Granted, it’s tough to take a vote of confidence from the Flyers entirely seriously after head coach Peter “Not At All On the Hot Seat” Laviolette was fired three games into the season, but for what it’s worth, Peter Luukko (president of the team’s parent company, Comcast-Spectacor) tells the Philadelphia Inquirer that general manager Paul Holmgren’s job is safe:
From the article:
Though obviously not satisfied with the early-season results, Luukko said that Holmgren’s job is not in jeopardy, that the team just needs time to adjust to new coach Craig Berube’s system.
Luukko was not alarmed by the results of a recent philly.com poll. Heading into the weekend, more than 4,400 people had responded when asked if Holmgren should be replaced.
Almost 93 percent said yes.
“When things aren’t going well, the timing of the poll is what directly relates to the answers,” Luukko said the other day. “To us, it doesn’t mean anything.”
The Flyers (1-7-0) are in the midst of a week-long break; their next game is Thursday versus the similarly struggling Rangers.
If the Flyers don’t turn it around soon, expect the Holmgren speculation to continue. Not saying it’s a foregone conclusion that he’ll be gone, but it should be noted that firing a GM is a tough thing to time. Does the team do it before the trade deadline so the new guy can start putting his stamp on the roster right away? Or, is it better to wait until the offseason when there are typically more candidates available to interview?
Ekblad back on the ice for Panthers after World Cup injury
The Florida Panthers had a bit of a scare during the 2016 World Cup when defenseman Aaron Ekblad, while playing for Team North America, was injured in a first-round game against Finland that kept him out for the remainder of the tournament.
On Saturday, Ekblad was back on the ice for the Panthers doing some individual workouts following the injury.
“Ekblad is going to be fine,” Panthers coach Gerard Galant said, via Alain Poupart of NHL.com. “You see him out there skating already. I think it was a little scary, but he feels real good. He’s going to skate and see how he feels, but everything looks good.”
It was initially reported that Ekblad had a concussion, but it was later reported to be a neck injury.
The Panthers haven’t been overly concerned with the injury over the past week.
Ekblad, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft, has quickly become one of the franchise building blocks for a Panthers team that is on the rise in the Eastern Conference.
Still only 20 years old, he is already a top-pairing defenseman in the league and has scored 27 goals in his career, a number that is pretty much unheard of for a defenseman that young.
After winning the Atlantic Division in 2015-16 and having a busy offseason that saw them add Keith Yandle and Jason Demers to their defense, the Panthers look like they could be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference this season and Ekblad is going to be a major part of that.
Ilya Bryzgalov’s Canada – Russia take is the best take
Unfortunately for the Bruins they will have to wait a few months before he gets an opportunity to make an impact.
The team announced on Saturday that Vatrano is going to require surgery to repair torn ligaments in his foot and is expected to miss at least three months.
General manager Don Sweeney said that Vatrano was injured in his training in preparation for the team’s training camp.
Vatrano appeared in 39 games for the Bruins in 2015-16 season and scored eight goals, including a hat trick in an early season win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He spent the rest of his season playing for Providence of the American Hockey League where he scored a league leading 36 goals in only 36 games. Just for some perspective on that goal total, only one other player in the league scored 30 goals for the entire season, and that was Chris Bourque who scored 30 in 72 games.
The Dallas Stars’ run of injuries hasn’t ended even with the World Cup of Hockey winding down.
Training camps are starting up, so that’s a new way that the team can encounter bad luck, and it didn’t take much time for the hits to keep coming. Cody Eakin suffered a lower-body injury that’s apparently bad enough to sideline him for six weeks, according to the team.
That same announcement revealed that Devin Shore will miss “some time.”