Broken Twigs: Flyers' Rosehill Problem and Your FGSB Mailbag

Broken Twigs: Flyers' Rosehill Problem and Your FGSB Mailbag

Something I’ve noticed about the Flyers is that they seem unable to be grasp a basic subject that most of league has picked up on over the past few years – opportunity cost.

Here are some completely random transactions from recent Flyers history:
April 17, 2013: Jay Rosehill signed to a 2 year, $1.35M contract
July 1, 2010: Jody Shelley signed to a 3 year, $3.3M contract
July 1, 2008: Riley Cote signed to a 3 year, $1.65M contract
October 7, 2007: Jesse Boulerice signed to a Ryan Kessler’s face contract

And the reason I bring this up is that as disappointing as the Jody Shelley contract was financially, the Jay Rosehill contract is conceptually.

Let me be clear that this is not a fighting debate. Although I know fighting is probably unnecessary when it comes down to brass tacks, and is surely reckless and completely dangerous, for some reason I’m a fan. I like fighting in hockey even though I know it’s against my better judgment and will leave it to people more progressive than I to remove it. But the fact that a “player” like Jay Rosehill could possibly be on the big club this October instead of a younger, faster, more promising prospect such as Tye McGinn doesn’t sit well with me. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be a young guy. It could be an old salty veteran that excels at killing penalties (and pirates). It could be Scott Gomez! It could literally be anyone with any sort of skill that was more hockey-related than UFC.

Jay Rosehill has 3 goals and 3 assists in 83 NHL games. Jay Rosehill has 24 fights in 83 NHL games. Last season Jay Rosehill averaged 6:47 TOI during his 11 games as a Flyer (I had to go to the second tab to find that stat! He wasn’t even in the top 30 on the freaking team!). Jay Rosehill has never put up real points at any level including junior and is not a consistent, defensively-sound checking forward. Jay Rosehill is a fighter when what we need in 2013 is a hockey player.

It’s no secret that the number of pugilists in the league has been dropping steadily for years, since the advent of the instigator rule and much more so since the 2004-05 lockout resulted in a faster, slicker, sexier brand of hockey. But the Flyers don’t get that. Or more clearly stated, don’t care to get that. This is Philadelphia and no one’s going to push us around and Broad Street Bullies and Rob Zombie and gggrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

So they sign Jay Rosehill to a two year deal and then they traded a puck-moving piece of defensive inventory for Kris Newbury. There was probably someone in that conference room that was considering resigning Jody Shelley. And what we as fans get is a couple fights with Colton Orr and to grit our teeth every time the 4th line is out. Sounds good.

Hopefully this is some underlying, double secret plan to finally give the people of Glens Falls some entertainment after 4 years of hockey that wasn’t winning but wasn’t Slap Shot either – aka boring. The worst part is you know it’s not. And you know there will be injuries. And you know that there will be a game where our 4th line features Jay Rosehill and Kris Newbury – both with the hockey skills of Riley Cote, one of whom he used to beat up and another one he should have.

Time for some questions!

Bill L.: What kind of season is Danny Briere going to have with Les Canadiens?
The weird thing about being a Philadelphia fan is that more than winning, possibly, you love to see former players excel in new environments because a) you appreciate their service and b) you love to have spare darts to throw at management. That being said, Briere will lead the league in points next year with 110 points in 81 games. He will miss one game because the President cannot find Jack Bauer and needs Danny Briere to save the world in 24 hours sometime in January. He’ll do that AND manage to take his kids to a One Direction concert because he’s a good dad.

Ada D.: Couldn’t Kurtis Foster have stayed in the NHL, somewhere?
It would appear not. Good rule of thumb for anything in life is that if people would rather have Oliver Lauridsen do it, it’s time to start doing something else. But I’m glad to see Fozzie Bear head to Europe to play, even though I thought he’d return to the Finland or possibly even head to a less competitive league in Austria. Kurtis Foster is a good dude that has worked really hard and had some really bad luck. That he can change leagues, make at least the same amount of money and go from never knowing if he’d be in the press box to #1 superstar offensive dynamo defenseman is deserving of his hard work. I saw a lot of Twitter rubbish talking about moving to Siberia and whatnot but if you’ve never been to Croatia (which I haven’t) you should Google Images the town he’s going to be playing in (which I did) – it’s absolutely beautiful.

mhoc3518: What do you think about the Philadelphia Amateur Hockey Combine?
I think the 64 13-15 year olds who were invited to that camp probably have a good chance of playing college hockey somewhere, and it’s nice to get them together to reaffirm to every other kid in the area that they probably don’t. Which raises the question: when is a good time to tell your son he is not going to play in the NHL and should start staying up all night developing apps unless he wants to be a floor salesman when he grows up? I would guess that deep down you know if your kid’s got a shot at pro hockey around the age of 10, and I suggest as soon as the thought even occurs to you (missed breakaway, bad practice, whatever) you tell him that he doesn’t. No need to fill his mind with dreams of Joel Otto, Matt Read or other late bloomers – it’s not going to happen. There are over 500,000 active registrants in USA Hockey. There are 600 NHL positions available. If you play the odds and stick your kid at forward there are actually only 360 spots available (forget about goalie). Then take into account that people of at least a one decade range are competing for those 360 spots, not just ‘96’s or ‘04’s. And then take into account Canada, Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Finland, and Slovakia. When you’re delivering this news be sure to blame most of your son’s failure on your spouse’s lack of athletic ability.

Mike K.: What is your obsession with Jim Dowd.
Let me ‘splain something to you. Matt Read was a very good college hockey player, right? His best year he had 41 points in 37 games and it appears he’s going to put together a decent NHL career. Now think about this – Jim Dowd’s best year at Lake Superior State he had NINETY TWO points in 46 games. One year in NJ high school he had 113 points in TWENTY FOUR games. Jim Dowd Y’all!
Also, when he finished his NHL career with the Flyers in 2007-08 he scored 6 goals during the course of the year and looked as excited as a squirt scoring his first goal ever every time. That was fun.

Mike G.: You think the NHL will ever see a Royce White?
Ever is a long time but still, probably not. Hockey so manly that there is fist-fighting allowed (see: above). Concussions (brain damage) are hidden by the players if they’re not elite. Above all, individualism is only allowed as a marketing tool and personalities or other distracting qualities(see: Bryzgalov, Ilya) are frowned upon. That aspect is probably one of the biggest challenges You Can Play faces in hockey culture – that coming out is a personal action in a team environment. On that line of thinking Royce White probably needs to not travel for a while, but besides the logistical hurdles this raises for the coaching staff, it would make for a weird locker room, which is also not tolerated in hockey (see: Island, Dry). We’re huge proponents of both You Can Play and Royce White’s mission to bring mental illness to into the professional sports discussion, but it’s going to be a while until hockey culture sees either.

Yinztweet Breakdown of the Week

She's saying she had a sex dream about Sidney Crosby. That's what she's saying.

Even with Jordan Matthews' return, Paul Turner still in Eagles' plans

Even with Jordan Matthews' return, Paul Turner still in Eagles' plans

There were just two things on Paul Turner’s mind as he sprinted across the field early during the third quarter on Sunday, anticipating his first career NFL catch. 

Turner relayed them on Wednesday: 

1. “Make sure you get in [Carson Wentz’s] vision.” 

2. “You better catch this ball.” 

He did both. 

Turner, the 23-year-old undrafted receiver from Louisiana Tech, who has become a fan favorite since his stellar training camp and preseason, caught his first NFL pass during Sunday’s loss to the Bengals and it went for a big gain of 41 yards. 

On his first catch, the Eagles used the play-action to tilt the defense and Wentz threw a dart into a small window to hit Turner on an over route. Then, the rookie turned upfield with a ton of space in front of him. 

By the end of the afternoon, he caught six balls for 80 yards. It was the best receiving day for an Eagles rookie since Jordan Matthews in 2014 and was a better day than last year’s first-round pick, Nelson Agholor, has ever had. 

“It's always good to catch a few balls,” said Turner, who has been on the 53-man roster and active for just the past two games. “It gets your motor going and gets your confidence going. It just gets you more into the game and gets you excited. I think it does a lot for a person's confidence.”

Turner played 41 snaps against the Bengals in large part because Matthews was out with an ankle injury. Matthews predominantly plays in the slot, which is where head coach Doug Pederson and his coaching staff like Turner. 

“Honestly, that wasn't really my mindset going into the game,” Turner said when asked if he knew how much opportunity he’d have with Matthews out. “My mindset was to go in there and if my number was called, just go out there and make a play. Even if my number was called, just take care of my assignment and take care of the little details and I knew everything else would just take care of itself. I knew that if I got the ball, I'd be excited. But even if I didn't, just to go out there and just block, and give up myself for my teammates. That was my goal coming into the game and just try to stay focused on that.” 

It appears as though Turner has done enough to warrant keeping his playing time. As Matthews returned to practice on Wednesday — as a limited participant — Pederson said there will still be opportunities for Turner. 

“There are, there are,” Pederson said. “And these are things we talked about the last couple of days as a staff — getting Paul in there, even with Jordan coming back. I think it can be a benefit to the offense to have both of those guys ready to go.”

The Eagles still haven’t had more than four receivers active for any game this season. During the last two weeks when Turner has played, either Agholor or Matthews were out. 

“It means a lot that the coaching staff has confidence in me,” Turner said. “My biggest thing is just to come in here and just work each and every day in practice and just prepare in practice so I'm prepared when I go out there in the game.” 

MLB Notes: Aroldis Chapman rejoins Yankees on 5-year, $86 million deal

MLB Notes: Aroldis Chapman rejoins Yankees on 5-year, $86 million deal

OXON HILL, Md. -- Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen -- a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever -- that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.

Rangers: Gomez reaches deal to stay with team
OXON HILL, Md. -- Carlos Gomez is staying with the Texas Rangers.

The outfielder agreed to an $11.5 million, one-year contract, a deal subject to a successful physical.

"Many of the objectives of the Rangers for Carlos go beyond one year," his agent, Scott Boras, said Wednesday. "Certainly Carlos really enjoyed the team and the environment and feels he's got a great chance to win. So I think both parties' objectives were met by that deal."

Gomez, who turned 31 last weekend, figures to play center as general manager Jon Daniels structured an outfield that includes Shin-Soo Choo in right and Nomar Mazara in left. Ian Desmond left Wednesday for a $70 million, five-year deal with Colorado.

Gomez batted just .210 with five homers in 85 games this year for Houston and was released by the Astros in August. He signed with Texas and hit .284 with eight homers and 24 RBIs in 33 games. An All-Star in 2013 and '14 with Milwaukee, Gomez has a .257 average and 116 home runs in 10 big league seasons.

"J.D. was very clear from the onset about them wanting Carlos back, and we've had communication since the season's end to pursue that," Boras said. "So it was something in our minds and in their minds. It was just a constant dialogue."

AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed to this report.

Red Sox: Sale not worried about being ace
BOSTON -- New Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale says he isn't worried that he might not be the ace of the pitching staff after being traded from the White Sox to Boston.

The 27-year-old lefty told reporters on Wednesday, "We play for a trophy, not a tag."

Sale was traded to the Red Sox on Tuesday at the baseball winter meetings. He was the top starting pitcher on the market, and the Red Sox gave up touted prospect Yoan Moncada as part of a package to land him.

Sale has been an All-Star for five straight seasons and finished in the top six of the Cy Young Award voting each time. He joins a staff that already includes 2016 Cy Young winner Rick Porcello and '12 winner David Price (see full story).