Flyers

Hyka a bit disappointed not to return to Flyers

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Hyka a bit disappointed not to return to Flyers

PITTSBURGH Tomas Hyka was only a little bit disappointed when it wasnt the Flyers who called his name at the second day of the NHL draft.

After all, its hard to be upset when its the recently crowned Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings welcoming you to their organization. The Kings nabbed Hyka, 19, in the sixth round (171st overall) on Saturday.

Just a little bit disappointed I wont be returning to Philadelphia, Hyka said. It was a really good experience to be there, but Im really happy to be with a new team, new opportunities.

Hyka, you might remember, earned himself an offer to attend the Flyers training camp last summer, after being passed over in the 2011 draft. He entered camp as a relatively unheard of Czech prospect but by the time he left, he was both a pleasant surprise and a huge mistake.

Initially, he was one of those endearing stories that always come out of prospect camps and training camps. He was one of the first players to be cut, before being called back by general manager Paul Holmgren to remain around for some preseason ice time. He continued to shine, showing off his speedy skating and demonstrating a knack for being in the right place at the right time.

Im sure it will help me a lot, Hyka said, of his time in Philadelphia.

But just days later, his tenure with the Flyers came to a screeching halt. Hyka was returned to his QMJHL team in Gatineau the same club that once called Claude Giroux a member because the Flyers learned they were barred from signing him.

We misunderstood somewhere there when we were talking to the league, assistant general manager Barry Hanrahan told CSNPhilly.com at the time. He came up into the system as a Canadian junior hockey player which he is.

We cant sign him because of Section 8.9 in the CBA. He played in Europe last year. Its not where you are currently playing, its where you played the previous year. ... Had he played in North America last year, he would have been unrestricted.

And so, meeting the media at the CONSOL Energy Center Saturday afternoon, a beaming Hyka wore the black and silver jersey of the Flyers West, the L.A. Kings.

I feel awesome, Hyka said. I was so nervous today. Im so glad it happened, and Im going to do everything I can to play in the NHL.

To make matters just a bit worse, the Kings nabbed Hyka with the 171st-overall selection a pick that, at one point, had belonged to the Flyers.

E-mail Sarah Baicker at sbaicker@comcastsportsnet.com

Why Flyers fans should be concerned about post-NHL All-Star break playoff chances

Why Flyers fans should be concerned about post-NHL All-Star break playoff chances

On Saturday, we broke down why Flyers fans should be hopeful for the post-All-Star break stretch. Today, we look at the reasons for concern.

Alain Vigneault has 11 playoff berths on his résumé. He knows the requisites for a postseason club and the Flyers have failed to look like one in a key aspect.

"As a team that considers themselves a playoff team, you need to have a good road record," Vigneault said last month.

The Flyers do not through 25 road games. As stingy as they have been at home, they've been the polar opposite away from home. On the road, the Flyers are 10-13-2, have a minus-30 goal differential and are allowing the NHL's second-most goals per game at 3.80.

The figures above are a major concern and the Flyers must stem the tide over their final 16 road games. Vigneault's team still has two trips to Washington, D.C., two to Tampa Bay, Florida, two to Madison Square Garden and one more to Pittsburgh. Those matchups with the Capitals, Lightning, Rangers and Penguins will be stiff tests.

Speaking of the schedule, the Flyers are battling in the NHL's deepest division and have 14 games remaining against Metro teams. The Flyers are in sixth place of the Metropolitan Division (three points out of third place) but would be in first place of the Pacific Division.

The Flyers will be challenged the rest of the way and so, too, will their depth at forward. The Flyers are a middle-of-the-pack scoring club (15th in the NHL with 3.06 goals per game) and without Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder).

Is the team's youth in the bottom six enough for the playoffs and a competitive shot? Or will (and can) general manager Chuck Fletcher add at the Feb. 24 trade deadline?

Big questions and we'll have answers soon.

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2020 NHL All-Star Game: Flyers' Travis Konecny shows off his career-high stuff for Metropolitan Division

2020 NHL All-Star Game: Flyers' Travis Konecny shows off his career-high stuff for Metropolitan Division

BOX SCORE

Travis Konecny stormed into the NHL All-Star break already with a new career high in assists. The Flyers' winger has 26 helpers and is projected to finish with 44, a sign of significant growth in a breakout 2019-20 season for the 22-year-old.

On Saturday night in the 2020 All-Star Game at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Konecny put his facilitating on display during the 3-on-3 action featuring the world's best players. He finished with three assists in the Metropolitan Division's 9-5 semifinal loss to the Atlantic Division.

"I had a lot of fun," Konecny said Saturday, via Flyers senior director of public relations and communications Zack Hill. "It was pretty funny, I was watching my parents in the stands and my mom didn't understand why we weren't playing like a real game.

"It's my first game and it's her first time seeing it. I don't know if she was expecting me to be blocking shots and forechecking, stuff like that. I had a lot of fun with it.

"It was a really cool experience, getting to play with some players, too, that I usually won't get the chance to play with was fun."

Konecny playing in his first All-Star Game at 22 years old should be exciting for the Flyers. Claude Giroux was 23 years old for his first All-Star Game back in 2011. The future looks bright for Konecny, who signed a new six-year, $33 million contract back in mid-September.

With 17 goals and 43 points through 47 games, Konecny is eight goals and seven points away from setting career highs across the board.

A breakout, indeed.

Here are more sights and scenes from Konecny's first All-Star Game:

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