Flyers

Joel Farabee showing highlight-reel stuff in 2019 World Junior Summer Showcase, but what must he show Flyers?

Joel Farabee showing highlight-reel stuff in 2019 World Junior Summer Showcase, but what must he show Flyers?

Joel Farabee is fun to watch and there's a discernible pro readiness to his game — hence, why the 19-year-old is turning pro in 2019-20 after one year at Boston University.

Along the wing, Farabee is loaded with skill, speed and smarts. He's a prolific goal-scorer who plays hard and in a lot of situations. These are reasons why Farabee is considered by many to be the Flyers' top prospect and will push for a roster spot during the fall (see story).

"In terms of hockey sense, skill, skating, passion to play the game — he has all of those elements already," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said in June. "It's just going to be a question of time and really maturity."

Before the fall comes, Farabee is putting his strengths on display in the 2019 World Junior Summer Showcase. Through two games with the U.S., Farabee has a pair of goals, an assist and a plus-3 rating.

On one of his goals in USA Blue's 7-1 win over Sweden last weekend, Farabee made his ability abundantly clear (as you can see in the video above).

His other marker was just as impressive. Farabee is a strategic and accurate goal-scorer. Former Flyers general manager Ron Hextall raved about Farabee's deception last summer. You can see some of it here with his hands.

So what does Farabee need to do in order to crack the Flyers' roster and win a third-line job? Prove he's ready to play in all zones, against NHL size, on a nightly basis.

"Probably the down-low game," he said at development camp. "It's pretty grindy in the [AHL] and the NHL, so you've got to be able to withstand an 82-game season, plus. I think that's the biggest thing right now."

The Flyers clearly want to see Farabee's thinner build not be a major factor or hindrance. There's a chance it may not matter if he's doing everything else well — which he often does.

"You watch a Joel Farabee, you watch the way he thinks the game, especially the small area hockey games out there — he's a guy that I can imagine you put him with NHL players, he can play," Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said in June. "Whether he's physically ready or mentally ready to handle the grind of an NHL season, I'm not sure. I'm not sure that's realistic."

In late June, Farabee said he was 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, and by the end of his career, would like to be in the 185-190 range.

If he has a slight frame, that could be a knock on him but he's hockey strong. That's kind of a force that is a little bit misunderstood sometimes by people outside the game. You can have a slight frame, and as long as you've got that unbelievable balance and skating ability on your edges, it doesn't affect you to be light.

- U.S. national team development program coach John Wroblewski (see story)

Farabee will be worth watching in training camp. As you can see, he's also worth watching right now in the summer showcase, along with Flyers prospects Bobby Brink (USA), Cam York (USA) and Adam Ginning (Sweden). USA plays today at 4 p.m. against Canada on HockeyTV. The remainder of the showcase can be watched on NHL Network

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Podcast: Jim Jackson, Marc Zumoff, Tom McCarthy talk careers in sports, and more

Podcast: Jim Jackson, Marc Zumoff, Tom McCarthy talk careers in sports, and more

On a brand new, cross-sports podcast, Philadelphia's play-by-play broadcasters Jim Jackson, Marc Zumoff, and Tom McCarthy sat down this week to reminisce about their careers, chat about the future, and plenty more.

Here's a segment-by-segment rundown of the show:

0:40 - Personal appearance during the stay-at-home orders.

4:47 - Listening to their own broadcasts.

9:10 - Managing long seasons.

12:35 - Selling radio.

14:48 - Mount Rushmore of broadcasters.

29:01 - First job in the business.

35:24 - How they became the play-by-by broadcaster for the Flyers, Phillies, and Sixers.

43:38 - Optimism in the face of COVID-19.

You can listen to the full episode, in all its glory, below.

Subscribe and rate Phillies Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Subscribe and rate Sixers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

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.

Because of coronavirus outbreak, James van Riemsdyk sees possible 'unique opportunity' for NHL playoffs

Because of coronavirus outbreak, James van Riemsdyk sees possible 'unique opportunity' for NHL playoffs

There always seem to be the people out there pleading for the NHL to become more marketable, more fun, more appealing.

If there's a silver lining to the suspension and uncertainty of the 2019-20 season amid the coronavirus outbreak, it could be the doors opening for some experimentation by the league.

Wednesday morning saw the calendar flip to April. The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs were originally scheduled to start April 8. Nobody knows when or if they'll begin. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the NHL has been out of commission since March 12 and on Tuesday extended its isolation period to April 15.

Every NHL team has at least 11 games left on its regular-season schedule. The Flyers, who are a point behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals, have 13 games left.

With each passing day, the hopes of finishing the 2019-20 season in full weaken.

"That’s been the hardest part, for not only us but I feel like everyone in the world — there’s all this uncertainty around everything," James van Riemsdyk, the Flyers' NHLPA representative, said Tuesday night in a conference call. "It’d be nice to be like, ‘You know what, you sit at home for a month and then everything will go back to normal.’ I think that would obviously be a lot easier for everyone to handle than these daily to weekly updates on stuff and you’re kind of still unsure about what’s going to go on. A lot of people feel like, I’m sure, just running in place right now trying to stay busy and keep yourself in shape.”

Will the NHL find a way to drastically change its plan throughout the summer to play 2019-20 in its entirety? Should the league ax the remainder of the regular season and jump right into the playoffs? Could the postseason format change? Is the season going to resume at all?

A veteran of 11 seasons, van Riemsdyk knows all options will be on the table.

"I’d like to think we’ll find a way, but ultimately we want to guarantee the safety of everyone involved whether that’s players, staff, fans, families — we don’t want to do anything at the expense of any of that," van Riemsdyk said. "This is a way bigger issue than sports.”

He sees the NHL's predicament as a possible tryout opportunity for the league.

“Ultimately it’s going to come down to timing and how we can fit everything in," van Riemsdyk said. "In a perfect world, you’d like to finish the regular season and play it out as it may and go from there. But if some of those timeframes become a little bit too shortened where we can’t fit that in, it kind of creates a unique opportunity, in my opinion, to maybe try something a little bit unique with the playoff structure.

"I know that’s been talked about in the last couple of years especially is try to maybe add some more teams to it. If we’re in a situation like we are this year, it’s basically a free chance to try something a little bit outside the box maybe and see what might work.

"We’ll cross those bridges when we get there as far as time-wise and when we’re able to start things up and how that might look.”

Sixteen of the NHL's 31 teams qualify for the postseason. Each round features a best-of-seven series. The NHL playoffs have always been must-see entertainment. They could be a whole lot more fun, for all viewers, with a look that will be different to everybody. After all, 2019-20 has now become much different than other seasons in the past.

“If it gets to the point where we don’t have enough time to play out the regular season, which I’m sure everyone obviously would like to do," van Riemsdyk said, "then we can be more creative in the sense of trying something a little bit outside the box with the playoff structure potentially.”

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