Flyers

Flyers, Sixers receive promising news as New Jersey allows pro sports to restart

Flyers, Sixers receive promising news as New Jersey allows pro sports to restart

It looks like there is good news for the Flyers and Sixers. 

Early Tuesday morning, Phil Murphy, New Jersey’s governor, gave a promising announcement regarding sports in the state. 

Professional sports teams in NJ may return to training and even competition — if their leagues choose to move in that direction. We have been in constant discussions with teams about necessary protocols to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, and personnel.

-Murphy via Twitter


(Image credit: Governor Phil Murphy

While both the NBA and NHL have slowly been making progress to figure out how their respective seasons can proceed, until this point in time, the Flyers and Sixers were at a standstill when it came to where they would be able to train — considering their facilities are located in New Jersey. 

While there are still many steps that need to be set in place before any season can resume, it seems like things are heading in the right direction. 

While the safety of others remains the highest priority during this time of COVID-19, it’s promising to know players will be allowed to return to their facilities — while following league and team guidelines, of course. 

For more information on how the NBA is proceeding during the pandemic, click here

For more information on how the NHL is transitioning into Phase 2, click here

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2020 NHL playoffs: Key dates, coronavirus testing protocols, more on return to play

2020 NHL playoffs: Key dates, coronavirus testing protocols, more on return to play

As more and more players make their way back to the team's practice facility in Voorhees, New Jersey, for voluntary workouts, the Flyers now have a timeframe for when they'll be together in full and aiming for a Stanley Cup run in the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament.

The NHL and NHLPA have reached a tentative agreement on the return-to-play plan and memorandum of understanding, the league announced Monday night. The agreement adds an additional four years to the term of the current collective bargaining agreement and includes transition rules as well as a new critical dates calendar.

In the NHL's statement:

The tentative agreement is now subject to approval by the NHL’s board of governors, as well as the NHLPA’s executive board followed by the full NHLPA membership. The respective review and approval processes will take place over the next few days and there will be no further comment until those processes are completed.

Here are key dates for the return-to-play plan:

July 13 — Start of formal training camps
July 26 — Clubs travel to hub cities 
Aug. 1 — Start of the qualifying round (includes the round robin)

For training camp at Flyers Skate Zone, the club will be allowed no more than 30 skaters and an unlimited number of goalies. During the tournament, the Flyers will be allowed a roster of no more than 31 players (here's a look at our top five reserves and Game 1 lineup predictions for the Flyers).

The Flyers, along with the other clubs, will play exhibition games before the qualifying round (here's the Flyers' outlook in the round robin). The hub cities have yet to be announced but according to multiple reports, the NHL has targeted Toronto (Eastern Conference) and Edmonton, Alberta (Western Conference) for the 24-team tournament. The Eastern Conference Final, Western Conference Final and Stanley Cup Final will all be held at the same site (which is TBD).

Here are the detailed protocols with testing information for Phase 3 (training camp) and Phase 4 (resume play).

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2019-20 Flyers season grades: Scott Laughton

2019-20 Flyers season grades: Scott Laughton

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, Joe Fordyce and Jordan Hall will be grading players based on individual performances.

Today we will be looking at Scott Laughton.

Destra

Laughton is an under-the-radar player that the Flyers are lucky to have. While he did miss a handful of games in the early weeks of the 2019-20 season due to a broken finger, he remained a vital asset upon returning. 

Through 49 games, Laughton tallied 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists). The 13 goals were a career best and considering he missed 20 games and there were still 13 left to play, chances are, he would’ve continued adding on to that. 

There has been continuous growth in Laughton’s play over the past three seasons — with his puck handling, work in the neutral zone, and work on the penalty kill — his speciality. The Flyers have truly struck gold in the amount of depth they have on the roster and if Laughton continues to progress in the coming years, he’ll be the core of it all. 

I’ll give Laughton an A — overall, a great season. 

Emmer

Laughton had one of his best seasons in the Flyers uniform.

A guy that can play center and wing, he was a major key to the improved depth. In 49 games, he set personal milestones, scoring a career-high 13 goals and recording a career-high plus-13.

What needs to be recognized is the way he bounced back from adversity this season. Despite suffering 2 separate injuries, the 26-year-old continued to remain a solid role player for the Flyers, moving up and down the lineup when needed and stepping up in a major way on the Flyers improved penalty kill — where he recorded over 83 minutes of ice time. Some more point production could have been expected out of the Flyers 2012 first-round pick, but he certainly improved in his role this season.

Laughton gets a B+.

Fordyce 

There are a number of reasons why Laughton deserves this grade, but I’ll start with the most obvious. Despite multiple injuries this season, Laughton was still able to post a career high 13 goals in 49 games. Even more impressive is that Laughton did this all while playing different places up and down the Flyers lineup.

Laughton has become a Swiss army knife for the Flyers, playing wherever he is needed and doing so admirably. On any given night, Laughton can be a top 6 forward but doesn’t get down on nights when he plays lower in the lineup. Not only that but Laughton has an uncanny ability to elevate the play of others when playing alongside them. Laughton has been one of the most consistent players in the Flyers lineup and has proven that again this season posting a +13 rating. When No. 21 is in the lineup, you always know what you’re going to get. 

Laughton gets an A.

Hall

Laughton has been one of the Flyers' most consistent forwards over the past two seasons.

He's always skating hard, always forechecking, always killing penalties and he's got some offensive strengths, to boot.

After putting up career highs in goals (12), assists (20), games (82) and ice time per game (14:51) in 2018-19, Laughton topped his personal best in markers by scoring 13 despite playing 33 fewer games this season. The 26-year-old, who has played center and winger for the Flyers, was also a career-best plus-13.

Laughton dealt with two unfortunate injuries (broken right index finger, groin), missing 20 of the Flyers' 69 games, so let's go with a real solid B+ for the underrated forward who made up for lost time.

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