Flyers

Dear Flyers bandwagon fans, welcome aboard

Dear Flyers bandwagon fans, welcome aboard

Dear Flyers bandwagon fans,

I’ve been expecting your arrival for quite some time and am honestly surprised it has taken you this late into the season to finally get here.

Yes, I understand the past decade of Flyers hockey has been a roller coaster of mediocrity and off-and-on playoff appearances … but that looks like it is now a thing of the past. The cautious optimism has transformed into excitement and everyone around here is loving it.

The rebuilding phase has ended; the gears have shifted to win-mode. Late-season discussions about possible lottery and draft picks have morphed into who the team may face in the first round of the playoffs and even Cup odds. Honestly, what an exciting time to join the fun … it hasn’t always been this way.

This has been a long time coming and I don’t blame you for getting excited and wanting to show your support. If anything, it’s made me even happier knowing hockey in general is getting so much attention in Philadelphia.

For the time being, I suggest ignoring those saying you aren’t allowed to enjoy the team — they’re still shaking off this past decade. They’ll come around eventually, don’t worry.

Whether you are a new fan or an old one returning: welcome. If I could send welcome bundles filled with Gritty plushies, a jersey, signed pucks and an "I’m an official fan pin" … I would. But that’s a completely made up thing I just thought of so, sorry about that.

However, if you are new to the Philadelphia hockey scene, here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Respect thy captain, Claude Giroux.
2. You must support Gritty. (Rule approved by president of the Gritty Committee a.k.a me.)
3. Carter Hart is the future. Let him grow and root for him along the way. Goalies = good.
4. Understand the rivals. See a Penguin? Boo a Penguin. Even if you’re at the aquarium.
5. Kevin Hayes used to ref. You won’t be able to get anything slick past him.
6. If you’re blocked by Jakub Voracek on Twitter (I am), that’s actually a fun running joke with fans.
7. If you’re blocked by Scott Laughton on Twitter (I’m not!) … can’t really help you there.
8. The chirpier the player, the better. This is why Travis Konecny is having his best season yet.
9. Refrain from throwing things on the ice at home games … this isn’t a frat, you won’t be initiated into the fandom if you do so. I promise. You’ll be shunned.
10. If you catch Alain Vigneault at the bar, make sure to buy him a martini. Trust me on this.

Hope to catch you at the Wells Fargo Center sporting the orange and black soon! And hey, if everyone happens to wind up on Broad Street in June celebrating a certain win? I can guarantee no one will be wondering if you’re a bandwagon fan. They’ve been waiting 45 years for that feeling.

Sincerely,

A Flyers fan who is lucky enough to cover her favorite team and just wants everyone to have a good time

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2020 NHL draft profile: Why Jan Mysak is so intriguing

2020 NHL draft profile: Why Jan Mysak is so intriguing

The entire picture for the 2020 NHL draft remains cloudy with the ongoing suspension of the 2019-20 regular season because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Where will the Flyers be picking? When and how will the draft be held? Those questions are currently unanswered.

The Flyers hold seven total selections and, as of right now, are slotted with the 26th overall pick.

“I think it’s a decent draft — I don’t know if it’s top end," Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said April 25 in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "The top 10, 12 guys look like pretty high end. There’s a bit of a drop-off, but there’s some depth to the draft for a couple of rounds. We don’t know totally where we’re picking, but we have an idea. We have some guys targeted we feel we would be very happy with in the top couple of rounds and then we still have some work to do to clean up the mid-to-later-round picks.

"Obviously you’d want the big, scoring, playmaking center, anybody does. We’re in a position where we’ll likely be taking the best player available. 

"Realistically the players you draft now are two or three years down the road, best-case scenario. Some cases you get surprised. But by then, your team needs are different. We’ll do the best we can, we have an idea of where our holes are going forward and places where we certainly want to add depth to, whether it’s center or scoring winger or defense, we’ll see what happens. We’ll prepare, we weigh guys against each other, the pros and cons and we’ll do the best we can there.”

This month, we'll continue to break down options for the Flyers at No. 26.

Jan Mysak

Position: Center/winger
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 175
Shoots: Left
Team: Hamilton Bulldogs

Scouting report

There is a ton of intrigue to Mysak, an underager with innate scoring ability and a precocious hockey IQ.

After scoring nine points (five goals, four assists) through 26 games playing against grown men for the Czech Extraliga's HC Litvinov, the 17-year-old transitioned to the OHL and punctuated his draft year. Mysak took off with Hamilton, delivering a pair of hat tricks and 25 points (15 goals, 10 assists) in 22 games. The Czech Republic native played a much bigger role at the junior level, especially with the Bulldogs losing center Jan Jenik to a season-ending injury in December.

Mysak understands the art of scoring. He might not be the flashiest or smoothest, but he's strong, quick and knows how to dissect the opposition. He can also play down the middle and on the wing, versatility that attracts NHL teams in the first round.

“Anybody that can play center is good," Flahr said about Mysak on May 12.

“He had the reputation coming into the year. He played with men the first half, I saw him a number of times over there early. Just like any young player playing with men, he played and worked and did the little things, but wasn’t overly productive, just kind of played safe and played a role. Then midseason, he came over.

"The way it worked with Jenik going down to injury, he stepped right in on the top line and produced right off the bat. He played center when I saw him and he’s played wing overseas when I saw him, but real hard-working, honest, two-way game. You can argue whether he’s more of a shooter or a playmaker, but he’s got some rawness. I think coming over was real good for him.”

Fit with Flyers

The Flyers very well could be eyeing the best center available during the first round after selecting three defensemen, three wingers and a goalie last summer. It's a premium position and every organization is looking for greater depth down the middle. The fact that Mysak can player center and winger is a bonus.

So, will he be available for the Flyers? It's difficult to say.

He's the NHL Central Scouting's 28th-ranked North American skater and TSN's Craig Button rates him as the 34th-best player in the draft. However, in an excellent film review, The Athletic's Scott Wheeler sees Mysak as one of the top forwards among this class.

Some teams might want to see more from Mysak. Some teams might be completely sold.

If the Flyers end up picking at No. 26 overall and Mysak is available, he'd be hard to pass up.

(Brandon Taylor/ProAm Images)

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NHL players post messages to spark dialogue on racial injustice following death of George Floyd

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NHL players post messages to spark dialogue on racial injustice following death of George Floyd

NHL players are not always the most active on social media. They're down-to-earth athletes, seldom saying look at me or hear what I have to say.

That's completely understandable.

Many, though, have posted messages amid the protests across the United States following the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Floyd was killed in police custody after Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into the 46-year-old black man's neck.

Current and former players shared powerful messages about recognizing the issue of racism and racial injustice — and challenging everyone to come together to make strides in solving the problem.

The messages are important. Listening is also important. Whether somebody sent out a message or not, let's hope reading, listening, discussing and acting can all spark change.

Below are some of the messages from across the league:

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