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Bringing Hexy Back • 42 Years Old • Male
Congratulations to the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings for reaching their respective conference finals.

-The job that Flyers coach John Stevens has done in the playoffs is nothing short of spectacular. The guy had a team that was supposed to be road kill in round one and navigated it past two teams whose coaches were finalists for the Jack Adams. Since a 39 point turnaround in one season while working 8 or 9 new faces into a team's line-up isn't worth Adams consideration, here's hoping Stevens manages to get his name on a somewhat more significant trophy sometime in Early June.

Perhaps then Rambo will get a slice of credit outside the city of Philadelphia. By the way, happy 42nd coach.

-Evgeni Malkin's slew foot was ignored by the NHL. I'd complain more, but I know full well that star players are graded differently than the rank and file types.

-At one point, I had hoped that Peter Forsberg would return to the Philadelphia Flyers. My only condition was that Forsberg's health needed to be 100%. Well, it wasn't and his ignoring his promise to not return unless his health was certain and to not be a distraction played a big role in the ending of Colorado's season after the Wings' 4 game sweep in round two.

Forsberg needs to put common sense before pride and love of the game. If he can't be more than a sideshow, he isn't helping whatever team he is on. I am not joining the chorus of those calling on him to retire, I am only calling for him to use better judgment-to not play to scratch his own itch, but to be an asset to the team he's on.

-Trolling. It is the bane of all internet discussion forums. I, for one, despise it. I come here to have conversations about the sport that I love, with others of the same mind. Yet for some reason, there seems to be a bumper crop of maladjusted idiots that revel in posting inanities and BS while adding nothing to the conversation at hand.

I would like to see instant bans for those whose only purpose is to disrupt the conversations that follow the blogs by HB's many talented and devoted writers. I have been goaded into replying, but no more. From now on, I am simply going to click the ! button every time I see a troll.

Far too often it's becoming a waste of time coming to a site I get a great deal of enjoyment out of because I have to wade through three pages of name calling. I have no problem with the side conversations that veer from hockey talk. Those are great because this is a social site. However at the same time, hockey is the reason we come here. Let's attempt to be adults, people.

-The Canadiens Carey Price had a rough series against the Flyers, but I think he's got the mental make-up to learn from it, rather than have it destroy his confidence. Price is a big kid, and he uses technique to stop the puck. He needs to improve his glove hand and his rebound control, but the kid's got a bright future, as does his team.

-Watching people talk about Brian Campbell during these playoffs is like watching Bloomberg Business. The constant discussion seems to be exactly how much money the Shark defenseman is costing himself on the open market each time the team loses. GM's know what Soupy brings to the table-he's a great skater, very good offensively and he's weak in his own end. If that is a surprise to anyone, they haven't watched the Eastern Conference playoffs for the past 3 years. Campbell is getting his money.

-Teams thinking of adding Jeff Finger as a FA might want to look at his playoff performance when calculating an offer. He played a solid regular season, but the guy consistently made bone headed plays in the postseason and hurt his team.

-As wonderful as this Flyers run is, in the back of my head, I see somebody tossing a HUGE deal at Jeff Carter. It wouldn't surprise me if he gets a big offer, should he not re-sign before July 1st. The Flyers are almost certain to take RJ Umberger to arbitration, but Carter is being gazed upon like a limping gazelle in the savanah.
Filed Under:   Forsberg   Jsaq   Trolls   Flyers   Campbell   Red Wings  
May 4, 2008 9:16 AM ET | Delete
Yeah I agree. Umberger and Carter have been amazing. Even as happy as the Flyers brass is with their performance, I bet they wish now they had already locked them up long term. Their price goes up each and everyday. I don't see Homer letting them go the offer sheet route though. He is proactive (look at last summer) and will have them under contract quickly. People talk about the obvious stars in the East in Pittsburgh and Washington, but Philly may have the best, deepest crop of all.
May 4, 2008 10:13 AM ET | Delete
Outstanding performance from the Flyers - congrats to all. Now back to the matters at hand - your next series. The momentum and attitude are on your side. Agree with your anti-troll stance. Unfortunately, reason, common sense, and courtesy are alien terms for them. I try to ignore 'em, but there are times when I feel I must respond. (Which is often pointless as many are drive-bys.) Good blog and good sentiments JS. (aka Jafsie!)
May 4, 2008 11:50 AM ET | Delete
good points JS....side conversations is one thing but the name calling is a pain in the butt, yes i've been caught responding from time to time. we should all just stick to the subject o why we come to this site
May 4, 2008 12:16 PM ET | Delete
great blog!carter: 4M for 5 years.. dont u think it'd do it? it be right up to his UFA year i think.umberger: 2.5M for 3 years... this is just a guess.. but i'm a bit concern with arbitration since he's putting up a MONSTER performance in the playoffs and he had a nice season
May 4, 2008 12:37 PM ET | Delete
Homer ain't gonna let Carter be open come July 1st.Great Blog Jsaq.
May 4, 2008 12:39 PM ET | Delete
If Holmgren gets Carter to sign for 5 years at $4mm per, he should be the next President of the US. Carter is going to get Gagne type cash, in all likelyhood. Umberger is arbitration eligible, so $2.5mm isn't a stretch. His regular season will even out his playoff run.
May 4, 2008 5:46 PM ET | Delete
I think Carter will be offered something similar to Richards. Long term deal where he's overpaid the first half of the contract, but inflation helps the Flyers on the back end. Flyers have some issues with forward depth - notably too much. Giroux is a shoe in next year as a top 6 forward. Someone has to go - Gagne may be the most logical choice.
May 4, 2008 6:23 PM ET | Delete
Gagne is a 50 goal scorer, you dont just throw them away because they had an injury
May 4, 2008 6:48 PM ET | Delete
Gagne is not going anywhere. If somebody has to go it will be Knuble or Umberger.
May 4, 2008 6:50 PM ET | Delete
Great blog man. Hope to see you in the Flyers and Pens threads in the coming days. This ECF is going to be ridiculous.ps. Lukin gets a pass to troll. That guy is just gold!
May 4, 2008 6:56 PM ET | Delete
Our boy Lukin is loved elsewhere!!! Great!!. I am not saying to toss Gagne away, but he is coming off a rather serious head injury and he might not be able to continue. It's a sad fact that hopefully won't have to be faced.
May 4, 2008 7:32 PM ET | Delete
Gagne already left - what are you talking about he's not gone? He may be damaged goods. Another head injury early next year, and his career is probably done, along with his trade value. Sad fact, but the Flyers live in a salary cap world. Carter will get a big raise, and Coburn will in a year or so. And I think Homer will want an upgrade on the blueline. Only so many 5 million dollar players you can collect before you end up like Tampa. Ask Ottawa; they're on that path now.
May 4, 2008 7:34 PM ET | Delete
Much of the roster for next year depends on Gagne's health, Knuble's age, Prospal's influence on cap, Carter's RFA status and Giroux's timing. It makes no sense to keep Giroux on the Flyers without giving him top line minutes. Gagne needs to play without symptoms - this is the largest unknown. Knubs is a warrior, I just don't know how much he still has to give and would he be a cap casualty? Vinny and Briere had some magic moments at the end of the year, but his play leveled off in the playoffs - can they afford to keep him and not pay Carter? Jeff Carter is a stud, plain and simple. He is an asset that we cannot afford to lose and must be resigned at all costs. Umberger can be signed to a couple year deal for relatively little money. Carter is the issue.
May 4, 2008 7:42 PM ET | Delete
JS - I forgot to mention that this was a great piece and I agree about the ban on trolls - there is no room for that kind of behavior and should be little tolerance for it. Nice work by you! SYF
May 4, 2008 9:40 PM ET | Delete
May 4, 2008 9:40 PM ET | Delete
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May 4, 2008 9:40 PM ET | Delete
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May 4, 2008 10:37 PM ET | Delete
Great blog as always, I agree with the trolling point its really annoying and accomplishes nothing. All I have to say about carter is in homer we trust.
May 5, 2008 12:51 AM ET | Delete
Stevens deserves some accolades along with the rest of the team...it seems he is learning and maturing as an NHL coach as his players mature as NHL players. I have criticised him, mainly for his personell choices game by game and situationally in-game...I think he has improved in these areas...also the team doesn't quit, which reflects well on the coaching (even though giving up leads is troubling) so I have hope that the team, the coaches, the players etc. are all developing rapidly into a true Cup contender for the forseeable future.
May 5, 2008 12:53 AM ET | Delete
Here's to hoping that Carter and Umby (Prospal?) sign some cap friendly deals to stay on with a great team in the making...
May 5, 2008 10:08 AM ET | Delete
Congrats to the Flyers, quite a story this year. The series against the Pens should be a war (one that I was hoping to see in the 1st Round rather than the ECF).
May 5, 2008 12:18 PM ET | Delete
I defenitely agree about the trolls. I probably leave one comment a day, but do enjoy reading the intelligent comments left by others, its just such a pain in the arse that I have to weed through the rest of the crap.Umberger has been amaxing in the playoffs and I think his best is yet to come against the Pens, a team that he owned during the regular season. He is a rare commodity in the modern NHL, a solid utility player that will do whatever is asked of him and excell at doing it (being put on the 4th line).We do need to sign Carter asap. Great analogy on him.
May 5, 2008 2:29 PM ET | Delete
I should really be cheering against the Flyers. I have season tickets to the Caps and I love the Habs. My playoff season has been ruined by the boys from Philly. I had this completely unfathomable dream of seeing the Habs and Caps play in the ECF, I knew it was a long shot but I can dream right? Then the Flyers turned my dream into a nightmare. I had to watch them oust the Caps in OT of game 7 and thrash my beloved Habs in 5. Now, a common foe stands on the horizon, I kiss the hand of my dream destroyer to now support their quest to pummel the Pens. The Flyer fanbase has grown by 1 today. Good luck and ummm Let's Go Flyers...
May 5, 2008 2:48 PM ET | Delete
desi08 -- I feel your pain. I am a Caps fan who generally pulls for the Habs once the Caps are no longer playing. I am torn on the Pens - Flyers series as I dislike them both passionately. I will probably end up pulling for whoever falls behind in the series. Looking forward to a Habs - Caps ECF in 2009 !!
May 5, 2008 3:05 PM ET | Delete
JS, great blog, I find my thoughts are very similar to yours.I'm a bit worried about Carter getting signed. My Negadelphia side kicks in and thinks why hasn't he been signed already, his agent must be advising him to wait for a bidding war and a stupid high offer along the lines of Vanek. On the other side, the positive is Holmgren is doing a fantastic job and I believe he won't let Carter get away. Watching Jeff play can be frustrating, because I see so much potential. All those wicked wrist shots that go wide or high glass, haa.He has developed a lot this year, defensive responsibility, leadership when Richie was out, etc. There is so much potential in his game, it is scary. I still can't believe the Flyers are in the ECFs. Before the Montreal series started, my thinking was this is a great learning chance for the young guys. I was hoping Stevens would play all the kids like Parent and Downie for the playoff experience. This couldn't be the year, it is a stepping stone for the future. Well, all that stuff is just crap, and the time is now for the Flyers.And I'm enjoying every second of it, what fun. Especially the underdog role to the Pens.
May 5, 2008 3:45 PM ET | Delete
MadCap2008 -- I can only dream and you can bet the house there will be at least one Habs fan in Verizon for every Caps home game next year as well. I would love a Habs-Caps series in the future. Philly fans...I have a hard time believing Carter will not be in a Flyers uniform next year, but I am sure that there will be some speculation as the deadlines approach. I am sure that the team has a plan in the works and is waiting for the right moment to execute it, talking contract during a deep playoff run is never a good idea.
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