About those Flyers/Capitals 2015 Winter Classic rumors and reports

About those Flyers/Capitals 2015 Winter Classic rumors and reports

No matter how good, bad, mediocre or dysfunctional the Philadelphia Flyers may be, they almost always draw the eyes and attention of North American viewers.

The latest proof of that is another potential Winter Classic appearance for the Orange and Black.

This came up a few days ago – sorry, that whole Christmas thing kind of got in the way – but CSNPhilly’s Tim Panaccio cited a Hockeybuzz.com report that the Flyers will travel to our nation’s capital to play the Washington Capitals outdoors in January 2015.

While nothing is in any way confirmed  - Panaccio noted a Flyers official didn’t verify anything and only said the team was a “finalist” - and the Boston Bruins have also been mentioned as an opponent for the Capitals in the game, the Flyers make sense as an opponent from both rivalry and geography points of view.

Have you seen any of the three games the new Metropolitan Division rivals have played against each other this season? Each contest has been action-packed and entertaining for a variety of reasons. The teams don’t seem to like each other and play great games against each other.

And let’s be honest, the shenanigans that occurred between the teams in early November – our worst Philly sports moment of 2013 – probably did nothing but help the Flyers’ chances of being the Caps’ opponent. You know NHL and NBC executives’ eyes just lit up upon seeing that.

As far as geography goes, D.C. is obviously just a short drive from Philadelphia and the game would be an instant sell out.

Panaccio mentioned Nationals Park and FedEx Field as potential game sites.

Nationals Park is kinda cool and just a few years old, but there’s nothing really special that sticks out about it. FedEx Field is in the middle of nowhere in some Maryland suburb and has that Dan Snyder stench all over it. That place may have to be crossed off the list just for the fact Snyder will almost certainly have his grimy hands in on any deal.

The Broad Street Hockey guys and Yahoo’s Puck Daddy both brought up an interesting prospect: Baltimore.

Baltimore is almost smack-dab, directly between D.C. and Philadelphia and has top-notch, downtown facilities in the Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium and the Orioles’ beautiful Camden Yards.

I don’t know about you guys, but a neutral-site Winter Classic between the Flyers and Caps at Camden Yards sounds pretty damn cool to me.

Again, nothing has been confirmed yet. Just strong speculation. But it’s worth talking about.

If true, it would be the Flyers’ third Winter Classic appearance in six years.

Even Mike Trout wants to see Sam Bradford's return to Philly

Even Mike Trout wants to see Sam Bradford's return to Philly

When Angels All-Star outfielder Mike Trout's six-year, $144.5 million contract ends in 2020, the Millville, New Jersey, native will be in his prime at 29 years old, and Phillies' fans dream of seeing Trout playing at Citizens Bank Park could be come true.

For the time being, though, Trout, a season-ticket holder, is just chilling at Lincoln Financial Field as the Eagles play the Vikings on Sunday because the Angels are almost as bad as the Phillies and even he couldn't stay away from Sam Bradford's return to Philadelphia.

Michael Del Zotto, Scott Laughton return to practice

Michael Del Zotto, Scott Laughton return to practice

VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers welcomed two more players out on to the rink for their practice following Saturday’s 6-3 win over Carolina. 

Michael Del Zotto (lower body) and Scott Laughton (lower body) returned to the ice for the first time since suffering injuries within days of each other. Before Sunday’s light practice, Del Zotto and Laughton had skated two consecutive days prior to work on their conditioning. 

“It’s nice to see them back with the group,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. 

Laughton, who injured himself during a training camp practice after losing an edge, was a bit more forward than Del Zotto on when he hopes to return. 

“I would say within the next five to seven days,” Laughton said.

The 22-year-old pointed to Saturday’s game with Pittsburgh as his target to return. 

As for Del Zotto, the defenseman didn’t want to jinx anything, saying it’s a “day-by-day” situation. He would like to think he’s working on the same timetable as Laughton. If that’s the case, he would be back either a few days before or right on cue with the projected four to five weeks he was scheduled to miss after suffering an injury to his left knee in the preseason against the New York Rangers on Oct. 6. 

“It’s kind of trial and error,” Del Zotto said. 

Above all else, though, the two were just happy to be back with their teammates. Del Zotto said that being around everyone really rejuvenated his spirits. 

“Just being back around the guys and having that team chemistry and camaraderie and being able to joke with the guys,” Del Zotto said, “it’s probably been the best thing for me.”

This past month has especially been hard on the two because of the timing and how last season ended for them. 

While there’s never an ideal time to suffer an injury, the pair saw training camp and the approaching start of the regular season in a different light than most of their teammates.

It was supposed to be their new start. Last season, Del Zotto missed the final few months, including the postseason, after ligament damage to his left wrist. He was having a strong preseason, arguably the top defenseman in camp at the time before suffering his setback.

“Being out so long last year and having to sit and watch playoffs than having six months of grueling rehab to get back into it … that made it sting that much more,” Del Zotto said. “That’s part of the game. It’s a contact sport. I signed up for this.”

The same can be said for Laughton, who experienced a scary injury in Game 4 against Washington after being dumped head first into the boards. 

“I was really excited to have camp and start the year here,” Laughton said. 

The two will be traveling to Montreal with the rest of the Flyers for Monday’s contest. They will each do the morning skate with another bag skate afterward.