Flyers

Flyers notes, quotes and tidbits: Travis Konecny sees why Philippe Myers is 'unique'

Flyers notes, quotes and tidbits: Travis Konecny sees why Philippe Myers is 'unique'

VOORHEES, N.J. — First, it was 1-on-1 with Claude Giroux.

Then, 2-on-2 against Travis Konecny and Jordan Weal.

Good luck keeping up, kid.

Philippe Myers, a 6-foot-5 defenseman, actually did and rather impressively. The 21-year-old prospect has his eyes on a roster spot and showed why Saturday when he more than held his own against three of the fastest players the Flyers could throw at him.

In the morning session on Day 2 of training camp, Myers turned away Giroux coming with a head of steam during a drill.

Not long after, he stuck with Konecny and Weal, both 5-foot-10 speedsters switching directions like madmen. 

"We actually talked about it, he said that shift was harder than his bag skate yesterday," Konecny said with a laugh. "We stopped so many times and cut back, but he's a unique player, he's a big boy. If you cut back on him or try to burn him wide, you think you have room but he's right there with you."

Myers' mobility and quickness would stand out for a defenseman of any stature. At his height and with his leanness, it really turns heads.

"I told Phil after practice, I thought he had a good day," Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. "Yesterday, it's a hard day, there's so much adrenaline and some of that energy is tough to get focused in one direction.

"It was a good, solid day, regardless of who he was paired against."

With defenseman Andrew MacDonald (lower-body injury) out until possibly Oct. 21, a job is there for Myers to grab. Saturday was an example of just how far he's come since going undrafted in 2015.

"He's good, he's a well-conditioned kid," Shayne Gostisbehere said. "He skates like the wind out there.

"He's a heck of a player and he'll be on this team soon enough."

Free-flowing Couturier

Sean Couturier (knee) participated in the full practice with Group 1 and didn't seem to have many restrictions.

He went through drills and played in front of the net with bodies surrounding him.

"The plan at first was to kind of go through the flow of the drills and stay away from any physical play and go from there," Couturier said. "But I've been feeling really good and have kind of pushed myself into contact and physical play a little bit. It's reacted pretty well."

Couturier is wearing a knee brace and still looks on track for a preseason game or two without any danger of missing opening night Oct. 4.

"My knee is feeling really well," Couturier said. "It's just getting used to the brace. It's a big part of the equipment and it's kind of restricting me in some motions. It's more getting used to wearing the brace than the pain."

Hope to eventually shed the brace?

"Once I'm cleared for contact, I haven't been cleared yet," he said. "I still have to be cautious, be careful, not risk it.

"Wear it as long as I have to."

Playing the long game

When Group 1 shifted to the second sheet of ice, Wayne Simmonds did not take part. Goaltender Brian Elliott also exited practice early. Both were likely planned.

Simmonds was seen later and fine. He underwent surgery this offseason to address a tear in his pelvic area. Elliott had core muscle surgery last season. Neither are expected to miss regular-season time.

"I'm not going to comment on injuries," Hakstol said. "I'll tell you this, as we've gone through the first day in terms of our practices and everything that we've been able to accomplish, we haven't needed to veer from anything that we've planned."

First dibs at goalie

Alex Lyon and Anthony Stolarz will get the preseason opener Sunday when the Flyers visit the Islanders for a 1 p.m. puck drop. It's the first of four exhibition games played in four days for the Flyers.

"We're going to try to spread our veterans through those four games and really give good opportunities to not only some of the younger players that haven't played NHL games before, but also some of the younger players that have and can grow their role a little bit," Hakstol said.

Quotable

"It was awesome. We got [36] more goals."

- Gostisbehere on his initial reaction to the James van Riemsdyk signing

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Flyers sign prospect Wade Allison to entry-level contract

Flyers sign prospect Wade Allison to entry-level contract

There are no more worries about the Flyers' college prospects.

Four days after Tanner Laczynski inked a deal with the organization, the Flyers signed Wade Allison to his two-year entry-level contract Friday.

Both college seniors had rights to the Flyers that were set to expire Aug. 15. Now the 2016 draft picks are officially in the fold for the future.

Allison, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound winger out of Western Michigan, will bring a craftiness around the net and powerful shot to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

“We are very happy to have Wade under contract,” Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said in a statement released by the team. “He possesses a great package of size, speed and skill, and we strongly believe he’ll be an NHL power forward moving forward.”

The second-round selection has battled injuries during his time with the Broncos, including a torn ACL his sophomore year. That season, Allison was on a torrid pace with 15 goals and 15 assists in 22 games before suffering the injury. As a senior in 2019-20, Allison put up 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) and a plus-11 mark in 26 games.

Allison will turn 23 years old in October and his experience could help him climb quickly. Health will be vital, as well. There's a lot to like, though, with Allison's overall ability.

In the last 18 days, the Flyers have signed prospects Allison, Laczynski and Wyatte Wylie to entry-level deals.

Another college player to keep an eye on is Wyatt Kalynuk, who is coming off his junior season at Wisconsin. The defenseman can return to Madison for his senior year or turn pro in 2020-21 as his rights don't expire until the summer of 2021.

Meanwhile, the rights to prospects Linus Hogberg and David Bernhardt, two Swedish blueliners in the Flyers' system, expire June 1.



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Flyers' Game 6 win over Oilers at the Spectrum was The Best Game I Ever Saw Live

Flyers' Game 6 win over Oilers at the Spectrum was The Best Game I Ever Saw Live

Seventeen thousand, two hundred and twenty-two.

In 1987, that was the capacity for a hockey game at the Spectrum (WFC today: 19,537). I would suggest that on May 28, 1987, that number was elevated like a Brian Propp slap shot — because the Flyers hosted the Edmonton Oilers in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. It would be the last Flyers home game of season. It was the ticket of the spring season in Philadelphia. Sixers games, concerts, Phillies games — nothing came close to the anticipation, the electricity surrounding this game.

Why? 

The orange and black were supposed to get swept by an Oilers team that featured seven future NHL Hall of Famers starting with Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Grant Fuhr.

But the Flyers had some great players of their own — Propp, Rick Tocchet, Ron Hextall. Trailing 3-2 in the series, they returned to the Spectrum hoping to force a Game 7.

I was covering the game for Channel 3 and I had close to an ice-side seat. No, I didn’t sit in the press box. The press box was overflowing because of the clamor surrounding the game. The Spectrum's press box was not that big. So, Lou Tilley (Channel 3), Joe Pellegrino (Channel 10) and I were about 10 rows from the glass, slightly left of the Flyers' bench. It was awesome. Until the Oilers scored the first two goals and the Flyers were staring at elimination.

To the third period with the Flyers trailing 2-1. With 6:56 left in the game, on the power play, Propp! The goal capped off an awesome rush that saw the puck go to Pelle Eklund in the corner and he snapped it cross ice to Propp, who was in the slot and put it past Fuhr. Tied at 2!

The reason this game was so special to me, the reason I recall it here, was not just because of the excitement on the ice. I have been blessed to attend every manner of sporting events in the world — World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Finals, Olympics, major tennis championships, track meets. I’ve never heard fans as loud as I did that Thursday night in South Philadelphia. They made the building tremble — like aftershocks from an earthquake.

If the volume was dialed to 10 for the Propp goal, it was at a 15 1:24 later. That’s when J.J. Daigneault (Dane-YO!) scooped up a weak Oilers’ clear attempt. The puck waffled to him lightly just inside the blue line. And he hammered it. One-timer. With Scott Mellanby standing at the crease screening Fuhr. The Flyers had the lead 3-2!  

You couldn’t hear yourself speak let alone think. I’m telling you, Tilley and I were right up to each other’s ears trying to hear each other. Not a word. The fans were screaming and stomping and shouting and laughing. Eventually we gave up and just took it in. The roof blew off the Spectrum in its first season in 1967. It almost came off again on this night. Pow! The sheer, unchecked joy of the 17,222 (plus a few more) in attendance that night is something I will always remember. It was the joy of possibility because the Flyers had evened up the series at three games apiece. 

Really, that’s all you can ask for is possibility. Hope. They had that going to Edmonton for Game 7. And when Murray Craven scored the game’s first goal, I thought, “We’re having a parade down Broad Street!” But ... Edmonton, on its home ice, scored the next two goals and battle as the Flyers might they couldn’t get the equalizer. The Oilers added one more inside two minutes to play and that was that. The Oilers were champs. Again.

But, I’ll always hear the echo of those two Flyers goals at the Spectrum the night the team took Game 6.

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