Instant Replay: Flyers 2, Rangers 1

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Instant Replay: Flyers 2, Rangers 1

BOX SCORE

Flyers coach Craig Berube talked about creating traffic in front of the net and getting point shots through.

That’s exactly what happened in the third period as Wayne Simmonds caused havoc in the crease in front of Rangers goalie Cam Talbot and Braydon Coburn scored from the point to break a 1-1 tie.

When you’re playing an opponent that is missing four key players and things are so bad in goal they have to start a rookie in his NHL debut, you should score maybe three or four goals.

Not the Flyers.

They had to settle for a pair during their 2-1 victory over the Rangers on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center that snapped their four-game losing skid.

Post shots
The gang that couldn’t shoot straight hit the right post twice in the second period. Kimmo Timonen shot from the point and Luke Schenn had one up close.

Special teams
The Flyers were once again brutal on the power play. They even squandered a five-minute power play that stretched from the end of the second period into the third. In all, they had four shots on that power play but couldn’t score. The Flyers' power play is now one for its last 25.

Shorthanded
Matt Read came into the game without a single point through seven games. He ended that drought in the first period with a shorthanded goal when Rangers center Derrick Brassard turned the puck over at the blue line.

“At the blue line I made a decision … went five-hole,” said Read, who scored on Cam Talbot when Read played for Bemidji State and Talbot played for Alabama-Huntsville back in 2009. The two played 13 times against each other in college with Read scoring 12 goals.

Fluke goal
That would best describe Brad Richards' fifth goal of the season in the final 1:04 of the first period that left a bitter taste in fans’ mouths. The Flyers were ahead 1-0 when Richards put a tough-angle shot on net that went off Braydon Coburn’s knee, short side on goalie Steve Mason. Coburn was kicking at the puck.

Game misconduct
Rangers winger Benoit Pouliot was tossed from the game in the second period after receiving a five-minute major for boarding. Max Talbot slipped near the Rangers' bench as Pouliot then pushed him face-first into the bench. Talbot was visibly stunned, bloodied at the mouth and couldn’t stand. He had to helped off the ice to the dressing room. Twice in the corridor, he was wobbly on his feet. Pouliot is facing a suspension. Incredibly, Talbot returned to play in the third period, apparently, unconcussed.

Fights
Derek Dorsett won a decision over Zac Rinaldo in the first period. What happened here is that Rinaldo, who lays people out with clean, hard checks, missed a big one on Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh and Dorsett wanted him to know that wasn’t OK.

Wayne Simmonds got the best of Brandon Mashinter in the second period, while Dorsett earned a 10-minute misconduct, essentially for trying to fight anything that moved on the ice.

Disallowed
J.T. Miller’s power-play goal in the third period was overturned on video review for kicking the puck into the net. That would have tied the game at 2-2.

Scratches
For the Flyers, it was winger Jay Rosehill and defensemen Andrej Meszaros and Hall Gill.

Injuries
Max Talbot (stitches to the face).

Flyers add much-needed depth at forward with Weise, Gordon signings

Flyers add much-needed depth at forward with Weise, Gordon signings

VOORHEES, N.J. – He didn’t get a scorer or even a notable upgrade in scoring.

What Ron Hextall did get, however, Friday as free agency opened in the NHL, were two depth forwards.
 
It won’t do much to help a club that finished 22nd overall in goal production (211), but there was some value in the signings.
 
Dale Weise will replace Ryan White while Boyd Gordon will lessen Claude Giroux’s responsibilities on the penalty kill, in terms of faceoffs and ice time.
 
“Dale adds size, speed and some grit and has good hands,” the Flyers general manager said. “He can score some goals.
 
“We didn’t have the [cap] space to add a top scorer, so we went with depth scoring guys to our top nine. Boyd is more of a role player. Versatile, can play the center or wing. A good penalty killer.”
 
Hextall said if Gordon, who averaged 2:48 PK time with Arizona, can keep Giroux off the ice for defensive draws and such, it will keep the Flyers’ captain fresher and offer a payback offensively. Gordon won 58 percent of his draws in Arizona.
 
“It’s going to help on the offensive end of the ice for Giroux,” Hextall said. “It’s one of those little things that played into our decision.”
 
Weise, who signed a four-year, $9.4 million contract, is a lot like White in terms of tenacity and playing with an edge. He’s played 152 games with both Vancouver and Montreal, but comes here via Chicago.
 
The 27-year-old became White’s replacement when the Flyers failed to come to terms with his agent, Craig Oster, on Friday morning.
 
“We’re gonna move on,” Hextall said. “We took a last run at him this morning. Whitey was a good player for us. We couldn’t find common ground.”
 
Gordon, 32, who is coming to his fifth team, as well, signed a one-year deal worth $950,000. 
 
“It’s the little things when you are trying to win games and the margin of error is so tight,” Hextall said. “It’s hard to score goals. It’s the little things you do that help you win games.
 
“We feel like Boyd is a real character guy, blocks shots, faceoffs, killing penalties and plays hard every night.”
 
Going into free agency, Hextall said his priority was to add some goals via a top-nine player. Neither of these players will add 20 goals combined.
 
“It’s depth,” Hextall said. “We added a guy we feel upgrades one of our lines. That’s important. Dale is capable of scoring goals. He can help chip in and, hopefully, we get more scoring from our top nine.
 
“We would have loved to add a scorer to our top six, but it just wasn’t there. So we’ll go with what we’ve got. We feel comfortable with what we’ve got. We’ve got flexibility with the cap, and we’ve got multiple call-ups if we decided to go that way once the season starts.”
 
Hextall said he’ll monitor free agency for the next two weeks to see if a player drops down into a more reasonable cap fit price.
 
“We’ll monitor the market,” he said. “If something pops up and makes sense, we’ll take a look at it ... We’re probably done.”
 
Hextall still has to re-sign Brayden Schenn plus leave some money left over for the possibility of both Ivan Provorov or Travis Konecny making the roster out of training camp.
 
“We’ll start working on that fairly quickly and you know it will get done,” Hextall said of Schenn’s new contract, which should pay him close to $5 million a year.
 
Provorov and Konecny are “ifs” right now.
 
“I don’t know how any of that is going to play out,” Hextall said. “Kids come in and sometimes, if kids make the team, you have to find ways to manipulate your roster … Those are things that will play out at camp.”
 
Hextall has been trying since before the draft to orchestrate a trade or two to gain more cap space. Mark Streit and Matt Read are likely candidates.
 
“If you add the cap space, you’ve got to fill it prudently,” Hextall said. “So just to have it doesn’t do you a lot of good. Sometimes it’s nice to have the freedom.
 
“We certainly would have looked a little bit harder today if we had some freedom, but we don’t. So we are where we are, and we’re going to manage it.”

Right now, the Flyers have approximately $8.6 million in cap space, according to generalfanager.com.

Source: Flyers sign RW Dale Weise to 4-year deal, add C Boyd Gordon

Source: Flyers sign RW Dale Weise to 4-year deal, add C Boyd Gordon

The Flyers have moved on from Ryan White. 
 
The team on Friday signed depth winger Dale Weise, an NHL source confirmed. TSN's Bob McKenzie first reported the sides were close, and early Friday afternoon Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto welcomed Weise to the team. McKenzie later reported that White will join the Coyotes on a one-year, $1 million deal.

Weise's deal is worth $9.4 million over four years ($2.35 million average annual value), a source confirmed. 

Weise, 27, is a bigger player than White at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds. His numbers are similar to White's, who did not re-sign with the Flyers in advance of free agency.

The Flyers went into free agency without much salary cap room and were unable to pursue high-end players such as Milan Lucic, David Backes and Kyle Okposo, all of whom received long-term deals averaging $6 million per season.

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said he wanted to add a top-nine player and Weise is just that. This will be his fifth NHL club. 
 
Weise had 14 goals last season — all with Montreal — before being traded to Chicago at the deadline.
 
A six-year veteran, Weise has just 37 goals in 329 games. His 14 goals this season with Les Canadiens were a career high.

Flyers add Gordon
Later in the day, the Flyers added another depth player with the signing of Boyd Gordon, a 32-year-old centerman, who has been with Phoenix, Edmonton and Arizona over the past four seasons, during which he tallied a total of 20 goals. Gordon's one-year deal is worth $950,000. 

Gordon, 32, averaged almost three minutes ice time a game on the penalty kill. Hextall said in the offseason he wanted to upgrade his PK units in terms of personnel and not in coaching. Gordon could very well fit the bill.

He’s also an excellent faceoff man — 57.9 percent last season. 

Three minor moves
In addition to adding Weise and Gordon, the Flyers also made three more minor additions. They signed forwards Greg Carey (one-year deal), Andy Miele (one-year deal) and defenseman Will O'Neill (two-year deal). 

Carey, a 26-year-old left wing, last played for the Springfield Falcons of the AHL. In his first full AHL season, he had 26 goals and 43 points. Carey has a two-way deal. 

Miele, a 28-year-old center, most recently played with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL. Last year, he led his team with 62 points (18 goals, 44 assists) in 75 games and had a plus-minus of plus-18. Miele's one-year deal is worth $575,000, with a signing bonus of $25,000. 

"Miele’s a one-way deal," Hextall said. "He’s a depth player for us. Scoring has been an issue for us, so he gives us another option if we feel like we need to score more goals. He’s a skill player and he can score goals."

O'Neill, a 28-year-old defenseman, comes from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL). He led all defensemen on his team with 50 points last year. O'Neill has a two-way deal. 

NHL Notes: Buffalo Sabres sign free-agent forward Kyle Okposo

NHL Notes: Buffalo Sabres sign free-agent forward Kyle Okposo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A person with direct knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that the Buffalo Sabres have reached an agreement to sign forward Kyle Okposo, one of the top players available on the NHL's free-agent market.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Sabres have not announced the agreement with the former New York Islanders forward in a move reached shortly after the signing period began on Friday.

The 28-year-old Okposo has eight-plus seasons of NHL experience and is a three-time 20-goal-scorer. Last year, he finished third on the Islanders with 22 goals, and second with 64 points.

In Buffalo, Okposo immediately becomes a top-line forward on a team that has spent the past two years rebuilding through youth.

Red Wings: Team signs Nielsen, re-signs Helm and Marchenko
DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings tried to address the departure of Pavel Datsyuk, agreeing with Frans Nielsen to a six-year, $31.5 million contract Friday in the opening hours of free agency.

"He's a centerman we needed after losing one in Pavel Datsyuk," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told The Associated Press. "We think he can play 200 feet, in all situations, including penalty killing and on the power play."

Nielsen averaged 51 points over the last three years with the New York Islanders. The 32-year-old Nielsen, who is from Denmark, has scored 119 goals and added 230 assists over his decade in the NHL.

Forward Darren Helm and defenseman Alexey Marchenko agreed to deals with Detroit to stay with the team just before they would have been available on the market.

The Red Wings retained Helm with a five-year contract, counting $3.85 million against the salary cap each season. Helm had 13 goals and 26 points last season. He has 72 goals and 90 assists since making his debut during the 2007-08 season.

The Red Wings are also keeping Marchenko for two more seasons, taking $1.45 million off their cap each year. Marchenko is coming off his first full season in the NHL. The Russian played in 66 games last season, scoring twice and adding nine assists (see full story).

Lightning: Hedman, Vasilevskiy sign extensions
The Tampa Bay Lightning signed defenseman Victor Hedman to a $63 million, eight-year extension Friday and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to a $10.5 million, three-year extension.

The deals come on the heels of the Lightning signing captain Steven Stamkos to a $68 million, eight-year contract.

Hedman will count $7.875 million against the salary cap when the deal begins in the 2017-18 season. 

The 6-foot-6, 223-pound Hedman was in the running for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP when Tampa Bay lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

In 473 NHL games, the 25-year-old has 49 goals and 180 assists. Last season he had 10 goals and 37 assists.

Vasilevskiy will count $3.5 million against the cap when his extension kicks in for the 2017-18 season. The contract could mean the end of Ben Bishop's time in Tampa Bay at least by the end of next season when the Las Vegas expansion draft occurs.

General manager Steve Yzerman has said he'll have to trade one of his goalies before June 2017 to avoid one of them being claimed.

Sharks: Defenseman David Schlemko signs four-year deal
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- When the free agency period opened, the top priority for the San Jose Sharks was upgrading their blue line with a player capable of filling a hole on the third pair and playing many different roles.

General manager Doug Wilson struck quickly on Friday, signing free agent defenseman David Schlemko to a four-year contract worth a reported $8.4 million.

"His versatility is really important," Wilson said. "He can play on left or right side, can play on the power play and the PK. He just fits with where we're at and where we're going."

Schlemko will likely slot in alongside Brenden Dillon on the third pair but his ability to play both sides gives San Jose the versatility to play with Dylan DeMelo or move up to one of the top two pairs if needed.

"That was a big thing for them," Schlemko said. "I can be a versatile player, move up and down the lineup and play against anybody and play in any situation. That's how I feel about myself as a player and was glad that they saw that. I'm kind of lucky that a Stanley Cup contender wanted me."

The 29-year-old Schlemko posted career highs with six goals and 13 assists in 67 games for New Jersey last season. He also played more than 18 minutes a game (see full story).

Blues: David Perron signs 2-year deal, $7.5 million
The agent for David Perron says the winger has signed a $7.5 million, two-year deal with the St. Louis Blues.

Allan Walsh told The Associated Press that Perron signed the deal that carries a cap hit of $3.75 million over the next two seasons.

Perron spent last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim Ducks, and had 12 goals and 24 assists. He's returning to St. Louis, which drafted him 26th overall in 2007.

In 570 NHL games, Perron has 141 goals and 191 assists.

Perron helps replace right wing Troy Brouwer, who became an unrestricted free agent.

Stars: Veteran Hamhuis added to blue line
DALLAS -- The Stars signed defenseman Dan Hamhuis to a two-year, $7.5 million contract in the opening hours of free agency Friday, providing another veteran to a strong young group on the blue line.

The 33-year-old Hamhuis has split his 12-year career in two places, first with six seasons in Nashville and then six more in Vancouver. He has 303 points (55 goals, 248 assists) in 872 career games.

Hamhuis joins Dallas as it appears set to replace two veterans at the blue line (see full story).

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