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Report: Flyers' Jori Lehtera being charged with possession of cocaine in Finland

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Report: Flyers' Jori Lehtera being charged with possession of cocaine in Finland

Updated: 11:45 a.m.

Flyers forward Jori Lehtera was charged Monday for allegedly obtaining and possessing cocaine in his native Finland last summer, according to a report by a Finnish newspaper Aamulehti.

Per the report, Lehtera is not due in court at this time but prosecutors are seeking a five-month suspended sentence for the 31-year-old in his second season with the Flyers.

A section of the report states:

According to a preliminary investigation, Lehtera obtained eight grams of cocaine between early June and late July of 2018 in Tampere. According to the prosecutors he also tried to obtain one gram of cocaine in May of 2018.

Lehtera has not been accused of importing or selling the cocaine, according to the report.

He released the following statement Monday, via the Flyers:

As I have maintained from the outset, these charges against me are false and I will clear my name. I will have no further comment on the matter until that time.

Back in September, according to a separate report, Lehtera was being considered one of 23 suspects in a cocaine ring, while police "made catches" on his cottage in Finland. At that time, the NHL started its own investigation into the matter.

"I just want to say that you guys are going to see that I haven't done anything wrong," Lehtera said after practice Sept. 28.

Lehtera is currently with the Flyers on their five-game road trip, which continues Monday night in Raleigh, North Carolina, against the Hurricanes. He has served as a healthy scratch for the past six games and has played just one game since Dec. 12. On the season, he has three points in 24 games.

Set to become an unrestricted free agent during the offseason, Lehtera was acquired by the Flyers in June 2017 as part of the trade that sent Brayden Schenn to the Blues. The Flyers also received a pair of draft picks in the deal, which were used to select prospects Morgan Frost (2017 — 27th overall) and Joel Farabee (2018 — 14th overall).

Lehtera is being paid $5 million (he has $4.7 million cap hit) this season, the final year of his three-year contract originally signed with the Blues.

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Travis Konecny, Flyers agree to new contract and fans go into a frenzy on social media

Travis Konecny, Flyers agree to new contract and fans go into a frenzy on social media

Flyers Twitter has officially gone into a frenzy thanks to the team's Twitter account.

Let's break it down from the beginning.

First, the Flyers tweeted this GIF of Travis Konecny. Considering a deal was not done at this point (that we knew of), it caused some chaos. 

With no other information in the tweet aside from the single emoji, one of two things were possible — their social media manager has a degree in A-plus trolling, or the team was about to drop some major news.

Turns out, they were right. Just 15 minutes later, the news officially broke — Konecny and the Flyers agreed to terms on a six-year deal with an average annual value of $5.5 million. Eat up, bud.

Fans began expressing their excitement throughout Twitter and it doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon.

Heck, even the Flyers social media team joined in on the fun.

Now, all contracts are set for the Flyers before the start of the regular season. Everyone is locked in, ready to go and it's time to Fly or Die

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Travis Konecny, Flyers agree to new 6-year contract

Travis Konecny, Flyers agree to new 6-year contract

The Travis Konecny drama is over.

The Flyers on Monday agreed to terms on a six-year, $33 million ($5.5 million AAV) deal with Konecny.

"We are happy to have Travis under contract for the next six seasons," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said in a statement released by the team. "Travis has shown progression in each of his three seasons and is an integral part of our group of young forwards. His speed, skill and tenacity sets him apart in today's NHL."

Konecny was a restricted free agent and missed the first three days of training camp. The Flyers open their preseason schedule Monday night and play four games in six days.

Fletcher wasn't kidding when he said negotiations can change quickly. At the start of camp Friday, a somewhat confounded Fletcher said the Flyers and Konecny's representation had "a ways to go" on finding a solution to a new deal, while head coach Alain Vigneault didn't hide his disappointment with the 22-year-old's absence from camp. He subtly reiterated that disappointment two days later.

But now all is well. It became clear that Konecny's camp wanted to go the route of a long-term deal rather than a bridge contract. The 2015 first-round pick put up back-to-back 24-goal seasons over the past two years and has seen his role fluctuate at times. Konecny has done most of his damage at even strength. Since 2017-18, he owns the same number of even strength goals (43) as Sidney Crosby and David Pastrnak, and has more than Artemi Panarin (42).

With greater responsibility, there's no reason Konecny can't turn into a 30-goal player.

"I'm really excited about signing with the Flyers and being able to call Philadelphia home for the next six years," Konecny said in the release. "I can't wait to get back with my teammates and to start a new relationship with the coaching staff. It's on me now to work hard and make up for the couple days I wasn't able to be here."

At a $5.5 million average annual value, it's an excellent deal for Konecny and a pretty good one for the Flyers, too. Konecny is only 22, entering his fourth NHL season and expected to make a bigger jump in production. If he performs, having him locked up through the 2024-25 season at a reasonable figure will be a major plus.

Think about it: Sean Couturier came into the league at 19 years old and didn't score more than 40 points until his seventh season when his role truly expanded.

Now the question becomes how quickly can Konecny catch up? He missed three important practices of training camp under a new head coach and two new assistant coaches.

Competition is currently ripe among the Flyers' group of forwards. Joel Farabee has impressed (even playing alongside Couturier and Claude Giroux) and others like Morgan Frost, German Rubtsov, Chris Stewart, Andy Andreoff, Kurtis Gabriel, Isaac Ratcliffe, Mikhail Vorobyev and Nicolas Aube-Kubel are vying for spots, as well.

If Nolan Patrick and Tyler Pitlick are healthy by the season opener (a big if), how does this sound for Oct. 4 in Prague, Czech Republic?

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek
Oskar Lindblom-Nolan Patrick-Joel Farabee
Michael Raffl-Scott Laughton-Tyler Pitlick

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