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Then and Now: Nikolay Zherdev

Many of the biggest names in today’s NHL were selected in the first round of the 2003 draft. After Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, and Nathan Horton were picked with the first three overall picks, the Columbus Blue Jackets picked Nikolay Zherdev. Thomas Vanek, Milan Michalek, and Ryan Suter were the next three players to be picked after Zherdev, as the group of Braydon Coburn, Dion Phaneuf, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Brent Seabrook, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, Brian Boyle, and Corey Perry were also taken in the opening round of the draft 10 years ago. …

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Crashing the Crease: Know Your Enemy! Who are the best shootout forwards?

Last night, Patrick Kane scored yet another shootout goal that displayed a huge amount of finesse and once again reminded Flyers fans that the draft lottery is the devil. Even though Schneider got his pad on Kane’s attempt and initially appeared to stop it, the puck bounced off of him and in the net, adding yet another tally to Kane’s career numbers. It wasn’t as fancy as his numerous SO goals, but it got me thinking aloud: is Kane the most dangerous shootout forward for a goaltender to face? The immediate counter argument that sprang up was “no, Datsyuk is.” …

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Sunday funday: Who wants to play Armchair GM?

I do, of course. I mean, who doesn’t? Any dedicated fan is going to have input on how to improve his/her favorite team. It goes without saying, though, that any Armchair GM is merely expressing an opinion. Nothing more, nothing less. And what better way to end a long week than by doing just that? When it comes to the makeup of the roster that comprises the current Philadelphia Flyers team, two things need to be taken into consideration: Not unlike the basement-dwelling 2007 Flyers, this team has a solid core of promising young stars that are starting to realize …

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CBA Explained: Contract term limit, additional year expires upon reaching free agency

Prior to the expiration of the old Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), I ran a column I called CBA 101. In it, I attempted to explain some of the more important nuances of the CBA as it relates to putting a team on the ice. Many (honestly, most), of those topics are still applicable today, so I would encourage you to check them out. People frequently ask me “why do you care about that stuff?” Well, the way I see it, this boring, legal verbiage directly effects the team that Paul Holmgren and other General Managers are able to put on …

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Flight Plan: Week of 01.21.2013

The Philadelphia Flyers had a rough start to this condensed 48-game schedule as they dropped both ends of a back-to-back over the weekend. A loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins is never fun, but despite looking flat in the first period, the Flyers really only lost by one goal as the Penguins scored an empty netter late in the third period to seal the win. The game against the Buffalo Sabres was disconcerting to say the least as the Flyers lost 5-2 and allowed two quick goals in the third period and another empty net goal with just under a minute …

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