Peter Laviolette's Dry Island and the Flyers World We Don't Know

Peter Laviolette's Dry Island and the Flyers World We Don't Know

Almost everything we know for sure about the Philadelphia Flyers takes place within the boards, on the ice. That much we can see with our own eyes, and even with that, we don't know the half of it. Off the ice, we know little more than what we're given in postgame locker room interviews, which while they're increasingly prevalent, they're also increasingly filled with athletes trying to say as little as possible.  

This great unknown leads to one thing above all else—speculation. Fans and media alike are subject to the temptation to explain on-ice failures by speculating that there are locker room or other off-ice issues, such as players partying too much. Both of these items have been present in print and online for most of the tenures of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter as the faces of the franchise, although the party stories had subsided.  

That is until today, when Dan Gross of the Daily News broke a story that will very quickly find its way from his gossip page to sports pages around the city and probably throughout the US and Canada.

Shortly after his arrival in December 2009, coach Peter Laviolette instituted what players came to call the "Dry Island." Laviolette asked team members to commit to not drinking for a month, and each player was asked to write his number on a locker room board as a pledge. No. 17 (Carter) and No. 18 (Richards) were absent from the board on the first Dry Island, as well as the estimated five more times the policy was instituted.  

Obviously, this story, which Gross sources to other Flyers players who are unnamed in the report, will add fuel to the speculation that this is the reason Richards and Carter were very surprisingly sent packing despite having agreed to career deals with the team.  

Paul Holmgren, understandably pissed that current Flyers players let this leak to the press, adamantly told Gross that while Richards and Carter had indeed not committed to Dry Island, this in no way had anything to do with why they were traded. Carter's agent echoed the sentiment, or perhaps more accurately, he colorfully amplified it.  

Considering that Homer says other players had also not agreed to this, and the breach alone is not something that should get players traded, I tend to believe it's not the primary reason they were traded. But it opens the very strong possibility that these weren't strictly hockey moves. Sure, the return on the trades is enough to defend them as such, but the decision to move players of this caliber so soon after signing at least one of them to a lifetime deal, and not terribly long after the other signed his, certainly could also signal that there was a desire to change the culture of the team by subtraction while also gaining different players you want on the ice.  

We'll keep you posted as we hear more. This is a rather loud siren in an otherwise quiet late-July hockey landscape, and there could be some sub-stories on the way.

The existence of Dry Island is another strong reminder that there's a lot we don't know about the Flyers (and our other teams, for that matter) despite the media landscape we live in.

Speedy WR Bryce Treggs getting reps with Eagles' starters, could debut soon

Speedy WR Bryce Treggs getting reps with Eagles' starters, could debut soon

Speedy Eagles receiver Bryce Treggs, who hasn’t yet been active for a game, could be soon.

Treggs said after practice Thursday he got more reps with the first-team offense this week than he has all year.

“Way more,” Treggs said. “I feel like they’re comfortable with me now, where they don’t have to tell me what to do. I know the plays and I know where to be.”

Does that mean Treggs will make his NFL debut against the Vikings Sunday? Not necessarily. But it does mean he’s at least on the Eagles’ radar.

Treggs began his rookie preseason with Chip Kelly and the 49ers but didn’t play during the preseason because of a preexisting knee injury.

When the 49ers released him as part of final cuts, the Eagles claimed him. He was cleared medically last month and has been gradually learning the Eagles’ offense since. He’s been on the 53-man roster all year but inactive for all five games.

Treggs has 4.31 speed and ranked eighth in NCAA Division I last year with 21.2 yards per catch as a senior at Cal.

Treggs potentially could give the Eagles something they’ve lacked all year: a deep threat.

The Eagles have connected on just eight pass plays of 25 yards or more this year, and only five NFL teams have fewer.

Jordan Matthews has four of those, and running back Darren Sproles has two, which leaves just two for the rest of the Eagles’ other wideouts — one for Nelson Agholor, one for Dorial Green-Beckham and none for Josh Huff.

The Eagles have been using Green-Beckham more and more each week — he played a season-high 42 snaps in the loss to the Redskins Sunday.

Agholor has been a disappointment, with just 16 catches for 181 yards this year, no catches over 35 yards and no catches of 20 yards since opening day. In 18 NFL games, the former first-round pick has never had 65 yards in a game.

Treggs said he feels comfortable with both outside spots and the slot and has gotten practice reps at all three spots this week.

Eagles Injury Update: Bennie Logan (groin) misses second straight practice

Eagles Injury Update: Bennie Logan (groin) misses second straight practice

Every injured Eagles player returned on Thursday except for one.

Defensive tackle Bennie Logan (left groin strain) missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday and it doesn't seem likely he'll be able to play on Sunday against the Vikings.

If Logan can't play on Sunday, backup Beau Allen will get the start.

"Bennie was playing well [against Washington]," defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said on Thursday. "He was one of the few guys in this game that was playing well. You know, it will be more reps for guys like Beau [DT Beau Allen], and maybe even a little bit more for a guy like Fletch [DT Fletcher Cox]. We'd like to rotate those guys as much [as we can], but sometimes you're not able to. And then a guy like Destiny [DT Destiny Vaeao], who has been a part-time player and made a couple plays, but also he's given up a couple. He needs to be more consistent. We've also used some defensive ends inside the rush on third down. That helps alleviate a little bit."

While Logan was still out, several other key Eagles returned to practice after missing Wednesday: Jason Kelce (foot), Ron Brooks (calf) and Marcus Smith (groin). Brooks was the only limited participant in Thursday's practice.

Kelce missed Wednesday's practice because he got a cortisone shot on Monday.

Furthermore, several Eagles who were limited on Wednesday -- Jordan Matthews (knee), Allen Barbre (ankle), Mychal Kendricks (ribs) -- were full participants on Thursday.