Flyers

Flyers trade Brayden Schenn to Blues for No. 27 Morgan Frost, Jori Lehtera, additional pick

Flyers trade Brayden Schenn to Blues for No. 27 Morgan Frost, Jori Lehtera, additional pick

Let the wheeling and dealing begin.

After drafting Nolan Patrick No. 2 overall (see story), Flyers general manager Ron Hextall did not stay quiet to finish Day 1 of the NHL draft.

The Flyers traded Brayden Schenn to the St. Louis Blues for the 27th pick (Morgan Frost), Jori Lehtera and a conditional first-round pick in 2018 on Friday night.

Last season, Schenn, fresh off a new contract, finished second on the Flyers with 25 goals and third with 55 points. The 25-year-old forward flourished on the power play in which he scored 17 goals, tied for the NHL lead with Alex Ovechkin and Nikita Kucherov.

"Not like we were shopping Brayden," Hextall said (see story).
 
"This deal came along and we really like the draft next year. We like the late pick this year and Jori. It made sense and we got a couple more young players."

Schenn and the Flyers just narrowly avoided arbitration last offseason when the RFA signed a four-year, $20.5 million deal for a cap hit of $5.125 million.

Schenn was surprised by the trade.

"I didn't see it coming at all," he said to CSNPhilly.com's Tim Panaccio. "But I am excited to go to St. Louis."

Lehtera, a center, comes older but cheaper than Schenn. The 29-year-old is under contract for the next two seasons with a cap hit of $4.7 million.

In 64 games last season with the Blues, Lehtera (6-2, 210) put up 22 points on seven goals and 15 assists. Known as a versatile but not physical forward, Lehtera has seen his numbers dip each season from his rookie year. In 2014-15, his first NHL season, Lehtera posted 14 goals and 30 assists for 44 points and a plus-21 rating — all career bests for the native of Finland. He then recorded 34 points (nine goals, 25 assists) the following season.

Frost, an 18-year-old center, put up 67 points (20 goals, 42 assists) in 62 games last season with Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. He is 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, and regarded as a "smart and skilled center with a very good offensive hockey sense — excellent vision and anticipation to quickly take advantage of opportunities," according to Central Scouting.

As for the 2018 pick, if it falls in the top 10, St. Louis has the option to defer to its 2019 first-round pick. If the Blues decide to do so, as a result, the Flyers also receive St. Louis' third-round pick in 2020.

The Flyers have 10 more picks remaining in the 2017 draft, which picks back up on Saturday at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, finishing with Rounds 2-7.

The Flyers' picks are 44th, 75th, 80th, 106th, 107th, 108th, 137th, 168th, 196th and 199th.

And Hextall may not be done dealing (see story).

Why Shayne Gostisbehere is saying sorry to Wayne Simmonds

Why Shayne Gostisbehere is saying sorry to Wayne Simmonds

Wayne Simmonds knows Philly all too well.

The two had become synonymous during Simmonds' eight years in Philadelphia.

On Oct. 9, the Flyers' 2019-20 home opener, Simmonds will play in the Wells Fargo Center for the first time as a visitor since being traded at last season's deadline.

He returns as a New Jersey Devil. And he wants Philly to be Philly.

Shayne Gostisbehere smiled at the sheer thought of this city booing Simmonds.

I think Simmer knew that they're not going to boo him, he was so beloved here. We still love him, I'll be cheering him on, I definitely won't be booing him," Gostisbehere said last month in a sit-down interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derek Souders. "When he comes back, it's definitely going to strike some people hard. He was such a good guy, such a good guy for the community, too. His dealings with Snider Hockey, he did so much for the community. On the ice, he gave it all. He was a true Flyer — I think he could have played back in the day, for sure. I don't think you'll hear too many boos. Sorry to say that, Simmer.

Oct. 9 will be an emotional night for Simmonds and Flyers fans. As tough as Simmonds is, he was emotional following the Feb. 23 Stadium Series game at Lincoln Financial Field, what turned out to be his final time wearing a Flyers jersey.

And he clearly has Oct. 9 circled on his calendar.

Simmonds signed with the Devils in the offseason on a one-year deal and will play the Flyers four times in 2019-20. New-look New Jersey is looking to jump back into contention just like the Flyers. The matchups should be intense … but booing Simmonds?

Not happening.

For more from Gostisbehere on last season's trade rumors that lingered into the offseason, his expectations and the team's makeup, watch the "Break the Ice" video above.

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Nolan Patrick? Present! Travis Konecny's situation, shot to Carter Hart, more from Flyers training camp

Nolan Patrick? Present! Travis Konecny's situation, shot to Carter Hart, more from Flyers training camp

VOORHEES, N.J. — Let the games begin.

The Flyers on Sunday finished up their third consecutive practice of training camp leading into Monday night's preseason opener against the Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m./NBCSP).

During the first two days of camp, head coach Alain Vigneault really pushed the tempo. The team studies the drills before hitting the ice, so when one drill finishes, the next begins at a bang-bang pace. On Day 3, Vigneault pulled back the reins because the Flyers begin a stretch of four exhibition games in six days.

Vigneault and the team's training staff study the data.

"I do the pace, I do the practice, but I also use the science," Vigneault said. "Our guys right now, as we're practicing, are monitored by our strength coach and I know the different loads that we're attaining. 

"The first two days, the loads were very high, more than a game's worth. Today, I tapered down a little bit, I shortened practice up a little bit. Because these guys are playing [Monday], I want them to have energy. I follow the science. 

"I was fortunate enough that I when I went to New York, we had sort of the same basis. I got here and they had the same formula for loads, lengths and intensity of practice. I'm able to use that and monitor that real well."

Let's get into five observations:

1. Patrick? Present!

Nolan Patrick missed the first three days of training camp with an upper-body injury. He's considered week to week but it's uncertain when he'll return to practice or if he'll be ready for the regular season.

Patrick, however, has been skating and getting in work before the Flyers take the ice, which the 20-year-old center did again Sunday morning.

It's never good to miss the beginning of camp or preseason, especially when there's a new head coach implementing systematic changes and competition is ripe for spots.

But Vigneault said Patrick has been very involved, essentially doing everything he can without actually practicing.

"It's unfortunate, but at the same time, he's in all the meetings, he's doing extra on the ice with our skill coach," Vigneault said. "Hopefully this upper-body injury will leave and he'll be back with us. But I think the fact that he's here and he's capable to see the video that we're showing and he knows all the drills that we're doing, he is behind, but he is not as far behind as someone that's not physically here at this time."

Another message to Travis Konecny?

2. Lineup stuff

Here's how the Flyers' forwards will look Monday night:

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

The Flyers' top line could be the second unit in the season opener. It has size mixed with skill and playmaking. Hayes (6-5/216) and van Riemsdyk (6-3/212) were with each throughout the first three days of camp, while Voracek (6-2/217) joined them Sunday.

"You've got three guys with great puck protection skills, three guys that have got some good speed," Vigneault said. "Some might say that JVR is not the quickest, I would say to you he skates a lot better than people think.

"Once they're in the offensive zone and they have the puck, it's going to be tough for the other team to get it back. I'm really anxious to see how those three are going to do together."

The Flyers' three top prospects are also back together. The trio was impressive during rookie camp and the prospects game.

Shayne Gostisbehere, Justin Braun, Philippe Myers and Samuel Morin are the notable defensemen suiting up Monday. Brian Elliott will start the game in net and be relieved by Alex Lyon.

3. Giroux-Couturier-Farabee

Vigneault doesn't expect to play Claude Giroux or Sean Couturier in Tuesday's second preseason game, either.

So what will happen with the Giroux-Couturier-Farabee dream line that has had everyone abuzz?

"There's a definite strong possibility after [Tuesday], we will see that young man with those two players," Vigneault said. "They had a real good first couple of days. We decided with management that this is the group we want to go with [Monday]. Then they'll watch the game and probably make other decisions for the next day."

It's good to hear those three will likely get a game together. They were that good during the first two days of camp and the Flyers need to get the best read they can on Farabee during the exhibition slate. Playing him with talent will help.

4. The Konecny situation

The Konecny hiatus will now linger into the preseason schedule. And even if Konecny and the Flyers agree to a contract sometime this week, it would be difficult to throw him into a preseason game with little to no practice. 

Which means the 22-year-old could very well miss more than half the preseason given the Flyers play four of their seven exhibition games this upcoming week.

Hard to believe.

With the unknown surrounding Patrick and Konecny, those are two first-round picks, two young forwards that can legitimately make or break the team's depth in 2019-20.

The Flyers, prone to slow starts in years past, are already facing some challenges.

5. That's nuts

Moments after a drill, Carter Hart went down on one knee and was shaken up.

The beloved 21-year-old goalie didn't miss any drills and was able to finish practice.

Phew.

Everything fine?

"I got it right in the nuts," Hart said. "It didn't feel very good."

Ouch.

"I thought maybe they crawled up into my stomach after that," he said.

At least he's OK.

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