Flyers notes, quotes and tidbits: Shayne Gostisbehere's status, alternate captains, rookie talk

Flyers notes, quotes and tidbits: Shayne Gostisbehere's status, alternate captains, rookie talk

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Shayne Gostisbehere was one of the first players on the ice for Tuesday morning’s workout.

Gostisbehere looked good and displayed no signs of an injury he suffered in the preseason finale against the Islanders. General manager Ron Hextall attached an “upper body” designation to the blueliner's injury on Sunday when Gostisbehere was sandwiched by two Islanders defensemen. While Hextall provided a “we’ll see” answer to Gostisbehere’s availability, the Flyers' third-year defenseman sounded supremely confident that he would be ready to play Wednesday night in the season opener against the Sharks.

“I’m good to go. I’m so excited,” Gostisbehere said. “Obviously, you feel better as the day goes on. I think for me it’s just mentally getting ready for the season and the first game of the year. I know we’ve all been waiting. We got the young blood in the lineup, too. I think the boys are going to be ready.”

Here are the defensive pairings head coach Dave Hakstol put together for Tuesday’s practice:

Ivan Provorov-Andrew MacDonald

Travis Sanheim-Radko Gudas

Brandon Manning-Robert Hagg

Sam Morin-Shayne Gostisbehere

Gostisbehere has primarily played on the left side, but feels comfortable on the right with the 6-foot-6 Morin as his playing partner.

“Having him back there is a nice calming effect,” Gostisbehere said. “Big Sammy’s a menace down low. He tells me, ‘I’m going to win every battle I have,’ and I believe him because the puck just squirts to me.”

Of course, there’s nothing to say that Hakstol won’t pull a switcheroo Wednesday morning and reshuffle his pairings for the game. The only combo that would appear to be set in stone is Provorov and MacDonald.

Wearing the 'A'
By virtue of a player vote for the alternate captain role, forward Valtteri Filppula will wear the "A" for all home games this season and defenseman Andrew MacDonald will wear the "A" for all road games. They join Wayne Simmonds as the team’s alternate captains to Claude Giroux.

Hakstol changed up the procedure and allowed the players to vote on their new alternates, who replace Pierre-Edouard Bellemare now with the Vegas Golden Knights. 

Take a number please
On their first day of practice In San Jose, the Flyers' five rookies had a slightly different look — on the back of their helmets. All five rookies will be wearing different numbers to start the season. Some players had requests. Others just accepted whatever number the organization provided.

Sam Morin, No. 5  The number he wore with Team Canada, last worn by Braydon Coburn.

Travis Sanheim, No. 6 — The number he wore with the Phantoms, last worn by Andreas Lilja.

Robert Hagg, No. 8 — Never worn it before, last worn by Nicklas Grossmann.

Nolan Patrick, No. 19 — The number he wore with the Brandon Wheat Kings, last worn by Jordan Weal.

Taylor Leier, No. 20 — Never worn it before, last worn by R.J. Umberger.

The last time the Flyers started the season with five rookies on the opening night roster was 1992 when Eric Lindros, Vyacheslav Butsayev, Jason Bowen, Tommy Soderstrom and Dmitri Yushkevich started the year in orange and black. 

“It is a different feel,” Hakstol said. “It kind of struck me [Monday]. Some of the young guys were hanging out together as we got off the plane, just before we boarded the team bus. Instead of one or two guys hanging out together, there’s a small group of six to seven guys. That brings a little bit of a different outlook and different energy to the team. I think it’s been very good for our team, veterans included.”

Moment of silence
There will be a moment of silence prior to the singing of the national anthem as the NHL remembers and honors the victims who lost their lives in the deadly shooting Sunday night at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Former Flyers goalie Ray Emery dies at 35

Former Flyers goalie Ray Emery dies at 35

Former Flyers goaltender Ray Emery died Sunday morning. First responders pulled his body out of Hamilton Harbour, where he had been swimming with friends. An investigation into the cause of death is still ongoing. 

Emery was 35.

According to local authorities, Emery was checking out a friend’s boat docked at Royal Hamilton Yacht Club when the group he was with decided to jump in the water around 6:30 a.m. Emery’s body never surfaced and was eventually recovered around 2:50 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Hamilton police say Emery’s body was recovered in close proximity to where he was last seen.

Emery was last seen publicly with a handful of his former teammates Saturday night as the goaltender participated in Zac Rinaldo’s charity hockey game in Hamilton. Emery can be seen standing during the playing of “O Canada.”

"The Philadelphia Flyers are stunned and extremely saddened to hear of the tragic passing of former Flyers goaltender Ray Emery," president Paul Holmgren said in a statement from the team. "Ray was an outstanding teammate and an extremely gifted goaltender. He had exceptional athleticism, was a fierce competitor and battled in every game he played with the Flyers.

"His performances through the 2009-10 season were a very big part of the team's success in making the playoffs and reaching the Stanley Cup Final. Ray's talent, work ethic and determination helped him enjoy a successful 11-year NHL career. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time."

Several of Emery’s former teammates over the years offered their condolences via Twitter after learning of the tragedy.

Former Flyer Daniel Carcillo shared the he was crushed by the news (NSFW).

Jakub Voracek also shared his condolences (NSFW).

Emery joined the Flyers in June 2009 on a one-year contract, shutting out the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 in his Flyers debut. The goaltender’s first stint in Philadelphia was cut short when he suffered a muscle tear in his abdomen in December missing the remainder of the season. Emery was later diagnosed with avascular necrosis — a degenerative condition to the bone tissue in his hip.

After undergoing successful surgery, Emery eventually joined the Ducks before winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013. Impressively, Emery finished the regular season with a 17-1-0 record. He re-signed with the Flyers that summer as a backup to Steve Mason.

Emery’s most infamous moment in Philadelphia came during an ugly 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on November 1, 2013, as the Flyers netminder pummeled Caps goalie Braden Holtby during a line brawl in the early stages of the third period.

Emery faced criminal charges over a handful of off-the-ice incidents and altercations. Most recently, he was arrested for assault with a weapon in 2017 against former fiancé Keshia Chanté. 

Emery played a total of 287 NHL games, 88 with the Flyers. 

Flyers' Danick Martel accepts qualifying offer; team re-signs Taylor Leier and Tyrell Goulbourne

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Flyers' Danick Martel accepts qualifying offer; team re-signs Taylor Leier and Tyrell Goulbourne

Updated: 9:44 p.m.

Three young forwards will all be staying in the Flyers organization, at least for one more year.

Sunday, the team announced that Danick Martel accepted his qualifying offer on a one-year contract, and that restricted free agents Taylor Leier and Tyrell Goulbourne signed one-year deals.

Restricted free agent goalie Anthony Stolarz has also accepted his qualifying offer of $761,250, according to a report from John Hoven. Stolarz, 24, played in just one game for the Phantoms in the 2017-18 season after undergoing surgery on a meniscus tear last summer. A second-round pick by the Flyers in the 2012 draft, Stolarz went 18-9 and posted a 2.92 goals against average with Lehigh Valley in 2016-17.

Though the team didn't include any salary details, Martel's deal is reportedly a two-way contract worth $715,000.

The 23-year-old Martel made his NHL debut last season, finishing with no points and six shots over four games. He scored a career-best 25 goals for Lehigh Valley.

With Leier, the Flyers avoided a possible arbitration hearing. According to CapFriendly, Leier's contract is a one-way deal for $720,000. Leier's hearing was scheduled for Aug. 3. The team also earlier avoided a hearing with Alex Lyon, their other player who filed for arbitration, signing the goalie to a two-year deal.

A fourth-round selection in 2012, Leier had one goal and four assists in 39 regular-season games with the Flyers as a rookie.

Goulbourne, who made his NHL debut on Jan. 6, appeared in nine regular-season contests, with 15 hits.

If Stolarz is indeed back in the fold, Robert Hagg would be the team's only remaining restricted free agent. 

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