NHLPA Approves 24-Team Playoff, Authorize Further Negotiations

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The NHLPA Executive Board had a call on Thursday to discuss the proposed 24-team playoff structure for the NHL’s return to play. On Friday, the NHLPA officially announced approval of the 24-team structure and authorized further negotiations with the NHL in pursuing the return to play.

"The Executive Board of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) has authorized further negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return to play format to determine the winner of the 2020 Stanley Cup. Several details remain to be negotiated and an agreement on the format would still be subject to the parties reaching agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play," the NHLPA said in a statement released on Friday night.

There were a number of issues presented during what was described as “spirited if not raucous” by TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Among the issues that brought about such great emotion were testing, player safety, players leaving their families, pay and the belief that this issue should be a full-player vote and not just the Executive Board, where each team has one representative. Despite the passion, which made the call heated at times according to McKenzie, the vote was nearly unanimous to move ahead with the format, resulting in a 29-2 vote.

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Flyers Greatest Moments: The Eric Lindros Trade and Debut

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

One of the most prolific players in Flyers history is Eric Lindros. From his infamous arrival in 1992 to his rather unceremonious exit in 2000, Lindros’ career was always shadowed with controversy.

That said, when he was at his best and his healthiest, Lindros was a dominant player. Had his career not been cut short due to injuries and concussions, he was on his way to topping 1,000 career points and having a bonafide Hall-of-Fame career. And while he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2018, it has sometimes been forgotten just how good he was in an era when many Hall of Famers suited up.

Here is a look at the early portion of Lindros’ career, from his acquisition to his debut.

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Report: NHL, NHLPA Working On 24-Team Playoff Setup

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

As the sports world enters Month 3 without any games, there seems to be progress being made on many fronts to get the major sports leagues back up and running sometime soon. The NHL was reportedly making some major progress in this area when a huge hurdle was thrown in the way.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the US-Canada border would remain closed for the next month to non-essential travel. This meant that a number of Canadian star players -- including names like Claude Giroux and Carter Hart for the Flyers -- would have to remain in Canada and continue training there unless an exception was granted.

While there is no update on that front, there is some hope that the NHL could have an outline for what the structure would look like when play is allowed to resume.

It has been widely reported that the league would potentially do away with the rest of the regular season and instead open up the playoffs to 24 teams, allowing for more games to be played and allowing any team that was within relative striking distance of the playoffs at the time of the pause a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup.

On Wednesday night, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the NHL and NHLPA is working toward a 24-team playoff setup that would be conference-based and it certainly has an interesting structure.

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Flyers Greatest Moments: The Streak

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

At the start of the 1979-80 season, the Flyers opened with a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders on Oct. 11. Two nights later, they lost to the Atlanta Flames, 9-2. Their third game of the season was the next night on Oct. 14, and the Flyers squeaked out a 4-3 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

That was the start of a streak that lasted nearly three months and spanned 35 games. Nothing has approached it since either.

Here is a look back at another Flyers Greatest Moment, the Streak.

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Flyers Greatest Moments: Remembering Pelle Lindbergh

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

For the past few weeks, we have been looking back at some of the greatest moments in Flyers history that happened outside of the playoffs and some of the legendary playoff series. Today, the series of greatest moments continues with a moment that is not a great moment, but a tribute to one of the greatest players the franchise has ever known.

In 1979, the Flyers drafted a young goaltender out of Sweden and his name started to become known in the 1980 Winter Olympics. During the 1980-81 season, he made his way over to North America and joined the Flyers AHL team, the Maine Mariners. In 1982, he made his NHL debut. By 1983, he was a full-fledged rookie on the Flyers, posting a 23-13-3 record with a 2.98 GAA and .891 save percentage in 40 games and being named to the NHL All-Rookie team. 

After another season of working in a tandem, the Flyers unleashed this young goaltending prodigy on the hockey world in the 1984-85 season. In 65 games, Pelle Lindbergh had 40 wins to lead the league and took home the Vezina Trophy with a 3.02 GAA and .899 save percentage. The Flyers made a run to the Stanley Cup Final that season, with Lindbergh posting a 12-6 record in 18 games with a 2.50 GAA, a .914 save percentage and three shutouts. Unfortunately, Lindbergh and the Flyers met an All-World group in the Edmonton Oilers in the Final, and after winning Game 1 handily, lost the next four in a row. Lindbergh didn’t get the start in Game 5 after losing three straight games.

Following up on his Vezina-winning season, Lindbergh was off to another great start in 1985-86. Through 12 games, the Flyers were 10-2-0 and had an eight-game winning streak entering a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 7.

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Honoring 'Enforcers' On and Off the Ice

By Matt Mastrogiovanni, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the designation of May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day. Along with that, the week itself was to be henceforth known as National Police Week (NPW). Every year since then, NPW has honored the service and sacrifice of those who've put their lives on the line or given their lives for United States law enforcement. 

To honor the theme of National Police Week, it's time to take a look back at some of the most prolific "law" enforcement "officers" to don the Philadelphia Flyers crest.

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Flyers Greatest Moments: The Shootout

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

In April 2010, the Flyers were finishing up a tumultuous season that featured a mid-season firing of their head coach and were clinging to the final playoff spot into the final week of the season.

On Friday night, April 9, a win over the Rangers would take care of everything and lock them into the playoffs, but the Rangers held off the Flyers in a 4-3 win to extend the season to the final day. The task was simple: the winner of the final game was going to the playoffs and the loser, no matter how it happened, was going into the offseason.

The scene shifted to Philadelphia for the final game on April 11 and it set up one of the best finishes and a memorable playoff run.

Here is a look back at the Shootout.

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YWT: The Philadelphia Flyers Podcast - YWT #79 - Bracket Preview (Feat. Thrash94Gaming)

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The newest YWT podcast episode is out and it provides a preview of our new bracket, choosing the greatest NHL team of all-time.

Host Kyle Collington is joined by YouTube gamer and massive Detroit Red Wings fan Thrash94Gaming to discuss the teams within the bracket, notably the Detroit Red Wings nominees within the bracket that is officially underway as of noon Thursday.

You can listen to this episode of the podcast below and be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and Podbean

You can also watch the latest episode of the YWT Podcast on YouTube and subscribe to the channel to see future shows.

As always, we want you to follow the podcast on Twitter @YWTpodcast, follow Thrash94Gaming @Thrash94Gaming, follow Mike Giletto Sr. on Twitter @MikeFromSJersey, follow Kevin Durso on Twitter @Kevin_Durso and follow producer Mike Giletto Jr. on Twitter @Mike_Giletto.


Bettman: Canceling NHL Season ‘Not Something I’m Even Contemplating’

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

It’s been just over two months since the NHL joined the other major leagues in putting a halt to play in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while there are still more questions than answers at this point about how it will happen, commissioner Gary Bettman is determined to have the season come to an end with the traditional awarding of the Stanley Cup.

As a guest on a virtual town hall held by the San Jose Sharks for members of its business alliance, Bettman discussed the possibility of the season being cancelled as a result of the pandemic.

Bettman said it’s “not something I’m even contemplating,” according to an article in The Mercury News. “I believe that if the right time comes, and the right circumstances, based on all of the options that we’re considering and our ability to execute them, we’ll get this season done.

“I don’t want to sound Pollyanna, but canceling is too easy a solution. That means you stop working hard to do all of the things that we’re doing, and I ultimately believe that there will be an opportunity.”

“States are re-opening, cities are re-opening and if we do the right things, I think we’ll be able to finish the season.”

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Flyers Greatest Moments: 2012 Winter Classic and Alumni Game

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

As New Year’s Day 2012 approached, the concept of the outdoor game was still relatively new to the NHL. There had been four Winter Classics played -- a tradition that started in 2008 -- and the Heritage Classic had been played between two Canadian teams just twice. Otherwise, there were just three outdoor exhibition games on record that were played for nothing more than pride.

The Flyers had participated in one in 2010 at Fenway Park in Boston, but it was their turn to host in 2012.

It was a weekend full of festivities, starting with a New Year’s Eve Alumni Game for the ages that featured the return to the ice of many legends for both the Flyers and New York Rangers. Then came the main event on Monday, Jan. 2 -- in observance of the New Year’s holiday being on a Sunday -- where the two division rivals with a lot of history took the ice.

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