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Written by Ryan | 07 September 2011

shirts

Actually that's not true. He spoke in our inbox. But he did say "yah brahs your links to all your wonderful tshirts ain't working!"

And I said "shit!"

So here it is, not even embedded or anything. 

http://flyersgoalscoredby.spreadshirt.com/

Go over there and get yourself something snazy becuzzz if you wanna be me lover you gotta get in my shirt. And pants, I guess.

sexpirateprongerface
That's Ryan with 55 shirts made and Fran with 4. If you're keeping score at home. Which I am.

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Written by Ryan | 07 September 2011

jvrgoal
Salary cap hits matter more to the fan than actual salary because they represent inverse opportunity cost under a salary cap system. But let's just be as dumb as possible, seeing as half of us own Mike Richards or Jeff Carter jerseys, and look at this James Van Riemsdyk "gamble."

In 2012, when JVR starts making $4.25M (Hartnell money!) there will be 65 forwards who make more than him that season in a 30 team league. Among them, Tomas Fleischman, Ville Leino, and Erik Cole, who all suck and were all signed this off-season.

I'll tell you what. If nothing drastic comes out of next year's CBA negotiations (like a giant reduction in the salary cap or players' salaries), James van Riemsdyk was going to get this kind of money even if he just maintains his 40 points a year.

And if you're Homer and the Flyers brass, and you believe in this kid like we all started to in last year's playoffs, you're laughing at the critics of this deal and you're laughing at Dave Poile and you're laughing at Dean Lombardi for the RFA predicaments they've been in this summer. If you want to shit on Paul Holmgren do it using the fact that Jody Shelley and Max Talbot will make $5.8 M over the next two seasons and just get all your laughs out. Not over the possible $400k he may have eventually overpaid a budding prospect.

But it's fun to take numbers out of context and just drop them as facts, such as the fact that JVR has 75 points in 153 career games. It's so much fun that I'd like to play too. So how about this? JVR had 21 goals in his final 58 regular season games last season. Stretch that out and it math computers into a 30 goal year over 82 games, average. For a 21 year old.

Now let's take that a little farther. The kid had 7 goals in his first 9 playoff games. So that's 28 goals in 67 games. Over the course of 82 games that math computers into a 34 goal season. For a 21 year old.

Last week I LOL'd on twitter at Wayne Fish, who wondered if JVR could have a 40 goal season in this year's The Hockey News yearbook. I was all like "Earth to Wayne, only 5 guys in the league scored 40 goals last year." But now that I've had some time to think about it, I mean, maybe he can. Maybe there's truth to him settling into the pro schedule. Maybe now that the team depends on him more he'll perform at a higher level.

When it comes down to it, the kid pushes trucks, so…maybe that's all you really need to know.

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Written by Ryan | 03 September 2011

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Written by Ryan | 01 September 2011

lindrosjerseyLet's do something that I'm sure Eric Lindros has done a few times since his retirement from the NHL in 2007. Let's imagine what might have been.

Say that Lindros never started this whole habit of draft-dodging and reported to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds instead of going to hide in Detroit until the OHL changed their rules to accommodate his (parents') desire to stay close to Toronto. He would have been just as great there as he was in Oshawa, and would still have gone first in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, still to the Quebec Nordiques.

"Quebec is like a beautiful little snowglobe! I want to live in the Frontenac and eat pommes frites!" Let's pretend he thought that exact thought when he heard his name called first overall, went up on that stage and actually put on the powder blue jersey, and ignored the politics or taxes or language or small market or whatever and reported to Quebec City in the fall.

And then let's imagine he was actually The Next One, just like the media dubbed him as a kid. What would the back of his Topps hockey card look like if he did follow a parrallel path to that of Gretzky's? Maybe something like this:


lindrosstats

Caveats:
- I assumed Lindros played the same percentage of games as Gretzky did over his career. I know this is difficult to swallow, but imagine they brought in a McSorley for Lindros.
- I took Lindros' 1.14 points per game over his career and applied it to that amount of games, editing the numbers a bit to show an ascension and descension.
- I kissed a girl and I liked it.

So if Lindros could have stayed healthy, and could have stayed out of trouble/drama, and could have ended a similar career path to that of Gretzky's with the same points per game that he did anyway, he could have indeed been The Next One.

Who knows if the Stanley Cup would have found its way into his hands. I have to think that the way the Nordiques were Pittsburghing it with first round picks, aquiring Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, and Owen Nolan in the three drafts leading up to the Lindros draft, he would have had a great shot.

As far as personal records go, Lindros would be 8th in points all-time, 3rd in goals, 14th in assists, and 15th in penalty minutes.

So this was what was "supposed" to happen, but ultimately did not because of individual decisions that spider-webbed Lindros' life far from the path the rest of Canada had him pegged for. But I guess this is why they make movies like Jurassic Park, and Mr. Destiny:

Larry Joseph Burrows: Are you an angel or something?
Mike the Bartender at Universal Joint Bar: Not exactly, no.
Larry Joseph Burrows: Then what are you?
Mike the Bartender at Universal Joint Bar: Have you ever been faced with a decision, and you weren't sure what to do?
Larry Joseph Burrows: Yeah, sure, plenty of times.
Mike the Bartender at Universal Joint Bar: And then something inside you made you choose one direction over another?
Larry Joseph Burrows: Yeah. So?
Mike the Bartender at Universal Joint Bar: So that's me. I make the suggestions, and you make the choices. That's how destiny works, Larry - very subtly. Welcome to your new life, Larry. I hope you like it.

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Written by Ryan | 31 August 2011

coburnfight

Noted Canadian novelist Hugh MacLennan, 1954:

Next to the Swedes and Swiss, Canadians in their daily lives are probably as self-restrained as any people in the world. By comparison, Americans sometimes seem as volatile as Latins. Yet the favorite sports of Americans are neat, precise games like baseball and college football. Baseball I dearly love, but after growing up with hockey, I find American college football as slow as an American finds a week-long cricket match; even its violence seems cold to me. But the violence of hockey is hot, and the game at its best is played by passionate men. To spectator and player alike, hockey gives the same release that liquor gives a repressed man. It is the counterpart of the Canadian self-restraint, it takes us back to the fiery blood of Gallic and Celtic ancestors who found themselves minorities in a cold, new environment and had to discipline themselves as all minorities must. But Canadians take the ferocity of their national game so much for granted that when an American visitor makes polite mention of it, they look at him in astonishment. Hockey - violent? Well, perhaps it is a little. But hockey was always like that and it doesn’t mean we're violent people.

I would make the plea that the debate over violence in hockey, in particular fighting, end but I know that will never happened. If it hasn't abated in the past 100 years, despite the cyclical nature of debate that arises every decade, why would it happen now. Unless there was a solution. Which there is.

Let the players vote on it every year.

Now, before you cast this suggestion away with most of the nonsense that is written in this space, let me ask you a question:

Why is it so preposterous that the 600 men whose vocation ice hockey is are allowed to decide whether or not fighting is an appropriate part of the game?

Is it any more ridiculous than having silver-topped old men who can't see their players' eyes past the dollar signs decide for them?

What about doctors who know fighting is "bad," but have yet to strain fighting from the rest of hockey's physical play as a cause for anything?

Or maybe the sponsors who obviously never have ulterior motives should decide?

Or the guys at the bar?

Or the millions of people at their keyboards right now?

How about politicians? Yes - joint committees from the Senate and Canadian Parliament. Eventually leading to President Bachman signing legislation that eliminates fighting from hockey because it sets a bad example. Or is found distasteful by some. After that she can address the long list of other things that would fit into that category in North America.

So how 'bout it? These are the guys taking the risk so let them decide. Every training camp the league has all its players watch the most up-to-date informational video and then cast a secret ballot. If they decide to remove fighting from the game but then realize it was a mistake they can secretly change their minds next year. Or every year.

"Well, of course no one would vote against it because they wouldn't want to appear weak in front of…." Save it. Everyone's got to quit it with the conjecture that leads to arguing both sides of everything. That's the main reason we never get anywhere. So at least we can agree to settle on this:

If you like fighting continue to watch hockey.

If you find it so offensive that you don't watch hockey then continue to not watch hockey.

If you would stop watching were fighting eliminated, then when it is, just stop.

The sad truth is that you're all wasting your breath anyway. When someone can prove, or at least convince enough other people, that it makes sense financially, fighting will be eliminated. Thousands of posts, hundreds of articles, dozens of books will be written.

Those too will only matter to the extent that they provide money to the people who stand to benefit from the decision.

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Written by Ryan | 30 August 2011

Oh I forogt how humble New York was. Thank God for Brad Richards. Mark Messier is reborn in the Big Asshole.

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Written by Ryan | 30 August 2011

burt
There are no right answers to this (these) question(s). But whenever I'm finishing up a 40 mile run on the treadmill I always find myself doing the same thing. I'll remove the towel I've had hiding me from the truth of the dashboard (?) and begin to do some math to pass the last minute or two of my run.

So at 39.7 miles I'm thinking "only 30 left to go." At 39.78 I'm thinking "only 22 left to go." I'm counting hundreths, Einstein.

And for some reason, a reason that's beyond me, I can't picture numbers without picturing that number on a Flyers jersey. So essentially what I end up doing for the last 1/3 of a mile or so is count down Flyers. I wish I didn't, but I do. And let me tell you this, there are some weird Flyers that spring to mind as I count.

So without further ado, here are the 30 current or former Flyers that pop into my head first (just spit it out, no thinking) for each sweater, 30 through 1:

30 - Nitty
29 - Joel Otto
28 - Jason Bowen
27 - Ron Hextall
26 - Brian Propp
25 - Shjon Poedin
24 - Derick Smith
23 - Ilka Sinasalo
22 - Rick Tocchet
21 - Dave Brown
20 - Dave Poulin
19 - Scott Hartnell
18 - Mike Richards
17 - Jeff Carter
16 - Bobby Clarke
15 - Pat Falloon
14 - Ron Sutter
13 - Daniel Carcillo
12 - Tim Kerr
11 - Dan Quinn
10 - Mike Bullard
9 - Pelle Eklund
8 - Mark Recchi
7 - Bill Barber
6 - Chris Therien
5 - Dmitri Tertyshny
4 - Barry Ashbee
3 - Dan McGillis
2 - Adam Burt
1 - Bernie Parent

Now, I don't deny there are som real rough ones in there. It's no secret why Tertyshny would sneak in, but Burt, Bullard, Bowen… I mean, I don't even know who Dan Quinn is, but apparently he was a Flyer and he somehow creeped into my subconcious like the Night Man.

Try to run down 30 to 1 yourself and tell me you don't come up with some weirdys. If you don't you're probably not a true Flyers fan anyway.

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Written by Ryan | 29 August 2011

During our 5th and final season in the spider web we'll be bringing you some retro news, funny segments, and assorted stupidity. Basically we'll be going back into our vault and reusing material because we're lazy and coming up with new material for a topic that is seasonally cyclical is, well, work. Copy and paste is not. Today, waaaaaay back in 2009, this was Flyers news, holmes.

Who The Hell is Rick Kozak?


(wasted draft pick Rick Kozak lugs the mail as Wiener Stevenson of the Colorado Eagles chases him up the ice, in a game in the CHL last season, at night, maybe on the weekend, but also maybe not.)

He’s the Flyers 3rd round pick from 2003, you asshole. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I did not mean that. I just need to get some coffee and I’ll be fine.


If you’ve been reading here for a while, and I know you have for at least 5 seconds unless you just jumped right to this paragraph, in which case I’d have to ask you to leave because I don’t encourage that type of behavior here, then you know I’m slightly obsessed with Flyers draft picks of the past. Especially in the month of August I like the idea of not having to wait. The Flyers have like 30 prospects right now and I don’t know what’s going to happen with any of them. That’s boring. But if I just drop back five years and check out the 2003 draft it’s like looking into the future…from the past. Get it?

So in 2003 the Flyers took Jeff Carter and Mike Richards in the 1st round and the drafted ended. Oh, see! I got you! The draft did not end even though those are the only two guys anyone ever talks about from that draft. You should have seen your face! As a matter of fact, the Flyers had more 9 picks before the end of the 6th round that year. Some you know, like Alexandre Picard, Stefan Ruzicka, and Ryan Potulny, and some you do not know like Rick Kozak.

The Flyers have always liked size and this 6’3 210 pounder from Manitoba was apparently too much to pass up for Bobby Clarke when the 95th pick of the draft came around. Kozak was coming off his first partial season of Major Junior where he picked up 15 points in 38 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL. He had also dropped his pants, excuse me, gloves, yes gloves, a couple of times that season which the Flyers have also like, in case you did not know. He put up 11 points in Brandon’s 16 game playoff run that spring just before that draft and the Flyers reacted exactly the same way they did to Kyle Wellwood's impressive playoffs with the Memorial Cup winning Windsor Spitfire's this past spring.

From Hockey’s Future’s draft review that June:

Rick Kozak, one of the younger members of the 2003 draft class, got better and better as the season went along. Pointless and bad penalty prone in his first four games for Brandon after coming over from Prince George, he improved steadily thereafter and his solid playoff performance raised hopes that the aggressive rookie has only begun to tap his abilities. A relatively obscure player coming out Swan Valley in Manitoba Junior Hockey League, Kozak earned his keep in his first WHL season by throwing his weight around and going to the net; which earned him powerplay time for the Wheat Kings.

I’m not going to make you hold your breath for this one. Long story short, swing and a miss. Kozak was traded from Brandon to Kamloops after a really disappointing first half of the season and then his rights were sent to the Rangers for Vladimir Malakhov in March. Little did he know it then but that day, March 8th, was probably the highlight of his life. “Did you know I was once traded for Vladimir Malakhov? Gimme a Schlitz.”

After graduating from Major Junior Kozak split time between the ECHL and the CHL, and somehow managed to squeeze an AHL assist in there during one of his five games at the highest level of minor pro. Stories of problems with coaches, undisciplined play, and general douchebagary followed him everywhere he went. In 2008 he signed a contract to play in England and was “mutually released” from it after both receiving a 10 game suspension in the team’s first game of the season and then going on to cause the coach “difficulties” off-ice while serving out that suspension. He came back to the U.S. to have a decent season for the Laredo Bucks of the CHL, but it’s safe to say his time has run out – which is a strange thing to say about a 24 year old in general. Looks like he’ll be suiting up for the Tulsa Oilers this season and then another team the year after, and another the year after that until he finally decides to put an end to it or grows up and heads back to Europe where he can make some decent money.

Chalk this one up as just another example of what a crap shoot drafting 18 year olds is. There are guys from that draft that were picked before Kozak and never made it. There are guys who were picked after and might be all-stars some day – sometimes you get the Kozak and sometimes the Kozak gets you, as the saying goes.

(poke check and triple minor for roughing to the F Block Blog for giving me some color around that internet hockey database line with no stats on Rick Kozak’s profile page.)

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Written by Ryan | 28 August 2011

During our 5th and final season in the spider web we'll be bringing you some retro news, funny segments, and assorted stupidity. Basically we'll be going back into our vault and reusing material because we're lazy and coming up with new material for a topic that is seasonally cyclical is, well, work. Copy and paste is not. Today, waaaaaay back in 2010, this was Flyers news, holmes.

Mumford & Sons' Jody Shelley


First there was Bruce Willis. Then there was Jared Leto. And finally, or so I thought, was Joffrey Lupul singing Deep Blue Something's Breakfast at Tiffany's on the rooftops of Old City. But there is a new comer to the celebrity-for-other-reasons-but-also-a-musician scene. And he's a Flyer. A Flyer named Jody Shelley.

Mumford & Sons formed in late 2007 and have recently scored a huge hit with their critically acclaimed (except for Pitchfork, which is how it remains Pitchfork) debut Album Sigh No More. Shelley had always been interested in music since his family moved to Nova Scotia at an early age and ended up living next door to Roland Orzabal of Tears for Fears. It was at this early age that Shelley also saw a performance by Joy Division on television, in which he saw 'band member' Bez dancing around high on drugs with a pair of maracas and first thought 'I could do that.'

Over the years Shelley has dabbled in the wind chimes, the spoons, the maracas, the triangle, and the tambourine. In the fall of 2004 lead man of Mumford & Sons, Marcus Mumford, saw Shelley playing the harp at an open mic night at a bar in Jyvaskyla, Finland, where Shelley was playing for an FNL team called JYP during the lock out. He was instantly intrigued by the giant man's delicate melodies and a union was formed over a bottle of Sambuca at the bar afterwards.

As the band has climbed to international fame it's been difficult to work around Shelley's ice hockey schedule. During the NHL season they'll often have someone fill in for Shelley on the multitude of instruments he plays, but are planning a tour that coincides with the Flyers travel schedule in 2010-11. Whether the Flyers new tough guy can handle the late nights on the road is something we'll have to keep our eyes on. He's becoming increasingly more integral to the bands' live shows as he has just begun to lay down back up vocals on the groups latest song My Life is a Bar Full of All My Friends Across the Street From a Coffee Shop with Everything I Have to Do In It.

But Philadelphia, get ready to hear some harmonious folk this fall:



In related news, official favorite band of Flyers Goal Scored By and local product Enter the Rooms has released their new EP. Download it for free and then get your ass out to The North Star, Temple, Khyber and up to NYC's West Village to see these guys make your pants pop.

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Written by Ryan | 27 August 2011

During our 5th and final season in the spider web we'll be bringing you some retro news, funny segments, and assorted stupidity. Basically we'll be going back into our vault and reusing material because we're lazy and coming up with new material for a topic that is seasonally cyclical is, well, work. Copy and paste is not. Today, waaaaaay back in 2010, this was Flyers news, holmes.

Do I Tweet @MikeTestwuide?


I'm a fan of the Flyers. No shit, right?

But there's all these articles coming out about bloggers rights and responsibilities and guess what - I don't give a shit about any of it. If bloggers are fighting for their rights I'm like the Japanese Internment Camp guy who's like 'No, I'll just stay in here, I kind of like this cage.' (by far the least controversial setting-civil-rights-back analogy I can make because everyone pokes a little fun at Asians, amirite?)

We didn't start this blog because we wanted to get free tickets, and especially not to talk to players. They never say anything anyway except how great their teammates are. 'Yeah, I already know that guy. That's why I have all those pictures of them and candles I carved to look like them.' But things are getting weird.

Twitter is causing me quite a bit of anxiety. A couple weeks ago we convinced JVR to follow us and then we got drunk at a staff meeting and Tweeted the shit out him and the rest of the internet. He doesn't follow us anymore. I don't think he blocked us, but pretty sure he doesn't follow us.

But that's the problem - he doesn't need to follow us. If you're not familiar with Twitter it's like having everyone in the world's email address, you just have to keep it to text length. You can let them know you want their attention just by including their name in your message. It's very strange.

I imagine those of you who still check phone bills with a pencil, have a 'land line', or have raved to your friends about The Magic Jack just crapped your jean shorts.

So I was reading this very decent article by Julie Robenhymer of Hockeybuzz and she dropped Mike Testwuide's Twitter account at the end of it. So we now follow him (Mike, btw, you need to get that picture changed to some mother fucking Flyers shit - you're not in Colorado anymore, hippy). But what do I have to say to the guy? What does he have to say to everyone? He went golfing yesterday with his teammates. I don't want to know that.

It's weird. Athletes on Twitter just say what they do and we gobble it up (@CamJanssen55 being the exception). If you're no one like us you have to be witty, funny, clever, or at least provide some news. If I was listing off my activities for the day no one would follow us - sitting at my desk, sitting at my desk, just got a forward from a friend, sitting at my desk, thinking about pooping but need to charge my iPhone so I can play solitaire, sitting at my desk, Tweeting (which = pooping), back at my desk, thinking about leaving but it's only 11AM, watching YouTube, ….

So we follow Mike on Twitter now, but I'm thinking about getting in front of this one and dropping him.

This blog exists to do what Michael Leighton did to our Cup hopes, but to the internet - fuck it up.

On a side note, if the city of Philadelphia wants any money from me to keep an online diary of my emotions regarding the Flyers they're gonna make me get all Mel Gibson pre-Nazi Braveheart on their asses. I have some demands, and the first one involves the mayor L-ing some B's.

(Blogger these days, Stan…..just, just, no accountability at all…..I tell ya')

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