Flyers

Chuck Fletcher, Alain Vigneault don't mince words over Travis Konecny's absence from Flyers training camp

Chuck Fletcher, Alain Vigneault don't mince words over Travis Konecny's absence from Flyers training camp

Updated: 5:30 p.m.

VOORHEES, N.J. — Travis Konecny was nowhere to be seen Friday at Flyers Skate Zone as 2019 training camp got underway.

And the vibes from his general manager and head coach regarding his absence weren't exactly rosy.

"I'm very disappointed that T.K. is not here," Alain Vigneault said after his first practice leading the Flyers. "It's the start of a new era, a new group, I felt that it was very important for everybody to be here. 

"With my time in the NHL, my experience, anybody that falls behind — whether it's injury or in T.K.'s situation not coming to camp — usually it takes them a little bit of time to get back at it, especially at this time with a new coaching staff and new way of doing things. 

"It's unfortunate, but I'm going to work with the players that are here and going to work extremely hard with those players."

The entire offseason has passed and Konecny, an important forward to the Flyers' 2019-20 season, remains a restricted free agent. While it's unclear when he'll be in camp, the intricacies to why the Flyers and his representation can't agree to terms on a new contract became a bit clearer Friday.

GM Chuck Fletcher said the Flyers are willing to be flexible but Konecny's camp would "prefer a longer-term deal right now." A longer-term deal might make sense for the Flyers because Konecny is only 22 years old and hasn't fully blossomed yet. Locking up Konecny for more years before he potentially hits a different tier could attract the Flyers.

While a bridge deal may be a good bet for Konecny, long-term security isn't bad, either. There are risks and rewards to both avenues, for both sides. It'll be about compromising.

"I honestly don't know what to say," Fletcher said. "I've been doing this 25 years, I think we go about it the right way, but we just can't seem to get to the same language on this one.

"Still have a ways to go. I don't really know how to characterize it, both sides are trying. It's been a little quiet recently, so we'll look to find a solution that will break the impasse."

Are the sides differing on years or money?

"Both," Fletcher said. "They have some specific demands with respect to term. We're trying to work with them in that regard. We're a little more flexible, I think we would look at a two- or three-year deal or a longer-term deal, and they prefer a longer-term deal right now, so certainly that makes it a little bit more difficult when you narrow the scope of length of term you're negotiating on. We'll continue to work at it."

For now, the Flyers have to practice, prepare and move forward without Konecny. Negotiations can change quickly, but nothing sounds promising at the moment and the Flyers have a preseason game on Monday. There's a new head coach and two new assistant coaches. There's no doubt time is precious in camp.

"It certainly doesn't help him," Fletcher said. "For us, he's a good player and can help our team. For now, you guys hear these clichés all the time, but it's no different than when you get an injury during the season, you don't have a player. We believe we have good depth, we like our depth, there's opportunity now for other players to step up and show what they can do. We'd rather Travis was here, but he's not, so we just have to move on without him and hopefully at some point he gets in."

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Morgan Frost provides a highlight but Flyers are left looking for more answers following 4th straight loss

Morgan Frost provides a highlight but Flyers are left looking for more answers following 4th straight loss

BOX SCORE

Morgan Frost offered a snapshot of what the Flyers hope is a prosperous future for the skillful playmaker.

The present on Tuesday night did not depict as pretty of a picture.

The Flyers fell behind 4-1 during the second period, Carter Hart was yanked and a 5-2 loss to the Panthers at BB&T Center marked the final result.

Frost gave the Flyers a highlight on a night that didn't feature many for Alain Vigneault's club. The 2017 first-round pick deposited a dazzling goal in his NHL debut but the Flyers (10-7-4) dropped their fourth straight game, a losing skid that has come directly after a season-best four-game winning streak.

The Panthers (11-5-5) can score goals with the best teams in the NHL. They were also allowing 3.55 per game, fourth worst in the league, but kept the Flyers at bay.

• Hart had been so good in November. When he's not on his game, the Flyers can be exposed, which is exactly what happened against Florida.

The 21-year-old goalie entered 4-1-1 with a 1.77 goals-against average and .934 save percentage this month. He wasn't good Tuesday, the Flyers didn't help him and things unraveled.

The first period set the tone when the Panthers' first goal went off Andy Andreoff's stick. Then Hart allowed Brett Connolly to score from a crazy angle off the netminder's back.

Hart had allowed only one first-period goal over his previous five starts. Florida got him twice in the opening frame and ended his night midway through the second period with its fourth goal.

• The Flyers have now allowed more goals (61) than they've scored (60). During the four-game losing streak, they've scored 1.75 goals per game.

Vigneault continues to plead for more from his veterans. They simply have not answered his call and the Flyers are more than a quarter way into the season. The Flyers' record is very indicative of what they've received from their big boys.

Kevin Hayes recorded his first point in 10 games with a first-period assist on Travis Sanheim's goal. He played 19:01 minutes, four-plus at shorthanded. James van Riemsdyk went scoreless and played 12:56, his second-lowest ice time of the season. Jakub Voracek went scoreless, as well, in 15:31 minutes.

That trio has combined for 30 points in 21 games. The Flyers have to find a way to spark those three, along with Claude Giroux.

• Frost was a nice positive. He played with pace, he was active and was consistently a threat. His goal was very Frost-like.

Expect Vigneault to give him another game with Giroux and Travis Konecny.

• Joel Farabee made a costly turnover that led to Aleksander Barkov's second-period goal, which put the Flyers in a 3-1 hole. The Flyers were also slow to get back on the play. Bad all the way around (see highlights).

The 19-year-old was a minus-2 with three giveaways. He's a kid and there will be growing pains. Farabee snapped his stick in frustration when he went to the bench. Now it's a matter of seeing if he can play his way out of some struggles.

• Ivan Provorov and Matt Niskanen were a combined minus-5. Shayne Gostisbehere played only 14:33. While the Panthers pounced on mistakes, the Flyers couldn't fend them off or get much going at 5-on-5.

The Flyers went 0 for 2 on the power play.

• The Flyers stay on the road and visit the Hurricanes Thursday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

 

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Flyers' Morgan Frost scores first career NHL goal in filthy fashion

Flyers' Morgan Frost scores first career NHL goal in filthy fashion

When he received the news on Sunday that he was being called up to the Flyers, Morgan Frost thought about the hard work it took to make the NHL.

The kid scored 106 goals and 310 points in 257 junior hockey games for the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Over his final two seasons, he erupted for 221 points (79 goals, 142 assists) in 125 games.

That's a lot of scoring, which got him noticed.

“It’s obviously cliché, but it’s every kid’s dream, you dream about it growing up," Frost said Monday of being called up to make his NHL debut. "Honestly, after I got that call, I didn’t really know what to do for like an hour. So much joy, just so many things running through your head and everything you’ve worked for. Great feeling.”

Now he has the feeling of scoring his first career NHL goal. And, boy, did he show his skill while doing it Tuesday night against the Panthers at BB&T Center.

When the 20-year-old center gets in deep, he can make these types of plays on a goalie, even Sergei Bobrovsky.

Frost will always remember that one.

 

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