You could clothe a small village with that hair. Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

BuzzBag Volume 5: Let’s Bash Andreas Lilja


“And on the 7th day, the big guy upstairs created BuzzBag.”

The heat is on for the NHL to get a deal done before the impending Lockout. One thing that the NHL and the Players Association both agree on? BuzzBag must continue, and I was happy to oblige.

First question…

@GoingHard_Inger: If you were on a desert island and had to pick 3 Fs, 2 Ds, and a G from the Flyers to take with u, who would you choose? Keep in mind that you’re picking both for survival skills and general personality/people you’d like to spend time with.

Okay so Andreas Lilja is so out.

For the three forwards, I’m bringing Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, and Scott Hartnell. Simmer is probably the biggest of the forward bunch here, and he’ll probably be good for chopping down some trees to create a makeshift home. He seems like an outdoorsy kind of guy, so he should have pretty good survival skills. For Hartnell, we’re shaving his hair and his beard and making blankets. All of those ginger locks are way to important to sit upon his head (and chin), and we’re gonna put him to good use. I’m a little nervous bring Scott, because I think he may be a bit of a liability. “Hey guys, found this blue frog with these black spots on it. Would make a really cool pet. C’mere buddy, jump in my-”. Hartnell down, eternally. Lastly, I’m bringing Brayden Schenn because he seems like the kind of guy you can just talk to for hours. Sure he’s not gonna go out and hunt food and he’s probably worried about messing up his hair, but I bet the guy can hold a conversation.

My two Defensemen would be Nicklas Grossmann and Kimmo Timonen. Grossmann absolutely terrifies me, which in this case is quite the good thing. My guess is he’d throw some war paint on his face, make his own spear, and run around hunting animals for dinner. I’d also be afraid that Grossmann would lose touch with reality and start speaking in a language only he can understand. But that’s not necessarily important. Kimmo Timo would be our emotional leader, basically like he is on the Flyers. I’m expecting him to console me as I spent several sleepless nights crying.

We’re not bringing Bryz. It’s not happening. I’ll be dead long before anyone comes to rescue me. So Michael Leighton will be joining us by default, but we won’t be talking to him. He’ll just sit in a corner the entire time and then hopefully leave us alone.

(Note: If you’re wondering why I didn’t bring Claude Giroux, it’s because he is way to valuable. I’m not chancing him catching some sort of rare tropical flesh eating disease. He is spared from this voyage gone awry, but it isn’t because I don’t love him.)

@Ekoeck:Would the NHL seriously be THAT stupid to lockout and lose a large portion of fan interest? Who do they think they are, NFL?

Not at all, in fact, and that’s exactly why they are going to lockout here. In my opinion, there’s no such thing as a casual hockey fan. You either love it or you don’t, simple as that. When the NBA locked out for three months last year, it did not benefit the NHL. The fans who like hockey continued to enjoy it, and the NBA fans continued to sulk until Christmas Day. Just because the league is locked out doesn’t mean they are going to lose their fans. A lockout is imminent here, and I think it’s something that needs to happen. I’m not gonna say I’m taking the side of the owners here, but yeah, I’m kind of on the owners side here. The 14 year $110 million deal that the Flyers gave to Shea Weber is essentially what is wrong with this league: the big boys stepping all over the  small kids. I still find it remarkable that the NHL has 30 teams. Teams like Anaheim, Columbus, Dallas, Nashville and especially Phoenix are barely treading water here. The NHL is especially lucky that they found an ownership group to inherit the mess in Phoenix, because it’s a disaster. As prices for players rise, small market teams are forced to watch their top players go to the big market teams like New York Rangers, Detroit, and of course, Philadelphia. The only way the NHL gets smaller teams to spend money is by enforcing a cap floor.

Essentially what the NHL wants to accomplish here is to be able to maintain all of their teams by leveling the playing field. They want to cut down on decade long contracts and put them at a max of five years, and completely change the revenue sharing, among other things. Quite frankly, it’s hard to blame them here. Granted, they seem eager to lockout the players before the players even make a counter proposal, and Gary Bettmann has not been the best of peacemakers here, but a work stoppage will happen either way. Obviously, it’s going to be the players who cave before their billionaire owners, and they’ll play a shortened season, but is the league stupid here? No, not at all.

@SchwabbFTM: what realistic move can the Flyers make to improve the team? Not a homerun but an upgrade (defense?!) 

First off let me say I don’t believe the Flyers will look for Defensive help here. I think they’re very comfortable with digging in to Adirondack and pulling out Brandon Manning, Marc-Andre Bourdon, or even longshot Oliver Lauridsen. Erik Gustafsson was going to compete for a roster spot straight out of Training Camp, but he certainly seems like a lock for the 6th Defenseman spot. Although I’ve suggested that the Flyers might as well go after P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens, it’s highly likely they would match. So that leaves Free Agent Carlo Colaiacovo as the best guy on the market. His stats aren’t overwhelming (2 goals and 16 assists), but he’d certainly fill the hole as your 6th D-man. I really don’t think he’d be worth a one year deal, however. You have to put a little faith in your young guns, and you always have to give them a chance to show you what they got, and now is perfect.

@AtomicRuckus: Your comment on the Flyers’ practice of almost always having an Anglophone Canadian captain? In other words: Are the Flyers only somewhat prejudiced or extremely prejudiced?

Seeing as the Flyers have only had one Captain from a country in which their primary language isn’t English (Peter Forsberg, Sweeden) and he held it for just one year, let’s go with extremely prejudiced. This is America, and you better believe Paul Holmgren is as American as they come. Kicking back beers, watching NASCAR, and eating chocolate covered Slim Jim’s , because why the hell not. So in other words, you better believe that the Flyers Captain is going to be predominately English speaking. We’re talking Philadelphia here, where this whole U S of A thing began. It would be a disservice to our fore fathers before us and our countrymen to have a Russian speaking Captain that frequently needed translation. We earned that right in the Cold War! What? The Cold War wasn’t actually a war? Well we aren’t backing down here. So yes, we here Flyers fans as well as the front office are quite prejudiced when it comes to English speaking captains.

@DisplacedPhan: Can the Flyers win the Stanley Cup by playing with all forwards this season? Maybe 4 forwards and 2 goalies?

Why not, right? We can just win every game 8-7. Plus our Defense is depleted, why not go 4 forwards? If you’re saying four forwards and two goalies, I’m assuming that they’ll be on the ice at the same time. So I’m going to institute the Ron Hextall plan. What’s going to happen here is you’ll have your four forwards, Bryzgalov in net, and then Michael Leighton playing the role of Hextall here. In his full pads and mask, Leighton will be skating the ice, and quietly SLASH PEOPLE IN THE BACK OF THE LEGS. It will cause fear in our opponents, but more importantly, it’ll morph Leighton into a complete monster. The next time somebody five holes him, watch out.

@MBrad1316: With Lilja out til Dec, does this open a door for Manning to get a few more looks to solidify our depth?

According to Paul Holmgren, Lilja will be out only a month, rather than December. Manning will certainly get some chances to impress this year. He only played four games with the Flyers last year, but may be given more of a chance to impress this year. The Flyers can’t seem to avoid injuries, especially on the Defensive end, and Manning could certainly get the call up. However, he’s only 22, and didn’t even play a full season in the AHL last year. He spent the 2010 season playing in the WHL, and last year was his first in the Flyers organization. Gustafsson and Marc-Andre Bourdon will probably be on the top of the pecking order, but Manning will still be there.

@AmeriKev: If you could pick one Philadelphia Eagle to put on skates, who would it be and what would they play?

Well, let’s start of with who is definitely not lacing up. I’m afraid if anyone even touched Michael Vick, he’d probably spontaneously combust. LeSean McCoy can only move left to right, so watching him skate would be quite uneventful. If I only had to choose one member of the Eagles, I’m taking Evan Mathis. Nothing says graceful like a 6’5”, 302 lb. Offensive Lineman. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mathis killed it on the ice. He seems like a multitalented guy, and I mean doesn’t everyone from Birmingham Alabama own a pair of skates? No? Okay, moving on. Plus, I’d give Paul Holmgren a call before I put Mathis on the ice. If he can move well enough, he certainly has the size to be a top Defenseman.

@UUBlog: SAT Prep – Michael Martinez:Phillies::???:Flyers

Andreas Lilja and Michael Martinez are awful professional athletes separated at birth. The signing of Lilja still puzzles me to this day. He signed a two year deal last Offseason, to be a veteran presence in the Flyers defense. If the Flyers wanted to keep a veteran, they could have re-signed Sean O’Donnell to a cheaper contract. Instead, he signed in Chicago and ended up playing 6 more game this past season than Lilja. There must be an ancient curse that states “All members of the Philadelphia Flyers named Andreas must be absolutely awful.” Between Andreas “No Goal” Nodl and now Andreas Lilja, the Flyers cannot win.

It seems as though he plays with half a brain.  He doesn’t react timely, forwards seem to blow right past him, and he also likes running into his own teammates. He is a lost cause, and both him and Martinez should be hurled into the sun. Then brought back, treated for third degree burns, and hurled into the sun again.

@JeffBaumann: Watch “Drive” starring Ryan Gosling, and use quotes and relate them to the Flyers. Use IMDB if needed.

You know, we’re here celebrating but it’s a shameful thing… what I did. And I have a lot of making up to do to everyone. But second chances are rare. Right? And that’s worth celebrating. 

This is Paul Holmgren after Shea Weber “signed” an offer sheet with the Flyers. His plan going into the offseason was to try and woo over Zach Parise and Ryan Suter with over $100 million each, in order to get both of them to wear Orange & Black in 2013. However, they both decided to head to Minnesota, leaving Philadelphia empty handed. Holmgren knew he needed to make a splash and give the fans something to look forward to, so he turned towards Shea Weber. It seems as though Weber and his agents were only using the Flyers to make Nashville pay up, but it brought a lot of excitement to a dismal offseason. The Flyers got a rare second chance to get it right by signing Weber. Although it may have been a bit of an early celebration, getting Shea Weber, even if for just a week was worth celebrating.

You paid three-hundred (expletive) grand for this piece of (expletive)? 

Ed Snider to Paul Holmgren, in reference of Andreas Lilja.

You know, he walked into my shop here about five or six years ago. Right out of the blue. Asking for a job. So I put him to the test to see what he could do. The kid’s amazing. 

This is a pretty good reference to Eric Wellwood. Drafted as one of the last picks in the 6th round of the 2009 NHL Draft, not much has been expected of him. He’s undersized at 5’11″, and wasn’t the greatest of goal scorers in the OHL. Yet the Flyers took a shot at drafting him, and it looks like it may pay dividends. After two seasons in the AHL, Wellwood was given a chance with the Flyers, and left management and fans alike very impressed. In 24 games Wellwood had 5 goals and 4 assists. Yet it was not those stats on the 4th line that people liked, but rather his work ethic. He flies all over the ice, throwing his body everywhere in order to make a play. His puck handling is phenomenal too. He keeps great control, but has such great quickness it’s hard for Defenseman to keep hold of him. He’s going to get a spot on the roster this year, and expect great things out of him.

You get out of here and you never (expletive) come back. You never come back. 

The world to Andreas Lilja.

Thanks for reading. If you’d like to participate in next week’s BuzzBag, make sure to follow me on Twitter @JakePavorsky.

Tags: Brayden Schenn BuzzBag Flyers Nicklas Grossmann Scott Hartnell Wayne Simmonds