Voracek-Schenn-McGinn Line Keys Flyers in 3-2 Victory

Voracek-Schenn-McGinn Line Keys Flyers in 3-2 Victory

With a laughably short training camp and all of the ensuing
injuries, it should come as no surprise Peter Laviolette has had some trouble
coming up with lines that united to form consistent, instantaneous chemistry for the
Flyers. It sure is beginning to look like the head coach may have found
something in one unexpected configuration however.

The youthful grouping of Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn, and
Tye McGinn has exhibited tremendous promise of late, arguably performing better
than any trio the Flyers have tried all season. For starters, look no further
than their collective contribution to Tuesday night’s 3-2 victory over the
Winnipeg Jets – two big goals, including the game winner.

Schenn and Voracek in particular seem to be creating a bond, combining
to light the lamp for the second time in three games. On Saturday it was Brayden
feeding Jake. This time Voracek was able to return the favor, finding Schenn perched
right on Winnipeg’s front porch to open up the scoring. Voracek deserves credit
for extending the play, but both of them were crashing the net on this series, which
is a positive sign for everybody.

McGinn actually wasn’t on the ice for goal number one, but he
would be out there on the ice with his mates when it wound up mattering most. Philadelphia
was nursing a 2-1 third-period lead when Voracek was able to force the puck
into the Winnipeg zone, then quickly regain possession and send it toward center. McGinn was crashing, as he is wont to do, and the disc deflected off of
some part of his person into the goal.

Seeing as the Jets were able to add an empty-netter in the
tilt’s closing minute, that final tally proved quite important. Plus McGinn
beat the crap out of somebody!

At the end of the day, both Schenn and Voracek finished a
+2. Brayden is now +4 with two goals and two assists in the last three games,
while Jakub takes over the team lead in points with 10. McGinn merely has goals
in back-to-back games, but there’s no denying he’s been a presence out there.
What’s more, not one of three is older than 23 years old.

A pairing of the three seems only natural going forward.
Obviously they’re experiencing some success right now. Schenn and Voracek
appear to play well off of one another – not entirely surprisingly given both
were top-seven talents in the draft for their previous organizations. Add a
big, physical partner like McGinn who is willing to station himself in front of
the goaltender and do the dirty work, and it sounds like a recipe for good
hockey.

Kimmo Timonen added his second goal of the season, a power
play tally assisted by Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds, while Ilya Bryzgalov
stopped 24 of 26 shot attempts in the win.

For now Philadelphia closed the book on their road woes, and
are keeping pace in the Eastern Conference with 13 points and a 6-7-1 record.
However, it’s probably safe to say the Flyers are going to need more from other
areas than one young line if they want to keep the good times rolling.

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Eagles to receive just under $8 million in salary cap carryover for 2017

Eagles to receive just under $8 million in salary cap carryover for 2017

The Eagles are getting salary cap help. Just not quite as much as they expected.  

The NFL Players Association announced the official 2017 salary-cap carryover figures on Wednesday, and the Eagles will receive $7,933,869 in extra cap space this coming year on top of the unadjusted salary cap figure that every team begins the offseason with.

The NFL’s official 2017 salary cap figure hasn’t yet been announced, but it’s expected to be somewhere in the $166 to $170 million range, up from a record-$155.3 million in 2016.

Under terms of the CBA, teams can receive credit in each year’s salary cap for cap space that went unused the previous season. This creates an adjusted cap figure that can vary by tens of millions of dollars per team.

The Eagles under former team president Joe Banner were the first to use this once-obscure technique in the late 1990s. Today, every team uses it to some extent.

The more carryover money a team gets, the more it has to spend relative to the combined cap figures of players under contract the coming year.

The NFLPA originally estimated in the fall that the Eagles would receive $8.25 million in carryover money, so the new figure is about $316,000 less than originally expected.

It’s also the ninth-highest of the 32 teams, although below the average of $9.18 million. That’s because the top few carryover figures are so much ridiculously higher than the average (Browns $50.1 million, 49ers $38.7 million, Titans $24.0 million).

According to salary cap data tracker Spotrac, the Eagles have 52 players under contract for 2017 with a total combined cap figure of $158,040,710.

With an $168 million unadjusted cap, the Eagles would have an adjusted cap figure of $175,933,869.

They have $7,055,933 in dead money, mainly from trading Sam Bradford ($5.5 million) and Eric Rowe ($904,496) but also from departed players such as Andrew Gardner ($250,000), Josh Huff ($138,986) and Blake Countess ($98,678).

Subtract the 2017 contract obligations – the $158,040,710 figure – along with the dead money – the $7,055,033 figure – and that leaves the Eagles with roughly $10.84 million in cap space.

That figure may not include some 2016 bonuses that have not yet been made public. And it doesn’t include, for example, a $500,000 pay raise Peters got by triggering a contract escalator.

So that reduces the $10.84 million figure to $10.34 million.

From there, about $4 ½ million or so will go to the 2017 rookie pool.

So that leaves the Eagles currently with somewhere in the ballpark of $6 million in cap space.

Now, the Eagles will obviously be able to increase that number by releasing players.

They would more than double their cap space just by releasing Connor Barwin, who has a $8.35 million cap number but would cost only $600,000 in dead money for a cap savings of $7.75 million.

Jason Peters ($9.2 million), Jason Kelce ($3.8 million), Ryan Mathews ($4 million), Leodis McKelvin ($3.2 million) and Mychal Kendricks ($1.8 million) would also clear large amounts of cap space.

So for example by releasing Barwin, Kelce, McKelvin and Mathews, they would increase their cap space by a whopping $18.75 million. 

Of course, then the Eagles have to think about replacing those players with cheaper versions while still trying to build a playoff roster.

Whatever happens, the Eagles are in a unique position as they enter the 2017 offseason, with far less cap flexibility than other years.

“Yeah, it's unusual, certainly since I've been here, to have a more challenging situation,” vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said earlier this month.

“But part of our job in the front office is to look at this over a long period of time. So as we sit here today, it isn't like the first time that we are looking at that situation, and we'll do whatever's best for the football team.”

Report: Sixers 'will take a hard look' at Jrue Holiday in free agency

Report: Sixers 'will take a hard look' at Jrue Holiday in free agency

Has The Process come full circle?

The Sixers "will take a hard look" at point guard Jrue Holiday in free agency, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe

Holiday, of course, was the Sixers' starting PG from 2009-13, before he was traded on draft night by then-GM Sam Hinkie for Nerlens Noel and a future first-round pick (which became Elfrid Payton, who was traded for Dario Saric).

In four seasons since, Holiday has averaged 15.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.4 steals for the Pelicans. He's fought injury and missed 122 games since joining New Orleans.

The Pelicans have Anthony Davis but little else. They're going to need to make some tough decisions moving forward and one will be with Holiday.

As Lowe points out, there aren't many teams in need of a point guard — he lists the Sixers, Kings, Knicks and maybe the Magic as players for a PG in free agency.

"[Holiday] fits what [the Sixers] need around Ben Simmons, and the hilariousness of Philly bringing Holiday back after flipping him to start The Process is irresistible," Lowe writes.

Holiday has never been a great three-point shooter but he's been decent from long-range his entire career, topping out at 39 percent and sitting at 36.8 percent over eight NBA seasons.

He's coming off a four-year, $41 million contract, and although he has a lengthy injury history, he'll still command a nice-sized contract in free agency, especially with the cap expected to increase again.