Flyers

Flyers sign Russian forward Roman Lyubimov away from CSKA Moscow

Flyers sign Russian forward Roman Lyubimov away from CSKA Moscow

VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers on Monday signed undrafted free agent forward Roman Lyubimov to an entry-level contract. It's a one-year, two-way deal worth $925,000 if he makes the Flyers' roster, according to CSNPhilly.com Flyers Insider Tim Panaccio.

Lyubimov, 24, has spent the last six seasons playing in the KHL for CSKA Moscow. He can play both center and left wing.

"He's a big guy, he skates well," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said. "He plays a solid, two-way game. Kind of an up-and-downer. We've had our eye on him for a couple years, but he kind of really popped at the World Championships this past year.

"We feel like he adds depth to the organization. We'll see what he does in training camp. He's a role type of player, I don't necessarily think he's going to be on your first power-play (unit), but he's a hard worker. He goes to the net. He scores some dirty goals."

In 2015-16, the Russian registered seven goals and seven assists in 52 games. He added four goals and eight points in 15 playoff games.
 
A 6-foot-2, 207-pound forward, Lyubimov represented Russia at the 2016 World Championships, helping Team Russia to a bronze medal.

He potted four goals and eight points in 10 tournament games.

In six KHL seasons, Lyubimov had 34 points in 185 games.

Like Evgeny Medvedev last season, the Flyers are taking a low risk in signing Lyubimov. Medvedev didn't work out as planned, and went back to Russia this past weekend.

Lyubimov figures to compete for a bottom-six role come training camp in September and could provide depth with the Phantoms.

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.

At a $5.5 million average annual value, it's a 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.

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Flyers vs. Islanders preseason: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Islanders preseason: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

VOORHEES, N.J. — For the first time Monday night, Alain Vigneault will be behind the Flyers' bench and Kevin Hayes will rock the orange and black sweater at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers open their 2019-20 exhibition slate against the Islanders, starting a stretch of four preseason games in six days.

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Morgan Frost played just one preseason game last year.

This year, he was looking forward to a real shot. That opportunity will be pushed back by at least one game. The 2017 first-round pick was slated to center Isaac Ratcliffe and Joel Farabee but will miss the game because of a tweaked groin. Frost is considered day to day and the Flyers don't believe the injury is serious.

"He was able to finish practice [Sunday]," Vigneault said after morning skate. "Just being on the safe side, giving him today off and we'll see how he is [Tuesday]."

The Flyers play seven preseason games this year. The opening ones are important for players pushing to make the roster because it's early in the evaluation process and a prime chance to make a first impression. Could this hurt Frost's chances? Somewhat, given this was a good opportunity to play between two other talented prospects.

But it's nothing to make a huge deal over. The Flyers know Frost's game, they know his strengths and he'll get his crack at the roster. Tuesday's game is a big one if Frost can suit up.

"Given the fact that it's not serious and it's just day to day, we've got seven exhibition games, so he's going to get a chance to play," Vigneault said. "He's done real well so far, I really liked how he looked at our rookie camp and how he's looked so far. It was better for us to give him today off and hopefully [Tuesday] he'll be able to step back on the ice."

Jakub Voracek, who skated with Frost in the first two days of camp, agreed.

His position is a little bit different than some guys that try to make the team out of nowhere. There's a lot of hype about him and deservedly so. I hope it's nothing serious.

If it's only for a couple days, I'm sure he's going to have time to show up and play his type of game and show them he belongs here.

• The Flyers practiced their power play at morning skate. Here were the units that you can expect to see tonight.

First unit

Hayes, Voracek, James van Riemsdyk, Oskar Lindblom and Shayne Gostisbehere.

Second unit

Farabee, Ratcliffe, Cal O'Reilly, Philippe Myers and Egor Zamula.

Gostisbehere will have a lot to work with running the point and let's see if the size of van Riemsdyk, Hayes and Voracek causes problems for the Islanders.

Ratcliffe has some intriguing net-front potential and keep an eye on Farabee, who has turned heads in camp and can make plays in a variety ways.

• Interestingly, Vigneault is letting general manager Chuck Fletcher and assistant general manager Brent Flahr construct the lineups early in camp and for the first two preseason games.

It's good for Vigneault because he can gather a better grasp of the talent and also get a better feel for what the front office thinks of certain players.

"I've already told Chuck and Brent that they've got full latitude for the first two lineups and then after that, I'm going to get a little bit more involved with them and discuss what I'm seeing," Vigneault said. "But since I'm new, I'm going to trust their experience, I'm going to trust their feedback."

• Some league news:


Quotable

One of the things I've found throughout the years is people say that we make the decisions, but we really don't make the decisions. The players make the decisions for us by how they play, how they continue to improve. Tonight is the first test, the first opportunity for those guys to show that they can play at this level.

- Vigneault

Projected lineup

Forwards

James van Riemsdyk-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek 
Isaac Ratcliffe-Cal O'Reilly-Joel Farabee 
Oskar Lindblom-German Rubtsov-Chris Stewart 
Kyle Criscuolo-Mikhail Vorobyev-Maksim Sushko

Defensemen

Shayne Gostisbehere-Justin Braun
Egor Zamula-Philippe Myers
Samuel Morin-Andy Welinski

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Alex Lyon

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