Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers

Report: Flyers would choose Matt Carle over Jaromir Jagr if needed


At the time, it seemed like the Philadelphia Flyers overpaid Jaromir Jagr when they handed him a $3.3 million contract, but the brilliance of that deal was that it was for just one year. Of course, that’s also the problem now that it worked out: they have to re-sign the 40-year-old winger. Sam Carchidi floats an interesting nugget from “a source”: he’s not even their top off-season priority.

Instead, the team reportedly believes that inking defenseman Matt Carle is a bigger deal.

On its face, that might seem weird. After all, Jagr has been a smash-hit alongside Scott Hartnell and Claude Giroux while Carle has his occasional defensive lapses. Yet there are a number of reasons why this stance makes a lot of sense.

  • Carle is 27 while Jagr is 40-years-old.
  • As great as Jagr has been, it’s logical to assume that other (possibly cheaper and younger) forwards could succeed on that line, too.
  • With Chris Pronger likely out of the picture, Carle joins Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn as one of Philly’s most valuable defenseman. D is more of a need than offense for Philly.
  • Jagr’s increasing age is also bringing about more incidents of injury. That’s unlikely to change as he gets even older (he’ll turn 41 next season).
  • Also, from a “fan service” standpoint, Jagr’s not a long-time fixture. It’s not like they’d be the Anaheim Ducks letting Teemu Selanne walk.

That being said, the Flyers already invest a surprising amount of money in their up-and-down D corps. Here’s a look at the contracts they have under contract after this season (Pavel Kubina’s $3.85 million hit mercifully expires this summer).

Carle: ?
Timonen: $6.33M (expires after 2012-13)
Pronger (might not count because of LTIR): $4.92M (expires in 2016-17)
Coburn: $4.5M (expires after 2015-16)
Andrej Meszaros: $4M (expires after 2013-14)
Nicklas Grossmann: $3.5 (expires after 2015-16)
Andreas Lilja: $737K (expires after 2012-13)

As you can see, the Flyers invest a lot in … everything, it seems. The thing is, Giroux’s amazing bargain ($3.75M per year through 2013-14) allows them to overpay in other areas.


GM Paul Holmgren might be able to squeeze both under the cap, but if it comes down to one or the other, word is he’ll go with Carle. After looking at all those factors, do you think that would be the right choice?

Video: Marc Staal was no match for Alex Ovechkin on this goal

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 15: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals looks on against New York Islanders during the second period at Verizon Center on October 15, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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After being held without a point in his first two games of the season, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has now scored a goal in three consecutive games.

That includes his goal on Saturday night in the first period against the New York Rangers.

It’s one that will probably make the personal highlight reel for Ovechkin, but it certainly won’t make the highlight reel for Rangers defenseman Marc Staal.

To say that this head-to-head matchup turned out to be a mismatch would be … well … a bit of an understatement.

As Ovechkin crossed the blue line into the Rangers zone he started to toe-drag around Staal, only to stop midway through and just rip it from outside the circle, using Staal as a screen and beating Henrik Lundqvist for the goal.

It is probably not a good sign when the defenseman has his back to the shooter when the puck is released.

That goal gave the Capitals a 2-0 lead.

Red Wings’ Abdelkader out with lower body injury

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 15: Justin Abdelkader #8 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 15, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers defeated the Red Wings 4-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The Detroit Red Wings will be without veteran forward Justin Abdelkader on Saturday night when they host the San Jose Sharks.

The official word from the team is that he is sidelined with a lower body injury.

He will be replaced in the lineup by Andreas Athanasiou. Athanasiou has appeared in three games this season and yet to record a point.

He was not only in the lineup on Friday in the Red Wings in their 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators, but also scored his first goal of the season and played a season-high 17:55.

After scoring 19 goals and recording 23 assists in 82 games in 2015-16 the Red Wings signed a seven-year $29.7 million contract extension.

According to general manager Ken Holland (via Helene St. James) he is expected to be back in the lineup on Tuesday.

Former Canadiens coach Jacques Demers hospitalized

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OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Former Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Demers has been hospitalized.

Demer’s director of parliamentary affairs confirmed Saturday that the 72-year-old Demers, a Canadian senator, had been admitted to a Montreal hospital, but couldn’t immediately provide any details.

Demers had a stroke in April. He was at the Canadiens’ home opener Tuesday night, smiling in a wheelchair while handing a torch to captain Max Pacioretty to close out a pregame ceremony.

Demers led the Canadiens to their last Stanley Cup in 1993. He also coached Quebec, Detroit, St. Louis and Tampa Bay in the NHL, and Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Quebec in the WHA.

Ales Hemsky returns to Stars lineup tonight

NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 24:  Ales Hemsky #83 of the Dallas Stars skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 24, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. The Stars defeated the Devils 3-2 in the shootout.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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When the Dallas Stars take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday evening one of their top forwards will be making his 2016-17 debut.

The team announced on Saturday afternoon that forward Ales Hemsky will be activated from injured reserve after missing the first four games of the season due to a groin injury at the World Cup of hockey.

He is expected to skate on the Stars’ top line on Saturday night alongside Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.

Now 33 years old, Hemsky isn’t quite as dynamic as he was during his prime years in Edmonton, but he is still an extremely skilled playmaker that is a solid fit in Dallas’ system. He is entering his third year with the Stars and has 71 points (24 goals, 47 assists) in 151 games with the team.

With Hemsky now activated and back in the lineup, the Stars also announced on Saturday that veteran forward Jiri Hudler has been placed on IR retroactive to Oct. 15 due to illness.