Jaromir Jagr, Matt Read, Pavel Kubina

Jaromir Jagr can’t help but compare Sean Couturier to Ron Francis


We’ve known all season long that Jaromir Jagr is a huge admirer of Claude Giroux’s game in Philadelphia but he’s got another young star who he can’t help but laud after last night. Flyers rookie Sean Couturier netting a hat trick in the Flyers’ 8-5 Game 2 win over Pittsburgh got Jagr gushing and comparing him to another former Penguins teammate.

As Jagr told Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters, he’s almost run out of great things to say about Couturier.

“I don’t know if I know if I know any words to describe his game today. Awesome? Maybe something better than that,” Jagr asked. “I would say he’s our best defensive forward. Age 18-, 19-year-old. Ron Francis was kind of like that. “

Jagr compared Claude Giroux to Mario Lemieux at the beginning of the year and again on Twitter after the game, but comparing Couturier to Francis for the work he’s done in keeping likely MVP Evgeni Malkin quiet so far and in scoring goals makes Francis an apt, but lofty one for now.

With the Flyers up 2-0 in the series and heading back home with a chance to put the Penguins away, it’s tough to say that Jagr is wrong for his compliments. Now it’s up to the Penguins to silence Jagr and prevent him from comparing other Flyers to his former Penguins Stanley Cup-winning teammates.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.