Flyers

A chance to woo Kevin Hayes puts Flyers' attractiveness to the test

A chance to woo Kevin Hayes puts Flyers' attractiveness to the test

Back in April, Chuck Fletcher and Alain Vigneault talked about the attractiveness of the Flyers, how Philadelphia was a desirable market in the NHL. 

The general manager and head coach came to the organization as outsiders.

Fletcher called the team's GM position "a premium job in the National Hockey League."

"I know when Paul Holmgren approached me about being the general manager of the Flyers, I'm like, 'Wow,'" Fletcher said.

"We're set up where we should have an opportunity to get better quickly."

Vigneault, tabbed as the Flyers' head coach in mid-April, had success at three previous stops. With his résumé and age, he didn't have to jump on any opportunity. He knew the Flyers' reputation and liked the entire package, from the roster's blend of experience and youth to the club's cap space and accessible avenues to improve.

"In today's game, you've got to make sure the environment that you're creating is — I don't want to say pro-player, but it can incite players to choose Philly as a destination because they'll get the best development, they'll get the best coaching, whether it be strength, psychological coaches, etc.," Vigneault said. "You need total commitment from ownership and there's no doubt that we have that here."

Those beliefs are now being put to the test this offseason as Fletcher, Vigneault and the Flyers try to convince others of their plans to compete. It all starts with Kevin Hayes, a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent the Flyers acquired in a trade last week. Fletcher on Monday said the Flyers and Hayes were "hoping to get together here in the near future." According to reports by 97.5 The Fanatic's Jason Myrtetus and TSN's Frank Seravalli, Hayes has had his visit to Philadelphia.

The Flyers, as we've noted, are in a good spot. They're currently presenting all they have to offer before other teams can start doing so June 23 with impending UFAs. Hayes, a Northeast guy, played his first four NHL seasons under Vigneault in New York.

"I think he's a guy who's familiar with our coach and our coach is familiar with him," Fletcher said. "If he signs, that will help. There shouldn't be any learning curve. He should be able to step in seamlessly if we're able to sign him."

Hayes also knows the interest of the Flyers, who "have more cap space than most teams," as Fletcher said Monday. As Seravalli wrote, money will certainly talk, just as much as the Flyers' brand. Hayes, 27, made $5.175 million last season on a one-year deal. Coming off a career-high 25 goals in 2017-18 and a career-high 55 points this season, the forward could receive a deal in the five-to-six-year range and you'd expect he'd want a raise from his previous $5.175 million AAV.

"Next week is the week of the draft," Fletcher said Monday. "This will be an important week. I will certainly have more time to meet with him face to face."

And convince him the Flyers are where he should want to be. Winning Hayes over before he has the chance to test the market was always going to be a challenge.

At least the Flyers had first dibs at wooing him. We'll have to wait and see if it worked. The attractiveness of the Flyers is definitely being put to the test.

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Why Flyers fans should be concerned about post-NHL All-Star break playoff chances

Why Flyers fans should be concerned about post-NHL All-Star break playoff chances

On Saturday, we broke down why Flyers fans should be hopeful for the post-All-Star break stretch. Today, we look at the reasons for concern.

Alain Vigneault has 11 playoff berths on his résumé. He knows the requisites for a postseason club and the Flyers have failed to look like one in a key aspect.

"As a team that considers themselves a playoff team, you need to have a good road record," Vigneault said last month.

The Flyers do not through 25 road games. As stingy as they have been at home, they've been the polar opposite away from home. On the road, the Flyers are 10-13-2, have a minus-30 goal differential and are allowing the NHL's second-most goals per game at 3.80.

The figures above are a major concern and the Flyers must stem the tide over their final 16 road games. Vigneault's team still has two trips to Washington, D.C., two to Tampa Bay, Florida, two to Madison Square Garden and one more to Pittsburgh. Those matchups with the Capitals, Lightning, Rangers and Penguins will be stiff tests.

Speaking of the schedule, the Flyers are battling in the NHL's deepest division and have 14 games remaining against Metro teams. The Flyers are in sixth place of the Metropolitan Division (three points out of third place) but would be in first place of the Pacific Division.

The Flyers will be challenged the rest of the way and so, too, will their depth at forward. The Flyers are a middle-of-the-pack scoring club (15th in the NHL with 3.06 goals per game) and without Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder).

Is the team's youth in the bottom six enough for the playoffs and a competitive shot? Or will (and can) general manager Chuck Fletcher add at the Feb. 24 trade deadline?

Big questions and we'll have answers soon.

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2020 NHL All-Star Game: Flyers' Travis Konecny shows off his career-high stuff for Metropolitan Division

2020 NHL All-Star Game: Flyers' Travis Konecny shows off his career-high stuff for Metropolitan Division

BOX SCORE

Travis Konecny stormed into the NHL All-Star break already with a new career high in assists. The Flyers' winger has 26 helpers and is projected to finish with 44, a sign of significant growth in a breakout 2019-20 season for the 22-year-old.

On Saturday night in the 2020 All-Star Game at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Konecny put his facilitating on display during the 3-on-3 action featuring the world's best players. He finished with three assists in the Metropolitan Division's 9-5 semifinal loss to the Atlantic Division.

"I had a lot of fun," Konecny said Saturday, via Flyers senior director of public relations and communications Zack Hill. "It was pretty funny, I was watching my parents in the stands and my mom didn't understand why we weren't playing like a real game.

"It's my first game and it's her first time seeing it. I don't know if she was expecting me to be blocking shots and forechecking, stuff like that. I had a lot of fun with it.

"It was a really cool experience, getting to play with some players, too, that I usually won't get the chance to play with was fun."

Konecny playing in his first All-Star Game at 22 years old should be exciting for the Flyers. Claude Giroux was 23 years old for his first All-Star Game back in 2011. The future looks bright for Konecny, who signed a new six-year, $33 million contract back in mid-September.

With 17 goals and 43 points through 47 games, Konecny is eight goals and seven points away from setting career highs across the board.

A breakout, indeed.

Here are more sights and scenes from Konecny's first All-Star Game:

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