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Bellemare selected by Golden Knights in Expansion Draft

Flyers alternate captain chosen by Vegas GM for roster

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

Philadelphia Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare has been selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. The announcement was made during the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas.

Bellemare departs the Flyers after spending the last three seasons with the club where he has recorded 34 points (17g-17a) in 237 regular season games. Since the 2014-15 season, Bellemare led all Flyers forwards in average shorthanded time-on-ice at 2:28 per game.

"There was a number of guys that I felt like there was a chance we would lose and certainly [Bellemare] was on that list," said Flyers GM Ron Hextall. "Vegas obviously did their homework and they have themselves a good player. Pierre-Edouard is a character member of our organization and he'll be missed. He's a terrific team player but he's even a better human being. He was great in the community and, again, he'll be a real nice piece for Vegas."

This past season, he had four goals and four assists for eight points having played in all 82 games, and served as an alternate captain for the club for the final two months. He was named the Gene Hart Memorial Award winner as the Flyer who demonstrated the most "Heart" during the season as voted on by members of the Fan Club. 

Bellemare was originally acquired by the Flyers after signing a contract as a free agent on June 11, 2014. Prior to joining the club, he spent parts of five seasons with Skelleftea in the Swedish Elite League, where he recorded 64 goals and 61 assists for 125 points in 238 games.

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Flyers take on Washington Capitals in 2017-18 home opener

Flyers face off against Metropolitan Division rivals on Saturday, October 14

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they will take on the Washington Capitals on Saturday, October 14 in the club's home opener at the Wells Fargo Center for the 2017-18 season.

This is the sixth time in team history that the Flyers take on Washington in their opening game at home. The Flyers are undefeated in the previous five contests against the Caps with a 4-0-1 record.

It is also the first time in eight seasons, since 2009-10, that the Flyers will face off against the Capitals in a home opener.

PREVIOUS HOME OPENERS vs. WASHINGTON CAPITALS

2009-10: W - FLYERS 6, Capitals 5 (OT)

1995-96: W - FLYERS 2, Capitals 1

1984-85: T - FLYERS 2, Capitals 2

1983-84: W - FLYERS 4, Capitals 1

1975-76: W - FLYERS 5, Capitals 4

Last season, the Flyers went 25-11-5 at home with their 25 home victories being the most in 16 years (since the 2000-01 season). It also marked the 10th straight winning season at the Wells Fargo Center and 21st winning season on home ice in the last 22 years. Overall, the Flyers own franchise record of 27-16-6 in home openers.

The full 2017-18 season schedule will be released by the National Hockey League on Thursday, June 22 at approximately 3 p.m. ET.

UPDATE: In addition, the Flyers will be the visiting team in three other home openers. The club will travel to San Jose to take on the Sharks on Wednesday, Oct. 4, then fly to Los Angeles to play the Kings the very next night on Thursday, Oct. 5. 

The Flyers will then visit the defending Western Conference Champion Nashville Predators in their home opener on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Secure next season now! Flyers 2017-18 season ticket memberships are available by calling 215.218.PUCK or by CLICKING HERE

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NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL Drafts - What's the Difference?

A look at how the NHL Draft compares to other major sports

by Bill Meltzer @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

Back in the six-team era of the National Hockey League, NHL teams sponsored clubs in Canadian major junior leagues and owned the rights to their players. For example, the Boston Bruins held the rights to players from the Niagara Falls Flyers (Ontario Hockey Association) and Estevan Bruins (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League) while the Montreal Canadiens had a virtual monopoly on junior players in Quebec. 

Starting in 1963, the NHL began to phase out the sponsorship system. First, NHL teams were allowed to draft unsponsored players. By the time the league expanded to 12 teams (including the Philadelphia Flyers) for the 1967-68 season, there were still numerous top prospects "grandfathered" to for their rights to automatically fall to a sponsoring NHL team but the selection process was more open than it had been in 1963. In 1969, the sponsorship system ended altogether and the first "universal" amateur draft was held, and has been a constant ever since. 

The following is a comparison between how the current-day NHL conducts its Draft and how the other three major North American team sport leagues - the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB) and National Basketball Association (NBA) - currently operate theirs.

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Flyers announce protected list for 2017 Expansion Draft

Club submits list to NHL using 7-3-1 protected format

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

The Philadelphia Flyers, in conjunction with the National Hockey League, announced their list of PROTECTED players for the 2017 Expansion Draft.

FORWARDS (7)

Sean Couturier
Valtteri Filppula
Claude Giroux
Scott Laughton
Brayden Schenn
Wayne Simmonds
Jakub Voracek

DEFENSEMEN (3)

Shayne Gostisbehere
Radko Gudas
Brandon Manning

GOALTENDER (1)

Anthony Stolarz

Per the NHL Press Release, the following is the list of AVAILABLE players from the Philadelphia Flyers for the 2017 Expansion Draft:

FORWARDS (13)
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
Greg Carey
Chris Conner
Boyd Gordon
Taylor Leier
Colin McDonald
Andy Miele
Michael Raffl
Matt Read
Chris VandeVelde
Jordan Weal
Dale Weise
Eric Wellwood

DEFENSEMEN (7)
Mark Alt
TJ Brennan
Michael Del Zotto
Andrew MacDonald
Will O'Neill
Jesper Pettersson
Nick Schultz

GOALTENDERS (2)
Steve Mason
Michal Neuvirth

The Vegas Golden Knights have 72 hours to simultaneously submit its Expansion Draft Selections to the NHL's Central Registry and the NHLPA with 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, June 21 being the deadline.

Official distribution and announcement of the Expansion Club's Selections will occur in conjunction with the 2017 NHL Awards presented by T-Mobile beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 21.

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Meltzer: Consensus isn't always right

A more in-depth look at how internal draft rankings differ from team to team

by Bill Meltzer @billmeltzer / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

Even among the very best in the pro hockey business, scouting teenage prospects is an inexact science. While there are rare can't miss "generational" players that come along once in a blue moon in the NHL Draft - such as Mario Lemieux in 1984, Eric Lindros in 1991, Sidney Crosby in 2005 or Connor McDavid in 2015 - there are much more often certain leaps of faith to be taken.  

For example, Player A may be higher rated by some scouts because he is more physically mature than Player B at age 18 and is more dominant in junior, collegiate or European hockey. As such, Player A may be closer to being projected as a pro than the second. Five or six years down the line, however, Player B's overall game may have significantly surpassed Player A and they may now even be comparable in size and strength.

Additionally, no matter how astute and widely respected a panel of scouts or an individual hockey person may be in their influence in the creation of widely available and highly publicized ratings - including the NHL's Central Scouting bureau, The Hockey News or former NHL general manager Craig Button's "Craig's List" - each NHL team internally does its own rankings. No two lists are identical and, in fact, there is often wide variance even near the top.

In the case of the 2017 NHL Draft, there is widespread pundit consensus on who to the top two picks should be (Brandon Wheat Kings center Nolan Patrick and Halifax Mooseheads center Nico Hischier). Flyers general manager Ron Hextall, speaking to the media on Friday about his own drafting philosophy and stressing that he was not hinting anything as to whom the Flyers will take with the second overall pick of the Draft or completely ruling out the possibility of trading down a bit, said that the organization will continue to rely solely on its own internal rankings and not on outside rankings. 

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Flyers Acquire Brendan Warren from Arizona

Flyers also receive 2018 draft pick in exchange for Cousins, Madsen

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired forward Brendan Warren and a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for left wing Nick Cousins and goaltender Merrick Madsen, according to general manager Ron Hextall.

Below are some news & notes on Warren:

BRENDAN WARREN

POSITION: Left Wing

DRAFTED: 2015 (3rd Round, 81st Overall) - Arizona Coyotes

AGE: 20 (05-07-1997)

BORN: Carelton, Michigan

VITALS: 6'1", 185 pounds

SHOOTS: Left

  • Warren recently completed his second season at the University of Michigan where he recorded 10 points (3g-7a) in 35 games for the Wolverines.
  • As a Freshman, he helped Michigan win the Big Ten title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament after posting 17 points (5g-12a) in 38 games.
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Top takeaways from Hextall's pre-draft press conference

News, notes, quotes & more of the top storylines the Flyers GM discussed with the media

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

1. ONE VERSUS TWO

There are, of course, the consensus No. 1 & 2 players in this year's draft that have dominated the hockey world's storyline. Among most scouts the rankings fluctuate between Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier with NHL's Central Scouting listing Patrick at 1 and Hischier at 2. 

When asked if being in the #2 position was better than the #1 position, Flyers GM Ron Hextall didn't agree, stating it would be better to be in the #1 position because those are good decision to have to make. However Hextall re-iterated to use caution of what public opinion of players are:

"If we go by what all the people say or past drafts… Look at past drafts. Ever see the re-drafts, like five years later? You got a guy that was maybe 20th that should've gone second. You got to be really careful going by public opinion. You have to pick what you think is the best player even though it might not be popular at the time. I'm not hinting at anything there. I'm just hinting saying that if you feel strongly about a player being rated better, maybe he's fifth and he should be rated third… you feel better about taking him, then take him."

That being said, he did admit to having dinner at the NHL Combine with both Patrick and Hischier, which is something not unusual and certainly not limited to just those two players.

"You just get a better feel for them," added Hextall. "We certainly got more information on those two than some other guys, but there were some other guys that we had more time with too. You try and get to know every kid in the draft."

Video: Hextall on making decisions about individual players

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2017-18 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

The Philadelphia Flyers today released their 2017-18 preseason schedule, according to general manager Ron Hextall.

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

The Flyers will play an eight-game preseason slate this year, doing so entirely against the New York Islanders, the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins. The preseason will begin with a visit to the Islanders on Sunday, September 17 and will continue three days later when the Flyers and Islanders split their squad for a pair of contests. One game will take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, while the other is set for PPL Center in Allentown, the home of the Flyers' AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. It marks the third consecutive preseason that the Flyers are making a visit to the Lehigh Valley.

The Flyers will then start a pair of home-and-home contests with Boston and the Rangers. They'll visit TD Garden on Thursday, September 21 and then head to Madison Square Garden on Monday, September 25.

The Flyers will conclude the preseason with three home games, first welcoming in the Rangers to the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, September 26. Boston will come to town on Thursday, September 28. The Islanders will come to Philadelphia to wrap up the preseason on Sunday, October 1.

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Flyers play Islanders in preseason action at PPL Center on September 20

Club to play preseason game in their AHL affiliate's building in Lehigh Valley

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

The Philadelphia Flyers, parent club of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, are pleased to announce they will hit the ice at PPL Center in a preseason showdown against the New York Islanders on Wednesday, September 20 at 7:00 p.m. 

This will mark just the third-ever NHL game to be played in the Lehigh Valley. 

"For the third straight season we are delighted to announce that the Flyers are playing again in Allentown," said Flyers President Paul Holmgren. "This game will give the Lehigh Valley fans not only the chance to see stars on our current Flyers team but also up-and-coming stars of the future. We could not be more pleased with our affiliation with the Phantoms and are honored to be able to play in one of the top arenas in the AHL."

"This game is a tremendous celebration of the Flyers/Phantoms affiliation and is a true showcase of the successful partnership we've enjoyed through the years," said Phantoms co-owner/governor Jim Brooks.

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Community Relations 2016-17 Recap

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

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