Flyers

Flyers hire Nick Schultz as player development coach

usa_nick_schultz.jpg
USA Today Images

Flyers hire Nick Schultz as player development coach

VOORHEES, N.J. — Nick Schultz, a former Flyer who also played for general manager Chuck Fletcher in Minnesota, has been hired by the club as a player development coach.

Schultz, 36, suited up for the Flyers in his final three NHL seasons from 2014-17 and appeared in 743 games with the Wild. The former defenseman was a smart, role-oriented, team-first guy throughout his 15-year career.

"We're happy to have Nick come aboard and help develop the prospects in our system," Fletcher said Wednesday in a release by the team. "Having enjoyed a lengthy career in which he played over 1,000 games as a defenseman in the NHL, Nick brings a wealth of experience and knowledge on what it takes to be a pro."

Jakub Voracek provided a classic quote about Schultz during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was after a 2-0 loss in Game 1 to the Capitals in which Schultz blocked three shots and was putting his body in front of blasts off the stick of Alex Ovechkin.

"It takes some big balls to go into that shooting lane," Voracek said then. "When you look at Schultz blocking shots, it's pretty impressive. That's what you've got to do to win a game."

Schultz has been at Flyers development camp this week.

"It's exciting," Schultz said in the release by the team. "I'm looking forward to working with the guys, helping Kjell Samuelsson with the defensemen, and getting to know the kids and their game a little bit. I'm looking forward to working with them throughout the year, watching them play and helping them make it to the next step, and ultimately one day become a Flyer."

The Flyers did not subtract at all from their staff. Fletcher mentioned the growing importance of player development and all that it requires.

"I know he's coaching his son's hockey team and enjoying life, but at some point, I think he thought he wanted to get back in the game and this gives him an entry point to come in, share his expertise and work with our young defenseman," Fletcher said. "We'll start a little slower and build and just see what he wants to do. My assumption is at some point, I could see him being a great coach in this league."

In addition to the Schultz news, the Flyers have brought on Andy Rannells as an assistant equipment manager and Dan Warnke as an assistant strength and conditioning coach. Both previously worked for AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Morgan Frost, Claude Giroux star in much-needed win for Flyers over Hurricanes

Morgan Frost, Claude Giroux star in much-needed win for Flyers over Hurricanes

BOX SCORE

Call this one the Morgan Frost and Claude Giroux show.

In his second NHL game, Frost looked like the 100-point junior hockey stud he was with the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. In his 842nd NHL game, Giroux looked like Giroux.

Together, the two pushed the Flyers to a much-needed 5-3 win Thursday night over the Hurricanes at PNC Arena.

The Flyers (11-7-4) halted a four-game losing streak. They have two regulation wins since Nov. 5, both against Carolina.

The Hurricanes (13-8-1) entered on a four-game winning streak in which they were scoring 5.25 goals per game.

• There was a chance Frost's call-up to the NHL would be a short one. The 20-year-old rookie isn't going anywhere for now with a roster move ahead.

Frost has lived up to the billing with three points and two goals in two games. He'll be centering Giroux and Travis Konecny at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.

An intriguing facet to Frost's game is the threat he poses playing shorthanded. His junior coaches liked him on the penalty kill because of the pressure he put on the opposition's power play. Frost scored eight shorthanded goals over his final two seasons with the Greyhounds.

His second career NHL goal came on the PK right off Giroux winning the faceoff.

Per NHL public relations, Frost is the sixth player in franchise history to score a goal in each of his first two career games, while the last Flyer to do it was David Laliberte in 2009.

The Flyers were looking for an offensive jolt and Frost has given them one through two games (see highlights).

• The Flyers played seven defensemen and healthy scratched forward Andy Andreoff, who seems like a soon-to-be roster casualty with the way Frost is playing.

Scott Laughton is expected to be activated off long-term injured reserve and return to the lineup Saturday. To make room for Laughton, cap-wise, the Flyers can place Andreoff on waivers for the purpose of the 28-year-old reporting to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

• Giroux had a Giroux game the Flyers have sorely needed. The Flyers' captain put up three or more points for the first time this season, notching two goals and two assists. His first marker was off a pretty feed from Konecny when the Flyers were in an early 2-0 hole. His second goal was the game-winner in the third period after a magnificent play by Frost.

Last season, Giroux had six games in which he scored three or more points. Before his big night, Giroux had one point (a goal) over the last six games.

• With the way he moves laterally, Ivan Provorov has become a real threat at the point when the Flyers' power play gets situated.

“If I can create space, get pressure toward me and dish it out, I will," Provorov said Nov. 4. "If both sides are taken away and I have a clear lane, I’m going to take that shot all day.”

The 22-year-old has been letting it rip — and accurately. During the first period, he scored his fourth man advantage goal of the season after scoring just two in his first three seasons.

Provorov has been a major positive after signing his new deal.

• Shayne Gostisbehere, on the other hand, was not particularly sharp and played only 10:57.

• Let's not forget how good Konecny was against the Hurricanes. He had three assists and with 15 helpers on the season, he is on his way to shattering his career high of 25 set last season.

• Give some credit to Brian Elliott, who recovered well after a bad start in which he allowed two goals in the game's opening five minutes. Elliott made a massive save late in regulation as Carolina was all over him eyeing an equalizer.

Elliott finished with 33 stops.

• The Flyers play five games in the next eight days, starting Saturday when they host Johnny Gaudreau and the Flames (1 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Flyers at Hurricanes: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers at Hurricanes: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

The Flyers on Thursday night will look to avoid a season-worst fifth straight loss.

So far, they've lost four consecutive games twice. To avoid topping that, the Flyers (10-7-4) must beat the Hurricanes (13-7-1) on the road.

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: PNC Arena
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Alain Vigneault is trying everything and anything to spark his veterans.

On Monday, Vigneault said, “Whoever we’ve played with Coots has played well."

The Flyers' head coach is so desperate to get Jakub Voracek going that he's moving the winger to Sean Couturier's line with Oskar Lindblom.

After Vigneault put Voracek, Kevin Hayes and James van Riemsdyk together at the start of Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Panthers, the trio has been split up, per NBC Sports Philadelphia's Taryn Hatcher. Hayes will center Joel Farabee and Tyler Pitlick, while van Riemsdyk heads to the fourth line with Michael Raffl and Andy Andreoff.

Will all of this work? At this point, the Flyers have to give it a shot. During the team's four-game losing streak, Claude Giroux, Voracek, Hayes and van Riemsdyk have combined for one goal and two assists.

"I expect more from James, I expect more from Kevin, I expect more from Jake as far as 5-on-5 play," Vigneault said Monday. "You’d ask those guys, they’d tell you the same thing. They need to be better for our team to get into the playoffs and we’re aware of that."

• The Flyers are scoring 2.18 goals per game on the road, fourth fewest in the NHL, while the power play is 4 for 37 (10.8 percent) away from home.

• The Hurricanes are scoring four goals per game at home, tied for the second most in the NHL. Carolina has won four straight contests, a stretch in which it has scored 5.25 goals per game.

• Outside of Ivan Provorov (three points), Flyers defensemen have scored three points during the Flyers' four-game skid.

• Just how valuable have Travis Konecny and Lindblom been to the Flyers this season?

The team is 0-3-3 when Konecny goes scoreless and 2-5-1 when Lindblom goes scoreless.

The two have gone scoreless in the same game only twice this season.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Morgan Frost-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Joel Farabee-Kevin Hayes-Tyler Pitlick
James van Riemsdyk-Michael Raffl-Andy Andreoff

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Shayne Gostisbehere-Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Carter Hart

 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers