Flyers Notes: Hartnell avoids serious injury

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Flyers Notes: Hartnell avoids serious injury

It could have been a lot worse for Scott Hartnell.

This was one time when his signature “#HartnellDown” battle cry on Twitter was far more serious and nothing to joke about.

With 10 minutes left to play in Tuesday’s 2-1 Flyers win over Florida (see story), Panthers’ defenseman Erik Gudbranson ran Hartnell along the right boards.

The Flyers’ left wing fell awkwardly before crumbling to the ice, where he remained motionless for a few moments.

Gudbranson received a five-minute boarding major for the hit, and Hartnell, somehow, got up on his own power and was able to return to the ice for the Flyers’ ensuing power play.

He’s OK, he said, but he’s definitely feeling the hit.

“I was more scared than anything -- I don’t know if ‘scared’ is the right word,” Hartnell said. “But you never want to see a guy go awkwardly into the boards like that. Hasn’t happened to me in a couple years, but yeah, my shoulder’s not feeling that great, more just a little dazed or whatever.”

Schenn’s year?
Brayden Schenn’s contract expires at the end of this season. If ever there were a season for the 22-year-old to prove that he can live up to his much-talked about potential, this is it.

And so far, it seems like Schenn’s received that memo. 

Through four games, the young forward has three points -- two goals, one of which was scored in Tuesday’s win, and an assist.

Is he on his way to a breakout season?

“It’s still early,” Schenn said. “I just want to keep on contributing. Getting the opportunity to play with Vinny Lecavalier and Jake Voracek right now, you’ve got to make the most of those opportunities. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

At least by the numbers, Schenn is off to his best start. Last year, he had just two assists through his first four games and the year before, he had no points at all. In his first NHL experience in 2010-11 with the Kings, Schenn had just two assists in eight games total.

Berube’s choice
Craig Berube’s first game was a success -- a 2-1 win. It was a lot easier than Peter Laviolette’s first game as Flyers coach, which was a rather unforgettable 8-2 penalty-riddled loss to the Capitals.

Dan Carcillo took a penalty that resulted in a record nine-minute power play for the Caps, who torched the Flyers for three goals.

Now, Jay Rosehill took a four-minute double minor and received a 10-minute game misconduct in Berube’s debut that brought back memories of the Carcillo incident. The only difference is, the Flyers survived Rosehill’s.

Regarding Rosehill’s penalty, the officials gave the Flyers a choice of a four-minute, 5-on-4 penalty kill or a two-minute, 5-on-3 kill. Berube chose the 5-on-4.

“That’s kind of weird,” Berube said. “For me, I’ve never seen that before. For me, it was an obvious one -- 5-on-4. I didn’t want to kill a two-minute 5-on-3. It’s tough.”

In that situation, per the 2013-14 NHL rulebook, Table 17, Example 7, the Flyers were given the “choice to play one player short-handed for four minutes or two players short-handed for two minutes.”

The double minor for roughing was assessed as two separate minor penalties, and such results in two separate power-play opportunities. The Panthers’ power play was 0 for 5 on the game.

Machete man
That would be actor Danny Trejo, who was in attendance wearing a Flyers jersey. He’s done some films here -- “Machete” was not one of them.

Anyway, rumor was Trejo threatened to do some surgery on the Flyers if they didn’t win this one for Berube.

Trejo was accompanied by actress Alexa Vega. Both were promoting their next film, “Machete Kills,” which opens Oct. 11.

Guests
United States Army Staff SGT Paul D’Agostin, who currently serves as a Detachment SGT with the United States Army’s Striker Reserves Center in Trenton, N.J., escorted Lauren Hart on the national anthem.

Petty Officer Stanley Maculewicz is in his fifth year of service with the Navy, and just returned home from his first tour of deployment in Afghanistan.

Giroux’s Crew (Club Suite F) honored United States Army 462nd Transportation Battalion stationed out of Trenton, N.J. 

Ron Hextall, Flyers follow through with wingers on Day 2 of NHL draft

Ron Hextall, Flyers follow through with wingers on Day 2 of NHL draft

CHICAGO — If the Flyers had somehow managed to finagle a third pick in the first round of the NHL draft on Friday night, they had a specific kid in mind.

Guelph left winger Isaac Ratcliffe.

"When you really like a guy, you go after him and that's what happened," general manager Ron Hextall said after trading up in the second round Saturday at United Center to draft the power forward (see story).

"He fits the organizational needs at left wing. Real good size. He plays hard and can score goals. He is really raw, at the front end of the process. Some are average and some on the back end of the process. He's got work to do. We like his upside."

The Flyers swapped their own second-round pick, plus two more (75th and 108th overall selections) with Arizona to move from 44th to 35th and select Ratcliffe (see Day 2 draft tracker).

"He is a prototypical power forward," Hextall said of the 18-year-old. "Didn't quite have the power down yet in terms of his body. He needs to put some weight on and add strength. Real excited about him."

The Flyers came into the draft with 11 picks and ended up with nine because of a couple deals. They finished with seven forwards (three left wingers), one D-man, a goalie, and have 10 picks already stockpiled for 2018, too.

Speaking of goalies, Hextall didn't foresee himself taking one early in the draft. Yet he did, selecting Russian Kirill Ustimenko at No. 80 in the third round.

"I'm not gonna chase a goalie," Hextall said days earlier.

Did he chase this kid? Well, Ustimenko, 18, was considered to be a possible sleeper. NHL Central Scouting had him ranked fifth internationally. The Flyers saw a lot of him overseas.

"We did not chase him," Hextall said. "We were surprised he fell there. We actually talked about him much earlier. Our guys really liked him and our comfort level was better than other teams."

The 6-foot-3, 187-pound Ustimenko catches left and had some impressive numbers in 27 games for MHK Dynamo St. Petersburg this season with a 1.74 goals-against average and .938 save percentage.

If you are keeping track, that's Anthony Stolarz, Carter Hart, Alex Lyon, Felix Sandstrom, Matej Tomek and now Ustimenko.

That's an enormous number of Flyers goalie prospects at this point.

Left winger Matthew Strome fell into their laps in the fourth round, where the Flyers had back-to-back picks at 106 and 107.

They took Strome (No. 106), the third brother in recent drafts, joining Dylan (2015 draft/Coyotes) and Ryan (2011/Islanders), who has played 258 games for New York.

"Call a spade a spade — his skating has to improve," Hextall said of Matthew. "We all know it. He's a good hockey player with good size. He makes plays, scores goals and knows how to play the game.

"He's got one deficiency there he can focus on and we like where we got him. It's up to Matthew to put the work in."

A 6-3, 207-pound left winger, Strome, 18, was projected to go in the second round. Upset?

"Not really," Strome replied. "Just being drafted and being one of the top 300 players or whatever it is, just to be honored, it's very special.

"I'm going to use it as motivation to prove people wrong. If people did think I slipped down, I'm gonna prove them wrong, that they made the wrong choice."

He said "all" the attention in his family has been on his brothers. Now it's his turn. His brothers helped prepare him for the moment.

"Entering my first OHL year, they told me there would be ups and downs and I would have to work through it," Strome said. "The past couple weeks, they told me, 'Enjoy the moment, it goes by fast.'

"Once it's over, you're on that team for three years and you've got to make [sure] that first impression on them is really good."

At No. 107, the Flyers tabbed 18-year-old Russian right winger Maksim Sushko (6-0/185), who last season played for Owen Sound (OHL), where he scored 17 goals with 32 points in 54 games. He spoke through an interpreter.

"I model my game after [Nikita] Kucherov of Tampa Bay," he said. "I like a physical style of play and give out assists. I'd like to become a better sniper."

In the fifth round, at No. 137, the Flyers tabbed 18-year-old left winger Noah Cates, from Stillwater High School in Minnesota.

He served as captain of his team and scored 20 goals with 65 points in 25 games last season and has committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

In the sixth round, at No. 168, the Flyers chose smallish (5-10, 163) 17-year-old Swedish center Olle Lycksell, who played for Linkoping last season in the Super Elite League where he had nine points in 29 games.

"He's a hard worker who understands the game and has good hockey sense," Hextall said.

Hextall had two final picks in the seventh round.

At No. 196, the Flyers took their only defenseman in this draft, overage Wyatt Kalynuk, who is 6-2, 186 and 20 years old.

"Really good skater," Hextall said. "Good mobility and size, good puck skills. He's been through drafts and he's going to Wisconsin, which we really like. So we have four years with him."

Ironically, Hextall traded their final pick at No. 199 to Montreal for a seventh-round pick next year so the Canadiens could choose goalie Cayden Primeau, who happens to be Keith Primeau's son.

Habs GM Marc Bergevin called and asked for the pick.

"I thought he would go sooner than he did," Hextall said.

Ron Hextall doesn't make move for veteran goalie; Steve Mason 'still in the mix'

Ron Hextall doesn't make move for veteran goalie; Steve Mason 'still in the mix'

CHICAGO — While the Flyers picked up a young first-round centerman in Nolan Patrick — who many feel will be in their lineup this season — at this weekend's NHL draft, they returned home with one major dilemma unresolved.
 
They still don't have a veteran goalie to pair with Michal Neuvirth next season.
 
The draft is usually a pretty good place to piece together a deal for a goalie about to become a free agent or one already under contract who a team might be willing to move.
 
In the Flyers' case, general manager Ron Hextall said nothing came about. That might be because a couple of teams made some moves prior to the draft involving goalies and there doesn't seem to be a rush to fill the spots.
 
"I didn't expect to [do a deal]," Hextall said. "I would have liked to have it done a month ago. But I am not going to do something just for the sake of having something in place.
 
"We are going to do our due diligence. Sometimes you have to wait and sometimes it's part of the process to see what is out there. It's a high priority. We have to get something in place."
 
Three teams have three goalies — Arizona, Dallas and Carolina. And there are several in free agency.
 
Hextall likes to get a jump on free agency but …
 
"I don't know," he replied when asked if that is where he's headed.
 
Maybe a trade? Again, no commitment. Hextall said he's not worried.
 
"My comfort level is there are a number of goalies out there," Hextall said. "So, there's not six No. 1 spots out there and just one goalie. I have comfort in that.
 
"We are still doing our due diligence and in the end, it's probably going to come down to a guy we take and term and money. I might like this guy, but is he asking unreal term? We'll go somewhere else. I keep telling you, [Steve Mason] is still in the mix."
 
Like a lifeboat in the vast ocean.