Tag: Zack Stortini

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers - Game One

Bullies no more? Flyers approach season without enforcers


As of this very writing, the Philadelphia Flyers seem set to do something they haven’t done since the 70’s: enter the regular season without a full-on, “heavyweight” enforcer.

(Some were probably hoping they’d do a different thing since that decade: win the Stanley Cup. That’s certainly the other plan …)

By waiving Jay Rosehill on Friday, the Flyers inspired a wave of stunned headlines about this possible change of direction, with CSNPhilly.com even labeling them “The Bully-less Bullies.”


Fans of pugnacious Flyers hockey shouldn’t fret too much, however, as there’s still plenty of snarl on this roster. GM Ron Hextall mentioned as much to the press, even as he seems to nudge this team along in a (gasp) progressive direction.

“We’ve got some toughness on our team,” Hextall said. “Don’t forget that. We’ve got some guys that can handle themselves. I think when you look, there wasn’t a lot of fights in preseason. There never are any fights in the playoffs. And then in between, it’s getting less and less. If we have to adjust at some point, we’ll adjust.”

While Rosehill led the team with 10 fights in 2013-14, there are plenty of players who can drop the mitts if things get out of hand, including guys who can take a regular shift like Wayne Simmonds (six fights last season). Beyond that, Rosehill and and Zack Stortini are just a quick call-up from the AHL. As Hextall said, “it can change in a hurry.”

(Some have mentioned Zac Rinaldo, and he’ll certainly drop the mitts with aplomb. Even if he’s heavier than his listed 169 lbs., it’s obvious that he’s not in that “heavyweight” category, though.)

Beyond the blatantly obvious fact that fighting is both declining in frequency and the fairly clear notion that teams are becoming far less willing to dress a guy who can really do little but scuffle, both Hextall and head coach Craig Berube feel like they’re better off with a more versatile fourth line.

“Right now we look at the [Pierre-Edouard] Bellemare line,” Hextall said. “They’re giving us some offense. They’re giving us some quality minutes. When Chief (Berube) and I talked in the summertime, we wanted to increase that line’s ice time.

“At this point it looks like we’ll be able to.”

This roster still has its issues (as you can read all about here), so it might be a while before we truly see positive results from the refreshing-yet-possibly-polarizing changes Hextall seems willing to consider.

In the meantime, it might be appropriate to drum up a new nickname. Should we start calling them “The Broad Street Beauties?”

(That … probably wouldn’t go over too well.)

Flyers send prospects Laughton, Gostisbehere to AHL


Philly fans hoping to see Scott Laughton and Shayne Gostisbehere on the opening night roster were disappointed on Wednesday, as the Flyers sent both to their AHL affiliate in Lehigh Valley.

Laughton, the club’s first-round pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, and Gostisbehere — an NCAA standout at Union College, taken in the third round that same year — were considered longshots to make the team. Laughton only has 11 games of professional experience on his resume while “Ghost” has just two, both coming with the Phantoms after winning the Frozen Four a year ago.

That said, Laughton was thought to be the more NHL-ready of the two, and was in the running for Philly’s fourth-line center spot after scoring a goal and three points in four preseason games.

The Flyers also placed tough guy Zack Stortini on waivers today, for the purpose of sending him to the AHL.

With these moves, Philly’s roster is down to 26 players — one of which is Samuel Morin, the 19-year-old defenseman taken 11th overall at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Morin has NHL size (6-foot-6, 202 pounds) and has impressed in the exhibition campaign, but is still likely going back to QMJHL Rimouski.

Video: Flyers’ Stortini isn’t shy about fighting

Anaheim Ducks v Colorado Avalanche

Sometimes it’s just best to find your niche and know who you are. As Zack Stortini hopes to stick with the Philadelphia Flyers after years of AHL play, it’s pretty clear that he’s not shy about his role as an enforcer.

According to various onlookers, the 29-year-old engaged in his third fight in less than four periods of preseason action on Tuesday, in the latest case piling up penalty minutes against David Broll.

Side note: Some believe that Stortini might have landed a late punch in the bout. Hockey Fights already uploaded video of the scuffle for your own perusal:

Stortini spent last season with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals, fighting his way to a staggering 299 penalty minutes in just 73 games by fighting a whopping 33 times by Hockey Fights’ count.

He last appeared in a single NHL game with the Nashville Predators in 2011-12 while the rest of his 256 NHL appearances came with the Edmonton Oilers from 2007-08 to 2010-11.

The role of the one-dimensional enforcer seems to be fading rapidlyeven guys who are labeled as such admit as much – so it’s anyone’s guess if we’ll see much/any of Stortini in meaningful action. It doesn’t sound like there should be much doubt about what he’s prepared to do if he does make any NHL appearances with the Flyers or another team in 2014-15, though.