Flyers

Flyers' Travis Konecny out indefinitely with concussion after hit from Mark Borowiecki

Flyers' Travis Konecny out indefinitely with concussion after hit from Mark Borowiecki

VOORHEES, N.J. — Monday started with bad news for the Flyers.

Travis Konecny, their 22-year-old leading scorer, is out indefinitely with a concussion.

Konecny was leveled in open ice by Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki during the first period of the Flyers' 4-3 win Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center. He left the game and never returned.

The 2015 first-round pick is on pace to shatter his career highs. He's been arguably the Flyers’ most important piece to their turnaround through 30 games of 2019-20.

He has 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists) after having 28 points through the team's first 50 games last season. The Flyers are 2-4-4 in games that he hasn't scored.

I didn’t know a ton about him. I knew he competed like hell, fiery player," Matt Niskanen, in his first year with the Flyers, said Monday. "Playing with him, that’s reinforced that thought — hungry on the puck, good quickness, really good at creating turnovers. He’s shown a pretty good scoring touch, too, so far this year. A lot of good tools and he’s been a really important player for us.

Philippe Myers left the Flyers' skill practice Monday with back spasms. With Konecny out and Myers potentially out for Wednesday's game in Colorado against the Avalanche (9:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN), the Flyers will most likely have only 12 healthy forwards and six healthy defensemen to open a three-game road trip.

Niskanen, who has 125 career postseason games on his résumé and a Stanley Cup title, said this can be a good challenge for the Flyers. The team is 12-3-4 and tied with the Capitals for the most points in the NHL at 28 since Nov. 1 (see weekly observations).

"Both guys have played really well for us," he said. "Hopefully they come back, we've been on a pretty good run here. But it gives somebody an opportunity and it tests us a little bit — and that's OK, early in the year, you're going to have to learn to deal with things."

As of Monday morning, the Flyers did not have plans to make a call-up. Forward Chris Stewart will enter the lineup and defenseman Robert Hagg will, as well, if Myers is unable to go in Colorado.

Head coach Alain Vigneault said it's uncertain if Konecny will or can travel with the Flyers. The team flies to Denver Tuesday afternoon.

"At this time, I would say no," Vigneault said, "but you never know how things change."

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2020 NHL All-Star Skills: Flyers' Travis Konecny to participate in fastest skater event

2020 NHL All-Star Skills: Flyers' Travis Konecny to participate in fastest skater event

Not only will Travis Konecny represent the Flyers in the NHL All-Star Game, he'll add another activity to his plate on All-Star weekend in St. Louis.

Konecny will participate in the Bridgestone NHL fastest skater event at 2020 NHL All-Star Skills on Friday night in St. Louis.

Here are the other participants:

  • Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
  • Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
  • Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
  • Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders
  • Chris Kreider, New York Rangers
  • Anthony Duclair, Ottawa Senators
  • Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks

The rules of the event are as follows, according to the NHL:

Eight players will compete in the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater. Each skater will be timed for one full lap around the rink. The skater may choose the direction of their lap and can be positioned a maximum of three feet behind the start line located on the penalty box side of the center red line. The skater must start on the referee’s whistle and the timing clock will start when the skater crosses the start line. In the event of a clock malfunction, the official time will be recorded by the referee’s stopwatch. The skater with the fastest time is the winner of the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, and if there is a tie for the fastest time, the tied players will skate another lap to determine the winner.

Konecny will be up against stiff competition as McDavid has won the event three straight years.

The skills events will begin on Friday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN

On Saturday, the All-Star Game will see Konecny's Metropolitan Division take on the Atlantic Division at 8:15 p.m. If it advances, it'll play the winner of the Pacific and Central Divisions at 10:15 p.m.

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Kevin Hayes fesses up in defense of Flyers mascot Gritty

Kevin Hayes fesses up in defense of Flyers mascot Gritty

Kevin Hayes fessed up.

Or he's taking one for the team.

Either way, a selfless act by Mr. Hayes, a true team-first player.

Hayes came clean about an incident involving the Flyers' mascot Gritty, who is under investigation for allegedly punching a 13-year-old boy in the back at the Wells Fargo Center during November (see story).

On Twitter Thursday night, Hayes attempted to set the record straight and acquit Gritty.

Hayes and Gritty are roommates. Hayes never supplied the plunger, so Gritty gifted one for Christmas.

So maybe Hayes owed Gritty? Who knows, but there's no doubt these roommates stick together.

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