QuoteStart: Pence vs Punx, Nowak on Califf, Suter Suitors, Bulls on Sixers' Parade, TU and PSU Recruiting Classes

QuoteStart: Pence vs Punx, Nowak on Califf, Suter Suitors, Bulls on Sixers' Parade, TU and PSU Recruiting Classes

The morning's news in key quotations...

Hunter Pence upon his arrival in Clearwater: "First day in Clearwater, this place is beautiful!" [@HunterPence3]

Punxsutawney Phil: "Six more weeks of 'winter.' "

Advantage, Mr. Pence. Much more below...

Union manager Peter Nowak on Danny Califf resuming club captaincy: “I think it’s a natural thing right now that Danny Califf will take over as captain,” Nowak told the media after the team’s open training session at YSC Sports. “He was [next in line] behind Faryd when Faryd went down [with a broken finger on Sept. 3], and Danny took over as captain. So we’re not going to change anything with that.” [Kevin Kinkead, PhiladelphiaUnion.com]
 
Temple head football coach Steve Addazio on a highly acclaimed recruiting class: “We are a big-time Division I football program in the Northeast, so we’re gonna go compete with the big guys,” Addazio said. “As we grow, we’ll go toe-to-toe with them more.” [Dave Zeitlin, CSNPhilly]

Tom Lemming, recruiting analyst for CBS Sports, on Penn State's recruiting class: What they’re trying to do now,” Lemming added, “is keep their head above water. Given the circumstances, they did a great job,” said Brian Dohn, recruiting analyst for Scout.com. “But the circumstances were near-impossible, to be honest.” [Gordie Jones, CSNPhilly]

Nashville Predators GM David Poile on contract negotiations with pending
free agent defenseman Ryan Suter: “It’s just ongoing, it’s the same
situation,” Poile said. “Everything is being said the way you want a
player to say it and the way you want a negotiation to go, except for
the final commitment. It’s almost like we’re having a good time
together, but we haven’t decided to get married yet.” [The Tennesseean]

Andy Reid on counting on the Eagles' offense to carry the team early in 2011: "I think the best thing I could tell you on that is I knew there were a lot of moving parts on defense," Reid said. "I understood that. I thought it would take some time. How much time, you don't know that, but you felt like it would take some time to get everybody working and pulling the rope in the same direction. On the offensive side, really everybody was coming back. We did have a new line coach [Howard Mudd] and a new scheme there, but it wasn't that dramatic, so I anticipated the offense carrying the defense, allowing the defense to grow. That didn't happen." [Rich Hofmann, Daily News]

Derrick Rose on the Sixers, who spanked the Bulls last night: “They’re a good defensive team, making it hard, being scrappy. They’ve got a lot of athletic people on their team. They’re a good team,” said Rose. “They’ve got a lot of athletic people on their team, especially their wings. Andre [Iguodala] came out and played great for them tonight, just playing aggressive and everybody else fed off of him. [CSNChicago]

Get Ya on Yer Way
BRB gonna be practicin my 'seater' move…

RIP Don Cornelius

There's a new game in town: The Philadelphia Rebels

philadelphia-rebels-carson-briere.jpg
John Boruk/CSNPhilly.com

There's a new game in town: The Philadelphia Rebels

The opportunity to watch a Briere play again in Philadelphia will be an exciting reality for hockey fans this season.

No, Danny Briere isn’t coming out of retirement as the former Flyers forward has committed to handling the day-to-day operations of the organization’s newest ECHL team.  

However, Briere will be keeping close tabs on his younger son, Carson, who’s currently on the Philadelphia Rebels' 30-man roster and is setting his sights on making the team’s final cuts during training camp.

“It’s great,” Briere said Monday. “Growing up here for most of my life, I love Philly. It’s fun getting to play in the same city that [my dad] did. Whenever I think of him playing, I always think of that playoff run [in 2010] for the Flyers.”

After spending the past two seasons at IceWorks in Aston, Pennsylvania, the NAHL’s (North American Hockey League) Rebels are moving their operation to the Penn Ice Rink at the Class of 1923 Arena, where they made the formal announcement on Monday. It will be the organization’s third different home rink in the past four seasons after relocating from the Rio Grande Valley in 2015.

“It was a no-brainer,” team owner Marko Dundovich said. “When the opportunity presented itself, it was very easy. I think it will give the boys a better opportunity to play, get them seen and I think it’s going to continue to grow here, and our business and organization will do much better here.”

The Rebels and junior hockey simply didn’t attract a broad appeal in the Philadelphia suburbs like ownership had hoped, and as a result, attendance lagged as the team typically averaged around 125 fans a game.

“It was the first time we tried Junior A hockey here,” Dundovich said. “If we had a 300-, 400- or 500-person fan base, we would have been OK in Aston, but I think it was tough to sell a junior hockey ticket in Aston. It’s a difficult sell in a small town.”   

Conversely, hockey fans in Philadelphia haven’t had much of an alternative to the Flyers since the Phantoms left the city in 2009 for Glens Falls, New York. Rebels forward Aaron Maguyon, who stays with former Flyers captain Keith Primeau throughout the season, feels the team cannot only fill the 2,500-seat ice rink, but the players will greatly benefit from the college vibe.  

“I think it prepares us for the future and playing college hockey, for sure, so in that way, it’s like a sneak peek for what’s to come," Maguyon said. "I think it helps pull guys closer together. We have restaurants we can go to or just activities we can do in the city."

According to the league website, the NAHL set a new single-season NCAA record with 280-plus commitments, and the Rebels had 12 commit to Divison I programs. Head coach Joe Coombs has built a tier-II junior hockey powerhouse over the past two years. Last season, the Rebels finished with the NAHL’s best regular-season record, advancing to the championship game of the Robertson Cup in Duluth, Minnesota, where they came up short in a 2-0 loss to the Lone Star Brahmas. 

“This is business,” Coombs said. “Let’s bring the game to the people. Over the last two years, we struggled with our attendance. I didn’t even know this place was here — UPenn hockey rink — and we couldn’t think of a better venue right here in University City to try and market our brand of hockey and bring our game to the people.”  

And who knows? You might just see a few former Flyers in the seats, as well.