Matt Carle

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Pregame 3/27/14: Islanders at Lightning

The Islanders 2 game road trip comes to a conclusion on Thursday night with a visit to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Flyers Shopping Braydon Coburn; It's A Big Mistake

No one is safe on the Flyers roster it seems.

Two players have already been bought-out, a handful of prospects have been named in trade rumors, and now, Braydon Coburn could be trade bait. Reportedly, the Flyers are offering Braydon Coburn up via trade, and Edmonton and Carolina are reportedly interested.

Coburn is entering the second year of a four-year, $18 million deal.

It's to no surprise that teams would be interested in the 6'5" defenseman who logged the most ice time for the Flyers in 2013. Though the offensive production for Coburn has decreased the last few years, his defense has been his strongest asset as well as his ability to be a workhorse.

What Went Wrong in 2013 Part 5: Front Office Is to Blame

The Flyers came to a crossroads two offseasons ago.

They could have gone in one or two directions. One side of the path had them rebuilding the team, pushing a youth movement that would make them a dangerous contender in a couple years. The other path was the same win-now mentality the Flyers have had for the last two decades, resulting in a couple Stanley Cup berths and a handful of Conference Finals appearances.

Unfortunately, general manager Paul Holmgren tried to travel down both paths at once and wound up falling flat on his face this season.

(Photo: Wayne Simmonds (front) and Sean Couturier (back) were both a part of the youth movement. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)

Flyers Look Foolish A Year Removed From Trading Vezina Finalist Sergei Bobrovsky

Since dealing two of the franchise's most prominent stars of the 2000's, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, it seems the Philadelphia fan base has surgically dissected every single move made by the Flyers front office.

The two most scrutinized moves in the past two years though are the dealings of young stars James van Riemsdyk and Sergei Bobrovsky. To be fair, the former was an even trade that benefited both the Flyers, who got Luke Schenn, and the Maple Leafs, who landed the scorer in van Riemsdyk.

As for the latter, Bobrovsky was traded this past offseason to the Columbus Blue Jackets where he won the starting job over now-current Flyers back-up goaltender Steve Mason. After turning the Blue Jackets around and nearly making the post season, Bobrovsky is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the league's best goaltender.

(Pictured: Serge Bobrovsky against the Stars on April 25, 2013. Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

Timonen Signing an Unavoidable Necessity

The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they extended Kimmo Timonen's contract by one year at a cap hit of $6 million. Many may not be happy about it, but the Flyers had to do it. It's really as simple as that.

What else were they going to do? If they lost Timonen, arguably their best defenseman and most capable puck mover, where would this team be in the standings? They most certainly would not be a playoff team. The roster only shows one other capable puck moving defenseman in Braydon Coburn.

Failure to Develop a Blue Line May Have Cost the Flyers JvR

Saturday night against Carolina, the Flyers dressed Kimmo Timonen, Luke Schenn, Braydon Coburn, Nicklas Grossmann, Kurtis Foster, and Bruno Gervais as their defense.

All six shared one thing in common -- not a single one of them were drafted by the Flyers.

In fact, the Flyers have a consistent issue with things like that. Since the lost season of 2004-05, the Flyers have not gotten more than 150 games played from a defensemen they drafted and only one home grown defensemen has played more than 200 games in a Flyers uniform since that time, Randy Jones, an undrafted defender.

(Pictured: Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Lightning Early Season Notes And Numbers

 

After three games the Tampa Bay Lightning are 2-1 with four points and are first in the Southeast division. While it is all but impossible to glean much information from such a small sample of games, the Bolts are buying into Coach Guy Boucher’s platform and are showing signs of improvement on defense and in the net. "It’s going to be defense first. That’s our mindset, because we’ve got the offense," said Boucher. (Photo/Susan Ferlita)

Tampa Bay opened the season at home on Saturday night with a well earned 6-3 victory over division rival Washington. Martin St. Louis and Eric Brewer each scored two goa...

Tampa Bay Lightning Opening Night Roster Set

 

NHL rosters aren't due until tomorrow at 5:00 pm, but after stating the team that practices on Friday will be the opening night squad, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher has made up his mind on his 2013 team.

At noon today, Mike Angelidis, JT Wyman, Matt Taorminaand Kyle Wilson were placed on waivers with the intent of being sent to Syracuse. This means that defenseman Keith Aulie and forwards Cory Conacher and Pierre-Cedric Labrie have made the team. (Labrie Photo/Linda Hamilton)

Tyler Johnson, Radko Gudas and Mark Barberio will be returned to the Syracuse Crunch...

2013 NHL Eastern Conference Power Rankings

The 2013 NHL season is no longer an 82 game marathon, but instead is a 48 game dash to the finish line.

Will teams that had multiple players skating in Europe fair better? Will veteran squads win because they will have fresh legs all season long? Only the next few months will tell.

Here are my Eastern Conference power rankings.

1. Pittsburgh Penguins – A healthyEvgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will lead Pittsburgh deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs. The addition of veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun gives Coach Dan Bylsma a solid option if Marc-Andre Fleury falters.

2. New York Rangers – With the ...

A Quick Tampa Bay Lightning Abbreviated Season Preview

 

NHL hockey is back!

It took a long 16 hour negotiating session in New York yesterday, but the NHL and NHLPA hashed out an agreement in principle around 6 a.m. today.

The NHL did not announce the start date of the season or the number of games each team will play, but it is expected to be a 48 or 50 game season starting on either January 15 or January 19 with teams only playing within their respective conferences.  The Bolts had January 15, 17 and 19 as scheduled home games, thus it is a good bet that they will open the season at the Forum.

The new CBA still has to be drafted and ratified by both sides. It is for ten years with an eight year opt-out.

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