Flyers

'Pretty important day' in Flyers' contract negotiations with Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny

'Pretty important day' in Flyers' contract negotiations with Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny

VOORHEES, N.J. — Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher classified Tuesday as a "pretty important day" for the contract negotiations of Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny.

Both restricted free agents remain unsigned with training camp set to begin Friday morning. At around 11 a.m., Fletcher said he expected to speak with the representation of both Provorov and Konecny on Tuesday.

"We're getting to a point where we need to see some progress if they're going to be here on Friday on the ice," Fletcher said.

How positive is he that deals can get done before camp opens?

"That's hard to say," Fletcher said. "I've been through so many of these. I've been in situations where you seem like you're a long way away and it comes together very quickly and then there are other times it seems like you're right there and you can't get to the finish line.

"So I don't think I'm positive or negative. I still think there's an opportunity to get both of these guys signed and in camp."

On Monday, Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski re-signed on a three-year, $15 million contract. It was significant in a few ways. Firstly, the bridge deal for the 22-year-old Werenski opened some eyes. What will be the preference for Provorov's camp and the Flyers? We'll see. Secondly, Werenski's $5 million average annual value should give both sides a much better idea of the market (see story).

You'd think a longer-term deal would be the goal for Provorov's agent Mark Gandler (see story). Has the 22-year-old already proven himself? Provorov has been handed the responsibilities of a No. 1 defenseman and hasn't missed a game over the past two seasons. Among all NHL blueliners during that span, he has played the 11th-most minutes per night (24:38), the ninth-most shorthanded minutes (449:51) and has scored the 18th-most goals (24).

Now that Werenski has a $5 million AAV, Provorov's camp could shoot for $6 million.

"I think we're open to either — shorter or longer with Ivan, just whatever makes sense," Fletcher said. "Werenski is a very good young defenseman and a very comparable player to Ivan, so it certainly sheds some light on where the market is. But we're not wed to a shorter-term deal. If something makes sense in a long-term deal, we'll explore that."

Konecny, an important 22-year-old forward, is coming off back-to-back 24-goal seasons and has 30-goal potential. His role will continue to grow in 2019-20. Proving himself over a bridge deal might make the most sense for Konecny and could lead to a larger payday down the road (see story).

Tuesday was an important day. Friday is a big one, too, and quickly approaching.

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2019-20 Flyers season grades: Oskar Lindblom

2019-20 Flyers season grades: Oskar Lindblom

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

Today we will be looking at Oskar Lindblom.

Destra

If I had the opportunity to list all of the qualities that make Lindblom the wonderful player and person he is, I’d probably be here until the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In a season that started off looking so bright for the 23-year-old, his world, along with Flyers fans', were turned upside down when the team released a statement in December — that Lindblom had been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. 

My heart broke with the news, but I knew he was going to be strong through it all. I thought seeing him back on the ice at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey, a few weeks ago would’ve been the best news of 2020 — but the video of Lindblom ringing the bell, indicating that he finished his treatments, topped it tenfold.

Lindblom embodies strength, resilience and a sense of hope. He’s loved by his teammates and fans in Philadelphia — the support they have given through it all never went unnoticed. While there isn’t a definite timeline on his return, what a moment it will be when he dresses for a game once more. When that time does come, it’ll be one for the books. 

A+ for the strongest player on the Flyers this season. 

Fordyce 

Let’s start with the beginning of the season. On the ice, Lindblom was one of the best Flyers in the early going with 11 goals in 30 games and projected to surpass his career high with flying colors, but this is not Lindblom's story this season.

In mid-December, the Flyers announced that Lindblom had been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that forms in the bones or tissue surrounding the bones. Lindblom began battling the disease, while still being around the team from time to time.

Lindblom’s diagnosis also touched off the “Oskar Strong” campaign around the NHL with players from teams throughout the league wearing Oskar Strong T-shirts. This included the Flyers' heated rivals like the Penguins and Devils proving that hockey is, indeed, a family regardless of the sweater you wear.

Lindblom has since finished his treatments, receiving a standing ovation when leaving the hospital on the last day, and he’s recently been seen skating with Flyers players at the practice facility. 

A+ on and especially off the ice for Lindblom.

Hall

It's truly astounding to see the impact Lindblom had on the Flyers' 2019-20 regular season.

Not only was Lindblom one of the team's best forwards and projected to finish with 30 goals before being diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in mid-December, but his courageous fight and bright smile also constantly uplifted the Flyers. He made this team better from Day 1 and still found a way to make it better while battling cancer at 23 years old.

Whenever Lindblom was able to visit the Flyers, his teammates were genuinely blown away by his strength, smile and selflessness through the circumstances. It was no coincidence that after seeing Lindblom at the Wells Fargo Center in December, the Flyers answered their lowest point of the season with four straight wins.

"He’s still like the same person, you can’t really tell what he’s going through," Robert Hagg said in March. "Nothing bothers him."

"He brings everyone into a happier place," Kevin Hayes said in March. "If you’re having a bad day, you don’t have a bad day anymore when you see Oskar."

"Oh, it’s awesome. His smile, you know, he’s just a great guy to have around," Justin Braun said in February. "He brightens your day."

Those words say it all. A+ for Lindblom and how he has impacted so many.

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Scott Laughton earns Flyers' 2019-20 Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award

Scott Laughton earns Flyers' 2019-20 Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award

The Flyers seem to always know what they're going to get from Scott Laughton.

Finding his niche in the NHL as a tireless, team-oriented role forward, Laughton on Tuesday was named the recipient of the Flyers' 2019-20 Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award, an honor that is given to the Flyer deemed to show character, dignity and respect on and off the ice as voted by the Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Laughton scored a personal-best 13 goals this season despite playing 33 fewer games than he did in a career year during 2018-19. Staples of his game: constantly skating hard, forechecking, killing penalties, playing different positions and standing up for teammates. Remember the Senators game?

A 2012 first-round pick of the organization who has played parts of seven seasons for the Flyers, Laughton is always classy, professional and accessible in his dealings with media members and fans.

"It's very special for me to be awarded this by our media," Laughton said in a statement released by the Flyers. "Throughout the year I try and bring positive energy to the rink and do all the little things to be a good teammate and representative of the organization. Getting more involved in the community has been important to me and I hope to continue to build on that each year."

The Flyers are handing out their annual team awards throughout this week. Kevin Hayes was the recipient of the Gene Hart Memorial Award. Below is the schedule for the remaining honors:

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