Flyers

Who stays and who goes: Flyers free agent defensemen

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Who stays and who goes: Flyers free agent defensemen

Two Flyers defensemen will be unrestricted free agents on July 1, when the NHL’s free agency period begins. Will they stay? Or should they go?
 
Flyers coaching and management personnel were consulted in advance of this piece. What follows is CSNPhilly.com’s best guess at what happens, taking into account those discussions.
 
Kurtis Foster
Age: 31
Games played: 23 (one goal, four assists)
Plus/minus: even
Contract: $950,000

General manager Paul Holmgren made a very big deal about having another right-handed shot from the point when Foster came to this team days before the season started. He was a guy who could deliver on the power play with a big shot.
 
Fifteen games into the season, coach Peter Laviolette realized Foster couldn’t deliver enough and had very little mobility, the result of a devastating left femur injury suffered in 2008. Foster, who was even for the season in plus/minus, was a healthy scratch in more games (25) than he actually played (23).

Stay or go? GO.
 
Kent Huskins
Age: 33
Games played: eight (no goals, one assist)
Plus/minus: minus-3
Contract: $750,000
 
This is your “hard luck” Flyers’ pickup. Huskins, who won a Stanley Cup playing with Chris Pronger in Anaheim, came to the Flyers at the very end of March after Braydon Coburn and Andrej Meszaros were pronounced done for the season.
 
He was a perfect addition to the blue line. The Flyers consider him a No. 6-7 on any team, and Huskins played very well. You really could not find anything to complain about his game. He kept his game simple and he brought a calming effect on the ice, averaging 16:46 ice time.
 
Then a cheap shot to the head concussed him in Montreal, and Huskins missed the final six games of the season. Which, in part, will cost him dearly this offseason. The Flyers feel their younger players - Brandon Manning, for instance - can fill his role next season.
 
Yet, that runs counter to the organization’s philosophy of having a young player - especially a defenseman - sit here instead of accruing minutes in the minors.
 
Maybe this season has sold the Flyers on having more youth available, regardless of minutes played.

Stay or go? GO.

Radko Gudas suspended 10 games for slash to Mathieu Perreault

Radko Gudas suspended 10 games for slash to Mathieu Perreault

Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas was suspended 10 games Sunday night by the NHL's Department of Player Safety for his slashing penalty to the back of the neck of Jets forward Mathieu Perreault.​

The incident occurred 9:50 in the first period of the Winnipeg game that saw Gudas receive a five-minute major and a 10-game misconduct as a result of the play.

Gudas has already served one game of that suspension, as he sat out Saturday’s home game against the Calgary Flames awaiting Sunday morning’s phone hearing.

Gudas will forfeit just over $408,000 as a result of his actions. The Flyers defenseman won’t be eligible to return to the lineup until Dec. 12 when the Flyers host the Toronto Maple Leafs.

This marks the longest suspension of Gudas’ career. He was slapped with a six-game suspension for his blow to Bruins forward Austin Czarnik in a 2016 preseason game. His first suspension in a Flyers sweater came back on Dec. 2, 2015, when he received three games for an illegal check to the head of Senators center Mika Zibanejad.

The suspension may ultimately help Gudas, who has appeared to be favoring his shoulder in recent games, limiting his ability to deliver his typical bone-jarring hits.

Flyers to host Penguins at Linc in 2019

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Flyers to host Penguins at Linc in 2019

The Flyers will host the Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field on Feb. 23, 2019, as part of the ongoing Stadium Series, the NHL announced Sunday night.

The 2019 “Battle of Pennsylvania” is a renewal of the first outdoor game between the two divisional rivals that saw the Penguins beat the Flyers, 4-2, at Heinz Field on Feb. 25, 2017.

“On behalf of the Philadelphia Flyers, we are thrilled to host the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Lincoln Financial Field,” Flyers president Paul Holmgren said.

“Lincoln Financial Field will provide a perfect setting for these cross-state opponents and their passionate fan bases,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.

For a Flyers franchise in search of its first win outdoors, the 2019 game will mark the fourth outdoor game in team history. The Flyers played the Boston Bruins in the 2010 Winter Classic, losing 2-1. In 2012, the Flyers hosted their very first Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in a game that saw the New York Rangers win, 3-2.

With seven Stanley Cups between the two storied franchises, the Flyers and Penguins have produced some of the game’s greatest players, and details are still being worked out for an alumni event that will likely be held in Pittsburgh after a similar game was played at the Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 14, 2017, as part of their 50th anniversary celebration.

A Comcast Spectacor executive said other games, such as a Penn State collegiate game or an AHL event involving the Phantoms, could eventually be played prior to the Flyers-Penguins game, but those specifics still have to be worked out. 

“There is no doubt that the Penguins and Flyers will put on a great show for the passionate fans in Philadelphia, and those watching at home, adding to the history between these two teams,” Mathieu Schneider, NHLPA special assistant to the executive director, said.

On Saturday, the NHL announced the Chicago Blackhawks would host the Boston Bruins in the 2019 Winter Classic on Jan. 1, at Notre Dame Stadium.