Back in Action
The Frozen Fan is back in action this week! My workload has lightened a tad, and I can once again devote time to hockey. The world is as it should be.
Speaking of returning to action, the Flyers prospects camp is wrapping up this weekend. I haven’t made the trip down to Voorhees to catch the action yet, but I’m hoping to catch the scrimmages tomorrow. University of New Hampshire forward and 2007 first-round pick James van Riemsdyk has been blogging about the camp on the Flyers’ website. True, it’s a standard player blog. But JVR does give a little insight into the schedule and experience from a player’s perspective, so it’s worth a read.
And speaking of prospects, the Flyers signed defensive prospect Kevin Marshall to a contract this week. Marshall, who plays for the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the QMJHL, reportedly plays similarly to Denis Gauthier. Unlike Gauthier, Marshall is also a smooth skater. To me, this is a classic Flyers signing: big, hard-hitting D-man (and bonus points for skating well).
I think it’s a great signing. Every team needs to have a punishing, hard-hitting defenseman on their blueline. Washington hurt for the lack of one in the playoffs, and PIttsburgh benefitted greatly from having Orpik among their top six. Whether Marshall plays for the Flyers, the Phantoms, or returns to the QMJHL for another year of development, he can be a serious asset for the Orange and Black.
And speaking of signings, Joffrey Lupul inked a four-year extension with the Flyers, officially announced on Monday. Lupul and Richards demonstrated remarkable chemistry together thoughout the season. Since Richards is going to be here for 12 years, signing Lupul was a logical move. The big question marks that will define this deal: Lupul’s health and consistency. Early in the year, Lupul struggled to put up points – and at times to even hit the net with his shot. And injuries sustained from friendly fire (the big Hatcher hit in Toronto) and a high ankle sprain limited the 24-year-old Lupul to 56 games in 2007-08. Hopefully Lupul spends all of 2008-09 with the physically aggressive, puck shooting style that won him this contract.
That’s it for now. I’m hoping to crank out a blog on Bodrov over the weekend. I also wanted to give a quick shout out to the Hockey Blog in Canada, who linked to my blog this week.