These are the long days of summer for hockey fans. Yeah it’s nice to enjoy the good weather but the new season seems so far away. Not very much news comes out because let’s be honest nothing is really happening. Players/Coaches are wrapping up vacations, starting to workout, and getting ready for camp in a little bit more than a month. So what better time to offer some random Flyers thoughts:
*The Pre-Season begins on Sunday, September 15 against the Toronto Maple Leafs in London, Ontario. Why does that seem like an eternity???
*Regular Season is set to kick off on Wednesday, October 2 at home against the Maple Leafs as well.
*I love the new realignment and playoff format for the NHL (at least it will be that way for a few years anyway). Not too sure about the name Metropolitan Division. The other names make sense. The Metropolitan Division seems too long. I know most will shorten it to the Metro Division. That works a little more for me.
*Metro Division will consist of the Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Washington Capitals. Some old rivals, some new ones, and the return of the Capitals. I really like the way this division is made up.
*The Flyers will play 30 games against Metro Division opponents, 24 games against the Atlantic Division, and 28 games against Western Conference teams.
*What I like most about the scheduling this year is the return of every team playing in every building. There are a lot of fans of every team that either do not live in the city of the team that they root for or would love to plan a vacation to a certain city and catch an away game. Excellent move!!!
*How long do you think it will be until Ron Hextall takes over the GM position from Paul Holmgren, if ever? Bringing back Hextall was a great move by the front office, but my guess is it will at least be a few years. Our GM’s could kick the crap out of your GM’s…couldn’t help myself.
*Now I didn’t necessarily agree with the first round pick in the draft, but the more and more I think about it, seeing Morin throwing is size around, with other blueliners Haag and Gostisbehere in the next few years puts a smile on my face.
*It might be just me, but I feel that I scan the NHL news everyday waiting for Holmgren to make a move of some kind. Especially one of our defensemen. Conditioned to be that way I guess.
*The longer that Simon Gagne is out there in free agency the more likely he is to return to the Flyers. Problem is the rest of the GM’s probably think the same thing. Doesn’t help Holmgren’s leverage in dealing someone to ease the cap burden.
*Steve Mason or Ray Emery??? I go back forth with this a lot. If Emery had stayed healthy I have almost no doubt that the Flyers would have been the ones to hoist the cup in 2010. So he is my instant favorite that my heart says should get the starting nod in net, but I feel that Mason is the better fit for the team. Considering his style meshes better with the system that head coach Peter Laviolette likes to run my head says he should start opening night. Truth is I think both will have a good year this season.
*Did I just imply that for once I am not all that worried about our goaltending situation??? Now I know its been too long since I’ve seen the Flyers play in a meaningful game.
*Hartnell-Giroux-Voracek….Schenn-Lecavalier-Simmonds….Gagne-Couturier-Read…Rinaldo/Rosehill-Hall-Talbot. Yeah that does look really good.
*Will Scott Laughton make, and stay, on the Flyers roster this year? It’s starting to look that he won’t make the opening night roster unless Holmgren makes a move or two.
*Timonen-Schenn….Streit-Coburn(unless traded)….Grossman-Meszaros(also unless traded). If, and I mean, IF this is what the defense looks like and it can stay reasonably healthy all year; I’m okay with it. Plus you add the addition of possibly Gustafsson, Lauridsen and the depth ain’t all that bad either. Ideal NO; but not going to be as bad as last year.
*Do yourself a favor and read the post that Brian Nestel wrote on BroadStreetBuzz the other day about the Flyers 10 greatest games DVD. Very well written and couldn’t have agreed with him more. I’m a bit older, but thankfully still not old enough to remember all the games on there.
*How long is it till the season starts again??? Damn!!!
***For those interested; don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.com @RevPhillyD ***