Flyers

2019-20 Flyers season grades: Derek Grant

2019-20 Flyers season grades: Derek Grant

The 2019-20 NHL regular season has concluded and the next time the puck drops will officially kick off the race to the Stanley Cup. The Flyers are hungry and ready to battle it out, but that is thanks to the hard work from back in October. 

In an End to End series, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Brooke Destra, Katie Emmer, Taryn Hatcher, Joe Fordyce and Jordan Hall will be grading players based on individual performances. 

Today we will be looking at a newer addition in Derek Grant. 

Destra

Grant is an interesting case to take a look at — mainly because he’s played only seven games as a Flyer so far. Although the sample size is still fairly small, it looks like he’s taken to his new team quickly, registering five points (one goal, four assists) in the short span. 

In addition to that, he had back-to-back two-point games and registered a point in three consecutive. This was the first time he had recorded points in three straight games since Dec. 11-16 in the 2017-18 season. Overall, it’s been a solid start with the Flyers, and chemistry with his new teammates will only continue to get stronger. 

B for the newcomer. 

Emmer

When Grant was acquired at the trade deadline, it was clear Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher was looking to build and improve the depth, and adding the Ducks' fourth-line center did that. 

Grant had plenty of experience in the league, including experience moving to different locker rooms. The Flyers are the seventh team he’s played for in his career and that way of knowing what it was like to quickly meet teammates and learn systems with a new club was certainly a benefit when he made the transition to the Flyers.

Grant jumped in right away, and by his third game with the orange and black, he recorded his first goal, along with an assist which from there he continued on to a three-game point streak. Grant had a small sample size to grade off of as far as his regular-season performance, but with five points in seven games along with a plus-2 rating during that span, the goal of finding players to improve the depth was achieved in this case.

Grant is an A-.

Hatcher

Grant is still a bit tough to evaluate just yet, but let’s go for it anyway. Here’s the thing: Grant graded according to what this team wants him to be, should really get an A+. He’d been with the team for all of a split second before the NHL pause. In seven games, he tallied five points on a goal and four assists. 

According to the guys I interviewed during the break, he’s made a concerted effort to keep in touch with them, and seems to genuinely have become fast friends with the entire locker room (which is impressive given how close this team is). He’s been the depth the Flyers really wanted Fletcher to bring in.

Let’s give him an A … it’s more of a midterm mark than a final grade given the small sample size. But he deserves it!

Fordyce 

My initial instinct for a player who has played only seven games for the Flyers is to give an incomplete. However, in Grant’s case, he has done enough to earn an A for me. From what we’ve seen so far, he is far exceeding expectations by earning five points in seven games, especially for a player who was projected as a bottom-six forward when coming over at the trade deadline.

Grant is a veteran in this league and has played for a plethora of teams, some of them multiple times, so his ability to fit in with a new group of guys makes him a valuable piece for a team with aspirations of a deep playoff run. 

This experience, coupled with the goal and four assists in the first seven games he has played for the Flyers, earns Grant an A from me despite the small sample size.

Hall

Grant was such a savvy, cost-effective move by Fletcher that quietly made the Flyers better.

Fletcher gave up Phantoms forward Kyle Criscuolo and a 2020 fourth-round draft pick to add Grant, who has a cap hit of only $700,000 and can become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

The 30-year-old center made the Flyers tougher to play against with his 6-foot-3, 206-pound build and proved to be an underrated scorer. Grant recorded five points (one goal, four assists) through seven games, a stretch in which the Flyers went 6-1-0 prior to the season being suspended. Between his time with the Ducks and Flyers, Grant put up 15 goals and 25 points — both career highs.

Grant had the profile of a rental but he'll certainly be under consideration for the Flyers to re-sign, especially if he shows even more during the 24-team tournament.

We have to consider the small sample size in our grade, so let's go with a B+ for Grant and his difference-making seven-game audition.

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Flyers Talk podcast: NHL hub cities, free agency, more

Flyers Talk podcast: NHL hub cities, free agency, more

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall analyze the team's decisions for free agency and the playoffs.

From roster talk to the latest on the 24-team tournament, let's dive in:

0:45 — The latest on where the Flyers might play

4:15 — July is much different this time around

7:00 — Will the Flyers re-sign Derek Grant and Justin Braun?

21:20 — Keep an eye on Morgan Frost

26:00 — What to expect from Nate Thompson

30:15 — Appreciating Sean Couturier's faceoff excellence

36:35 — Katie's birthday is Monday, July 6!

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A day to celebrate as Flyers' Oskar Lindblom completes radiation treatments

A day to celebrate as Flyers' Oskar Lindblom completes radiation treatments

Alain Vigneault marveled at Oskar Lindblom's selflessness and strength.

Back in December, the Flyers' head coach told a story about Lindblom checking in on teammate Travis Konecny, who suffered a concussion that month from a hard hit.

Lindblom was in the middle of undergoing tests at the University of Pennsylvania.

"With everything that is going on, he texted T.K. to find out how his head was going because of the concussion," Vigneault said Dec. 17. "That’s just the type of young man that we have — strong, he’s like the hockey community, he’s going to have a lot of support and he’s going to get through this."

On Thursday, we saw a culmination of the strength and support. A little over six and a half months after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that occurs in bones or in the soft tissue around the bones, Lindblom rung a bell on the 5th floor of the Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital to signify the completion of his radiation treatments.

The Flyers' 23-year-old forward hugged his girlfriend Alma Lindqvist, who shared pictures on her Instagram account with the caption: "MY LOVE IS CANCER FREE."

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MY LOVE IS CANCER FREE ❤️❤️❤️

A post shared by ALMA (@almalindqvist) on

Lindblom, a humble native of Sweden with a bright smile, thanked all the medical professionals and gave them a signed jersey. He expressed his gratitude for everyone who has supported his fight.

From family to friends to fans, I can't even explain how much that meant to me," Lindblom said to Flyers senior director of public relations and communications Zack Hill. "Especially in the start, it was a rough time and I got all those kind words, it made me feel so much better and calm — it was a real help along the way, that's for sure.

"I can't even explain how I feel. It feels like I'm having my birthday, Christmas and all those holidays at the same time. It just feels awesome to be done. I can't wait to just get back to normal life again and start to feel like I'm living.


I can't say enough about this young man. Everyone can see the talent and impact that Oskar has had for us on the ice, but he is an outstanding teammate in our locker room and a genuinely good person. His attitude and strength through all of this is a tremendous inspiration for us all. Today is a great day. Congrats to Oskar. We look forward to having him rejoin our team in the near future.

- Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher

Oskar Lindblom with nurses at Penn Medicine. (Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

Oskar Lindblom with his head nurse Laetitia Simeral. (Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

The Flyers, the city of Philadelphia and the entire hockey community has rallied behind Lindblom since his diagnosis in December. "Oskar Strong" shirts by Biscuit Tees have been worn around the world. During a game in January, Lindblom received a heartwarming standing ovation at the Wells Fargo Center.

Everyone was standing for him as he rang that bell on Thursday. Lindblom was left smiling — and saying thank you.

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