Late-Game Win Over Ducks Can Be Spark Flyers Need

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

The Philadelphia Flyers have had some consistent issues on the ice as of late with a three-game losing streak. Their penalty kill is ranked 30th in the league at 67.4 percent. They allow an average of four goals against per game. They score an average of 2.8 goals per game. And, of course, there have been plenty of early-season injuries.

However, things may finally change for the Orange and Black as they collected a much-needed 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday in the first game of a four-game West coast road trip.

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NHL Season Preview: Flyers and NHL Predictions

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(Photo: Kate Frese)

The 2018-19 NHL season opened on Wednesday night, but it officially begins for the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night with their season opener in Vegas.

It's a new year, which means it's time for our staff to take their best shot at what will come from the Flyers season and the NHL season.

The Flyers staff at Sports Talk Philly put together a series of predictions, both on the Flyers and the rest of the league. Here are the results:

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What is Laczynski’s Potential with the Flyers?

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

Ever since he was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the sixth round of the 2016 NHL Draft, Tanner Laczynski has been a name to keep an eye on.

Laczynski, now 21, is going back to the Ohio State University Buckeyes for his junior year. Since playing for Ohio State, Laczynski has been a force, scoring 32 points in 34 games played during his freshman year, and 47 points -- 17 goals and 30 assists -- while appearing in 41 games in his sophomore year, a total of 79 points in 75 career games at the college level.

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Mikhail Vorobyev Has Potential to Be Solid Role Player for Flyers

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

Throughout the past few seasons, Mikhail Vorobyev is quickly becoming a player to remember and making quite the name for himself.

The 21-year-old Russian center saw his first year of action in pro hockey when he played for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms last season, appearing in 58 games while netting 29 points, nine goals and 20 assists. Prior to the start of his pro career, Vorobyev has put in a magnificent amount of work in the Russian leagues.

In the MHL, Vorobyov scored a career 46 points, 14 goals and 32 assists, in 64 games. He also scored five goals and nine assists for 14 points in 72 games in the KHL.

Sure, the offensive numbers don't jump off the page, but the Russian leagues are premier leagues where Vorobyev was playing against men much older, stronger and more experienced that the Flyers prospect. He has plenty of work to do if he wants to crack the lineup for the Flyers, but with another year of training camp and preseason approaching within the next month, he may have what it takes.

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Flyers, NHL Put Greater Focus on College Prospects

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(Photo: Kate Frese)

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

Ever since Shayne Gostisbehere was drafted in 2012, the Philadelphia Flyers have been heavily scouting college players. Some of the more standout players who have been drafted by Philadelphia include first-round picks left wing Joel Farabee and center Jay O’Brien from the most recent draft back in June.

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What Does JVR Brings to the Flyers?

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(Photo: Kate Frese)

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

Former Flyers second-overall pick James van Riemsdyk is coming back to the City of Brotherly Love after signing a five-year, $35 million deal with a $7 million annual average value.

van Riemsdyk spent the past six seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and posted some remarkable numbers.

In four of his six seasons with Toronto, van Riemsdyk surpassed the 50-point mark. The only two seasons he did not accomplish this was in the lockout-shortened 2013 season, when he had 32 points in 48 games during the lockout year, and and injury-shortened 2015-16 season, when he had 29 points in 40 games.

Now what could this mean for Philadelphia?

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Making Sense of the Flyers Crowded Crease

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

For the Philadelphia Flyers, the goaltending situation continues to get complicated.

There are a number of questions that surround the Flyers goaltending lineup now and in the future.

Will Michal Neuvirth be moved and Alex Lyon brought up as back up for instance?

How far away is Carter Hart?

What about Anthony Stolarz' future with all his injuries?

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Flyers Offseason Preview: Draft Day

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

Flyers GM Ron Hextall has always said from the beginning that he plans to build from within the draft from the time he became GM in 2014. Since then he has drafted Travis Sanheim, Oskar Lindblom, Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, Felix Sandstrom, Mikhail Vorobyov, German Rubtsov, Carter Hart, Tanner Laczynski, Nolan Patrick, Morgan Frost, and Matthew Strome.

Those are just a handful of current and future NHL players that could make a big difference for Philadelphia.

Now for the 2018 NHL Draft, they currently have nine picks going into the draft, which takes place on June 22 and 23. Among those picks are ones acquired from St. Louis (14th overall), Arizona (127th overall) and Montreal (190th overall). The Flyers also sent their third-round pick to Detroit in the Petr Mrazek trade, so they will not select in the third round unless they acquire a pick during the weekend.

With that being said the Flyers have the 14th and 19th overall pick in the first round and have some possibilities to consider.

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Flyers Offseason Preview: Line Combinations and Free Agents

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(Kate Frese)

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

If the Philadelphia Flyers want a longer playoff run in the near future, head coach Dave Hakstol certainly has to give the team that opportunity in who he puts together on a line, along with who gets the most amount of ice time.

This was one of the Flyers’ biggest weakness in the playoffs and a good reason why they lost in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The key to success in today’s league is all about speed, skill and depth. If you look at a team similar to Pittsburgh, then it makes complete sense on why they won consecutive Stanley Cups. Their GM Jim Rutherford made minor, but key moves to cunningly improve the team.

While acquiring a player such as Derek Brassard was a big move, it took smaller moves like getting Riley Sheahan from the Detroit Red Wings to improve their roster.

The Flyers have to do the same if they want to succeed, and they have the tools to do it. In Part 1 of our Flyers Offseason Preview, we looked at the contracts that are expiring and how Ron Hextall may address them. In Part 2, we'll look at what the Flyers line combinations could look like at the start of the 2017-18 season.

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Flyers Offseason Preview: Contracts

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(Kate Frese/SB Nation)

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

The Philadelphia Flyers season came to an end a week ago after losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins. While battling back from being down 3-1 in the series and making it to a Game 6 was impressive, there are a lot of questions in what should be one of the more exciting offseasons in a few years.

According to CapFriendly.com, the Flyers have seven players whose contracts expire this upcoming offseason. Four of them are unrestricted free agents and three of them are restricted free agents. The UFAs consist of Valtteri Filppula, Matt Read, Johnny Oduya and Brandon Manning, while the RFAs are Petr Mrazek, Robert Hagg, and Taylor Leier.

GM Ron Hextall spoke on Thursday as part of exit interviews on the season and had revealed some interesting notes. 

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