There’s probably a joke opportunity about Winnipeg trying to win the Raffl, but we’re not going to go there.
Instead, we’ll simply pass along word that, per Austrian news outlet Kurier, Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has received an offer to attend Jets training camp on a professional tryout.
Raffl, 29, was never drafted by an NHL club and has spent his entire career playing in Europe — he did, however, have a two-year stint playing Canadian junior hockey, with WHL clubs Kelowna and Swift Current.
Since then, he’s spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg. Last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria (serving as team captain) at the World Hockey Championships.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, the elder Raffl has good size — bigger than his brother, who’s listed at 6-foot, 190 — and there’s obvious hope he, like his brother, can be another diamond in the rough.
Philly brought over the younger Raffl in ’13-14 and he immediately contributed, with nine goals and 22 points in 68 games.
Last year Raffl scored 21 goals for the Flyers, fourth-most on the team.
Michael Raffl had the game winner as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 Sunday night.
With the win Philly now has points in nine straight (6-0-3). Buffalo has just one win in its last five after snapping a franchise-worst 14-game losing streak on Feb. 3.
Philadelphia moves to within five points of the Boston Bruins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Matt Read opened the scoring with his fifth of the season at 3:19 of the first period.
Nikita Zadorov tied it 1-1, on a Buffalo power play, at 13:57 of the second period.
Zach Bogosian made his Sabres debut Sunday. He finished with a Buffalo season-high 11 hits, two blocked shots and a team-leading 24:49 of ice time in the loss.
Ray Emery made 21 saves improving to 10-9-3 on the season.
Michal Neuvirth stopped 28 shots in the loss.
NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign as Buffalo Sabres host the Philadelphia Flyers at the First Niagara Center at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.
The odds remain stacked against the Philadelphia Flyers making the playoffs, but if they want to make a surge, they need to mop up games like Sunday’s match against the Buffalo Sabres.
Philly will display something of a new look on Sunday, as they get some players back from injuries and/or illnesses. Michael Raffl looks like he’ll return to his spot on the Flyers’ vaunted first line while Braydon Coburn should eat up some key minutes on defense.
It’s not the only situation to watch, however, as Zach Bogosian readies for his Sabres debut after the blockbuster Tyler Myers – Evander Kane trade.
Buffalo looks to roll with Michal Neuvirth tonight while the Flyers will go as far as Ray Emery can take them, at least until Steve Mason can return from his knee injury.
(Some believe the Flyers should shut down Mason altogether in 2014-15.)
Can the Flyers lock up two crucial points or will the Sabres play the role of spoiler? We’ll see on NBCSN on Sunday night.