A talking-to? Dave Hakstol still teaching, Travis Konecny still learning

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A talking-to? Dave Hakstol still teaching, Travis Konecny still learning

Sitting on the ice right by the end boards, Travis Konecny slammed his broken stick in anger, the victim of a physical play during the final minute of the second period.

After methodically getting back up on his skates and fetching a new stick, Konecny wasted no time channeling that frustration into a massive hit on Jets 19-year-old star Patrik Laine.

Konecny, all of 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, laying out Laine, a 6-5, 206-pound stud.

And boom, that's the energy and feistiness any coach would love.

But when Konecny committed a costly and ill-timed tripping penalty nearly midway through the third period Saturday, he never saw the ice again. The Flyers were leading, 2-0, and looking to close out arguably the most lethal power-play team in the NHL. Laine scored 32 seconds later and Konecny watched the rest of the way as the Flyers survived for a desperate 2-1 win (see observations).

Moments after the final buzzer sounded, Hakstol was seen talking to Konecny in the Flyers' dressing room. Given Hakstol's guardedness, it was surprising the scene ever made the light of day.

"I guess you guys beat me into the room tonight," Hakstol said with a slight laugh, "so that's just how it is.

"I won't get into my conversation with him a whole lot. There are a lot of those conversations that go on with individual players."

Was it a reminder to harness that aggression?

"It's all in the situation. T.K., he's a huge part of our team. That energy that he plays with, he's always got to be on the line," Hakstol said. "Tough part, this time of year, is navigating not going over that line. The penalty was obviously not good timing and something that can't happen, and he knows that. But he's a huge part of our team and unfortunately, we didn't get the kill on that one.

"But this time of year, little things make a difference. I don't want T.K. to change his game at all. There are a couple little adjustments he has to make in the third period, nothing more."

Sounds like a good ole teaching moment for a 20-year-old that has ridden nothing but highs since late December (27 points in 32 games). While Konecny has blossomed in his second season, it doesn't mean he's exempt from a coach's lesson.

Konecny, who committed two of the team's four penalties, said the tripping wasn't a matter of becoming too free from his success.

"I don't think I've played perfect every night," Konecny said. "He stepped on my stick. It's not like it's too loose, it's just a fluke thing."

As for what was said between player and coach …

"That's just between him and I," Konecny said. "Not going to comment."

And the discussion should be the end of something that really wasn't much.

"You guys are a little bit focused on the penalty that he took," Hakstol said, "but there are just little parts of the game that, at this time of the year, get ramped up — and it's not just him, it's our entire team."

The best of Jakub Voracek on his 29th birthday

The best of Jakub Voracek on his 29th birthday

It's Aug. 15, the dog days of summer and hockey is still a few weeks away.

But Jakub Voracek turns 29 years old today and this summer, the winger has already played a big part in helping push the Flyers' process into its next stage by helping recruit James van Riemsdyk back to town (see story).

Voracek is coming off a career-best season at 28 years old, posting 85 points in 82 games in 2017-18. He finished fourth in the NHL with 65 assists and ninth with 35 power-play points.

All of this came after a somewhat disappointing 2016-17 season — 61 points in 82 games, not particularly bad numbers but also not the production you'd like from a player with an $8.25 million cap hit and in Year 1 of an eight-year, $66 million extension.

Last season, though, Voracek proved that he can still very much produce at a top level. Since joining the Flyers in 2011-12, Voracek is third among all wingers with 303 assists and fifth in points with 439. Since the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, he's eighth among all skaters with 272 assists and 15th in points with 390.

With today being Voracek's birthday, let's take a look back at some of the best from his time as a Flyer because Voracek is one of the most personable players around.

Some plays

Jan. 27, 2016: Voracek scored the game-winner 38 seconds into overtime. It was an important goal in a big game as the Flyers were in the middle of a wild-card chase (see story).

Oct. 14, 2017: The Flyers put a pounding on the Capitals in an 8-2 win at the Wells Fargo Center. Voracek had three assists. This one was one of them. Poor Madison Bowey.

Jan. 13, 2018: Voracek has also torched other teams than the Capitals. Here is a kick pass to Giroux against the Devils in North Jersey.

Some fights

Voracek is not exactly a fighter. According to, he has four official fights during the regular season and all have come with the Flyers.

There was the time he dropped the gloves with Gabriel Landeskog for about 30 seconds in Colorado and then said, "I don't think I picked the right city to fight in."

Then there was the time when he roughed up Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi.

Some singing

Sportswriters aren't the only ones who like Bruce Springsteen. Yes, Voracek is also a fan.

A little charity

On Feb. 28, 2017, against the Avalanche, Voracek was eventually credited with a goal many Flyers fans believed was Wayne Simmonds' hat trick. In fact, 396 hats came pouring down to the ice.

As a gesture for taking a hat trick away from Simmonds, Voracek purchased 396 new Flyers hats and donated them to local hospitals for children battling cancer (see story).

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Flyers will face New York Islanders again in annual rookie game

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Flyers will face New York Islanders again in annual rookie game

While the Flyers have not announced the start of their rookie and training camp, they did provide an indication Tuesday of when the camps will be.

For the third straight season, the Flyers and New York Islanders will square off Sept. 12 in their annual rookie game. This time, it returns to New York.

The game will be at 6 p.m. on Sept. 12 at the Northwell Health Ice Center, the Islanders' practice facility in East Meadow, New York. According to Newsday's Andrew Gross, ticket proceeds will benefit the Islanders' Children's Foundation.

In years past, the Flyers have streamed the games on their official website.

Last year, the Flyers-Islanders rookie game was on Sept. 13, 2017, two days after rookie camp began and two days before the main camp opened.

The rookie game marks the official end of rookie camp, so by the process of elimination, a safe guess would be the Flyers' rookie camp will be Sept. 10 and training camp likely opening a day or two after the game.

The Islanders beat the Flyers, 4-3, in overtime last September. The Flyers won the first game two years ago. From 2007 to 2014, the Flyers and Capitals faced each other in their annual rookie games.

Rookie games are fun because they're the first glimpse of prospects and with the Flyers, there's a ton to be excited about — even if signing James van Riemsdyk accelerates their process (see story).

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