this is that it sets a bad example to the rookies not only on the Kings, but throughout the NHL. Here we have Doughty going into his fourth season, is holding out on camp because of money while the rookies and other AHLers have been working out and preparing since mid August in hopes they can get a job with the big club. If a deal is done before the season starts he’s going to play, even though he may be a bit out of shape and may have some rust. Then a Rookie who’s been training and who has been playing is tail off, may be cut. It’s a terrible message to send.
Head Coach Terry Murray confirmed, "If he's here two days before the season, he's in the lineup."
To me it doesn’t seem right. Don’t get me wrong, Doughty is one of the Leagues’ top D-Man and he should be paid, but $7mil per year? Doughty scored 11 goals and 40 points in 76 games for the Kings last season, which was down from his previous year where he had 59 pts. If his contract year was in 09-10, then the ballpark of $7mil could be arguable.
Doughty isn’t helping his case either by missing time. If a deal is not done by the start of the season, his contract offer could be even less money. The only loser in this situation is Drew. I hope they can hammer out something soon.
Next Blog we’ll focus more on this year’s expectations for suspensions and hopefully some answers from the Flyers players on this matter.