So, Will The Flyers Be Any Good This Season?

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The Flyers used to be a sure bet for the playoffs every year. Ed Snider would assemble a team of French Canadians, Regular Canadians, Americans and maybe a Scandinavian or two; the Flyers would finish in the top half of the conference and they’d make the playoffs. This happened every year except one from 1994-95 season to the 2011-12 season (when hockey wasn’t locked out). It didn’t really matter that the Flyers never won the Stanley Cup; the team would draw nearly 20,000 a game every year to South Philadelphia, and things were good. What other Philadelphia sports team could boast such (regular season) success?

In two out of the last three years, however, the Flyers have not made the postseason. The one year they did (2013–14) they lost in the first round to the Rangers. Instead of coming into this season as legitimate Stanley Cup contenders — hockey playoffs are weird and long, any team that qualifies can make a run — they are coming in defending themselves. “Philadelphia Flyers out to prove critics wrong,” is the headline on a story by longtime Courier Times Flyers beat writer Wayne Fish. “Giroux out to prove Flyers better than expected,” reads today’s Daily News back cover. Even Comcast SportsNet, which has the same parent company as the team, headlines its piece: “Claude Giroux: Flyers using outside doubt as motivation.”

It’s true: Not one ESPN expert has the Flyers winning the Metropolitan Division. No writers at Sports Illustrated picked the Flyers to even make the playoffs. “With [backup goaltender Michal] Neuvirth as insurance,” SI writes in another article, “do the Flyers defensively challenged Flyers pick up enough points to challenge for a playoff berth?” The Flyers are such an afterthought no one has even fixed that typo yet.

Which leads us to this: Uh-oh. Are the Flyers going to be bad this season? Will this year of Philadelphia sports horror never end? Read more »

How Tech Has Changed the Game for Phillies, Eagles, Sixers and Flyers

4 sportsThese days, professional sports teams are focused on much more than the product on the field. Over the past 10 years, they’ve become content producers and companies where social media and mobile technologies have become crucial.

On Monday night, representatives from Philly’s four major pro sports teams sat down for a panel discussion about how the teams use technology and shared thoughts about the future of tech in their businesses. Moderated by ESPN and Sports Illustrated columnist Andrew Brandt, it was a collaboration of the newly merged Philly New Technology Meetup and Mobile Monday.

Michael Harris, director of marketing and special projects for the Philadelphia Phillies said the team’s digital spend is around 40 percent to 50 percent — a major change from just a few years ago. Read more »

Flyers Win, Lose and Tie — All on One Night

Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) skates during a stop in play against the New York Islanders during the first period at PPL Center.

Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) skates during a stop in play against the New York Islanders during the first period at PPL Center.

Last night the Flyers pulled off a pretty unique feat: They won, lost and tied.

NHL preseason games began on Sunday, and on Monday the Flyers played a split-squad game against the Islanders. The Flyers’ better players beat the Islanders’ B-team in Allentown’s PPL Center (where the Phantoms play).

The Isles’ better players beat the Flyers, 3-2, in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Then, in Brooklyn, the Flyers and Islanders played a practice overtime session even though the game did not end in a tie. Read more »

Tonight: Eagles, Sixers, Flyers and Phillies Talk Tech and Fan Engagement

Jun 15, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Ken Giles (53) pitches in the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park. The Cubs defeated the Phillies, 3-0. Photo | Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Technology is changing almost every business — and sports is no different. Learn how the big four professional sports teams in the area are using technology to enhance fan engagement and team operations at the Major League Sports & Tech Meetup held at The Hub Cira Centre at 2929 Arch Street. It starts tonight at 6 p.m. Buy tickets here.

ESPN and Sports Illustrated columnist Andrew Brandt will lead a panel discussion featuring the following guests: Read more »

BizFeed: Philly Sports Teams Take Nosedive in TV Ratings

Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Ben Revere is unable to catch a fly ball triple by Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick in the first inning of a July 6th game at Dodger Stadium.

Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Ben Revere is unable to catch a fly ball triple by Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick in the first inning of a July 6th game at Dodger Stadium.

1. Phillies, Sixers and Flyers See TV Audience Shrink

The News: There’s not a whole lot of interest in Philadelphia sports these days. The Phillies are literally the worst team in professional baseball. The 76ers are coming off a horrific season, as part of its peculiar and (potentially genius) tanking plan. And the Flyers had an off year and missed the playoffs. That’s led to horrifying TV ratings for the three sports teams. For many fans, the Eagles’ Monday night opener against the Atlanta Falcons can’t come soon enough.

The Philadelphia Inquirer examined the Nielsen ratings, reporting that “Phillies viewership has plummeted 65 percent from 2011,” the last season of a glorious run of five straight playoff appearances. In news that should surprise nobody, “Sixers viewership has nosedived 72 percent over the same period.” The Flyers also lost audience, as viewership was down 36 percent. Read more »

Report: Ex-Flyers Captain in Drug Drama at Canadian Border

Marian Gaborik, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter at LA Kings 2014 Stanley Cup Victory Parade. Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Marian Gaborik, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter at LA Kings 2014 Stanley Cup Victory Parade. Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

According to multiple reports, former Flyers captain Mike Richards, who recently had his contract terminated by the Los Angeles Kings, was questioned about oxycodone by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at the U.S.-Canada border.

The Winnipeg Sun says Richards was detained for four hours at a Manitoba border crossing July 17th after he was found to be in possession of OxyContin. The Manitoba RCMP is investigating, but no charges have been filed. Read more »

Flyers Fan Asks Jon Stewart If a Hot Dog Is a Sandwich

Last night, FOX News legal correspondent (and former New Jersey Superior Court Judge) Andrew Napolitano showed up on The Daily Show for what is likely to be his final appearance. (He’s a decent guest. Jon has had him on a lot.)

Halfway through the interview (at the 4:35 mark of the video above), Stewart interrupts Napolitano to ask him if he was wondering whether a hot dog is a sandwich. As you know, we here at Philadelphia magazine — okay, okay, just me — are very in tune with the “is a hot dog a sandwich” question, having previously written about Tom Wolf’s declaration of a hot dog as a “sandwich … and a good one” (a bold position to take, first term). Read more »

Kimmo Timonen Wins Stanley Cup, Retires

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Kimmo Timonen hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Kimmo Timonen hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center.

Kimmo Timonen leaves the National Hockey League a Stanley Cup champion — finally — after 16 seasons.

The former Flyers defenseman won the Cup last night as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, who defeated Timonen’s Flyers in the Stanley Cup Final back in 2010. The Flyers traded Timonen to Chicago in February after he had sat out most of the season with life-threatening blood clots. Read more »

The Flyers Won Their Most Recent Stanley Cup 40 Years Ago Today

Forty years ago today, the Philadelphia Flyers won their most recent Stanley Cup.

It was an incredible run for the franchise not 10 years after it was founded. The Flyers had won a Cup in just their seventh season, then followed it up with a second championship in their eighth. The Broad Street Bullies are still the fastest expansion team to win a Stanley Cup in NHL history.

That nickname was well earned — the Flyers teams hit hard, fought often and were loathed by a lot of hockey fans. it was by design. Owner Ed Snider didn’t like seeing the Flyers get pushed around in playoff series losses early in the team’s history. He instructed general manager Keith Allen to draft players who wouldn’t get pushed around.

“That was our modus operandi,” Snider told The Hockey News last year. “We didn’t get beat up anymore. I didn’t invent fighting in hockey, and I don’t necessarily love it. I’m just saying I don’t want anybody to kick the shit out of a Flyer ever again.” Read more »

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