Filppadelphia. Valtteri Filppula participated in the Flyers’ morning skate today and is expected to play his first game with the Flyers tonight. He’ll be centering the second line between Schenn and Voracek and will be wearing #51 for the orange and black.
Konecny ahead of schedule. Travis Konecny has been out since February 7 with a lower body injury. It was initially announced that he would miss 4-6 weeks, but he’s ahead of schedule and could play as soon as this Saturday against the Capitals. His return would be a huge boost for the offense, assuming Hakstol doesn’t make him a healthy scratch.
The Rafflcopter has been grounded. Because trade deadline day isn’t emotional enough as it is, the Flyers announced yesterday that forward Michael Raffl will miss 6-8 weeks with a left knee injury he suffered during the game Tuesday night. The 6-8 week time frame essentially shuts him down for the remainder of the regular season. His eleven points (8G, 3A) don’t make him the most essential piece to the offensive puzzle, but he has been one of the Flyers’ best 5v5 players this season. It’s a good thing the Flyers added a solid forward at the trade deadline.
Two-year deals. Besides the Streit-Filppula trade, the Flyers didn’t make any other external moves at the trade deadline. They did, however, make two internal moves. Michal Neuvirth and Pierre Edouard Bellemare have each been inked to two year contract extensions. Bellemare’s contract is worth $2.9 million and Neuvirth’s is worth $5 million. It’s still unclear if the Neuvirth signing means Mason will be back or not. Logic says no, but Hextall has said he hasn’t ruled it out yet. It also makes him an attractive choice for the expansion draft, since Vegas wouldn’t have to worry about finding a new goalie at the end of their first season.
Flyers’ new Alternate is not who you were expecting. In the wake of signing a shiny new two-year contract, Pierre Edouard Bellemare has officially been named the next alternate captain of the Philadelphia Flyers. He might not be the best player on the ice but his positive attitude, hard work and dedication to the game make him a great choice to lead a team full of young players. Plus, the combination of his new contract and giving him a letter boosts his value in the expansion draft. It is a surprising move, though. Most predictions revolved around Jake Voracek, though Gostisbehere, Couturier and even Provorov were thrown around. But hey, at least it’s not Andrew MacDonald.
Rubtsov officially a Flyer. It’s been 251 days since the Flyers drafted Russian forward German Rubtsov in the first round of the 2016 NHL entry draft. This summer when the majority of rest of his draft class was signing their entry level deals and attending the Flyers’ development camp, Rubtsov was still playing in the KHL. Today, Rubtsov took the next step in what’s hopefully going to be a long and successful career with Philadelphia- he signed his entry level contract. In January, after the World Juniors championship tournament, Rubtsov broke his contract with his KHL team and signed a new contract with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He’s since recorded eight goals and twelve assists in fourteen games.
Jake Voracek: Hat Trick Thief. Just over half way through the first period against the Avalanche on Tuesday, Wayne Simmonds scored his third goal of the night and the hats rained down. 396 hats, to be exact. The problem was, Wayne Simmonds didn’t actually score that goal. Upon replay, it was deemed that Voracek actually scored the goal off a deflection by one of the Avalanche defensemen. Simmonds was just in the area. Voracek promised during the following intermission that he would do his best to make sure the hats weren’t wasted, but unfortunately Simmonds wasn’t able to get another goal.
It was announced today that in response to the “Hat Trick Robbery,” Voracek will be donating 396 Flyers hats to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and other local children’s hospitals. At about $20 per hat, that’s almost an $8,000 donation. It’s an extremely generous act that proves Voracek is one of the classiest guys in the league. Party on, Jake.