Thoughts on the preseason opener, brotherhood

As the Philadelphia Flyers began their 2011-12 preseason on Tuesday night with a 4-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, it got me thinking about the close-knit nature of the sport in direct contrast to its international reach. Despite a pool of talent now stretching from Kelowna to Kazakhstan, some things never change. Skating for the Flyers, Blake Kessel and Brayden Schenn. Skating for the Leafs, Phil Kessel and Luke Schenn. Thus, a rivalry was born. Or is it? When I started watching the NHL, back in 1985, its population was almost totally homogeneous: White North Americans made up roughly 95 percent …

Holmgren/Jagr transcript 9/17/11

PAUL HOLMGREN: We just wanted more than anything to give Jaromir a chance to take care of you guys, and give you a chance to meet him and talk to him.  We’re obviously very excited to have Jaromir join us this summer through free agency, and bring him back to the NHL.  We feel he’s still going to be a good player in our league, and we’re looking forward to seeing him do good things for the Flyers this year. Q: Why was this the right fit for you at this point? JAROMIR JAGR:  Well, I already answered that question …

Pronger named captain

Chris Pronger has been tabbed the 18th captain in franchise history. The Flyers made the decision official on Friday night, ending almost three months of speculation as to who will wear the “C” following the trade of Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings. It will be the third time that the native of Dryden, Ontario will be officially required to handle team business, after previous captaincies with St. Louis (1997-2003) and Anaheim (2007-08). He’s the fifth defenseman in Philadelphia history to earn the letter, after Ed Van Impe (1968-73), Eric Desjardins (2000-01), Derian Hatcher (2005-06) and Jason Smith (2007-08). …

2012 AHL All-Star festivities to be held in Atlantic City

Courtesy of AHL.com SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic will be held at historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sunday, January 29 and Monday, January 30, 2012. The first AHL All-Star event held outside an AHL city is being made possible through the partnership of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Caesars Entertainment and the American Hockey League. “The American Hockey League is looking forward to working with Boardwalk Hall, the ACCVA, the CRDA and Caesars to make the …

Thoughts on the Yaroslavl tragedy

I never want to wake up to news like this, whether it’s about family, friends, relatives or a hockey player I only met once but whom I admired for years as a kid. When I wiped the crust out of my eyes and pressed the buttons on my phone to find a text from our intrepid editor Marcello D this morning, I felt like another part of my childhood had been ripped away, like tearing a photograph out of an album and letting it be blown off on a malicious wind. Brad McCrimmon, dead at age 52, along with the entire Yaroslavl Lokomotiv club …