Lunch with Brian Burke

12/26/2009
NHL Board of Governors Meeting

Earlier this afternoon, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke discussed numerous topics on Leafs Lunch – Leafs Nation Edition with Dennis Bayak.  With the Leafs playing much better than their winless start, they may make some noise during the trade deadline or as Burke alluded to before it.

Personally I have always admired Burke’s honesty in discussing his teams.  He usually gives his fans a perspective on what he plans to do while playing his cards close to the chest.  The GM of the 2010 Team USA program also announced he will release the roster on Monday, December 28th.

Lets break down some of the topics discussed.

On the State of the Team

  • Thinks the playoffs are realistic and notes the team work ethic has been great to date.
  • Reemphasized not winning their first seven games really hurt their chances of climbing the standings.
  • Would like to see both goalies healthy and in rhythm.  Wants two weeks with both Jonas Gustavsson and Vesa Toskala healthy so he can assess the situation and rely on one of them down the stretch.
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Doomsday in Philthadelphia

12/22/2009
Montreal Canadiens v Philadelphia Flyers

The newest question circulating around Flyer nation is…

When will Peter Laviolette step down from being the coach?

Signs of frustration are apparent, and rightfully so.  So, if the fans are that frustrated, you can imagine how the organization must feel.  Replacing a coach usually is the first attempt to  problems within a team. So when the Flyers handed Stevens a pink slip and hired Laviolette quickly signing him to a three-year contract, a fix was expected.

So Flyers nation, we can all understand frustration, but let’s get a grip.  Is there a way for GM Paul Holmgren to right the ship and avoid a season like 2006-07?  Hopefully, but I don’t think it will be either certain or quick.

I caught a story today over at Habs Inside/Out, which they reported a rumor that might make a lot of sense for both clubs involved.  Of course, if this trade was close to happening, it might not go down as such now due to last night’s Flyer game. Regardless, the trade rumored is…

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Add Marty Turco to the Trade Market?

12/22/2009
Calgary Flames v Dallas Stars

The latest live chat by Mike Heika’s Stars Blog reveals interest in Marty Turco by one team that desperately needs help between the pipes: the Philadelphia Flyers.  Turco, an impending free-agent and life-long Star, certainly would seem different outside a Dallas uniform.

As rumors swirl around a possible Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux for Ilya Kovalchuk swap, this reporter feels the Flyers really need to address their goaltending situation.  As successful as the team has been over the years, their one downfall has always been a weak goalie.  Forcing a star player, and most likely rental, to adapt in a couple of months while gutting part of the core to do so.

This year the Flyers play between the pipes struggled mightily.  Between Brian Boucher, Ray Emery and now Michael Leighton the team sports a hefty2.85 GAA and .897 SV%, certainly not statistics you would see on a Stanley Cup contender.

With rumors in Dallas leading to both Turco and Mike Ribeiro exiting the greater state of Texas, the cash strapped Stars may by default go into a full rebuild.  Beleaguered defenseman Braydon Coburn may show some interest as well as other young trade chips Mika Pyorala, David Laliberte or Darroll Powe.

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Rumors Surround City of Brotherly Love

12/15/2009
Calgary Flames v Montreal Canadiens

At this point the Flyers are one of the hottest topics in the league.  The team constructed to be a cup contender currently sits tenth in the Eastern Conference with 31 points in 31 games and two points back of a playoff berth.

TSN reported earlier today that the Flyers are working on a deal that for Montreal backup Jaroslav Halak.  With Cedrik Desjardins performing at an elite level in the AHL with four shutouts in 14 games  the loss of Halak may not hurt as bad.  Still GM Bob Gainey has his back against the wall as it was confirmed the 24-year-old requested a trade.  Combine that with a crowded goalie market and we are left with what? That’s right a second round pick.

The Flyers are certainly not going to move a top prospect, so rest easy Flyers fans there will be no moving Claude Giroux or James van Riemsdyk.  Perhaps the Habs can fetch a player like Mika Pyorala or David Laliberte plus a pick but the longer they wait the more attractive other goalies look.  Combine that with the Flyers claiming Michael Leighton and you have a team that actually may stand pat.

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Waivers, Minor Signing & A Trade Rumor

12/12/2009
Boston Bruins v Philadelphia Flyers

To be honest, I thought today would be a lot busier.  Yesterday we saw a few goalies make their way onto the trade market and a few vets put through waivers.  Today, we have a minor signing, those players clearing waivers and a most likely bunk rumor.  Lets go over the action for today:

  • Derek MacKenzie and Lukas Krajicek both cleared waivers today.  MacKenzie goes to the Jackets AHL affiliate the Syracuse Crunch, link here.  Krajicek will not go down to the AHL says Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes.
  • Sam Carchidi with Broad Street Bull reports a failed trade proposal between the Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning.  The supposed deal would send Mike Smith to Philly in exchange for talented youngsters Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk.  I could barely keep a straight face reading a proposal that involves two of the better young players in the game for essentially a good backup.  Carchidi suggests a relatively equal trade as a rebuttal, Bobby Ryan + for Jeff Carter.
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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 12/08/2009

12/09/2009
Nashville Predators v Philadelphia Flyers

In this section, I break down the top three fantasy hockey performers every night and cite why I chose them in particular. In addition, I will track the amount of times the players have received this honor and tally them at the end of the season. For the sake of clarity, I will be using Yahoo! standard categories (Forwards – G,A,+/-, PP, PIM, SOG; Goalies – W, GAA, SV%, SHO) and thus exclude player’s salaries.

Another good night around hockey. We witnessed the Flyers win their first game under new coach Peter Laviolette as well as a breakout performance in Nashville. In addition, the Anaheim Ducks finally snapped their four game losing streak with help from goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

THIRD STAR: Daniel Briere, Philadelphia Flyers (0-1-1) – Briere played solid game helping his team route the Islanders 6-2. The diminutive forward assisted on two goals, one a powerplay marker by Jeff Carter. In fact, both assists came on Carter markers, showing solid chemistry with an elite fantasy player. In addition, the 33-year-old took three shots on goal, sat four minutes in the box and finished the night a plus one. An impressive effort in which he contributed over five offensive categories.

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Flyers NOW Turning the Corner?

12/08/2009
New Flyers coach Peter Laviolette

A few days ago Puck Daddy did an article about the Flyers and their coaching change.  Until tonight, the article appeared very wrong.  After tonight it reads oh so well.

Say what you will about the Islanders, they are a very competitive team.  In fact, before the game they were ahead of Philadelphia in the standings.  Now they are tied and that should be the closest the Islanders get to the Flyers all year.

Their new coach, Peter Laviolette, moves from the press box to the bench, giving them a strong leader who most likely will push them over the top.  Although there were rumors of no fighting and a less physical team I would like to remind you these are still the Broad Street Bullies.  Dan Carcillo felt no need to tone down his game, and it looks like Chris Pronger won’t either (see Boarding call on Tavares).

For this team to be successful they need to maintain their physical nature while feeding off consistent production from their top two lines.

This is why this game is a true turning point.

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