The Triumphant Return of Kimmo & Claude

The Triumphant Return of Kimmo & Claude

When the Flyers take the ice in Boston tonight, it should be a pretty jarring sight. All of the team's major players will be present and accounted for, on the ice at the same time (figuratively) for the first time in recent memory. Simon Gagne and Danny Briere, who have spent barely any time on the active roster together in nearly two seasons, are both healthy and ready to go. Kimmo Timonen will be back from the flu after missing four games, and Claude Giroux has been recalled and will presumably be in the lineup in Boston. Nate Guenin and Jared Ross were returned to the Phantoms to make room.

This is your Flyers team... Will it be the same this time tomorrow?

We're about 26 hours from the NHL's trade deadline, and the Flyers have been rumored to be shipping current roster players, highly touted prospects, and assorted equipment all over North America for a top-2 defender, any number of goalies, and at least one age-d and expensive forward. We've refrained from reporting on the rumors so far, primarily because if any of the current crop are actually true, we'll be shocked (which isn't entirely unusual considering the Flyers' past history on trade deadline day).

That's not to say the Flyers won't make a deal or two—just that most of the rumors are probably made up just to stir interest and web traffic. Among the four major sports leagues, the NHL is by far the leader in phony trade information. The vast majority of "sources" seem to be imaginary (or else so utterly wrongly informed that you'd think they'd never be trusted by the writer again), and most "tips" are vapor within a few days. Of course, there are stories about potential deals that are real, but then the deals fall through. Can't blame the source for that, but I'd say those "valid" rumors are in the minority. 

Half the deals we've heard about are just plain impossible within the Flyers' salary cap space, or our current favorite—involve trading players who signed no-movement clauses just last season. There are a few that might work if secondary and tertiary moves are also made, and we'll be sure to post anything we hear that sounds concrete. I'm not trying to say we're above posting rumors, just that we haven't heard any we think are actually true.  

Like most other teams, the Flyers are actively evaluating a number of
trade possibilities. J-Bo? Sure. Guerin? Yes, they've probably spoken to
Garth Snow. But talking about available players doesn't put Paul
Holmgren in any exclusive class at this time of year. Every team is
doing it. However, it's been eerily quiet so far all over the league, with only a handful of minor deals to speak of. Two that are of interest are the Wild's extension of Niklas Backstrom (we'd love if the purpose were to make him more tradeable, but we're not holding our breath) and the Rangers' claiming of Sean Avery.

Sound like a boring summary of the trade deadline landscape? I agree. Absolutely boring so far, and it may stay that way. My bad for making you read all that.

NHL Notes: Islanders fire head coach Jack Capuano

NHL Notes: Islanders fire head coach Jack Capuano

The struggling New York Islanders fired coach Jack Capuano on Tuesday, ending his tenure in the middle of its seventh season.

General manager Garth Snow named assistant GM/coach Doug Weight as Capuano's interim replacement. Snow told reporters Tuesday that the Islanders weren't where they wanted to be in the standings and that everyone's disappointed in their performance his season.

"At the end of the day organizationally I don't think Jack was probably going to be a coach that we were going to bring back," Snow said, adding that the team will begin a full-time coaching search now.

Snow said the halfway point of the season played a role in the timing of firing Capuano a day after beating the Boston Bruins 4-0. The Islanders were 17-17-8 and are in last place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points (see full story).

Predators: Hunt claimed, Fiala sent to AHL
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Nashville Predators have claimed defenseman Brad Hunt off waivers from the St. Louis Blues.

In other moves announced Tuesday, the Predators assigned forward Kevin Fiala to their American Hockey League affiliate in Milwaukee and have placed defenseman Petter Granberg on injured reserve.

Hunt had one goal and four assists in nine games for St. Louis this season. He has appeared in a total of 30 NHL games over parts of four seasons with the Edmonton Oilers and St. Louis. He has two career goals and six assists.

Fiala has six goals and three assists in 32 games for Nashville this season.

Granberg has played in 10 games for the Predators and has 10 penalty minutes.

NFL Notes: Tomlin says Antonio Brown 'foolish, selfish' for live stream

NFL Notes: Tomlin says Antonio Brown 'foolish, selfish' for live stream

PITTSBURGH — The father in Mike Tomlin regrets the language he used to describe the New England Patriots during the postgame speech Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown's opted to livestream on social media after a taut playoff victory over Kansas City.

The coach in Tomlin has just as big an issue with one of his team's biggest stars forcing the Steelers to talk about something other than trying to find a way to finally beat Tom Brady when it counts.

A characteristically blunt Tomlin called Brown's decision to broadcast more than 17 minutes of Pittsburgh's giddy locker room to the world -- a move that caught Tomlin using a handful of profanities -- over Kansas City "foolish," "selfish" and "inconsiderate."

"Not only is it a violation of our policy, it's a violation of league policy, both of which he knows," Tomlin said Tuesday.

"So there are consequences to be dealt with from his perspective. We will punish him. We won't punish us."

Tomlin took responsibility for his choice of words, though he was unaware of being filmed as he spoke.

During Tomlin's brief remarks he attached an expletive to the Patriots, who earned a full day's head start on the Steelers by virtue of beating Houston on Saturday night, 24 hours before Pittsburgh outlasted Kansas City 18-16.

"The responsibility associated with being in this thing, just from a role model standpoint, it's something that I personally embrace," Tomlin said.

"It's something that we as a team and organization embrace. So that's why the language, specifically, in terms of the content, is regrettable," (see full story).

- The Associated Press

Report: Former Eagles DL Clyde Simmons joining Browns' staff
The Sporting News' Alex Marvez reported that the Browns are hiring Clyde Simmons to coach their defensive line.

Since 2012, Simmons has worked as the assistant defensive line coach for the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams under head coach Jeff Fisher and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Fisher was fired by the Rams with three games left in the 2016 season and Williams left Los Angeles for Cleveland, where he will also be the defensive coordinator.

Filling out his staff in Cleveland, Williams appears to be bringing Simmons with him from the Rams. Cleveland.com reported that Williams is also hiring his son, Blake, as the linebackers coach and Jerod Kruse as the defensive backs coach. 

Simmons spent the first eight seasons of his 15-year NFL career in Philadelphia, starting 108 of the 124 games he appeared in. Simmons recorded 76 of his 121.5 career sacks with the Eagles and also forced 12 fumbles, recovering 10, and scoring two touchdowns with the Birds.

- CSNPhilly.com

Broncos: Joe Woods promoted to defensive coordinator
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Broncos coach Vance Joseph has promoted secondary coach Joe Woods to defensive coordinator, replacing Wade Phillips, who left for the Los Angeles Rams.

Woods, 46, was in charge of the Broncos' "No Fly Zone" secondary that led the league in pass defense each of the last two years behind All-Pro cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr., safeties T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart and nickel back Bradley Roby.

Woods has a quarter-century of experience coaching defensive backs including the last 13 seasons in Denver (2015-16), Oakland (2014), Minnesota (2006-13) and Tampa Bay (2004-05).

Joseph said Woods "is ready for this opportunity" and "no one will outwork Joe."

Harris said, "If we had to lose Wade at least we get to keep Joe," (see full story).

- The Associated Press