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Features

WJC drought over, Canada aims to maintain success

Friday, 08.07.2015 / 8:44 AM / 2016 World Junior Championship

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Canada's gold-medal drought at the IIHF World Junior Championship ended in 2015, and the focus has shifted to a gold rush.

That process is off to a good start, according to Hockey Canada vice president of hockey operations and national teams Scott Salmond.

"I think for five years we've kind of been chasing it," Salmond said. "I've seen the feeling in the room from the coaches, from the players. We know what it takes to win. I think we've done a real good job of building, not only World Juniors, but men's Worlds and back to (the) Sochi (Olympics) on the concept of the team we need to be to win and how we need to play. I think that's in the players' minds. To go in and defend instead of chasing, that's a different thing.

"It's tough when you have pressure and you're trying to get something back. When you have it, you want to keep it. It's a bit of a different feeling."

A weeklong retreat to Calgary in August attempted to lay the foundation for just that.

Neuvirth, Gagner give Flyers some optimism

Friday, 08.07.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Philadelphia Flyers are hoping to erase the memories of last season, when they won 33 games and failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in the past three seasons.

They enter this season with a new coach and the hope that their talented group of forwards, along with goaltender Steve Mason, can get them back in contention.

Here are four reasons for optimism in Philadelphia:

Lecavalier, defensemen among Flyers questions

Friday, 08.07.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

A slow start last season ultimately led to the Philadelphia Flyers missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Philadelphia finished 12th in the Eastern Conference, 14 points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second wild card from the Eastern Conference.

The Flyers will have a different coach this season; Dave Hakstol was hired on May 18 to replace Craig Berube. Hakstol spent his entire coaching career at the collegiate level, experiencing plenty of success over the past 11 seasons at the University of North Dakota. He now has the task of getting the Flyers to play more consistently, something Berube was unable to accomplish last season.

Here are three questions facing the Flyers this season:

Provorov, Sanheim among Flyers' top five prospects

Friday, 08.07.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Philadelphia Flyers are experienced on defense, with three of their six regulars 28 or older. But an influx of young, talented defensemen is on the way.

Led by Ivan Provorov, the Flyers are about to get younger and quicker on defense within the next two years. Provorov, drafted with the No. 7 pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, hopes it won't even take that long.

"I'm taking it one day at a time, but my long-term goal is to make the team," Provorov said during development camp last month. "I'm going to try to do everything that I can, and we'll see what's going to happen in September."

Here is a look at the Flyers' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:

Flyers counting on Hakstol to get back into playoffs

Friday, 08.07.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

It's a rare occurrence when the Philadelphia Flyers don't qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but that was the case last season. A slow start doomed Philadelphia, which won 33 games and finished 12th in the Eastern Conference.

"I think the whole point of hockey is making playoffs. That's the best time of the year," captain Claude Giroux told the Flyers website. "When you can't be a part of it, obviously [there's] a lot of disappointment and frustration. We're going to learn the hard way, but it's going to help us for the future."

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