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Monday, June 29

2:51 p.m.
Add Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn to the long list of hockey minds that thinks the Flyers' acquisition of Chris Pronger is a home run.

Coburn is in the area working out, and offered his comments about the former Hart Trophy winner and five-time NHL All-Star that will be his teammate come October.

"To add a guy like Chris is great," said Coburn. "I am excited to watch him play and learn from him and see him on an every day basis. The guy has been the MVP of the league and has done so many great things. He is a future hall-of-famer. To learn from a guy like that is going to be great.”

Coburn, who at 6-5, 220 pounds is relatively the same size as Pronger, admitted that he was an admirer growing up.

"He was one of my favorite players. I am pretty sure I had a poster of him on my wall."

The trade also is a sign to Coburn that club general manager Paul Holmgren wants to win.

"Anytime there is a trade or any kind of mix-up it always wakes guys up a little bit," he said. "It gets guys a little more fired up. It is almost like a message from the management. They are saying that we want to win now, we are adding a piece, this is the guy and you guys put it together now. 

"You see that kind of message and commitment from management and Paul, it is a pretty clear message. Win now.”

Holmgren on free agency, Knuble
- With the beginning of the free agency signing period set to begin on July 1, Holmgren was asked today if he sees the Flyers being active.

"I don’t anticipate any big moves, but I can’t anticipate what is going to happen on July 1," he said. "It is a funny market. It looks like there are going to be a lot of guys who are going to be free agents. We will be at work and we will see what is out there. We will see what we can do. 

"If we can’t do anything moving forward, [though], that is fine, too.”

There has been some speculation in the media that the addition of Pronger means that Mike Knuble will not be back with the club after a productive four seasons.

That's not necessarily the case, said Holmgren.

“I have said all along that Mike is a guy that we want to bring back and Mike has said the same thing to me. There are a couple of days left before July 1 and we will see what we can do. I will talk to his agent today and probably tomorrow just to see what we can come up with to try and keep Mike in the fold.”

Congrats to Settlemyre
- Flyers equipment manager Derek Settlemyre is the team's first Olympian.

Settlemyre will join Team USA in Vancouver next February, it was announced today by USA Hockey. To view the official press release, click here.

Monday, June 22

7:18 p.m.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren gave the following update on defenseman Braydon Coburn this evening:

"Braydon Coburn underwent successful arthoscopic surgery today to remove a small bony impingement in his left hip. The surgical procedure was performed by Dr. Thomas Byrd in Nashville. Braydon's rehabilitation will take 6-to-8 weeks and he is expected to make a full recovery."

Tuesday, June 16

3:43 p.m.
Derian Hatcher, who retired from the NHL on Monday to join the Flyers' front office, met with the media at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone on Tuesday afternoon. Below is a transcript of the press conference. Or, check out Hatcher's interview with Rob Simpson and E.J. Hradek on NHL Live.

- - -

Hatcher: “I’d just like to thank Paul Holmgren, Ed Snider and Peter Luukko for giving me the opportunity to stay in the game that I have literally played all my life. I am excited and I’m looking forward to it.”

Q: Has it ever been suggested that you become a medical marvel and make a come back?

Hatcher: “I have been asked that. I had my knee replaced to better enhance my lifestyle, to go out there and be able to run around the kids a little bit and play soccer and stuff like that. Let’s make that clear. That’s why I had my knee replaced.  
Derian Hatcher is still the only American-born captain to win the Stanley Cup. (Flyers Photos)

"Initially, I did talk to the doctors about this, to be honest with you. Basically everything they said was ‘no way.’ You are better off with a hip - trying to come back from an artificial hip than with a knee. There is no physical way you can rise to that level of competition and play that I would have to rise to.”

Q: How tough is that knowing mentally that you still want to play?

Hatcher: “It is tough. I think kind of at the end of last year (2007-08) it was looming.  Originally, coming into camp last year I thought that I could probably come back to play.  I think that Paul Holmgren thought that, too. As time progressed it just hit a wall and got worse, worse and worse. But, I think having those 3-to-4 months of being around the organization, being around the guys it really did make it a lot easier for me. It wasn’t just cut and dry. It is almost as if I was weaned into it.”

Q: What was your family’s reaction?

Hatcher: “It’s kind of funny. They all wanted me to keep playing, especially the boys. The boys play hockey and enjoy going to the games and all that good stuff. I just told them that I can’t. That’s the bottom line. Now, I am happily coaching them.”

Q: Being the only American born player to captain a Stanley Cup championship team (Dallas Stars, 1999), does that stand as your greatest NHL accomplishment?

Hatcher: “Probably, because that one still stands. But, I have had the chance to play in two Olympics, I won a Stanley Cup, won a World Cup, played in an All-Star Game, got to play with my brother Kevin and got to play with him in a few of those events as well. I have seen the world through hockey. I have been across Europe, I have been to Japan. It is hard to prioritize what one (accomplishment) but I think that one would have to be it. I still kind of quietly like that.”

Q: Any message to the fans of Philadelphia?

Hatcher: “I just want to thank them for their support. I know we had a rough year that one year, but we bounced back. I wish I could have played this year to help the team win, but I couldn’t. I look forward to working with the Philadelphia Flyers. I believe that they are definitely headed in the right direction and they aren’t that far away. That’s my message to the fans, that they are headed in the right direction and I believe that they aren’t that far away.”

Q: Do you know exactly what you are going to be doing?

Hatcher: "Paul Holmgren’s exact words to me are that we are going to have to ‘wing it’ a little bit, which is fine with me because that’s how I am, too. They will give me a schedule and I will kind of work around it and go to places when I can. They want me to go to Glens Falls a few times and there are a few draft picks now that they want me to go see and see who they draft this year. It will be scouting and I will run the rookie camp later this summer. I will be here in the summer when rookie camp starts (July 6) and when the regular training camp starts. Paul had mentioned that he would like me to watch games at home with him and just stuff like that. We are just going to see where this takes me.”

Q: Did you get a telephone call from (Ken) Hitchcock at all?

Hatcher: "I have not talked to Hitch. I had a few phone calls and a few texts but I haven’t talked to good ol' Hitch yet.”

Q: Do you have any plans of coaching behind the bench?

Hatcher: “That’s kind of a funny question because five years ago if anyone was to ever ask me if I would do that I would say ‘no way.’ But now, I am at the point where I would probably give it some thought. That is why I think that in the position I am in now is a great spot. Paul described it to me somewhere between coaching and management. Hopefully over the next year or two I will be able to decide what way I’d like to go.”

Friday, June 12

1:46 p.m.
Today at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone, we caught up with a couple of players still in the area to get their thoughts on the newest member of the team, goaltender Ray Emery.

Mike Knuble: "I can see where the organization is going with this signing. They got a guy who wants to come back into the NHL and try to prove himself again. I think the main draw is his competitiveness. Everybody loves his competitiveness. Whether things were true or not in whatever happened in Ottawa or whether there is much behind it, who knows? Certainly things are going to be a little bit magnified when you play in a Canadian city. Guys really don’t care as long as he is going to stop the puck. I don’t think we are going to have to worry about his competing every night. I see what (Paul) Homer (Holmgren) is going with this. I think he said he wants to go with maybe a little bit of a bigger goalie, quote unquote."

Q: Do you think having him brings and edge to the team that maybe they lacked before?

Knuble: "The edge that goalies have is probably a little different than what a player in front needs to have. They are the ones who have to be more focused. They are the guys on the ice for 60 minutes. Ray has played a lot of games in this league and he has had a lot of success. I don't think he needs to do anything different. He just needs to come in, be ready to play and stop the puck."

Kimmo Timonen: "We all know about Ray and what is behind is behind now and I am ready to leave that behind and move forward. I am sure he is, too. What I heard about him, he obviously is a big guy who covers a lot of the net and is really talented. He kind of has a feisty personality. I am actually looking forward to see him on the ice. Hopefully he can help us win."

Q: Do you think he might bring an edge to this team?

Timonen: "I think so. I think I only played against him 3-4 times in my life. I don’t know enough about him to say more about him, but what I heard he is really feisty. He is not shy of fighting and that kind of stuff. That's why I am kind of looking forward to see what kind of player and person he is. I am sure he will fit right in with our team perfectly."

Danny Briere: "With the situation that we are in, I think everybody expected something to happen. Obviously with salary cap era now, we needed to find a goalie somewhere. Some decisions have to be made. But I think we just signed a really good goalie who took his team to the Stanley Cup Final before. He is a young, good goalie. Everybody makes mistakes. I think we should judge Ray on how he reacts to this new opportunity. We need to give him a chance before we judge him. I have played against him and I know he is a good goalie. He is big, athletic and very competitive. I got the chance to meet him yesterday and seemed really nice. We will get to know him more later on. He is a great signing for the team especially if he reacts the way he said during his press conference in that he was happy with the chance that the Flyers are giving him. I think we are getting a great deal. I am excited about it and hopefully this helps us going all the way next year."

Q: Do you think he brings an edge to this team that maybe we didn’t have last season?

Briere: "He is definitely going to bring an edge. Sometimes it could be that sparkplug that we need. It's too early to tell. But just the fact that he is very competitive, it is going to bring in another element to our team. I think everybody is excited of the signing. You can tell that he just wants to win. It is going to be a fun year."

Q: Are you sad to possibly see Marty leave?

Briere: "Definitely. He is a good friend of mine but it is the business of hockey. You can’t really control that. It's not that the organization wanted to get rid of Marty. It is just a business decision. Like I stated earlier, with salary cap issues, decisions have to be made and this seems to be an obvious one. I think everybody will be sad to see Marty, if he goes. He is a great guy and we all wish him well wherever he is going to be playing next year."

* * *

Philadelphia Flyers Derian Hatcher underwent full right knee replacement surgery on June 1, 2009. Dr. William Hozack of Rothman Institute performed the surgery at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.

Q: How are you feeling?

Hatcher: "Considering that it has been only a little over 10 days it is feeling really, really good. It is a full knee replacement. I think they just go in there and saw some of the bone away and put the new knee in. I kind of know the process but it is hard to explain. Rehab is not too bad. I am going about five-times a week. Like I said, for being 10 days out I have made a ton of progress."

Q: So will you be the first person to make a comeback with a brand new knee?

Hatcher: "(Laughs). I seriously doubt it. The doctor said 'no' so there you go."

Wednesday, June 3

2:53 p.m.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren released the following statement today regarding free agent goaltender Ray Emery:

“We have internal discussions about many players and their potential availability, including Ray Emery. I have spoken to his agent a few times about Ray as well. Any further speculation about this would be very premature.”

Thursday, May 28

4:15 p.m.

Flyers forward Simon Gagne had successful surgery today to remove a bone spur and adhesions that had built up in his right hip, according to club general manager Paul Holmgren. The surgery was performed by Dr. Thomas Byrd in Nashville, Tennessee.

Simon will begin rehab tomorrow and is expected to be fully recovered in 4-to-6 weeks.

“I feel pretty good," said Gagne. "I had surgery this morning and right now I am on my way back from Nashville to Philly.  Maybe two or three hours after the surgery, I was back at the hotel having lunch. Now I am going back to Philly tonight.”

Gagne, 29, had 34 goals and 40 assists for 74 points in 79 games with the Flyers this season. He was asked if the injury affected his play.

"We were able to treat it with some pain relief medicine before games to take the edge off the pain. During the regular season there were some up and downs, but I was still able to play," he said. "I didn’t have to stop because of the pain. The pain was there once in a while but it was something that I was okay to play with.”

Gagne also commented on becoming a father, as he and his wife welcomed a baby boy, Matthew, on May 23. It is the couple's first child.

It feels like a dream. I don’t know if I really realize it yet. I got home with my wife and the baby on Tuesday morning, so I got to spend like one day with them at the house. This is where you start to realize that you are going to have a family, and you are going to be a father when the baby comes back to the house. On Wednesday I had to leave and come to Nashville and see the doctor and I had the surgery this morning. 

"I am sure the next couple of days are going to be very fun to get better, start to heal the hip with my baby, Matthew, and my wife. It is definitely one of the greatest moments in my life.”

Wednesday, May 20

2:31 p.m.
Today at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone, we caught up with a couple of players that are currently recovering from surgery. Danny Briere had his eyes operated on yesterday, while Mike Richards recently had both shoulders fixed.

First, Briere, sporting a pair of dark sunglasses, commented on how he feels.

"My eyes are a little sensitive to the light. But, besides that, everything seems to be going in the right direction," he said.

Richards had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder on May 1, and then had the same thing done to his left shoulder two weeks later.

“I don’t feel too bad. It is a lot tougher than I thought it would be with both shoulders done," said the captain. "I’m getting better. I’m starting to move a little bit better. I am sleeping with two shoulder braces on so that’s kind of the tough part.

“I can’t really lift anything right now. I’m up in the gym just working with some small two-pound weights just trying to get my strength back. The biggest thing is the day-to-day of grabbing things from the cupboard and doing stuff around the house, which makes it a little bit sore. I’m getting by and slowly getting better and moving around better. It is definitely encouraging that I am moving better now.”

Both players will be ready for the start of training camp in September.

Tuesday, May 19

9:21 a.m.
Dr. Michael Fung, from Society Hill Ophthalmic Associates, performed PRK eye surgery on Danny Briere this morning at Wills Eye Hospital.

“Everything went well," said Fung. "It went as expected with no problems or complications. Danny tolerated the surgery well and went home with his wife this morning. He will feel irritation in both eyes for the next couple of days and we will see how he is feeling next week.”

Monday, May 18

4:55 p.m.
Danny Briere will undergo corrective eye surgery on Tuesday, May 19, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren. Dr. Michael W. Fung, from Society Hill Ophthalmic Associates, will be performing the surgery at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.
“The procedure is called PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) and takes about seven minutes per eye,” said Dr. Fung. “He will see results fairly quickly, but the difference between PRK versus LASIK is that the visual outcome will take a few weeks before he gets to his final visual outcome as opposed to LASIK where he would be seeing better in a couple of days.”
“There were times during the games this season it was kind of annoying when I was wearing contact lenses,” said Briere. “They would get dry and start to bother me a little bit sitting on the bench. They told me it was a safe procedure and would be safe to play hockey so I am going to get it done.”
Flyers left wing Simon Gagne had the same procedure performed by Dr. Fung on May 5. “He is doing really well,” said Dr. Fung of Gagne. “He is seeing most of the 20/20 letters without glasses or contacts at this point and he is about a week or week and a half out.”

Thursday, May 14

12:39 p.m.
Flyers defenseman Randy Jones today spoke about his recent surgery, in which there were repairs made to his right hip including the removal of some scar tissue and tears to one of his muscles.

Although he did not want to admit it, listening to him speak it was clear that the injury which he battled for the duration of the season affected his play. Jones suffered the original injury during training camp and had surgery in October to repair a labrum in the hip. He was sidelined until late December from that surgery.
Randy Jones is looking forward to playing pain-free next season. (Jack Cassidy)

"I want to say no, but, I wasn't the same player that I was [in 2007-08], that's for sure," said Jones. "I wasn't able to skate the same, and there were a lot of parts of my game I had to change because I wasn't able to rely on my skating. There were parts of my game I felt I needed to change to kind of compensate.

"I don't ever like to use an excuse, and I never will use an excuse, but it didn't help in any way. I'll leave it like that."

In 47 games this past season, Jones had four goals and four assists for eight points. The season before, he posted five goals and 26 assists for 31 points in 71 games.

The 27-year-old blueliner is looking forward to playing next season pain-free for the first time in awhile.

"It's going to be back to how it was [in 2007-08]," he said. "100 times better. I'm not going to have any restrictions, and really no more pain, which will be fantastic. That's going to be a change to what I've been used to the last little while."

One more note on Jones: he is currently preparing for a celebrity golf tournament near his hometown of Quispamsis, New Brunswick. All of the proceeds from the 1st annual Randy Jones & Family Foundation golf tournament on June 24th will benefit the neonatal unit at St. John's (New Brunswick) hospital.

For more information on the tournament, click here.

Wednesday, May 13

3:42 p.m.
Per Paul Holmgren, "Randy Jones had successful surgery performed today to remove inflamed tissue and excess scar tissue that had been surrounding his right hip. The surgery was performed by Dr. Thomas Byrd at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Randy is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery in 4-to-6 weeks."

1:32 p.m.
Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn was spotted today at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone, upon his return home from the 2009 IIHF World Championships in Switzerland. There, he helped Team Canada to a silver medal, as the team lost 2-1 to Russia on May 10 in the championship game.

Coburn, who joined the team after the Flyers' ouster in the first round of the playoffs, wore uniform number 55 and finished with an assist and four penalty minutes in five games. It was his first experience in the World Championships, although he is no stranger to representing his country, as Coburn competed twice in the World Junior Championships before turning pro.
Braydon Coburn joined Team Canada in the IIHF World Championships in Switzerland after the Flyers were eliminated in the playoffs. (Getty Images)

"It was a great experience. The tournament was held in Zurich and Bern, Switzerland, two places where I had never been," said Coburn. "A lot of the guys participating early were from teams that didn't make the playoffs so they went over earlier. I came over with [Marc-Edouard] Vlasic from San Jose and [Travis] Zajac from New Jersey. We were late additions to the team.

"We played Latvia, Finland with [former Flyer] Sami Kapanen, Norway and [former Flyer Patrick] Thoresen and Sweden in the semifinals. We ended up falling to the Russians, 2-1, in the gold medal game. We played a great game but their goalie ended up getting the best of us.

"We played on the Olympic-sized ice and you are playing against guys that you have played against all year and you get a chance to play on the same team as them. It was also a unique opportunity to play a different type of hockey."

Coburn has managed to keep an eye on the NHL playoffs, as well, despite the disappointment of Philadelphia not advancing.

"I've been watching quite a bit of the NHL playoffs. There are some really good series," he said. "The instensity has been really high. 

"The Pittsburgh-Washington series has been a very back and forth battle. Carolina-Boston has been good, too. You could kind of see Carolina was so hot going into the playoffs and Boston being on top of the conference all year, that this has been just a great matchup so far. The Detroit-Ducks game last night was huge for the Ducks. I think they really outplayed Detroit but I think it is going to be a huge task for them to go into The Joe (Louis Arena) in Detroit and try and take Game 7."

Coburn also added he expects the Washington Capitals to advance past Pittsburgh in Game 7 tonight at the Verizon Center, and Carolina to defeat the Bruins tomorrow night in the decisive game in Boston.

Wednesday, May 6

12:00 p.m.
The Brooks Group today formally introduced the Adirondack Phantoms to Glens Falls, New York.

"Having the Phantoms playing here in Glens Falls creates some great rivalries. So, to all the New York teams in the AHL, beware of the Phantoms," said Glens Falls Mayor Jack Diamond.

"Glens Falls is a terrific hockey town and the players are going to enjoy playing here," said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko.

"We're gonna have a young, hard-working team. All of our players will be very active in the community," said Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren. "We're looking forward to writing a new history for hockey in Glens Falls."

The Adirondack Phantoms will begin play at the Glens Falls Civic Center in 2009-10. The Civic Center is managed by Global Spectrum a subsidiary of Flyers' parent company, Comcast-Spectacor.

* * *

9:04 a.m.

In the current issue of Sports Illustrated, which hits newsstands today, Flyers forward Scott Hartnell was named as one of the top five "dirtiest players" in the NHL in a poll of 324 players. Hartnell came in fifth on the list behind, in order, Chris Pronger, Steve Ott, Jarkko Ruutu and Sean Avery.

Hartnell was reached for comment while driving across Canada yesterday, and responded with his typical humor.

“I will take it. I guess any press is good press," he said. "If the players are talking about me, I think that’s a good thing.”

Hartnell, who totaled 143 penalty minutes this season, added he doesn't really consider himself that dirty of a player.

"I play the game hard. I think I play it fair. But I guess maybe after the whistles and stuff, that’s where I might get a bad name.”

As for taking over the top spot in the future?

“I don’t know if my coaches would like me for going for #1. I think a couple of these guys are going to be disliked for a long time," he said. "I will just keep chirping and getting in players faces."

Monday, May 4

5:25 p.m.
Flyers defenseman Randy Jones will have a exploratory hip procedure done next week by Dr. Thomas Byrd in Nashville, Tennessee. The recovery time will be based on what needs to be done. 

Darroll Powe was also seen by Dr. Byrd, and will rest his hip for a two-to-three week period before being reexamined to see if surgery in necessary.

Both updates are per Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren.

Friday, May 1

3:54 p.m.
Mike Richards had successful shoulder surgery today and will be released from the hospital later this afternoon.

Wednesday, April 29

4:05 p.m.
UPDATE: Mike Richards is having surgery on his right shoulder on Friday, May 1 and then he will have surgery on his left shoulder approximately two weeks later. The approximate time for full recovery of both shoulders is 12 weeks.  

1:00 p.m.
Mike Richards took part in the following Q and A with a Flyers spokesman today regarding his upcoming shoulder surgery.

Q:  Do you know when these shoulder injuries occurred?

Mike Richards: "I am not exactly sure when it happened to my left shoulder. One day it was a little bit sore and it just kept on getting more sore. I kind of checked it out early in the year. My right shoulder was kind of a similar situation. It really wasn't a certain game that I noticed it. I noticed both very early in the season just after training camp."

Q: If it happened that early, just how much pain were you in this entire season and playoffs?
MR: "Not a lot. There were certain days that were a lot worse than other days. But it wasn't like I was in agony or throbbing pain. It was more of like achy and sore. Like if you slept on it bad, you would wake up sore. But it wasn't like it was really bad pain where I couldn't bear it or anything."

Q: Was it in both shoulders or more one shoulder than the other?
MR: "The right was more sore than the left. The right was more achy just because of the way I shot and everything like that. I think I hit, I guess, with my right, too. Some days would be better. But different days and different times it could feel different."

Q: Do you think this affected your play during the regular season and in playoffs? Maybe affected your face-offs? Leverage on your stick?
MR: "No, I don't think so. I was on anti-inflammatories to keep the pain down. I don't think it affected me at all. It happened so early in the year. I don't think my play faultered because of it."

Q: You are having your right shoulder done Friday. What about the left?
MR: "I'm having my right one done on Friday. Once I get my motion back and get a little bit of strength back I will have the left one done so I will just be able to do some things. I can't get them both done at the same time because then I wouldn't be able to do anything."

Q: Who is doing the surgery and what's the prognosis?
MR: "Dr. Peter DeLuca is doing the surgery and we are looking at about 10 weeks."

9:14 a.m.

Flyers center Mike Richards will have surgery on Friday to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, per club general manager Paul Holmgren.

Richards, who was second on the team in scoring with 80 points, was named as a finalist for the Selke Trophy on Tuesday.

Details to come.

Monday, April 13

11:00 a.m.
For all the latest playoff information throughout the Flyers' postseason run visit the Flyers Playoff Center.

Saturday, April 11

9:35 p.m.

The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins will meet in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, after the Penguins beat Montreal on Saturday night, 3-1.

Philadelphia will play its final game of the reguar season on Sunday and must secure at least one point against the Rangers to ensure that the series will begin at the Wachovia Center. If the Flyers lose in regulation to the Rangers, the series would start at Mellon Arena.

Tickets to the first three home playoff games are on sale now.

6:06 p.m.
With the 3-2 win over the Islanders today and the loss by Carolina (in regulation) to New Jersey, here are the updated playoff scenarios.

- If Pittsburgh loses in regulation to Montreal tonight, the Flyers will host Carolina in the first round.
- If Pittsburgh loses in overtime or a shootout to Montreal tonight, the Flyers will host Pittsburgh in the first round.
- If Pittsburgh defeats Montreal tonight, the Flyers need at least one point tomorrow against the New York Rangers on Sunday for home ice in the first round against Pittsburgh.
- If Pittsburgh defeats Montreal tonight and the Flyers lose tomorrow to New York in regulation, Pittsburgh will host the Flyers in the first round.

Friday, April 10

2:24 p.m
The Flyers held a skate this morning at 11:30 at Nassau Coliseum, the home of the New York Islanders. The teams will play for the sixth and final time this season on Saturday afternoon (2:00 p.m., CSN). Philadelphia has won the previous five.

With two games left in the regular season, the Flyers will be looking to gather at least three of a possible four points in the standings to secure home ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Right now, they are tied with Carolina and Pittsburgh with 97 points but have one game in hand on both clubs. Carolina and Pittsburgh wrap up their regular seasons on Saturday with games against the Devils and Canadiens, respectively. The Flyers host the New York Rangers on Sunday, so they will know exactly where they stand going into that contest.

FlyersTV: Stevens - April 10 | Biron/Briere/Parent - April 10

Today at practice, defenseman Ryan Parent declared himself as ready to play against the Islanders. Parent left Tuesday's game against Florida with a lower body injury, and sat out last night's hard-fought 2-1 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

"I had no real problems with it, so I'll give it a go tomorrow," said Parent after practice. "You're obviously a little hesitant to push it, but nothing is really bothering me too much. It's good."

Martin Biron and Danny Briere also answered a couple questions after practice, including if they can sense a different temper in the club as the playoffs are now right around the corner.

"The attitude in here has changed a little bit from an easy going attitude to a business, get-going attitude," said Biron. "That's maybe the experience kicking in and the maturity that the guys have."

"You look at our last four games, I think we've stepped it up a notch," added Briere. "We realized it's not a switch you turn on and off that easy. I really like the way we've been playing, and I hope these last two games we keep that same momentum going into the playoffs and coming in on a roll. We didn't win last night, but I think as a team we did a lot of right things."

John Stevens was also asked to compare the status of the team this year as opposed to last season, when the team had to really battle at the end of the year just to make it into the postseason as opposed to this year, when they were never really in danger of missing out.

"We had some older veteran leadership last year in [Derian Hatcher, Jason Smith and Sami Kapanen] and guys like that," said Stevens. "This year it's been kind of a progression of our younger players assuming some of those leadership roles and [they] have done a great job with it. We kind of put ourselves in a position where we got into a playoff spot a little bit early, but at the same time I think the end of the year it's important how you're playing.

"If the last few games are an indication, I thought we played very well against Florida. I know we didn't win yesterday, but I thought we played the kind of game that you need to play where we were emotionally involved but we found that line of discipline. I really liked all parts of our game."

Thursday, April 9

3:00 p.m.
The Flyers have signed 6’4’’, 220-pound defenseman David Sloane to an amateur tryout under emergency conditions, according to club general manager Paul Holmgren. Sloane will replace defenseman Ryan Parent, who is listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury. Under emergency conditions of an amateur tryout, Sloane is available to play for a 24-hour period beginning with tonight's game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Sloane has been assigned uniform #40.

"I just want to keep it simple and play my game,” said Sloane. “I want to get the butterflies out early, which I am sure there will be plenty of."

Sloane also signed an amateur tryout with the Philadelphia Phantoms on March 17, 2009, but has yet to appear in a game for the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate.??Sloane, 24, posted four assists and 37 penalty minutes in 35 games this year in his senior season at Colgate University, where he was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team. In 129 career games over four years at Colgate, Sloane recorded 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points and 100 penalty minutes.

The Ambler, Pennsylvania native was a second round draft pick of the Chicago Steel of the USHL where he played during the 2004-2005 season, recording one assist and 12 penalty minutes in 17 games.

* * *

12:44 p.m.
Although he attended the morning skate at Madison Square Garden, defenseman Ryan Parent will miss the game against the Rangers tonight. Parent suffered a lower body injury on Tuesday in the 2-1 win at home over Florida.

The Flyers will announce later today who is taking his place on the blue line for tonight's game.

Wednesday, April 8

4:56 p.m.
The Flyers gathered today at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, but only a handful of players went on the ice. The rest of the team had a bike ride before the afternoon trek to New York City. Philadelphia takes on the Rangers on Thursday night (7:00 p.m., CSN) and Islanders on Saturday afternoon (2:00 p.m., CSN).

FlyersTV: Stevens - April 8 | Parent - April 8

Ryan Parent met with the media to update his condition. The defenseman left Wednesday night's 2-1 win over Florida with a lower body injury, but accompanied the club on its trip and will see how he is feeling tomorrow.
Ryan Parent hopes to play on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers. (Getty Images)

"I feel a lot better. We'll see how it feels tomorrow," said Parent. "If I feel good, I'm sure I'll play, so that's what I'm hoping for."

Parent has averaged over 18 minutes of ice time in 29 games this season, while often paired with Kimmo Timonen. Should be not be ready to play tomorrow, the Flyers will most likely recall a defenseman from the Phantoms in the morning.

Carolina on his mind - Flyers head coach John Stevens also met with the media as usual today shortly after noon. With the team now officially in the playoffs, Stevens was asked about a potential matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Were the regular season to end today, the Flyers and Hurricanes would play in the first round. Both teams have 97 points in the standings, although the Flyers have three games left to Carolina's two.

Philadelphia finished 3-0-1 in four regular season games against the Hurricanes, but Carolina is riding a nine-game winning streak, including a 9-0 thrashing the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.

"They're playing confident, they're playing sound, their goalie (Cam Ward) is playing great, [and] they're playing with a bit of an edge," said Stevens.

"We matched up pretty well with them most of the year, and they are a bit of a different team now, but I don't think it matters who you play in the first round, it's going to be a tough opponent."

Sbisa update - Flyers prospect Luca Sbisa could be close to returning to the area. Sbisa's Lethbridge Hurricanes are currently down 3-0 in their playoff series against Calgary, with Game 4 set for tonight.

Should Lethbridge be eliminated, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has said he may bring Sbisa back as insurance on the blue line for the playoffs or to join the Phantoms should the club's AHL affiliate make the postseason.

Sbisa, who was drafted by the Flyers in the first round last summer, had seven assists in 39 games this season as a rookie before being reassigned to his junior club.

Hartnell on NHL Live - Flyers forward Scott Hartnell was a guest on NHL Live yesterday, hosted by Don Greco and former Flyer and all-around great guy Jim Dowd. To listen to the interview, click the link here: Scott Hartnell - April 7

Tuesday, April 7

8:16 p.m.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren met with the media in the first intermission of the game against Florida at the Wachovia Center on Tuesday night to update the condition of Riley Cote. Cote will miss the rest of the season with a finger injury.

Holmgren: “It was his right ring finger. He got caught in a fight in Long Island a little over a week ago. They put it back in place right away and the other night against Toronto, he just kind of got hooked on his hand and it happened again, which was our biggest fear. He went to suit up again today with the idea that if it was one of those things that was going to continue to happen very easily, he would do the surgery to repair it. We knew that he would probably need surgery and it’s just one of those decisions that we made.”

Q: How long does it take to recover from something like that?
PH: “It’s a 10-12 week recovery.”

Q: We asked John Stevens about playing Andreas Nodl in the playoffs. Is that going to be the plan or do you have something else in mind?
PH: “I think Nodl has played okay for us when he’s been up. We’ll have other options if we get to that point, so we’ll just see. We’ll play it by ear.”

Monday, April 6

3:18 p.m.

With a day off on Sunday, the Philadelphia Flyers reconvened at the Wachovia Center on Monday for their annual team photo, which preceded an hour-long skate as they prepare for the Florida Panthers on Tuesday at home (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, Tickets).

FlyersTV: Richards/Gagne/Kimmo - April 6 | Stevens - April 6 | Saunders and Coates - April 6

Only four games remain in the regular season, with Philadelphia still holding on to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. With 95 points the Flyers are tied with Carolina, but they have one game in hand on the Hurricanes. They need just one more point in the standings to secure a birth in the postseason.

While it would have been nice to make it official on Saturday with a win instead of a shootout loss in Ottawa, captain Mike Richards thinks that will only fire up the team more when they face Florida on Tuesday.

"It might be a little bit better not having it solidified," he said. "We obviously have some work ahead of us so it will be nice to kind of practice for the playoffs right now and try to get the ball rolling and play well before we get in there."

There is no doubt that Florida will be ready to play. After beating Pittsburgh on Sunday the Panthers are now tied in points with the New York Rangers for the eighth and final spot (New York holds the tiebreaker by virtue of one more win).

Kimmo Timonen thinks that the Flyers play better when they know the opponent will be hungry for a win.

"It's easier to play teams who have something on the line, too," said the defenseman. "It's actually easier for us to go into a game when we know the other team is going to play really well."

"All we have to do is take care of ourselves," added head coach John Stevens. "There's other teams right now that need to take care of themselves and scoreboard watch, but because of the things we've done this year, we put in ourselves in a [good] situation."

Stevens also offered a broad assessment of the club as it heads into the final week of the regular season.

"I think sometimes as a coach you have to pull back objectively and look at your team. We've gone through some significant changes here of just in terms of getting our lines settled down. Danny [Briere] is healthy now. We played 15 games in the month of March, and now April is upon us. If you look at the way we played in some of those stretches, the Buffalo, Pittsburgh and [New Jersey] games is kind of an indication for me where we played good, better, and really good.

"Having said that, we need to start putting it together for 60 minutes. That's why I think this week is important. Our lines are kind of set now and we have some continuity, our defensive pairs have been together for awhile now, it's just a matter of putting it all together all the time."

Hartnell, Giroux miss practice - Two notable absences from today's practice were winger Scott Hartnell and center Claude Giroux. Although they were both in attendance for the team photo, Hartnell sat out with a case of pink eye while Giroux had a doctor's appointment.

Stevens expects both to be in the lineup on Tuesday.

Phantoms' Laliberte honored - The American Hockey League announced today that Phantoms right wing David Laliberte has been named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending April 5, 2009. Laliberte posted six goals, one assist and a plus-5 rating in four games as the Phantoms continued their charge towards a Calder Cup Playoff berth.

Philadelphia has three games remaining in the 2008-09 regular season and enters the week one point ahead of the Binghamton Senators in the race for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division. The Phantoms are 10-2-0-2 in their last 14 games to erase what was a 12-point deficit in the standings a little more than three weeks ago.

Malkin rocked - Just for the heck of it, here's a clip of the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin getting upended by Florida's Keith Ballard in the Panthers' 4-2 win Sunday night. Enjoy!

Friday, April 3

1:59 p.m.
Congrats go out to the family of Flyers assistant coach Joe Mullen, whose son, Patrick, was signed by the L.A. Kings today.

Mullen, 22, recently concluded his senior season at Denver University and recorded 25 points (4G, 21A) and 39 penalty minutes in 38 games. For the full story, click here.

Thursday, April 2

3:18 p.m.
After landing shortly after 1:00 a.m. from Toronto in the early morning hours, the Flyers convened at their practice rink for a short team practice on Thursday that began promptly at 11:30 a.m.

Not surprisingly, the Flyers players were not pleased with their effort in Wednesday night's 3-2 loss to the non-playoff contending Toronto Maple Leafs. It was an effort that was sharply criticized by the players themselves in the locker room following the game, and that theme was also still evident today.

FlyersTV: Stevens - April 2 | Richards/Lupul/Knuble/Briere - April 2

Fortunately, the team seems to recognize what happened and plans to get back on track starting with the second of the home-and-home with Toronto on Friday at the Wachovia Center (7:00 p.m., CSN, Tickets).
Mike Knuble said the Flyers need to respond on Friday night when they face the Maple Leafs for the second straight game. (Getty Images)

"For a team that's battling for home ice advantage and even still battling for the division with the way Jersey is slumping, it was unacceptable," said Joffrey Lupul of Wednesday's loss. "Our execution was poor; our passing was the worst I've seen it all year. We didn't execute, and we didn't even really work that hard.

"We know what we've got to do tomorrow, and I think everyone is pretty focused. It seemed that way at practice today, and we're going to have a good effort tomorrow."

The Flyers remain in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, and would like to secure home ice for at  least the first round of the playoffs. Furthermore, they want to make sure they are playing good hockey when Game 1 of the postseason rolls around.

"As a group, you can't just flip it on when the playoffs start April 15," said Mike Knuble.

Last season, the Flyers had to finish off the regular season with a 7-1-1 record in their last nine games just to get in to the playoffs. Knuble thinks that for whatever reason, the team seems to play better when its backs are up against the wall.

"We did well when we were threatened last year," he said. "Maybe as a group, we don't feel threatened yet, but we should. You've got to create that on your own, and that feeling that this is a do-or-die game. Especially after losing the one in Toronto yesterday, we've got to have it tomorrow.

"You hate to say we're in do-or-die games because we're in the middle of the playoff pack, but [we] are. We've been comfortable for a long time and things are starting to get a little bit uncomfortable where the standings are. As a group, we'll need to respond."

As he often does, Stevens stressed that it will be good old fashioned hard work that will carry the team down the stretch.

"That's three games in a row where we're playing catch-up, and it's a tough way to win," he said. "We just need to do the little things better, early, and go in there with a checking mindset and dig in to the trenches of the hockey game. It doesn't matter who you're playing."

Stevens also mentioned that Martin Biron would be back in net for the game against Toronto on Friday.

Syvret honored
- Philadelphia Phantoms defenseman Danny Syvret was names as a First Team AHL All-Star today. Syvret has 12 goals and 39 assists for 51 points, which places him second in the league among scoring for defensemen.

The Phantoms play back-to-back games in Norfolk, Virginia this weekend on Friday and Saturday. They are three points out of a playoff spot with six games left in the season.

Wednesday, April 1

10:59 p.m.

Hours after signing his multiyear, entry-level contract with the Flyers, James van Riemsdyk took to the ice with their American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, and made his professional debut.

FlyersTV: James van Riemsdyk - April 1

“It’s been a whirlwind,” said van Riemsdyk on the day’s events. “I mean obviously it’s been a dream come true ever since I got drafted by the Flyers. I was looking forward to that day where I would get to sign the contract and hopefully start living out my dream. Obviously it starts here and I’m just going to work hard and take in everything that I can.”

The 6’3’’, 205-pound van Riemsdyk helped the Phantoms to a 6-3 win over the Albany River Rats and admitted that it didn’t take long for him to notice the difference between the college level of play and the professional ranks.

“You can just tell how much smarter guys are. Obviously they’re a bit faster, stronger, but the main difference I think was that guys were always in position out there, just really positioning-sound. Obviously as the game wore on I got more and more comfortable.”

Van Riemsdyk, who now enters yet another playoff push, will travel with his new teams down to Virginia, as the Phantoms take on the Norfolk Admirals on Saturday.

“I think its going to be huge,” added van Riemsdyk about looking ahead to the final games of the regular season with the Phantoms. “I think being around this atmosphere is only going to help me and it will give me something to fuel the fire over the summer to just help me keep getting better."