Author: Mike Halford


Flyers sign Swiss defenseman Marti


The Flyers have added another young defensive prospect to the mix, signing Swiss blueliner Christian Marti to an entry-level deal.

Marti, 22, joins the Flyers after two seasons in the Swiss National League A with club side Geneve-Servette. At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, he’s got good size and showed some offensive flair during his one and only season of junior hockey in Quebec two years ago, scoring 35 points in 46 games for QMJHL Blainville-Boisbriand.

Marti also represented Switzerland at the 2012 World Juniors in Alberta.

It’ll be interesting to see where Marti fits in the Flyers system. The club has seven NHL d-men under contract for next season — Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossmann, Nick Schultz, and Radko Gudas — while Michael Del Zotto is a pending restricted free agent.

Highly-touted draftees Samuel Morin, Travis Sanheim and Robert Hagg could also push for roster spots.

U.S., Canada open with big wins at Worlds

Matt Hendricks

It was smooth sailing for the Americans and Canadians in their respective opening contests at the 2015 World Hockey Championships.

The Americans were led by a pair of goals from captain Matt Hendricks to cruise to a 5-1 win over Finland, while Canada got three point efforts from Nathan MacKinnon and Jason Spezza to beat Latvia 6-1.

Highlights from the U.S. romp:

New Nashville signee Steve Moses opened the scoring for the Americans with a great solo effort late in the first period. Nick Bonino and Dan Sexton had the other goals, while Connor Hellebuyck stopped 29 of 30 shots for the win.

Canada had five different goalscorers in its romp: MacKinnon, Spezza, Tyler Toffoli, Matt Duchene and captain Sidney Crosby, who converted on a penalty shot. It was an easy victory over a Latvian team that was woefully overmatched; the country’s lone NHLers, Zemgus Girgensons and Ronalds Kenins, aren’t participating in the tournament.

Vigneault: ‘Standards have been set’ after Ovechkin, Backstrom hits

New York Rangers v Toronto Maple Leafs

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault had a creative — dare we say passive-aggressive — take on last night’s controversial finish in Game 1 against the Caps, saying officials set the standard on hits from behind by not calling penalties on Niklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, and that the Rangers have to meet that standard.

Here are the hits Vigneault’s referring to:

The latter, of course, has been the source of great controversy as it led to Joel Ward’s last-second winner on Thursday night. Backstrom put a pretty good lick on Dan Boyle but no penalty was called, much to the Rangers’ chagrin.

But for all the gamesmanship out of New York, the Caps weren’t just going to sit around and stay mum on the issue.

“(Fans) in front didn’t flinch,” Caps head coach Barry Trotz said, referring to ticketholders near the glass where the Boyle hit occurred. “Usually if it’s a questionable hit everybody jumps up and puts their hands up.”