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[#] Thu Sep 15 2016 13:17:52 EDT from Travis Hughes

Subject: 2016 Philadelphia Flyers training camp starts September 23: Here’s the roster and schedule

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Training camp is juuuuuust around the corner.

The Philadelphia Flyers announced the details of their 2016 training camp, announcing that camp will officially begin with on-ice workouts on Friday, September 23. They also unveiled the 64-man roster that will hit the ice at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees for camp.

Camp begins before the end of the World Cup of Hockey, so depending on how far each team advances in that tournament, the Flyers could be without the services of several key players: Claude Giroux, Shayne Gostisbehere, Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier, Michal Neuvirth, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Mark Streit are all competing in the WCH. The last possible day of World Cup play is October 1.

In total, 64 players have been invited to camp. They’ll be split into groups over the first weekend. Here’s the on-ice schedule for that weekend, if you are so inclined to head over to Skate Zone to welcome the team back to the ice:

  • One group will skate on Friday and Saturday from 9:45 – 11:30 a.m.
  • The other will skate from 1:15 to 3:00 p.m.
  • On Sunday morning, both groups will skate from 10:20 to 10:50 a.m. and then will scrimmage each other from 11:00 AM to 12:00 p.m.

The Flyers say that fans will be

The preseason schedule kicks off Monday, September 26 with two games — one in Philadelphia against the New York Islanders, and one in New Jersey against the Devils. Here’s the full 8-game preseason schedule.

Here’s the full camp roster. We will provide a detailed player-by-player breakdown in the coming days. Load it in a new window here.

[#] Fri Sep 16 2016 06:23:45 EDT from Kurt R.

Subject: Friday Morning Fly By: World Cup! Training camp! Everything’s coming up hockey!

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Today's open discussion thread, complete with your daily dose of Philadelphia Flyers news and notes...

* We have a full roster for training camp, which starts a week from today! Here is that roster: [BSH]

* As we head into Year 2 of the Dave Hakstol era, what are our expectations for the Flyers’ coach this year? [CSN Philly]

* World Cup of Hockey officially starts tomorrow! Here’s a preview via DGB: [Vice]

* Remember last year when Brayden Schenn was weirdly forced to spend most of training camp skating with Phantoms players? That will probably not happen this year! [Courier-Post]

* The halfway point of our 25 Under 25 series came yesterday as we looked at Nicolas Aube-Kubel: [BSH]

* Our friends at Japers Rink ranked the top defensemen in the Metro division. One Flyer shows up, and yes, it’s obviously Andrew MacDonald: [Japers’ Rink]

* The Canadiens hired a new stat nerd, a couple of months after dropping their old one following a contentious disagreement over the P.K. Subban/Shea Weber swap: [EOTP]

* Speaking of EOTP and stat nerds, the Avalanche have also reportedly hired Arik Parnass, who wrote at a number of sites [including here on the SBN network] before working on the extremely useful Special Teams Project: [ProHockeyTalk]

* South Jersey Native And Future Flyer (Former Future Flyer? Future Former Flyer? I never know with these things) Johnny Gaudreau talked a bit yesterday about his uncertain contract situation, as did a few others who are playing in the World Cup without deals: [Puck Daddy]

* Alex Ovechkin says he’s going to play in the Olympics in 2018 whether the rest of the NHL does or not: [CBS]

* A look at how defensemen can (or, more specifically, can’t) influence on-ice save percentage, this time using Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic as an example: [TSN]

* And finally, of course you want to see Kimmo Timonen holding a comically oversized tennis racket with Teemu Selanne: [BSH]

[#] Fri Sep 16 2016 10:12:30 EDT from Charlie O'Connor

Subject: Philadelphia Flyers Top 25 Under 25: Perpetually-overlooked Oskar Lindblom finally starting to get his due

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Oskar Lindblom was once viewed as one of the better prospects in his draft year. After two strong seasons in Sweden and a successful AHL stint, he's turning heads yet again.

Back in 2014, Swedish forward Oskar Lindblom was taken by the Flyers in the fifth round of the NHL Draft. The final three rounds of the draft are usually the realm of players with low upside (think Zac Rinaldo) or long-term projects (think Linus Hogberg and David Bernhardt from Philadelphia's 2016 draft). But Lindblom didn't fit either category when he was selected two years ago.

In fact, Lindblom was once viewed as a relatively high-end prospect in the 2014 draft pool. Early in the 2013-14 season, many felt he could sneak into the back-end of the first round, and even after a just-OK season in the Swedish J20 league, he was still generally ranked by most public ratings as a second or third round talent. Instead, he lasted all the way to the fifth round, where the Flyers finally ended his slide.

So did the Flyers get a true steal in Lindblom, a potential impact player who was unfairly dropped down draft boards at the worst possible time? Or did scouts and teams know something that the public didn't when they allowed him to slip to the late rounds? After two seasons, the evidence is pointing more and more towards the former, Flyers-friendly scenario when it comes to Oskar Lindblom.

No. 12: Oskar Lindblom

Position: LW
Age: 20 (8/15/1996)
2015-16 League/Team/Statistics: Brynas (SHL) - 8 G, 17 A in 48 GP
Nationality: Swedish (Gavle)
Acquired Via: 2014 NHL Draft -- Round 5, Pick 138

In some ways, it's understandable that Lindblom fell in the estimation of scouts in 2014 and that he still remains something of an under-the-radar prospect nationally. After all, his skillset isn't of the highlight reel, Travis Konecny/Shayne Gostisbehere mold. Lindblom is not a particularly dynamic skater (though he has improved in this area), and won't score a ton of goals on the rush. His best attributes come in his soft hands around the net, willingness to mix it up physically to win puck battles, and all-around hockey awareness -- all important characteristics, but not ones that make for snappy Youtube clips.

In addition, by virtue of playing in the Swedish Hockey League (mostly against grown men), his scoring statistics are unlikely to ever reach eye-popping levels. Kids under the age of 20 rarely receive the responsibilities and ice time necessary to rack up gaudy point totals in the SHL, unless they happen to be the next Daniel or Henrik Sedin. So while last year's 25 points in 48 games as a 19 year old was impressive on the part of Lindblom, it's simply not going to excite fans the way that Konecny's 101 points in 60 OHL games does, even if the SHL is a far more challenging league.

But what is truly exciting about Lindblom is this: whenever he does have the opportunity to play in more age-appropriate settings, his point production has always been stellar.

Take his performances in World Junior Championship play, for example. During his Draft+1 season, Lindblom had the opportunity to represent Sweden at the WJC, and was still basically an unknown at the time. Earning a role on Sweden's top line, Lindblom excelled, scoring nine points in seven games to rank tied for sixth in total points at the tournament. The following year he again stood out, finishing with six points in seven games.

In fact, during 26 games at the WJC (U18 & U20) level, playing against his true peers, Lindblom was nearly a point per game player, posting 25 (12 goals, 13 assists). The sample size isn't huge, but it's clear that whenever Lindblom has been given the opportunity to match up directly with competition his own age, he's been one of the most productive players on the ice.

But the real eye-opener for many Philadelphia fans came in Lindblom's brief stint in North America at the end of the 2015-16 season. Signed to an amateur try-out contract that allowed him to join the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the final games of their regular season, Lindblom didn't miss a beat in his move to a new league, in a new country, on a smaller ice surface. In eight games with the Phantoms, he scored seven points and according to observers, rarely looked out of place in all three zones.

Suddenly, Lindblom wasn't just the guy who played well in those tournaments around the end of December, or put up solid numbers relative to age-related expectations in Sweden. Instead, he was the forward who showed up in Lehigh Valley and was immediately one of the best forwards on the team the minute he laced up his skates. That's a lot more exciting than a guy who wins puck battles and "does all the little things right."

It's true that it's much easier to envision Lindblom's ceiling as that of the ultimate role player on a line rather than a forward with true superstar potential. His skating did look much improved at Development Camp in July, but he'll likely never be a burner. Nor does he possess the offensive creativity of a Travis Konecny that allows you to dream on him as a possible top-line NHL scorer. But support forwards have real value even at the top levels of hockey.

Look at Michael Raffl, who has proven to be one of the league's best drivers of even strength on-ice shot attempt differentials since he was plucked from Europe. Or Joonas Donskoi, the rookie Finnish forward who was so impressive for the San Jose Sharks during their playoff run this past summer. Forwards who play smart defense, retrieve pucks in the corners, crash the net, and utilize expert spacing and positioning on the rush and in the offensive zone to help create space for more talented teammates are not merely desirable assets for NHL teams, they are essential to their teams' long-term success. Those are the roles that Oskar Lindblom will be expected to fill if he is able to carve out a spot on the Flyers.

So what's next for Lindblom? There was some talk after his successful AHL stretch that he might stay in North America, but he chose to return to Sweden for a third full season with the big club there rather than look to sign an entry-level contract with the Flyers and go west. As he is now 20 years old, he won't be eligible for the WJC again, so Lindblom will have to rely solely upon his performance in the SHL to impress both scouts and the Philadelphia brass.

It's fair to expect Lindblom's role to be expanded even further by Brynas this season, though. After all, he jumped from 0.41 PPG in 2014-15 to 0.52 last season in the SHL, so his production is clearly trending upwards. It's also likely that this will be his last season in Sweden, before he either takes his talents to Lehigh Valley or ends up earning an immediate role with the Flyers. The front office is confident that Lindblom has every intention of eventually playing in the NHL, and next season would seemingly be an ideal time to start that journey.

In any case, right now Lindblom feels far more like the late-first/early-second round talent that scouts originally believed him to be way back in 2013 than a fifth round lottery ticket. From solid play in Sweden's top league, to standout performances on the world junior stage, to revelatory production in the AHL, Lindblom has passed every test thus far.  Another strong year with Brynas, and he should be ready for a new challenge.


How we voted for Oskar Lindblom :

Kelly Travis Charlie Allison Kurt Brent Collin Kevin Al Community
19 9 11 13 12 13 9 16 13 14

How we voted at No. 12 :

Kelly Travis Charlie Allison Kurt Brent Collin Kevin Al Community
Jordan Weal Anthony Stolarz Anthony Stolarz German Rubtsov Oskar Lindblom German Rubtsov German Rubtsov Samuel Morin Nicolas Aube-Kubel Taylor Leier


Previously in Philadelphia Flyers Top 25 Under 25, Summer 2016:

[#] Fri Sep 16 2016 14:47:01 EDT from Travis Hughes

Subject: The Flyers banners at the Wells Fargo Center have a slick new look

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These are nicely updated.

The Flyers have replaced all the banners in the rafters at the Wells Fargo Center, updating them here during this 50th anniversary season. Bill Meltzer has pictures and .... they look really good, in my opinion.

It looks as though the color scheme has a clear format:

  • the Hall of Fame banners are white text on black with an orange border
  • the division champs banners are black text on white with an orange border
  • the conference champs banners are orange text on white with a black border
  • the Stanley Cup banners are black text on orange with a white border
  • the retired jersey banners are all three colors, and the numbers are the focal point

Happy with these?

[#] Fri Sep 16 2016 16:03:15 EDT from Travis Hughes

Subject: Team North America’s power play is absurdly good, and Shayne Gostisbehere is on it

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Look at these names playing alongside Ghost. My goodness, this is going to be fun to watch.

Hahahahaha, Team North America’s top power play unit is ridiculously unfair. And it’s the best one Shayne Gostisbehere’s ever played on — sorry, Flyers.

I cannot wait to watch this power play unit. Team North America kicks off the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto on Sunday night at 8 p.m. They’ll play Russia, and the game will be shown in the United States on ESPN2.

[#] Fri Sep 16 2016 16:03:15 EDT from Travis Hughes

Subject: World Cup of Hockey: Claude Giroux scratched for Canada’s first game

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Good, now you don’t have to pretend to root for Canada.

Claude Giroux won’t be on the ice for Team Canada’s opener at the World Cup of Hockey on Saturday afternoon in Toronto, instead sitting in the press box as a healthy scratch for what might be the first time in his professional career.

Canada plays the Czech Republic — and goalie Michal Neuvirth -- at 8 p.m. Saturday night on ESPN News.

Giroux was the extra forward in practice on Friday for the Canadiens, skating behind Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan O’Reilly at the center ice position. There’s no word on if the couple of bangs he took in the pre-tournament games have anything to do with this scratch, but on the bright side of things, you don’t have to pretend like you’re rooting for Canada now.

[#] Fri Sep 16 2016 16:18:30 EDT from Travis Hughes

Subject: World Cup of Hockey: Michal Neuvirth will be starting goalie for Czech Republic

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The Flyers goaltender will look to upset the favorites, Team Canada, in his World Cup debut Saturday.

Obviously, Michal Neuvirth played well in the last major hockey tournament in which he participated: the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

And it looks as though he’ll have the chance to do that again in another major tournament: all signs are pointing to him owning the net for Team Czech Republic in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

The Czechs open the tournament against Canada on 8 p.m. Saturday night. Ondrej Pavelec and Petr Mrazek are the other goaltenders on the Czech team, which also of course features Flyers forward Jakub Voracek up front.

Canada is going to be quite the test for the underdog Czechs ... but, I mean, Neuvy might be able to handle it?

[#] Sat Sep 17 2016 14:37:07 EDT from Kurt R.

Subject: World Cup Of Hockey, Day 1: Game time, how to watch, and discussion thread

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The World Cup of Hockey officially gets underway today, with two games that will both feature Flyers players.

After a long summer, we’ll see meaningful hockey featuring NHL players today for the first time in three months. (Assuming you find the World Cup of Hockey to be meaningful). The first two games of the group play round will take place today, with two more games every following day through Thursday.

Team United States vs. Team Europe: 3:30 p.m. ET

Where to watch: ESPN2, WatchESPN
Where are the Flyers: None on Team USA. Team Europe will have both Mark Streit and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare taking the ice.

Team Czech Republic vs. Team Canada: 8:00 p.m. ET

Where to watch: ESPNNews, WatchESPN
Where are the Flyers: Claude Giroux will be a scratch for Team Canada, so screw them. Team Czech Republic will feature Jakub Voracek and starting goaltender Michal Neuvirth, so you know who the good guys are here.

Use this thread to discuss today’s World Cup games. Enjoy!

[#] Sat Sep 17 2016 20:45:21 EDT from Travis Hughes

Subject: Michal Neuvirth’s first World Cup save was pure robbery of Sidney Crosby

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Beauty glove save.

Michal Neuvirth appears to be picking up where he left off during last spring’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Flyers goalie, competing for Team Czech Republic in the 2016 World Cup, just made his first save of the tournament in his team’s first game.

It looked like this:

Neuvirth stoning Sidney Crosby on a breakaway? Yeah, we can get used to that.

[#] Sun Sep 18 2016 03:52:56 EDT from AdamHermann

Subject: Eagles vs. Bears, Week 2 2016: Game time, TV schedule, online streaming, channel and more

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Learn more about the Eagles' second game of the season, as they head to Chicago to face the Bears!

We all loved what we saw from Carson Wentz and the Eagles in Week 1, and then the NFL made us wait an extra day to watch them do it all again. The Bears' defense presents a little more of a challenge than the Browns' unit did, which means Wentz's performance will be extremely interesting to watch, especially on Monday Night Football.

The Bears lost their first game of the season, a 23-14 defeat at the hands of Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans.

Zach Ertz and Leodis McKelvin are both out for the Eagles. Trey Burton is back in the lineup as the team's second tight end, and Ron Brooks is starting on the outside in place of McKelvin.

TV Schedule

Date: Monday, September 19, 2016
Time: 8:30 PM ET
Channel: ESPN (Coverage Map)
Location: Soldier Field -- Chicago, Illinois

Radio: SportsRadio 94WIP | Full listings here

Online Streaming

NFL Game Pass (Free 7-Day Trial)
WatchESPN (with a cable provider)


Per Bovada, the Eagles are the underdogs to start the season with a win.

Philadelphia Eagles +3 (-105)
Chicago Bears -3 (-115)

History Lesson

The Eagles are 10-29-1 in 40 regular season appearances against the Bears. The two teams last played in Week 16 of the 2013 season.

Social Media Information

BGN Facebook Page:

BGN Twitter:

Manager: Adam Hermann

Eagles 2016 regular season schedule

Week 1 - Cleveland Browns -- WIN, 29-10

Week 2 - @ Chicago Bears (Sept. 19, 8:30 PM ET, ESPN) *Monday Night Football*

Week 3 - Pittsburgh Steelers (Sept. 25, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Week 4 - BYE

Week 5 - @ Detroit Lions (Oct. 9, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 6 - @ Washington Redskins Oct. 16, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 7 - Minnesota Vikings (Oct. 23, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 8 - @ Dallas Cowboys (Oct. 30, 8:30 PM ET, NBC) *Sunday Night Football*

Week 9 - @ New York Giants (Nov. 6, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 10 - Atlanta Falcons (Nov. 13, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 11 - @ Seattle Seahawks (Nov. 20, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Week 12 - Green Bay Packers (Nov. 28, 8:30 PM ET, ESPN) *Monday Night Football*

Week 13 - @ Cincinnati Bengals (Dec. 4, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 14 - Washington Redskins (Dec. 11, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 15 - @ Baltimore Ravens (Dec. 18, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 16 - New York Giants (Dec. 22, 8:25 PM ET, NBC/NFLN) *Thursday Night Football*

Week 17 - Dallas Cowboys (Jan. 1, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

[#] Sun Sep 18 2016 03:52:56 EDT from Dave Mangels

Subject: It’s been a strong week by Malcolm Jenkins, Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz

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Both on and off the field

Each weekend we’ll take a look back, and forward, to the Eagles.

Malcolm Jenkins has said that he and others are planning on a protest during the anthem on Monday. A hot button issue comes front and center to the Eagles, and I say great.

We need to be having the conversations these protests create. With our families, with our friends, with ourselves. The issues that black athletes are speaking out against are real and telling players to shut up and get on with football isn’t going to solve anything. There is institutional racism everywhere. Some of it isn’t intentional. Down the road from me, Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood neighborhood is being gentrified as white millennials think they’re making some kind of difference in a historic neighborhood by turning it into a place to bar hop. They aren’t. Some of it is intentional. There is a racist with a campaign of hate running for President, fueled in part by the bigotry that causes institutional racism. Somehow it’s considered taboo to point out his history.

We’re not going to address these issues by asking players to speak out when it’s convenient for us. This was a country founded on protest. It’s a fundamental right as an American to speak out.

This isn’t something that Jenkins just suddenly decided to do. From July:

"There's an obvious need for reconciliation when you talk about those two communities. As someone who's in the community, as somebody who has a platform, I wanted to see if there's a way that we can break that ice and just start the conversation . . . and use the resources of the guys that's in this room to help facilitate that."

Last week, he reached out to Maxwell Brown, the former community partnership liaison in the city's office of community services, who helped arrange the sitdown with [Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard] Ross to at least begin a conversation.

I asked Brown what he would say to naysayers who might consider all the well-paid pro athletes gathered in that room and poo poo what they're trying to do. "The other option is giving up and accepting things as they are," said Brown, a personal turn-around-expert. "That would be an injustice to our ancestors and what they fought for."

Jordan Matthews, Najee Goode and Jason Kelce were also there.

With his play on the field, Malcolm Jenkins quickly became one of my favorite Eagles. With his actions off of it, he’s completely won me over. And kudos to Doug Pederson for having the emotional intelligence to support it.

But after the protest, there is a football game to be played. It’s the reason we’re tuning in. So far the football has been pretty good.

Four Downs

1 It’s getting really hard to not get hyped about Carson Wentz

It was just one game, but man what a game it was. It’s been years since we’ve seen an Eagles QB make throws like Wentz’s touchdown passes. And everyone around the league has taken notice. There’s always a few wet blankets because that’s what some people like to do, but as those who know what they’re talking about dive into the All 22 and see even more to like, it’s hard not to get pumped.

Pour cold water on me.

2 Wentz’s supporting cast looked competent—and that’s a compliment

The Eagles offensive talent is pretty lacking. On Sunday, they looked better than we thought. There were mistakes and plenty of room for improvement, but with Wentz at QB the offense looked better than expected. Jordan Matthews looked solid on the outside, Zach Ertz looked a lot like the Zach Ertz we’ve been waiting for, and Nelson Agholor and Kenjon Barner looked like they belong in the NFL. Some of that is the Browns being bad, some of it is the coaching staff, but some of that is also that competent QB play can mask a lot of problems.

3 The Eagles are absolutely NFC East contenders

Last week I said the Eagles were contenders in the dreadful NFC East and that was considered a mildly hot take (a red pepper?). If one game is any indication, and looking at last year when the Eagles imploded off the bat, the Redskins lost to the Dolphins in ugly fashion and the Cowboys-Giants game was best remembered for a clock management blunder, one game can be, the NFC East should be awful again this year. The Redskins looked hapless against the Steelers, and the Cowboys-Giants game will best be remembered for a clock management blunder. It won’t take much to win this division. The Eagles might have enough.

4 Doug Pederson’s strong debut looks even better in retrospect

I don’t want to dive too much into this because we’re going to have a regular feature on his game management and James Keane had an excellent piece earlier this week, but Doug Pederson’s debut looked even better through the lens of other coaches this week. The 4th and 4 call from the Browns 40 was awesome, and is really highlighted by rival coaches botching it.

After gashing the Cowboys on the ground all day, the Giants were facing a 4th and 1 on the Cowboys 37, up 20-19. There was 1:12 left on the clock and the Cowboys were out of time outs. Ben McAdoo decided to punt, and the Giants gained only 17 yards, then watched his defense almost blow it anyway. Gaining a yard instead of punting would have sealed the game.

On Monday night, Jay Gruden punted on 4th and 1 from the Steelers 40. Later in the game on 4th and 6 from the Steelers 38, Gruden went for it and the Redskins gained 5 yards. Should have used that play earlier coach.

There’s a lot more we need to see from Doug Pederson, but his week on and off the field was highly encouraging.

Tweet of the Week

[#] Sun Sep 18 2016 03:52:56 EDT from AdamHermann

Subject: Doug Pederson says he 'respects players' decisions' to protest on Monday night

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"Malcolm (Jenkins) is a class act all the way," Pederson says.

Doug Pederson addressed the media Saturday morning. Here's what he had to say:


Pederson told reporters that Zach Ertz and Leodis McKelvin are both OUT for Monday's game against the Bears.

"It's a week-to-week deal. We'll see how we get through, obviously, this game. Both of those guys are feeling better. We'll monitor it again next week. The downside, I guess, is it's a shorter week, so we're trying to get the team ready to go. But we'll monitor and we'll evaluate again next week, early."

Going to make any moves at defensive back before Monday?

"We will not. We feel comfortable where we're at right now, with the addition of Brooks at safety and the ability to shuffle some guys around back there who have played some nickel spots before, we're comfortable with where we are."

"In our base defense, (Ron) Brooks will start, and Jalen (Mills) will come in on nickel and dime situations."

On Malcolm Jenkins' announcement that he and teammates will protest during the anthem on Monday

"I respect players' decisions. It's something they ... everybody has their right to either protest or whatever they're going to do. Malcolm and I have talked about this, and it's going to happen regardless of what I decide or say, and I respect the players' decisions on it. The biggest thing is I don't want it to become a distraction to the rest of the team, and that's the biggest thing from my standpoint."

Can you prevent them? -- "You really can't. With their demonstrations, and the things that have gone league wide. And I really don't think it has been a distraction for teams. I know early on, when Colin (Kaepernick) did his thing, it might've been because of the shock and awe of what happened, but I think now that everyone has sort of embraced it and knows it's going to happen, I think everybody is braced for it, so it won't be a distraction."

Appreciate Malcolm talking to you about it, so you weren't caught off guard? -- "Yeah, and listen, Malcolm is a class act all the way. He does a lot of things in the community here, and he's a great teammate, and a great leader of this football team, and I just appreciate him coming to me first and just letting me know. That's always been my policy on things, is open door, and when guys have things like this that come up, I appreciate them coming to me."

"I think it's going to continue, personally. And again, it's something the players have the right to do, to do that. At the same time, I think once we get past the initial wave here, it becomes everybody sort of expecting it, and it's second nature after that. But I think, again, as long as they do it the right way and it doesn't become a distraction for the rest of the team."

Did he tell you what they're going to do? -- "He did not. Just the fact that they're going to do something, and he was going to do something."

Locking arms, would you agree? -- "If they wanted to do something team-wide, I would definitely be for that. I think it just shows unity, and there's no division that way. I think it sends a great message that, from our standpoint and the National Football League, and the platform, and as individuals, we love this country and what it represents, and the flag and the national anthem and everything. Listen, we're not perfect. Obviously. And for us to stand united that way would be, I would be okay with that."

Has public perspective changed since the days you played? -- Since the days I played, yeah, I think it has. And I'm not going to get into a bunch of political rhetoric here, but at the same time, it definitely has changed, yes."

With McKelvin hurt, do you re-think the Eric Rowe trade?

"No, not at all. Not at all. You can't look back on prior decisions. Had Carson played bad last week, would be sitting here saying the same things? No. You're not going to second-guess. We're comfortable with the guys we have, I think we've got a great group of guys back there, and they'll get the job done."

Heard anything about Lane Johnson?

"I have not. I have not. You would think you'd have heard something by now, but it's just day to day, and I just go about our business and get ready to play."

Is it possible he could end up playing the whole season? -- "It's a possibility, obviously, but if it does happen down the road, it just pushes everything back. Me personally, I'd rather know now than later, but until then, he's the guy."

Is Allen Barbre still getting reps at left tackle? -- "We haven't for the last couple of weeks, just because we haven't heard. What we did in training camp, and the things he did for those couple of weeks, getting himself ready to play ... especially if something were to come down now, to move him over there with a week of preparation, he'd be okay."

Who would be at left guard if Lane gets suspended? -- "Right now, it looks like it would be Wiz going into that spot."

On Isaac Seumalo, who is still dealing with a pectoral injury

"He's still a little bothered by it. He's been full practice. He's actually looking really good, he's getting stronger with that injury, and right now with Wiz taking all the second-team reps, and being the guy that's up right now, it would be Wiz going into that spot."

On Monday Night Football

"I just love the atmosphere. I look back at my days as a player, and being on teams that have played on Monday Night Football, it's just that national spotlight, everybody's watching. You just got through all the Sunday games, and you're the one game on the docket that day. It sort of ends the weekend on a high note, and from a player standpoint, it's a great atmosphere. The crowd's energetic, the players are energetic, it's a little different, almost a playoff-type environment, and I've always loved that dynamic of Monday Night Football."

"It does mess up your next week, especially when you get back at 4:30 AM on Tuesday morning, it kind of cramps your preparation for Pittsburgh, but hey listen, it's part of the game, and I think it's great for the National Football League, great for players, and as coaches we just roll with it and go."

"Thursdays are harder because it's a shorter week. You love after Thursday, of course, the weekend, but yeah, I do love the Monday night atmosphere."

On playing at Soldier Field

"I did, in 1999."

What was it like, conditions-wise? -- "You never know. This time of year, the weather's usually pretty good. I remember from my days in Green Bay, when we played late in the season, you can get wind, rain, snow, the temperature drops. You can get fog, things like that. This time of the year, it's usually good. It can be cool, it might be on the cooler side, but temperatures are going to be nice and mild for us. The biggest thing, too, when you talk about Solider Field and their surface, their grass, things like that, it's just the way it is in the midwest. Lambeau Field was the same way. You just deal with it. I've prepped our guys this week about checking their cleats, making sure things are right going up there, and especially pre-game it'll be important to make sure they check out the field. But it's a great place, really a good place to play. There's some great history with Chicago, and the stadium."

On his approach to road games, especially MNF

"You just treat it like a business trip, and you do the same... one thing about the road, you kind of get on the airplane, and you're with the team, and you get to the hotel, and guys have a little bit of time to be with their family and friends, but it's all business. Those are the things where you just stay the course. It's just you and the guys, and that's all that's there. It's that family environment, from a team aspect. You just stay the course. You stay true to what you believe in. You've got your meetings the night before, and it's a long day, obviously, on Monday because of the Monday night game, but we'll continue with meetings and walk-throughs and things like that, just to get the guys thinking football."

On working with Carson Wentz on the silent count

"We worked that all week, in practice and preparation for the game. It's always something that, early in the week, you can have your issues. But as each day goes by, you get better and better with it, and especially the tackles and tight ends that really need to focus in on the football and then their man across from them. But yea, it's worked out really great this week. We've worked it not only from the shotgun but under center as well, just in case, and sometimes it's good, too, to work it at home, when your crowd is loud. It's a good thing to have in your pocket at anytime, that silent count, because we can still work all of our cadences. It doesn't always have to be a silent one. We can still work the tempos of the cadences well, even in silent."

[#] Sun Sep 18 2016 03:52:56 EDT from Dave Mangels

Subject: College Football Week 3 Schedule

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Real games are back!

After a week of almost entirely cupcake games, actual competitive football returns for Week 3.

M. Tenn. St. at Bowling Green 12:00 PM ESP3
S.C. State at Clemson 12:00 PM ESP3
N. Dakota St. at Iowa 12:00 PM
Florida St. at Louisville 12:00 PM ABC
Kansas at Memphis 12:00 PM ESPU
Akron at Marshall 12:00 PM CBSSN
Temple at Penn St. 12:00 PM BTN
Iowa St. at TCU 12:00 PM FS1
Ohio at Tennessee 12:00 PM SECN
Georgia State at Wisconsin 12:00 PM BTN
Miami (Fla.) at Appalachian St. 12:00 PM
New Mexico at Rutgers 12:00 PM ESNN
Vanderbilt at Georgia Tech 12:30 PM ESP3
Virginia at Connecticut 1:30 PM ESP3
Colgate at Yale 1:30 PM
NC A&T at Tulsa 2:00 PM ESP3
Idaho at Washington St. 2:00 PM PACN
FAU at Kansas St. 2:30 PM
E. Kentucky at Ball St. 3:00 PM ESP3
Fresno St. at Toledo 3:00 PM ESP3
UNLV at C. Michigan 3:00 PM ESP3
James Madison at North Carolina 3:30 PM ESP3
Oregon at Nebraska 3:30 PM ABC
San Diego St. at Northern Illinois 3:30 PM CBSSN
Pittsburgh at Oklahoma St. 3:30 PM ESPN
South Florida at Syracuse 3:30 PM
FIU at Massachusetts 3:30 PM
W. Kentucky at Miami (Ohio) 3:30 PM ESP3
Colorado at Michigan 3:30 PM BTN
Monmouth at Kent St. 3:30 PM ESP3
Towson at Villanova 3:30 PM
Boston College at Virginia Tech 3:30 PM ESPU
Alabama at Ole Miss 3:30 PM CBS
N. Colorado at Colorado St. 4:00 PM
W. Michigan at Illinois 4:00 PM ESNN
New Mexico St. at Kentucky 4:00 PM SECN
East Carolina at South Carolina 4:00 PM SECN
Idaho State at Oregon St. 5:00 PM PACN
Old Dominion at NC State 6:00 PM
La.-Monroe at Ga. Southern 6:00 PM ESP3
Delaware at Wake Forest 6:30 PM
Navy at Tulane 7:00 PM ESP3
Northwestern St. at Cent. Arkansas 7:00 PM
Texas A&M at Auburn 7:00 PM
Maryland at UCF 7:00 PM CBSSN
Mississippi St. at LSU 7:00 PM
Troy at Southern Miss 7:00 PM
South Alabama at UL Lafayette 7:00 PM ESP3
Army West Point at UTEP 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech at Texas Tech 7:00 PM
Liberty at SMU 7:00 PM ESP3
Georgia at Missouri 7:30 PM SECN
North Texas at Florida 7:30 PM ESPU
Texas State at Arkansas 7:30 PM SECN
Ohio St. at Oklahoma 7:30 PM FOX
Michigan St. at Notre Dame 7:30 PM NBC
Duke at Northwestern 8:00 PM BTN
USC at Stanford 8:00 PM ABC
Portland St. at Washington 8:00 PM PACN
Buffalo at Nevada 9:00 PM
UCLA at BYU 10:15 PM
Utah at San Jose St. 10:30 PM CBSSN
Texas at California 10:30 PM
Hawaii at Arizona 10:45 PM PACN

There are some really good games today.

The headliner is an early one of top 10 teams:

#2 Florida State at #10 Louisville, 12pm, ABC

Any matchup of top 10 teams is a must watch, and this is no exception. Louisville is the highest scoring team in the nation at a whopping 66 points per game. And that's not with the benefit of mopping up an FCS team, they dropped 70 on UNC Charlotte and 62 on Syracuse, both of which are FBS teams. Florida State came back from a 28-6 deficit vs Ole Miss in Week 1, so this could be quite a game.

There are quite a few other games of note:

#1 Alabama at #19 Ole Miss, 3:30 CBS

Last season these teams met at this time of year in Tuscaloosa and Ole Miss prevailed 43-37.

#3 Ohio State at #14 Oklahoma, 7:30 on Fox

After being upset by Houston in the season opener, Oklahoma needs to bounce back against stiff competition. Ohio State is rolling though, averaging 62.5 points per game against FBS teams, the 2nd best rate in the nation, and sporting the third best defense so far with just 6.5 points per game. It could get ugly.

#12 Michigan State at #18 Notre Dame, 7:30 on NBC

These teams have a knack for playing it close. In 2013, Notre Dame won 17-13 in a game that came down to a fourth down play, and in 2010 Michigan State won in OT 34-31 in a game so tense that MSU head coach Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack after the game.

#22 Oregon at Nebraska, Mississippi State at #20 LSU and #17 Texas A&M at Auburn are also of note.

[#] Sun Sep 18 2016 03:52:57 EDT from James Keane

Subject: NFL 2016 Week 2 Projections Roundup: Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

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It’s a statistical coin flip.

Last week’s Philadelphia Eagles’ win over the Cleveland Browns was a thing of beauty. Largely, the statistical forecasts were in agreement and ended up being correct. Monday night’s road matchup against the Chicago Bears (0-1) presents a new test for Carson Wentz, and the forecasts aren’t quite sure what to make of it.

First, here is a link to last week’s roundup.

On to this week:

VEGAS (Bears -3, 59.8% win probability)

Last week: Eagles -4, 70% win probability

Vegas is giving the Eagles three points this week. Historically, three point underdogs have a 40.2% chance of winning. Chicago’s home field advantage is worth about 3 points (compared to the Eagles’ 1.7 point home advantage last week), making this game more of a push if it were to be held on a neutral field.

538 (Eagles, 51% win probability)

Last week: Eagles, 71% win probability

Last week’s victory moved the Eagles up a few Elo spots to 14 (Elo = 1504) from the 16th position. Chicago, on the other hand, is currently ranked 29th (Elo = 1430). The difference in Elo scores isn’t so great, but favors the Eagles, hence the slight 2% edge on the road. 538’s forecasts are based on 100,000 simulations, the result here is a virtual coin toss.

ESPN FPI (Bears, 59% win probability)

Last week: Eagles, 69% win probability

Last week’s forecast for the Eagles was nice, this week’s not so much. ESPN’s FPI is more in line with Vegas, giving the Bears a 59% chance of victory. This week’s “Matchup Quality” index is low (35 out of 100), so doesn’t expect to be an exciting, well-played affair (mathematically), but it’s better than Dallas at WASTEAM (28). This week’s highest quality matchup is Packers/Vikings (80).

Football Outsiders DVOA

This early in the season, Football Outsiders’ DVOA projection take into account preseason performance until there is enough regular season data to discount it. Otherwise, the Eagles would be the second ranked team in the league based on regular season alone, behind San Francisco. More realistically, the Eagles are currently ranked 19th in the league, and the Bears are 29th. Any forecast produced by FO would be in favor of the Eagles.

Here are some other notable win probabilities:

Dr. K NFL Forecasts – Eagles, 56.6%, 26-24 (Last week: Eagles, 65%, 27-21) – Bears, 51.4%, win by 0.5 (Last week: Eagles, 69.6%, win by 7)


This week’s statistical forecasts are all over the place. Football Outsiders and 538 favor the Eagles while Vegas and ESPN don’t. Let’s call the modeling disagreement, “The Carson Wentz Effect.” And let’s assume the effect continues in Chicago.


[#] Sun Sep 18 2016 03:52:57 EDT from Dave Mangels

Subject: Eagles news: Carson Wentz is like Drew Brees

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Eagles news and notes for 9/17

Carson Wentz taking the Drew Brees approach to preparation - ESPN

"It honestly started my rookie year," Daniel remembers. "Drew was like, 'Hey, we're going to be here at 5:30 in the morning, and this is what we're going to watch on Wednesdays, this is what we're going to watch on Thursdays, this is what we're going to watch on Fridays.' And I was like, 'OK. Yes, absolutely. I'll do whatever you say.' I'm a rookie, he's throwing for 5,000 yards a season.

"As time progressed there, we sort of got into a routine. I have two pages of notes on the schedule of exactly what we're supposed to do, and I sort of brought that to Kansas City with us. Alex [Smith] really loved it, felt he was really prepared and that's sort of what I've tried to bring here with Carson."

Jon Dorenbos Explains The Highlight Of His Performing Career - Birds 24/7

“This is probably the highlight of my performing career,” he started.” So Simon [Cowell] wrote the name of his son [on the card], which he could have written any name, and so the act’s done. It goes to commercial. And I went to collect those cards because those are good souvenirs because they all signed them. I want to keep them. And this lady walked out of the crowd and she said ‘Can I have that card, please?’ And it was the one that said ‘Eric.’ And I was kind of like ‘Oh, I wanted to keep that for the souvenir.’ And she said ‘That’s my son.’ And then Simon came up and hugged his wife, and she said ‘We want to hang this in our house.’ And we want to look at it every day and we’re going to keep the magic alive in our house. And I kind of looked at her and Simon and Simon gave me a hug and said [the trick] was unbelievable and [he] loved every second of it.”

Blocking out praise now can only help Carson Wentz when vultures begin to circle - Philly Voice

But even the greatest music can make you deaf if you listen too loudly, too often. Wentz would rather not listen to it at all.

"It goes back to kind of how I've approached this since the draft process," he said when asked about how he's handled all the aforementioned attention that's followed him since his debut. "You've just got to block out the noise, whatever that is, whether it's the media or whatever it may be. The good, the bad, whatever it may be and just focus on ball, just focus on getting better every week. Like I said, the good, bad, the indifferent, it doesn't matter. You've just got to focus and take it day by day."

Eagles respect Cutler even if you don't - Inquirer

"I heard the Smokin' Jay jokes and I've seen those pictures, but what I see on film is a very talented guy, who can throw the ball all over the field, move around a little, and takes some hits, too," said defensive end Connor Barwin. "Every quarterback is less effective when you disrupt them, but honestly Jay is good at handling pressure, I think. He's a challenge. He can do everything."

It's not unusual for the public perception of a player to differ from the professional perception of those who have to match up against him. Fans can belittle the athletes they don't like, but opponents don't have that luxury. When Monday night's game begins in Soldier Field, the Eagles won't be thinking of what Cutler can't do. They'll be worried about what he can.

[#] Sun Sep 18 2016 03:52:57 EDT from Dave Mangels

Subject: Malcolm Jenkins says members of Eagles will make stance during anthem on MNF

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Team had backed off on plan to protest on 9/11

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins told Sports Radio WIP that he expects that he and teammates will make a symbolic gesture during the national anthem in the Eagles Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears.

Jenkins said that Doug Pederson had advised his players to not make a gesture, whether it be kneeling or something else, on 9/11, which the players agreed to.

Jenkins said he and teammates would discuss what it would be, but that it would probably not be a kneel.

On Sunday Jurrell Casey, Jason McCourty and Wesley Woodward of the Titans raised their fists during the anthem, as did Marcus Peters of the Chiefs, while other members of the Chiefs locked arms, and Arian Foster, Kenny Stills, Jelani Jenkins and Michael Thomas of the Dolphins knelt. And on Monday night Colin Kaepernick, who started the anthem protest in the preseason by kneeling for it, was joined by teammate Eric Reid, while teammates Antoine Bethea and Eli Harold and Rams players Robert Quinn and Kenny Britt raised fists.

Jenkins has spoken about the anthem protest in the past. He supported Kaepernick’s protest but disagreed with the method:

"If you want change and you want things to get better across the country, there's different ways to go about it. What's going to get lost is all the stuff that he was trying to point out," Jenkins said. "I think everybody is going to talk about how him making the money that he does as an NFL player and basically kind of shaming the flag or whatever, shaming the country, is unpatriotic. You talk about troops and being able to honor that, that's what's going to get talked about. It's not going to be about the lives that have been lost across the country, the injustices that are being done to minorities all across this country, that's what's not going to be in the headlines. It's going to be about him.

He also added:

"It's a tough situation, but at the same time, if you've got something that you're passionate about and that's your way of expressing it, you've got all the right to do it. I'm a guy of conviction, I speak out on things I see, so I can't really look at what he's doing and tell him he's wrong."

During the preseason, Jenkins was also a vocal supporter of then-teammate Myke Tavarres’s plan to kneel during the anthem.

“He’s a young player that sees what’s going on in America, who sees all of the issues and wants to do something. I think from that standpoint, I totally agree with what he wants to do. Now, how he chooses to convey that or get that message out there is completely up to him,” Jenkins said. “At the end of the day, the issues are the issues and if somebody else gets offended, then that’s fine because the things that they are standing for are just as egregious.”

Jenkins added that Tavarres has the “full support of everybody in the locker room,” noting how Tavarres realizes he has the biggest platform he’s ever had in his life and that the rookie “wants to do something with it.” Jenkins, who sometimes engages with people on Twitter to discuss racial inequality, is an advocate for athletes to use the platform they have.

Now with the national stage of Monday Night Football, Jenkins and others are taking their stance.

This is an evolving story, check back for updates.

[#] Sun Sep 18 2016 03:52:57 EDT from AdamHermann

Subject: Carson Wentz is the first NFL Rookie of the Week of 2016

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The wonder boy has done it again!

There weren't many other options, so it was kind of a foregone conclusion, but now it's official: Carson Wentz was named the NFL's Pepsi Rookie of the Week for his Week 1 performance against the Browns.

Wentz, as you may or may not have heard, went 22 for 37, 278 yards and two touchdowns in his sterling debut against a woeful Cleveland Browns squad. It was one of the finest rookie quarterbacking performances in Eagles franchise history.

Wentz ran away from the field, nabbing over 50 percent of the vote. There wasn't much competition. He was kind of awesome.

Here's who else was nominated:

WR Will Fuller, Houston Texans: Fuller caught five passes for 107 yards and a touchdown in a 23-14 win over the Chicago Bears.

WR Sterling Shepard, New York Giants: Shepard caught three passes for 43 yards and one touchdown in a 20-19 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

WR Tajae Sharpe, Tennessee Titans: Sharpe led the team with seven receptions for 76 yards and five first-down conversions against the Minnesota Vikings.

DE Carl Nassib, Cleveland Browns: Nassib recorded three tackles, one sack and one pass defensed against the Eagles.

[#] Sun Sep 18 2016 14:33:26 EDT from Kurt R.

Subject: World Cup Of Hockey, Day 2: Game time, how to watch, and discussion thread

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Four teams opened up the World Cup of Hockey on Saturday, and now the other four will play their first games of the tournament on Sunday.

The World Cup of Hockey officially began yesterday, with the four teams in Group A getting their first action of group play in. Today, it’s the four teams in Group B that will get their chance to make a good first impression and take a step towards the elimination round.


Yesterday’s Results:

  • Team USA opened up the tournament by getting embarrassed 3-0 at the hands of Team Europe. Their only paths to the elimination round now probably require them to either beat Canada or get the benefit of a tiebreaker. And hey Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored a goal!
  • Team Canada easily beat Team Czech Republic in the night game by a count of 6-0. The Czech team actually held its own for much of the first period, but there’s simply too much firepower on that Canadian team for them to hang. Pour one out for Michal Neuvirth, who gave up six goals and still made 44 more saves.


Today’s Games:

Team Sweden vs. Team Russia: 3:00 p.m. ET

Where to watch: ESPN, WatchESPN, Sportsnet, TVAS
Where are the Flyers: None to be found.

Team North America vs. Team Finland: 8:00 p.m. ET

Where to watch: ESPN2, WatchESPN, Sportsnet, TVAS
Where are the Flyers: Sean Couturier and Shayne Gostisbehere will be present and destroying fools for Team North America. Team Finland is Flyer-less.


Use this thread to discuss today’s World Cup games. Enjoy!

[#] Sun Sep 18 2016 15:34:26 EDT from Ari Yanover

Subject: Here’s Michael Del Zotto throwing the first pitch at a Phillies game

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He reached home from the mound! That’s good.

As the Philadelphia Flyers’ season starts to get underway - including some players already taking part in the World Cup of Hockey - the Philadelphia Phillies’ season is ending.

With just a couple of weeks left in the regular season, it’s time for the yearly changing of the sports guard. And we kind of got to see some of that, as various Flyers attended batting practice before the Phillies hunkered down to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 15.

Not only that, but Michael Del Zotto threw out the first pitch, too.

And here it is!

Thanks again to the @phillies and @aschecody. #dontskipit #lobcity

A video posted by Michael Del Zotto (@mdzofficial) on

Hardly a strike, but hey - Del Zotto took the mound, and his ball made it to Cody Asche’s glove (who was serving as catcher for Del Zotto), so it’s all good.

[#] Mon Sep 19 2016 06:19:10 EDT from Kelly Hinkle

Subject: Monday Morning Fly By: LOL America.

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Today's open discussion thread, complete with your daily dose of Philadelphia Flyers news and notes...

*Well well well hockey things are in full swing up there in Toronto and, in case you didn't realize before, the American team is complete trash from top to bottom and will probably lose every game. [ProHockeyTalk]

*Team Canada is, of course, off to a good start. And stupid Crosby was a huge part of their 6-0 win over the Czechs. [Puck Daddy]

*His team might have lost but Michal Neuvirth did have one pretty greasy moment during the game when he robbed Sid. [BSH]

*Ron Hextall is hoping playing in the World Cup will elevate the game of his guys. Probably will, if they don't die. [Inquirer]

*Speaking of elevating their game, Shayne Gostisbehere is on Team North America's power play unit and he's killing it. [BSH]

*Let's take a look at what we can expect from the Flyers' power play this season. [CSN Philly]

*Phantoms forward Cole Bardreau remains upbeat despite nagging injury problems. [Inquirer]

*Speaking of prospects, the 25 Under 25 has come to Oskar Lindblom. [BSH]

*The Flyers have changed their banners at The Farg. Again. [BSH]

*Rookie camp opens today! Here's a breakdown of the roster. [CSN Philly]

*And finally, in case you had any doubt about the fact that Ivan Provorov has outgrown the WHL... [Sons of Penn]

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