Flyers

Ron Hextall: 'I don't anticipate signing' Brayden Schenn yet

usa-brayden-schenn-flyers.jpg

Ron Hextall: 'I don't anticipate signing' Brayden Schenn yet

It's been a busy week for Flyers general manager Ron Hextall.

On Tuesday, Hextall signed Sean Couturier to a six-year, $25.98 million contract extension.

Thursday night, the second-year GM inked Jakub Voracek to an eight-year, $66 million extension.

With Brayden Schenn set to become a restricted free agent after the 2015-16 season, is the 23-year-old next to sign?

Not so fast.

"I'm not sure there will be a push," Hextall said Thursday in a conference call. "I've spoken with Brayden's agent a number of times over the summer about different things and the subject's never come up. It's not something we're in a hurry to do and I'm assuming they feel the same way."

Schenn registered 18 goals and 29 assists last season, his fourth with the Flyers. A natural center, Schenn has been toyed around the lineup the last two seasons.

Because of the Flyers' situation at center, Schenn has been playing both the pivot and the wing, a position he's not accustomed to and hasn't produced much at.

But at the end of last season, Craig Berube put the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native on right wing with Couturier and Matt Read, a spot he finally started to look comfortable in.

When Wayne Simmonds suffered a broken leg on March 25, Schenn replaced Simmonds on Couturier's line and finished the season strong.

In a four-game stretch from April 1 to April 7, Schenn tallied four goals and seven points. He was named the NHL No. 2 Star of the Week for the week ending April 5.

The 2009 No. 5 overall pick will have a fresh start with Dave Hakstol, who previously stated he's not going to judge Schenn on past performances. 

"From my perspective, he's played a lot of games and he's a young player that is growing and developing," Hakstol said at development camp earlier this month.

"I think I am going to allow that proof to be decided in his performance. I'm not making any decisions on anything that's happened in the past. I think it's about what you do from this point forward and that will be the case in this situation."

The Flyers acquired Schenn on the same day — June 23, 2011 — they traded for Voracek and received the draft pick they used for Couturier from Columbus.

Schenn came to the orange and black with Simmonds as part of the Mike Richards trade with the Kings.

This past week, Hextall gave extensions to Voracek and Couturier, as he sees those two as key pieces going forward.

As for Schenn, the forward hasn't shown enough to warrant an extension, but he'll have another 82 games to show what he's worth.

"[It's] not that we wouldn't like to get him signed, but probably [want to] get him another year to see where things flush out," Hextall said.

"I don't anticipate signing Brayden, which never means that you're not going to but it's not something we'll actively pursue. We'll wait and see how the year goes and probably talk at some point during the year or next summer."

Flyers brought back to earth by Coyotes, suffer a first since Oct. 19

Flyers brought back to earth by Coyotes, suffer a first since Oct. 19

BOX SCORE

Despite putting up 21 goals over their five-game winning streak, the Flyers had a propensity to score them in bunches when an opponent started derailing.

On Thursday night, the Flyers never got going and were pulled back to earth in a 3-1 loss to the Coyotes at the Wells Fargo Center.

Arizona goalie Darcy Kuemper was the biggest difference. The 6-foot-5 netminder who brought an NHL-best 1.97 goals-against average and .936 save percentage to Philly stopped 28 shots.

With 4:43 left, Matt Niskanen scored the Flyers' lone goal and it ricocheted off a Coyote. Arizona iced the game with an empty-netter (see highlights).

The Flyers (16-8-5) suffered just their second regulation loss at home (9-2-4). The last time they failed to pick up a point at home was Oct. 19 when they lost to the Stars, 4-1.

Thursday night's defeat halted the Flyers' winning streak at five games and their point streak at seven. The Flyers had earned at least a point in 18 of their previous 22 games.

The Coyotes (17-9-4), who were allowing the NHL's second-fewest goals per game at 2.31, improved to 10-3-3 on the road.

• The Flyers went on two power plays in the final six minutes of the second period but could not solve Kuemper.

During those two man advantage opportunities, the Flyers put five shots on Kuemper and also misfired three times.

James van Riemsdyk found Morgan Frost with a slick backhanded pass from behind the net but the 20-year-old missed wide.

• Speaking of Frost, he had a tough game. The rookie had a turnover and some difficulty making plays.

He has gone scoreless over his last seven games following his loud start in which he scored three points in his first two games.

Maybe head coach Alain Vigneault takes him off the first line to relieve some pressure.

"Young player, in my estimation, has got a lot of confidence in himself, which is real good," Vigneault said postgame. "Tonight, there were a couple of plays with the puck, like some of our other guys, that the execution might have been a little bit off. But I think overall, the young man is working hard and trying to get better."

Will he stay on the top line?

"I'm going to watch the game and make [changes], if I have some changes to make, [Friday]," Vigneault said. "I like what the young man can bring to the game."

• Vigneault opted to play seven defensemen instead of slotting call-up Mikhail Vorobyev in at fourth-line center.

It's not a bad approach when you have seven healthy blueliners playing well. It also could mean the Flyers aren't ready to trust Vorobyev on the fourth line again.

The Senators game on Saturday looks like a better matchup for Vorobyev, who is in his fifth stint with the club since the start of last season.

• Brian Elliott hadn't lost in regulation since Oct. 29. The Flyers' backup goalie finished with 15 saves.

He allowed a first-period power play goal to Phil Kessel after Claude Giroux was whistled for a ticky-tacky slashing penalty. He then yielded a backbreaking third-period goal to Conor Garland with 7:03 left in the game.

The goalie was not the problem, though.

Sean Couturier was not a problem, either.

• The Flyers wrap up their three-game homestand Saturday when they welcome the Senators (1 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Next week, the team opens a three-game road trip, which features matchups with the Avalanche on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN), the Wild on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and the Jets on Sunday (5 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

 

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The 13 Philly-inspired ornaments you need this year

The 13 Philly-inspired ornaments you need this year

If you live in Philadelphia or the surrounding area, it's safe to say there's at least one ornament on your tree representing the city — whether it be a memento from a previous championship Philly has seen, famous landmarks or even the skyline, you're repping one way or another.

Throw everything you thought you knew about Philly ornaments out the window and make way for Jawnaments ... yes, you read that correctly.

Jawnaments. I swear, there is no place like Philadelphia.

Jawnaments is an Etsy shop that has been around since 2017 but they recently released a ton of non-traditional Philadelphia-inspired ornaments. And they're a thing of beauty.

Can you only function throughout the week because of the daily coffee you grab at Wawa and want to highlight that on your tree this year? They've got you covered.

Haven't received a parking ticket in the city in a while and just miss the stress and anxiety they bring with them? Yup, they've got that covered too.

The Tastykake Krimpet and Kandy Kake ornaments look good enough to eat ... even a classic soft pretzel with yellow mustard is an option.

And since Gritty is just about everywhere in the world ... it he. On an ornament. Oh sorry, *Jawnament.

Trust me, there are a ton of other options but you're just going to have to check out the full shop to see the beauty of it all.

You might even have to get a mini tree that's dedicated to the city you know and love. Heck, keep it up all year!

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.

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