Flyers

What the Sergei Bobrovsky-Blue Jackets 'incident' could mean for Flyers

What the Sergei Bobrovsky-Blue Jackets 'incident' could mean for Flyers

It's safe to say the chances of Sergei Bobrovsky returning to the Blue Jackets in 2019-20 took a major hit Thursday.

Those chances didn't look particularly promising entering this season. Now, the latest is the two-time Vezina Trophy winner won't be with the team for Thursday night's game, a decision made by Columbus.

Here is the statement from Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen:

There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture. An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight's game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time. 

According to a report by The Athletic's Aaron Portzline, a meeting regarding the matter will be held prior to Friday's practice in which Bobrovsky is expected to partake. There are rumblings that there has been friction this season between Bobrovsky and head coach John Tortorella, who wouldn't comment on the situation at Thursday's morning skate.

This drama is somewhat notable in Flyers country because the team's goalie situation is the opposite of sacrosanct and Bobrovsky can become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Per a report by Sportsnet's Chris Johnston on Dec. 9, there were "whispers" the Flyers will "take a run at Sergei Bobrovsky on July 1," which is when free agency opens.

Who knows, maybe this is the final straw for Bobrovsky in Columbus and a trade happens before the Feb. 25 deadline. However, the goalie has a no-movement clause that would have to be waived for it to happen and a deal seems unlikely given the Blue Jackets are in third place of the Metropolitan Division, primed for a playoff push.

As for the Flyers, they will have all sorts of decisions in net during the offseason. They even have them now after playing their seventh goalie of the year, tying the NHL record.

But really, any Bobrovsky-Flyers buzz right now would be premature given so much is unsettled within the organization. Who is named the Flyers' next head coach will be a significant factor in Bobrovsky's decision. So will the Flyers' direction and at this point, it's unknown if the organization will be pushing forward or retooling.

What is known is that Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets seem to be growing further apart and the 30-year-old would give the Flyers instant stability in net if general manager Chuck Fletcher is willing to dole out the dollars and years.

If the Flyers do in fact go after Bobrovsky, convincing him they're the best fit will be a whole different battle.

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.

More on the Flyers

What to make of Flyers' roster moves, which have Joel Farabee on his way

What to make of Flyers' roster moves, which have Joel Farabee on his way

The Flyers challenged Joel Farabee.

The 19-year-old needed only four games to answer that challenge.

“It won't be long in the American League if he does start there,” USNTDP coach John Wroblewski said in March.

Farabee is on his way to the big club as the Flyers called up the 2018 first-round pick Sunday night, along with Mikhail Vorobyev. As a result, the Flyers sent rookie Carsen Twarynski to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

Twarynski handled himself well over six games in a bottom-six role and this isn’t a demotion for the 21-year-old.

This is about the Flyers needing an early offensive jolt after losing four straight games. The Flyers outshot the opposition 91-38 over the past two games but were outscored by a combined 10-4 in consecutive regulation losses.

“At the end of the day right now, we’re having a challenging time as a group finding the back of the net,” Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Saturday night.

Here comes Farabee, a point-producing winger who is a versatile goal-scorer that can play in a variety of roles. After somewhat surprisingly not cracking the Flyers’ season-opening roster, Farabee went to the Phantoms oozing with motivation.

He ripped off three goals in his first three games as a pro and added an assist Saturday night.

That was enough to tell general manager Chuck Fletcher the time was now for his call-up, especially with the Flyers having a difficult time putting the puck in the net and lacking some offensive depth.

“I had a good talk with Joel up in Europe about if he goes to Lehigh Valley with the right mindset, the right work ethic, the willingness to get better and get his game to where it needs to be, there's no doubt in my mind that at some point, if he plays well there, we'll probably see him back here,” Vigneault said Oct. 8.

Farabee will make his NHL debut Monday against the Golden Knights at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m./NBCSP). Expect to see Vorobyev in the lineup, as well. The 22-year-old also brings an element of skill and playmaking. The center can play on the penalty kill and totaled two goals and two assists in five games with Lehigh Valley.

Farabee has proven to be a quick starter and riser. During his draft year with the U.S. under-18 team, he put up four goals and two assists in his opening three games. As a freshman with Boston University last season, Farabee had three goals and three assists through his first eight games.

Let’s see how quickly he can impact the Flyers.

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.

More on the Flyers

Can (and should) Flyers fans trust Alain Vigneault's process?

Can (and should) Flyers fans trust Alain Vigneault's process?

At his introductory press conference on April 18 following a year away from hockey, Alain Vigneault made a joke about why he was ready to get back into the coaching business.

“After a year off and figuring out that I’ll never be the golfer that I thought I would be,” Vigneault said, “it’s time for me to get back to work.”

Perhaps Vigneault had a difficult time sinking putts.

Following the Flyers’ 4-1 loss Saturday night to the Stars, he put out his hands, smiled and made an analogy in relation to his team.

The Flyers had just outshot Dallas 39-16. Over their past two games, the Flyers outshot the opposition 91-38.

A 53-shot advantage.

However, they had just four goals and two losses to show for it.

“It’s like a golfer that’s in regulation but can’t putt,” Vigneault said with a chuckle.

“The process is good. If you look at our overall game tonight, take a look at the scoring chances for and against, we had a pretty dominating performance. Right now, we’re having a tough time finishing.

“At the end of the day right now, we’re having a challenging time as a group finding the back of the net. We’re doing a lot of the right things — traffic, jamming pucks, going hard to the net. But we’re having a tough time making the other team pay for their mistakes. As far as our process and how we’re playing offensively and how we’re playing defensively, you’ve got to like our game.”

Many fans haven’t loved it. The Flyers heard boos Saturday night after the Stars’ empty-net goal in the third period. The Flyers dropped their fourth straight game, which marks the franchise’s first four-game losing streak in October since the 2014-15 season, when it opened the year 0-2-2.

While the Flyers, who are 2-3-1, have dictated games, the bottom line is they have to score goals. The really good teams create the chances but also finish them. It’s hard to sell to your fans that everything is fine, the process is good, when you’re outscored 10-4 in consecutive regulation losses. These same fans have seen too many slow Octobers. The Flyers are now 28-36-7 during this month in the last seven seasons.

Then again, this is not Vigneault’s first rodeo. It is his first chance at guiding the Flyers, who have taken on his system and looked much better in doing so.

And Vigneault certainly understands the process.

If Flyers fans want to trust him and take solace in something, consider some of Vigneault’s best teams and how they started.

The 2013-14 Rangers opened the season 2-6-0 and were 16-18-2 at Dec. 20 but went to the Stanley Cup Final. It was Vigneault’s first year in New York.

The 2006-07 Canucks — another first year on the job for Vigneault — started 8-10-1 but finished with 49 wins, 105 points and a playoff series victory.

The 2014-15 Rangers began 7-7-4 but ended up with 53 wins and the Presidents' Trophy (113 points).

The 2010-11 Canucks started 2-3-2 and were 10-7-3 after 20 games but won the Presidents' Trophy (117 points) and came one win away from a Stanley Cup title.

“I know our guys are disappointed but our work ethic, you know, we’ve got our work boots on here and we’re trying real hard,” Vigneault said of the Flyers. “As a coach, when your team is giving you 100 percent of what they have — and I believe that’s what we did again tonight — you’ve got to support your players, you’ve got to be behind them and trust them, and I’m very confident things are going to work out.”

Just how confident are Flyers fans? They’ve been patient long enough.

Vigneault will have to make sure, this time, their patience finally pays off.

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.

More on the Flyers