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2012-13: JANUARY
ASF BLOG: InsideOut.com

9:36 p.m.

Flyers defenseman Erik Gustafsson did not return to the ice with the team for the third period of the Flyers-Capitals game. General manager Paul Holmgren announced just prior to the period starting that he has a lower-body injury and will not return to the game.

Gustafsson appeared in 7:54 of ice time, taking in 10 shifts, blocking two shots.

He has appeared in six games so far this season since being recalled on Feb. 16 while the team was in Montreal. He has two assists and prior to tonight's game, has averaged 18:47 of ice-time per-game.

More information to follow...

4:00 p.m.

The Flyers have acquired LW Simon Gagne from Los Angeles for a conditional 4th round draft pick, previously acquired from Phoenix.

Below via Press Release...

The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired left wing Simon Gagne from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, previously acquired from Phoenix, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.
“Simon is an experienced veteran who will help us in a lot of areas,” Holmgren said in making the announcement.  “We are glad to have him back.”
Gagne, who turns 33 on Friday (2/29/80), returns to the Flyers after two years away from the organization.  He was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning on June 19, 2010 in exchange for D Matt Walker and a fourth-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, which the Flyers used to select current Phantoms LW Marcel Noebels.

HIGHLIGHT: Gagne score the game-winning-goal in Game 7 vs. Boston in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals

HIGHLIGHT: Gagne kicks off "The Comeback" with his OT game-winner in Game 4 vs. Boston
in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals

BEST OF GAGNE: Highlights of Simon Gagne in his 10 years with the Flyers


11:23 a.m.

For his incredible performances on the ice over the last week, Flyers forward Jakub Voracek was named FIRST Star of the Week by the National Hockey League this morning.

Voracek posted four goals and seven assists for 11 points in the Flyers four games during the week. He recorded four assists in the Flyers' 7-0 win at NY Islanders and followed that up with a Hat Trick in the club's 6-5 win at Pittsburgh, including the game-winning goal in the final two minutes to beat the Penguins.

After recording a goal in a loss to Florida on Thursday, Voracek notched his third multi-point game of the week with three assists as the Flyers came back to beat the Jets, 5-3 on Saturday afternoon.

Voracek is currently riding a five-game point streak and currently leads the team in points (22), assists (15) and is tied for the lead in goals (7) and power-play goals (3). He has appeared in all 20 games so far this season.

Reaction from Voracek expected following today's morning skate...


10:52 p.m.

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette announced that Scott Hartnell is IN today's line-up when the Flyers take on the Winnipeg Jets at 1 p.m.

This will be Hartnell's first game since suffering a broken left foot at New Jersey on Jan. 22 causing him to miss the last 16 games and a total of 30 days.


10:54 p.m.

Forward Tom Sestito sustained a lower-body injury in the Phantoms-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL game at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday night, according to Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow.

Sestito left the game after the first period and did not return.

3:44 p.m.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that the club has loaned forward Tom Sestito to the Phantoms for conditioning purposes. He will wear #32 and be in tonight's Adirondack-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton line-up as the Phantoms take on the Penguins in AHL action at the Wells Fargo Center (7 pm on TCN).

Sestito has appeared in seven games for the Flyers, recording two goals, both in a 2-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning.


6:40 p.m.

Prior to the Flyers-Panthers game, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren gave an injury update and the news is not favorable for sophomore forward Matt Read.

"Matt suffered torn rib cage muscles in last night's game," said Holmgren. "He will be out for six weeks."

Read leads the team in goals (7) through the first 18 games of the season and has a combined 13 points.

Read led all rookies last season with 24 goals, and led all rookies in game-winning-goals (6), while finishing fourth among all first-year players in overall points (47). He appeared in all but three games for the Flyers last season.

In other injury news, and one on a more positive note for Flyers fans, is that Scott Hartnell and defenseman Andrej Meszaros are getting closer and closer to their return to the line-up.

"[Andrej Meszaros] saw doctor today and will be allowed to take part in limited practice with the team. Still out for 7-10 days," announced Holmgren.

He also stated that Hartnell continues to improve and will be out another 5-7 days.

Hartnell skated with the team's AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ, and other Flyers rehabbing.

Below are highlights of Scott's skate, plus full interview with the media.


8:52 p.m.

Flyers forward Matt Read did not return to the bench for the second period in the Flyers-Penguins game at Pittsburgh.

According to club general manager Paul Holmgren, Read has an upper-body injury and will not return to the game.

In the first period, Read took nine shifts and appeared in 6:54 of ice time.

Read leads the Flyers in goals so far this season with seven and prior to tonight's game was tied for overall scoring with 13 points (7g-6a). He has yet to miss any time this season, appearing in all 17 games, averaging over 18 minutes of ice-time per-game (18:05).

An update is expected following the game...

5:52 p.m.

A few hours before the Flyers take on the Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren updated the media on the injury status of forward Scott Hartnell and defenseman Andrej Meszaros.

"Scott Hartnell saw the doctor today and was given the okay to take part in practice. He will likely be out of the line-up for another 7-10 days."

Tonight's game will be the 15th consecutive game Hartnell has missed, which is the most games in a regular season he has missed since 2006-07 when he was a member of the Nashville Predators.

"Andrej Meszaros continues to improve," added Holmgren. "[He] will see the team doctor tomorrow and we should know more at that time."

Meszaros has been sidelined since Jan. 25, missing the last 13 games for the Flyers with an injured left shoulder.

The Flyers return home following tonight's game against the Penguins for a five-game homestand with a quick turn-around to face the Florida Panthers on Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.


8:58 p.m.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren updated the media late last night on Scott Hartnell's status:

"Scott is improving. He sees his doctor tomorrow [Feb. 20] and we should know more after his check-up."

Hartnell has been sidelined for the past 29 days after suffering a broken first metatarsal in his left foot on Jan. 22 at New Jersey against the Devils. He underwent successful surgery on Jan. 25.

Hartnell has missed 14 games so far this season.


6:25 p.m.

There was speculation whether or not defenseman Kimmo Timonen would be in the Flyers line-up tonight at Montreal after not appearing in the third period last night at New Jersey due to a lower-body injury.

Well, Timonen participated in the team's warm-ups and is officially in tonight's Flyers-Canadiens game.

Timonen has appeared in all 15 games for the Flyers this season, posting seven assists and nine points, tying him for fifth in scoring among Eastern Conference defensemen. He has also recorded at least a point in four of his last five games (1g-3a).

5:54 p.m.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced some roster moves just prior to their game at Montreal.

The club has recalled defenseman Erik Gustafsson from their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, and loaned defenseman Andreas Lilja to the Phantoms.

Gustafsson will be in the Flyers line-up tonight and wear No. 29.

This is Gustafsson's first recall to the Flyers this season, after playing 32 games with the Phantoms, posting 18 points (4g-14a) and 37 penalty minutes.

He missed 15 games with the Phantoms after suffering an ankle injury on Dec. 14 against the Syracuse Crunch.

Last season, Gustafsson appeared in 30 regular season games for the Flyers recording a goal and four assists. He added two points (1g-1a) in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"I think he's at the point where he wants to get here, get in the line-up on a regular basis," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "It's unfortunate what happened with the injury to start the year because he had some good games for us, especially in the Pittsburgh series at the end of last year. He can even use that to build off of and hopefully continue to improve at this level."

Gustafsson received the news late last night after the Phantoms-Albany Devils game and feels good about getting back with the big club.

"I feel that I played pretty well these last four games with the Phantoms," said Gustafsson. "I'm a lot more confident this year. I know what to expect and I feel confident that I'm going to bring a good game tonight."

Peter Laviolette also announced that back-up goaltender Brian Boucher will make the start against the Canadiens.

It will be Boucher's first start for the Flyers since Game Three of the 2011 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Bruins.

Boucher came in relief of Ilya Bryzgalov on Feb. 11 at Toronto, where he stopped nine of 10 shots in 34 minutes of play.


9:15 p.m.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that defenseman Kimmo Timonen has a lower-body injury and would not return in the 3rd period of the Flyers-Devils game.

Timonen appeared in 11:24 of ice-time and a total of 22 shifts through the first two periods.

More details expected following the game...

6:55 p.m.

Shortly before the start of the Flyers-Devils game in Newark, NJ, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said that Sean Couturier would be a game-time decision.

Couturier participated in the team's optional morning skate at the Prudential Center and with game-time upon us, it's official that he will be in the line-up after battling the flu to face off against the Devils.

Couturier missed two games, his sixth and seventh of his young NHL career, and has five points (2g-3a) in 12 games for the Flyers this season.

Postgame video from Couturier following the game…

Holmgren also announced that Scott Hartnell did skate earlier in the day, but there is no change in the forwards condition. Hartnell has been sidelined since Jan. 24, after suffering a broken first metatarsal in his left foot during the Flyers-Devils game on Jan. 22.

Goaltender Michael Leighton also remains out of the line-up. He is expected to be out 7-10 days.

3:25 p.m.

via press release from the Philadelphia Flyers:

The club has recalled RW Harry Zolnierczyk from their American Hockey League affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, according to general manager Paul Holmgren. 

Zolnierczyk will be available for the Flyers’ game in Winnipeg tonight and will wear #12.
Zolnierczyk has spent the entire 2012-13 season with Adirondack, where he has nine goals and eight assists for 17 points in 46 games. He appeared in 37 games for the Flyers a year ago, recording three goals and three assists. 

He signed with the Flyers as a free agent on March 8, 2011 following a four-year career at Brown University.

Holmgren also announced that Jody Shelley has been placed on injured reserve due to a hip injury.

Here's a great highlight of Harry Z with the Phantoms this season...


7:14 p.m.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren updated the media on Sean Couturier, who did not dress for tonight's Flyers-Maple Leafs game at the Air Canada Centre, due to the flu.

Couturier has appeared in all 12 games for the Flyers so far this season, posting five points (2g-3a) while averaging 18:45 of time-on-ice, which ranks third most among Flyer forwards.

This is the first game of the season Couturier has missed, and first NHL game since Feb. 23 at Edmonton, a span of 34 NHL games. Overall in his young career, Couturier has missed just five games due to injury/illness, tonight being his sixth.


2:01 p.m.

The Flyers announced that they have recalled goaltender Brian Boucher from their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms.

With the recall, the Flyers also announced that they have placed (G) Michael Leighton on injured reserve with an upper body injury.

Boucher is traveling with the team today on their trip to Toronto and Winnipeg as they face the Maple Leafs and Jets in back-to-back nights on Monday and Tuesday respectively. He will wear uniform No. 33.

He has appeared in six games with the Phantoms this season, posting a 2-4-0-0 record and a 2.71 GAA and .908 save percentage.

Leighton appeared in one game with the Flyers so far this season, taking a 5-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Jan. 27.

Boucher was acquired by the Flyers on the first day of this year's training camp, Jan. 13, from the Carolina Hurricanes along with unsigned collegiate defenseman Mike Alt from U. of Minnesota, for Flyers prospect Luke Pither.


5:24 p.m.

The Flyers held an optional practice today following their 3-2 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday.
PHI-FLA RECAP: Point Taken... Away  I  FTV: Watch the Shootout
And the option was taken by most of the team to keep sharp and their legs going during a time where games are being played every other day.

The Flyers are in a midst of a four-game homestand, and once that's finished, they embark on their season-high six-game road trip. That you've probably noticed in the schedule.

But what you may not have seen hidden in that is that they are in the midst of playing five games in an eight-day span.

And that's merely a byproduct of the shortened NHL season, but the playing field is level for all teams. The Flyers next opponent, the Carolina Hurricanes are playing four games in six nights, all of them on the road.

To some Flyers, it's not necessarily a bad thing.

"There's not much time for rest," said Danny Briere. "When you're not playing well it's a good thing because you're right back at it, or after a tough loss like last night, we come  here this morning and we have to prepare for tomorrow afternoon's game. I kind of like it. I like playing lots of games."

Here's Briere's full media interview following practice.

Wayne Simmonds was on the ice skating with the team, but this day was different than the others because he wore a regular orange practice jersey, instead of the yellow "no-contact" jersey he had previous been wearing while recovering from his first concussion.

"I'm pretty sure I'll get hit next time I play. I'm not really too worried about that. I feel pretty good right now," said Simmonds. "I think it's just up to the coaching staff whether they want to put me in or not."

Simmonds is eligible to play in tomorrow's game vs. Carolina (1 p.m. on CSN), however per-team policy, line-ups are not announced ahead of time.

Following the skate, Simmonds spoke to the media. Here's his take on his status…

Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko today was named to Billboard Magazine's illustrious Power 100 list for the second consecutive year.

Overseeing the day-to-day operations of one of the industry's largest sports and entertainment firms, Luukko ranked 74th amongst the giants of the music industry.

Along with Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider, Luukko ranked 43rd on Sports Business Journal's prestigious list of the most influential in sports business this year, as well.

"It truly is an honor to be included in such a prestigious group," said Luukko. "More importantly, I'm really proud of the team effort that we have here at Comcast-Spectacor. This recognition is really about the outstanding staff we have and the terrific work they do each day."

The write up in Billboard Magazine will hit stands on Monday, February 11…


5:04 p.m.


The Flyers opened up a four-game homestand on Saturday vs. Carolina needing to put some games in the win column, and that's exactly what they've done for the first half of it.

After a 5-3 win over the Hurricanes, the Flyers followed that up with perhaps their best defensive performance on Tuesday but shutting down the NHL's best power-play, best players and best offense with a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Despite the slow start, going 2-6-0 in the first eight games, the 2-0-0 opening to the homestand brings their record to 3-1-0 at the Wells Fargo Center, which includes a three-game home winning streak.

"Last night guys were skating, they had a lot of energy and it's pretty easy to play in front of our fans [because] they give us a little boost," said Claude Giroux. "Bryz was solid again and if we keep working like that we're going to give ourselves a chance to win every game."

Full media interview with the Flyers captain here:

Giroux's new line mate, Danny Briere, credits a good amount of the success to the team finally gelling together.

"We started with a lot of games on the road and we didn't play all that great in some of those games," added Briere. "We're starting to feel more comfortable as a team with the new system and new players all involved."

Mike Knuble, who resumed his Flyers career with the team on the road this season, couldn't wait to get back to play in front of the fans because he knew the impact it would create.

"It's a tough place to play because the teams are competitive, usually big, strong and tough teams to play," said Knuble. "I think half-way through this homestand we've been showing that. It needs to be and you want to use that little home-town advantage and capitalize on that Philly, blue-collar toughness and bring that to the rink."

The Flyers, on average, have higher numbers at home than on the road, scoring 2.5 goals per-game at the Wells Fargo Center, compared to 2.16. The Flyers average 26.5 hits per game at home, compared to 25.1 on the road.

Perhaps the biggest difference is the shot-blocking on home ice. Through their first four games at home, the Flyers are averaging nearly 10 more blocks than they do on the road (20.5 at home - 11.16 on the road).

The homestand continues with the Florida Panthers coming into town on Thursday.

Wayne Simmonds took to the ice for the first time since sustaining a concussion in the Flyers' 3-2 loss at Washington.

Simmonds skated a full session with the team, wearing the yellow no-contact jersey, but participated in most, if not all of the drills.

Simmonds was leading the team in scoring early in the season prior to sustaining the injury and has missed the past two games. They are the only two games as a Flyer he has missed, after he appeared in all 82 regular season games last year, his first as a Flyer.

Here's Simmonds media availability along with highlights of his practice session.

The Flyers once again proved that they are never too busy to help out a youngster in need.

Five-year-old Braeden Most, of Northeast Phila., was Scott Hartnell’s guest today at the Flyers practice facility. Braeden is currently undergoing chemo treatments for an inoperable brain tumor.  FOX 29 will broadcast the story tomorrow at 5:50p.m. 

From left to right:  Tye McGinn, Claude Giroux, Braeden and Scott Hartnell.

Flyers head coach Laviolette admitted that Tuesday's win over the Lightning was an intense game to play and especially to come out on top. However, given the Flyers record, there isn't much room to make mistakes and fall behind even further.

The task remains focused on the Florida Panthers, who with the additions of top forwards Kris Versteeg and Marcel Goc, along with defenseman Erik Gudbranson, are a slightly different team than the one the Flyers defeated on Jan. 26 by a dominating 7-1 performance.

Full interview with Laviolette is below...

6:48 p.m.

The Flyers participated in a full practice at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone. During that time, GM Paul Holmgren addressed the media on the status and condition of forward Wayne Simmonds... and a few other players.

Here's his complete interview...

1:48 p.m.

After a big 5-3 win on Saturday night over the Carolina Hurricanes, the team had a complete day off and away from the rink on Sunday.

Not being able to head to the practice rink to catch up with the players, FlyersTV took the opportunity to ask them after the game to weigh-in on another big game - Super Bowl XLVII.

Here's what they had to say...

7:52 p.m.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren updated the media on the status of Wayne Simmonds following the first period of the Flyers-Hurricanes game at the Wells Fargo Center.

Holmgren said that Simmonds sustained a concussion as a result of getting hit in Friday night's game at Washington. He will be out indefinitely.

7:18 p.m.


Story below sent via Press Release by the National Hockey League:

NEW YORK -- Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine has been suspended for three games for elbowing Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds in NHL Game No. 101 in Washington on Friday, February 1, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Erskine will forfeit $24,324.33. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

The incident occurred at 18:09 of the first period.

A detailed explanation of the suspension is below...

4:58 p.m.

Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren gave a status update on Wayne Simmonds prior to the Flyers home game against the Carolina Hurricanes:

"Wayne will not play in tonight's game because of head and neck injuries suffered in last nights game. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow."

10:49 a.m.

News Story via NHL.com:

Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine faces a hearing on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET with the Department of Player Safety for his hit on Wayne Simmonds in a 3-2 victory Friday against the Philadelphia Flyers. The hearing will be held by phone. The grounds for the hearing are elbowing and illegal check to the head.

At the 18:14 mark of the first period, Erskine appeared to hit Simmonds in the head with his elbow on the play. No penalty was called. Simmonds left the game and did not return.

Washington plays its next game on Sunday afternoon, against the Pittsburgh Penguins.


10:55 p.m.

Simmonds did not return for the second and third periods. General Manager Paul Holmgren addressed the media in the locker room after the game...

8:43 p.m.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced during the second period that forward Wayne Simmonds is unlikely to return to the Flyers-Capitals game at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C.

Simmonds went down by the hashmarks after what looked like taking an elbow up high from Capitals defenseman John Erskine with 1:46 left in the first period.

He did not return to the ice following intermission.

Simmonds leads the Flyers in scoring through the first seven games of the season with five points (2g-3A), while averaging 18:04 of ice-time per-game coming into Friday's game at Washington.