Flyers

Passionate about Flyers, new leader Dave Scott believes in Ron Hextall

Passionate about Flyers, new leader Dave Scott believes in Ron Hextall

VOORHEES, N.J. -- On Dave Scott's white collared shirt beamed a shiny orange 50th-anniversary logo.
 
As it glowed, so did Scott, the president and CEO of Comcast Spectacor, about the vision and direction of his business investment: the Philadelphia Flyers.
 
With the organization's absence from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the first season without late iconic founder Ed Snider, Scott took to Flyers Skate Zone on Thursday to discuss his position.
 
And he radiated with positivity about those steering the ship he now oversees.
 
Scott expressed full belief in team president Paul Holmgren and general manager Ron Hextall. He was succinct in his message: Holmgren and Hextall have his trust.
 
"This is really my fourth season with the club," Scott said. "Ed was pretty ill the last couple years. I've stayed pretty close to it and I've got all the confidence in the world with Paul as president and Ron as general manager. I think we all have a job to do here. My job is, really, to make sure we have the resources and we're investing in the team for the long term and go for the Cup. The Flyers are going to go for it every year. That's our heritage."
 
Despite the on-ice struggles and growing pains within the standings, Scott said the Flyers still accomplished "a terrific year from the business perspective."
 
"It was probably one of the best years we've ever had," Scott said. "Ron's our guy. We believe in the system, we like the vision, we like the strategy, the pipeline. These young players coming up, there's a lot of excitement. From the business side, it's been terrific."
 
Scott said there are no plans to sell the franchise and that Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts is in support.
 
"We're going to invest for the long term," Scott said.
 
"This is our home market. Comcast has been here for a long time. Ed Snider was here for a long time. … It's a great success story. Brian Roberts grew up here in Philadelphia. He's a big fan. I talked to him this morning. He called me before I came over. We're all in this. We love the Flyers. It's working for us.

"I'm here because of the Flyers. This really gets me going. I love the team and I'm having a lot of fun. I look forward to going to the games, learning a lot. I don’t think we've missed a lot there. Ed went to a lot of games. I probably go to 75, 80 percent of the home games."
 
Scott, not with 50 years of hockey experience like Snider, mentioned that he's learned from "great teachers." He said he's been in Philadelphia for 12 years, had watched games with Snider, Holmgren and now Hextall. He also spent six years in Detroit, building a relationship with the Red Wings and late owner Mike Ilitch.
 
"My job is to make sure that everybody has the resources and I think Ed really felt that way, too," Scott said. "We celebrated 50 years this year. It was really special, but he built this winning culture and we want to continue to have that."
 
Last month, Hextall shared his enjoyment in working with Scott.
 
"I can tell you that he is very into it," Hextall said then. "He watches all the games, sends texts after the game. He's latched onto it. He's engaged. We meet on an every-other-week basis and talk about the team. He's been great."
 
Scott didn't sugarcoat this season's regression.
 
"It was a tough season," he said. "You've heard from everybody. I think the word disappointed has been overused a little bit, but certainly, none of us are happy where we are right now."
 
Hextall knows it and agreed with ownership.
 
"Absolutely, they're disappointed. We're all disappointed," he said. "We made the playoffs last year and it was a step in the right direction, and we took a step back this year. Are we disappointed? Damn right we are. And are we happy? No, we're not.
 
"Now, in saying that, we're staying on path. We're not deviating from what we've been saying 2 1/2 years ago. We're building … we're building slowly."
 
And Scott is on board.
 
"We're going for it," he said. "We're building towards it. I think we had some bright spots this season. We want to build on those bright spots. There's a lot of optimism and that's what we're going for."

Flyers Talk podcast: Is this team convincing us in round robin of NHL playoffs?

Flyers Talk podcast: Is this team convincing us in round robin of NHL playoffs?

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra and Jordan Hall discuss the team's climb in the round robin.

From the Flyers' best line to what's ahead, let's dive in:

1:00 — Exciting times for Flyers fans

5:55 — Who has been the most impressive on the second line?

11:55 — Something we've noticed with the Flyers' first-line production

16:05 — Has this two-game stretch convinced us if we weren’t convinced already?

22:10 — What did we think of James van Riemsdyk being scratched? Big deal or no?

27:50 — Speaking of lineups, would we keep the same D pairs vs. the Lightning?

 33:00 — What we like and dislike about the Lightning matchup

 40:00 — The matchup could do a ton for Carter Hart's confidence

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

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

Jakub Voracek out, James van Riemsdyk back and more changes as Flyers aim to win round robin

Jakub Voracek out, James van Riemsdyk back and more changes as Flyers aim to win round robin

With the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed up for grabs Saturday, the Flyers' No. 1 line will look differently and the reason for why is unknown.

What we do know is Jakub Voracek will not play in the Flyers' round-robin finale against the Lightning at Scotiabank Arena.

"He's not available," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Friday in a video interview, "that's all I can say for tomorrow."

As we learned during training camp when Voracek was absent from a scrimmage, there will be various levels of weirdness, uncertainty and inevitable speculation when a player is unavailable. Because of a mutual agreement between the NHL and NHLPA to respect an individual player's right to medical privacy during this time, clubs are not allowed to release specifications for any injuries/illnesses in the return-to-play 24-team tournament.

Naturally, time will tell about the severity of or length of time needed to return for Voracek's undisclosed absence.

Regardless, not having Voracek hurts the Flyers' chances to win the round robin. If the Flyers beat Tampa Bay, they'll secure the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed in the first round of the playoffs, which is slated to begin next Tuesday. If the Flyers lose to the Lightning, they'll settle for the No. 2 seed. The team has won its first two round-robin games by a combined score of 7-2 over the Bruins and Capitals.

Update: What Flyers fans need to know for round-robin finale, 1st-round matchups

When the Flyers started rolling in November of the regular season, Voracek was one of the club's best players. Since Nov. 1, the facilitating winger had 47 points (eight goals, 39 assists) and a plus-14 rating in 58 games. He finished the regular season with a team-best 44 helpers, 56 points and a plus-14 mark in 69 games.

"Jake's got a unique skill set, a veteran guy that's been around and has played in some big games," Matt Niskanen said Friday in a video interview. "We'll welcome him when he comes back. In the meantime, keep chugging forward with the guys we have."

The Flyers will chug forward with 20-year-old rookie winger Joel Farabee climbing to an exciting spot in the lineup. He'll play on the first line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, while James van Riemsdyk will return to the lineup after being interestingly scratched for the Flyers' 3-1 win Thursday over the Capitals. Connor Bunnaman, a 22-year-old forward who will likely be an extra come the first round if the Flyers are healthy, played in van Riemsdyk's place.

"It was less about benching James than looking at the big picture," Vigneault said. "Yes, James had been OK, just OK so far, after having in my estimation a real strong training camp. But I wanted to get Joel in, I also wanted to get Bunny in at some point, and I felt with the opposition, that it was the right time. Probably less to do with benching, more to do with the big picture."

The 31-year-old van Riemsdyk will join the third line. Vigneault is known to communicate with his players when they're taken out of the lineup or there's a notable change. The two-time 30-goal scorer wouldn't disclose the message between the player and coach, but van Riemsdyk was positive Friday, taking everything in stride.

“With those types of conversations, generally like to keep those in-house," van Riemsdyk said.

“For me, I look back at my career and playing in the playoffs and all these things, I’ve had success doing that in the past. My approach is going to stay the same and try to be the best player I can be and maximize every day. That’s always the way I approach things no matter what, I love the game. We have a great team and have a great shot this year, so my motivation and approach remains consistent day in and day out. No matter if you have a day that doesn’t go your way or if you have a day where things are going well, you go to the next day and you have to do it all over again.”

On the defensive side of things, Shayne Gostisbehere will draw into the lineup for Robert Hagg. Vigneault and his coaching staff had wanted to get Gostisbehere some action in the round robin. They trust the 27-year-old defenseman who could give a boost to the Flyers' power play, which is 0 for 8 through the round robin. Expect to see Hagg back with Justin Braun when the first round begins.

Here is the Flyers' lineup for Saturday's round-robin finale:

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Joel Farabee
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk-Derek Grant-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Connor Bunnaman-Nate Thompson-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers
Shayne Gostisbehere-Justin Braun

Goalies

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

Sports Uncovered is on all podcast platforms: click here to subscribe now!

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

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 Flyers analysis for 24-team tournament

• What Flyers fans need to know for round-robin finale, 1st-round matchups

• Flyers are making believers in round robin, pick up huge win for East seeding

Don't expect the Flyers to be mingling with their rivals at Hotel X Toronto

Costly injury comes at interesting time, creates more decisions for Flyers

The Flyers were never on a hot streak — they're just that good

• Feel good to be back? Despite possible injury, Flyers open tourney with a bang

From lineups to big picture, everything Flyers fans need to know for round robin

• Can the Flyers go all the way? Our Stanley Cup predictions are here

• Flyers celebrate return of hockey with OT drama and positives in exhibition

• So, about those Penguins ... 1st-round matchup for Flyers?

• Picture collage and signs show love for Flyers as they eye Cup run in Toronto

Couturier's goals in NHL bubble: Stanley Cup and an important baby book item

• Could Flyers still share the wealth against Blue Jackets in 1st round?

Would Islanders be Flyers' kryptonite if they meet in 1st round?

Flyers announce playoff roster, have fans going crazy over shirts

• All types of Flyers odds (including the Cup) as NHL's 24-team tourney begins

• Scott 'couldn't be happier' with Flyers, but there's more action to be done

• Trust the captain, he'll know what to do if the Flyers face the Hurricanes

• Analyzing Hart's situation, another Flyer becomes a dad, more

Lindblom has new contract, his comeback is on with Flyers

• Flyers-Canadiens is perfect on paper, but would it be a trap?

• What round-robin schedule change could mean for Flyers' strategy

• What happened? Voracek says calm down, he's fine ... now you know

Key Flyer missing, buzzing rookie, don't forget Ghost and more

• The Flyers' lineup, practicing celebrations, no hiding these two and more

• A 'dangerous card' in the Flyers' hand, Giroux still wows and more

• Fans can purchase Flyers playoff shirts with new slogan

• What it was like to go back to work at Flyers practice in different times

Analyzing the Flyers' schedule to open 24-team tournament

5 questions on Flyers' chances in 24-team tournament

Predictions for Flyers' best Game 1 lineup to start 24-team playoff

Who are the Flyers' top 5 reinforcements for 24-team tournament?

• Elliott has sweet new mask for Flyers' playoff run

• Flyers sign a player to extension at position of strength

What to know as NHL, NHLPA finish big step, announce schedule

Things get even better for Flyers in NHL's 24-team tournament

Flyers have two top 50 pending UFAs; will they re-sign them?

• Everything Flyers fans need to know for NHL's 24-team tournament

• Bettman gives Gritty the hard truth for why he can't be in Toronto bubble

Key dates, protocols announced as Flyers set to return