Flyers Town Meeting 2009

April 8, 2009

Last year’s Flyers Season Ticket Holder Town Hall was a revelation. Who knew that a major, big city sports team would, or could, find a way to interact meaningfully at the management level with the fans. But the Flyers have refined their format to fine art. So for the second year in a row, I was able to speak with, question, hear from Flyers brass.

This year again we started with a quick meal in the Lexus Club. Then we moved on to sessions with Peter Luukko and Shawn Tilger, Premium Seating and Parking, Chris Pryor and Don Luce, Paul Holmgren, and John Stevens (who was on the road for the session I attended last year). Read the rest of this entry »

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This NHL Free Agent Season Not Really Wild

July 3, 2008

Minnesota Wild GM Doug Riseborough gave a succinct and illustrative look into how an organization views and prepares for free agency. The undersupply of his so-called “Elite” and “Top” players versus the demand makes so much sense, first, for how really boring and lacking in apparent impact this year’s free agency has been. But probably more importantly it can explain why free agent defensemen this week–both restricted and unrestricted–became incredibly overpaid versus their counterparts.


Red Wings Machine not Mechanical

May 28, 2008

I really thought the folks doom and glooming about the Red Wings being unlikely to get credit for their victory were off base. Yes, there’d be some discussion of the Pens being the team of the future, and some writers are obsessed with how this series will affect the Pens in the long run, like ESPN’s Scott Burnside.

But in a world ruled by the Bettman PR machine, in all its ineffectual glory, I figured the media that are paying attention would manage to see past the hype to what a talented team the Red Wings are, what a beautiful game they play, and how deserving they will be as the 2008 Stanley Cup Champions.

And then I read a column by my buddy ESPN’s John Buccigross and I just went Red Wings red in anger. What is this evil empire crap? Comparing this Red Wings team with a mechanical joyless Soviet menace? Are you kidding me? Read the rest of this entry »


Going Blind in Detroit

May 10, 2008

Is Mitch Albom on crack?

A few years ago I checked out the prices of playoff tix in Detroit. Finals tickets in the lower bowl were $450 each (as a comparison, lower bowl seats in the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia are $250 face, discounted to season ticket holders). Detroit, in case Mitch hasn’t noticed, is one of the most economically depressed areas of the United States. And it isn’t just the recent downturn. The greater Detroit area didn’t really participate fully in that last positive growth of the business cycle.

I have a friend who bought a house in the Detroit area a few years ago. Even three years ago he couldn’t afford to sell that house and relocate because he couldn’t get what he’d payed for it. This wasn’t after the big housing bubble. Now, with the mortgage crisis, $4 gas, and continued hard times for U.S. automakers, who sold their souls and are caught with big gas guzzling SUVs and trucks they can no longer sell enough of, things won’t be getting better in Detroit any time soon.

If the Redwings win the Stanley Cup this year (and really, they look like a team from another, more advanced hockey planet, so I think it likely they will), will anyone be able to afford to come to the parade?


Oh the Humanity

May 8, 2008

When disaster strikes, it is swift and unexpected. With Flyers fans eager for the Eastern Conference Finals to begin so the Flyers can prove to the world they are no fluke, the team has lost its most indispensable player for the rest of the playoffs.

Last night, when Jim Jackson, on the CSN playoff special, answered the question, “Who would be the player they can least afford to lose?” He said, aside from the obvious Biron, Kimmo Timonen, and I had that black cat feeling. You know how it is. The feeling you get when someone mentions that a guy has a shutout going. Or says something about the other team’s power play not having scored for the past 10 games.

So today we find out that Timonen has a blood clot in his ankle and is out for the rest of the playoffs. And I (and many Flyers fans) have gone from thinking our heroes may just be able to upset the Penguins to thinking there’s no hope. Without one of the best defensemen in the league, without their anchor on the blue line and on the point in the power play, the Flyers hopes seem to have just gone up in smoke.

Stinky black smoke.


Playoff Beards Pending

April 10, 2008

One of my favorite things about the post season in the NHL is playoff beards. Everything from a few stray hairs here and there on the young ‘uns to full blown mountain man beards on old heads. The Flyers haven’t been great on the beard front in recent playoff years. I’m hoping this year that trend will be reversed. Playoff beards are good luck! Or at least good fun.

Best of all, this year I’ve discovered a site devoted to playoff beards. Watch along with us!


Bad Reffing on the Way

April 6, 2008

Apparently, Michel Therien had trouble with the officiating in the Pens game with the Flyers on Wednesday. That’s rich. Unless he was complaining about his own player not being called for butt-ending Scott Hartnell in the face and exploding his nose with no call, I can’t see where he’s coming from.

Read the rest of this entry »