Update: Giroux out two weeks with lower-body injury


Fingers crossed, Flyers fans.

From NHL.com:

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux sustained a lower-body injury and is being evaluated, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said Friday.

Giroux left the ice about 15 minutes into the team’s first practice of training camp.

That’s all that’s known for sure at this point. At least one observer is speculating a groin injury — a relatively common injury at training camp — but that hasn’t been confirmed.


Just a short while ago, Hextall announced that Giroux would miss approximately two weeks to a lower-body ailment. Recovering within the 14-day timeframe would allow the Philly captain to be ready for the club’s season-opening game against the Bruins on Oct. 8.

Much to his relief, Lecavalier will start season at center


Vincent Lecavalier could still end up playing the wing for the Philadelphia Flyers, but he’ll start the season at his natural position of center.

And the 34-year-old sounds pretty darn happy about it.

From CSN Philly:

When the club’s main training camp opens Friday morning on the ice, Lecavalier will be at center, not wing, [coach Craig] Berube said.

How long he stays there is unknown, but Berube did say recently, “He’ll start the season at center.”

When Lecavalier heard that through a reporter, you could see relief come across his face.

“That is significantly good to hear,” he said. “I am more comfortable in the middle. …”

Of course, that begs the question — which players will Lecavalier line up between?

Flyers beat writer Randy Miller (NJ.com) expects Lecavalier to be the “third-line center” with R.J. Umberger on the left side and either Michael Raffl or Jason Akeson on the right.

The top two lines, according to Miller, would look like this:

Brayden Schenn-Claude Giroux-Jakub Voracek
Matt Read-Sean Couturier-Wayne Simmonds

Whatever the combinations end up, Lecavalier sounds like he just wants to put last season behind him.

“You have to move on,” he said. “And I believe in this team.”

Related: Lecavalier believes he can be better after ‘tough year’

Is Lecavalier headed back to left wing?


Yesterday, reports broke that Ryan White would miss Philly’s training camp while recovering from pectoralis surgery. While not a huge story — no offense to Ryan White, but he’s Ryan White — it did underscore the remarkable depth the Flyers have down the middle.

Once healthy, White will be battling the likes of Scott Laughton, Chris VandeVelde, Blair Jones and Nick Cousins for whatever minutes are left at center behind the big four of Claude Giroux, Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier and Vincent Lecavalier.

Assuming, of course, that Lecavalier sticks at center. From the Courier-Post:

With training camp set to open next week, Lecavalier is still waiting to see what the new normal will be. Will the Flyers keep him at center, where he played his entire career? Will they try to let 23-year-old Brayden Schenn flourish in the middle instead and ask Lecavalier to get more comfortable at left wing?

“I don’t know the answer to that,” Lecavalier said. “I guess we’ll see what happens the first day of training camp.”

Moving the 34-year-old veteran to the outside full-time might work out for all parties involved. As mentioned, the Flyers moved Lecavalier around plenty last season, including time at LW (which Lecavalier acknowledged he’d never played before) and an ill-fated stint as a fourth-line center (which neither Lecavalier or Flyers coach Craig Berube seemed to think worked.)

But Lecavalier’s game is predicated on offense and making plays, and a full-time move to the left side — where Matt Read, Michael Raffl and R.J. Umberger currently top the depth chart — could provide more consistent opportunities to generate offense.

Moving Lecavalier away from center could also benefit Philly’s two brightest young stars, Schenn and Couturier. GM Ron Hextall’s already on record saying the club wants more offensively from Couturier this season, which probably means a bit more time on the power play (Couturier finished 12th on the team in PPG TOI last year, averaging 1:16 per game.)

Schenn, meanwhile, has also flip-flopped between center and wing, but said midway through last season he’s “real comfortable” playing down the middle.

Another youngster that might benefit from the move? Laughton, who’s looking to crack the roster this year and could be a nice energy guy in a fourth-line center role. Though he does have offensive ability — evident by his 40 goals in 54 games with OHL Oshawa last season — Laughton’s best chance of sticking with the big club might be to crash and bang.

“Whatever happens, happens,” Laughton told Philly.com. “I’m ready for any situation they put me in.”

PHT Morning Skate: Is retirement the right choice for Brodeur?


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Hockey News’ Rory Boylen believes that Martin Brodeur should retire. (Post to Post)

Fifteen things to know about NHL 15, which is out in North America today. (Sportsnet)

The owners who failed the Atlanta Thrashers seem to be failing the Atlanta Hawks, too. (Grantland)

Alex Ovechkin shares his take on the unsettling political situation between Russia and Ukraine. (ESPN)

The Edmonton Oilers defense might fall victim to faulty play by their wingers. (The Score)

Plenty of funny stuff from Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds making an appearance at the NHL Store on Monday, but it’s unlikely anything will top this:

Hey, Henrik Lundqvist can’t cook. See, he’s not per…forget it. (ESPN)

Patrick Kane swindled journalists into thinking he knew his Corsi rating:

… While Sidney Crosby didn’t bother:

PHT Morning Skate: Reinhart brothers hope to all make NHL teams

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Will this be the year that the three Reinhart brothers play in the NHL? (NHL.com)

As one of the longest active members of the Montreal Canadiens, Tomas Plekanec is regarded as a candidate for the captaincy. (Montreal Gazette)

Claude Giroux’s freak golfing injury last summer hasn’t scared him away from the game, although he has been making sure each swing is a “nice, easy shot.” (CSN Philly)

What should Arizona Coyotes fans expect from Max Domi this season? (Five for Howling)

Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau, 83, has been battling pneumonia, but he’s getting better. (TSN.ca)

Here’s an all-star team comprised solely of players signed to bad contracts. (SBNation)