The Philadelphia Flyers have unveiled new home and road uniforms for the 2023-24 season, both of which feature a burnt orange color. It marks the first time since 2010 that the organization has altered their uniforms in any capacity.
The new jerseys will also feature the franchise’s first jersey path partner.
“This New Era of Orange is all about honoring our franchise’s storied past while writing an exciting, new chapter of Flyers history,” Flyers CEO and Governor Daniel J. Hilferty said in a statement. “These new uniforms represent that sentiment perfectly with details to honor previous eras paired with a fresh, modern design. And there’s no better company than Independence Blue Cross to be our first jersey patch partner! It is an organization that has meant so much to me personally and the entire Philadelphia region.”
Burnt Orange is back. https://t.co/GVr6Ajt1f2 pic.twitter.com/HHFHpFbmam
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) June 20, 2023 The team worked with Flyers season ticket holders, former players and broadcasters throughout the process of selecting these new uniforms.
The Flyers combined some past elements into these new uniforms to “form a modern adaptation” of the team’s storied history.
The home jersey will feature a burnt orange color, a throwback to the Flyers teams of the 1980s and 1990s. A similar jersey was worn in the late 1990s when players like Eric Lindros, John LeClair and Mikael Renberg formed the Flyers’ “Legion of Doom” line. The burnt orange is featured on the arm and shoulder, as well as on the large player numbers for the team’s away jerseys. The team will also sport burnt orange socks. The bold striping along the shoulder and down the arms have been a key element in Flyers uniforms of the past. The numbers on the sleeve are a single-color design, which was a characteristic of the original 1967-70 uniforms. It’s the first time in several decades that Philadelphia will have single-color numbers. The Flyers also have a black horizontal stripe at the bottom of the their jerseys with black pants, which was first introduced in 1982. These new jerseys have a name-plate design that differs in color from the rest of the jersey. The Flyers are the league’s only team that have a different color name-plate than their jersey. The new uniforms are the latest in several changes that the franchise has made since the 2022-23 season came to a close.
The team hired former player Danny Briere as the team’s general manager after he served in that post in an interim capacity after former general manager Chuck Fletcher was fired in March. The Flyers also hired Keith Jones as the team’s new president as well adding former Flyers Patrick Sharp and LeClair to positions in the front office.
Shortly after becoming the permanent general manager, Briere made his first big splash as he traded defenseman Ivan Provorov to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a haul that included a 2023 first-round pick.
The 2023 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees have been announced, and the class is headlined by New York Rangers legend Henrik Lundqvist. The class also features two of his goaltending peers, Tom Barrasso and Mike Vernon.
On Wednesday, the Hockey Hall of Fame revealed the class of 2023 inductees. Lundqvist, Barrasso, Vernon, Pierre Turgeon and Caroline Ouellette were all selected as players. Ken Hitchcock and Pierre Lacroix will also be inducted as builders.
Lundqvist played in 887 games — all for the Rangers — and was one of the best goalies of his generation. Lundqvist won the Vezina Trophy in 2012 after posting a 1.97 GAA and .930 save percentage that season. He was a finalist for the award four more times throughout his career. Lundqvist was a five-time All-Star, and he ranks sixth all-time in wins (459), 13th in save percentage (.918) and 17th in shutouts (64).
Lundqvist never won a Stanley Cup, but that was no fault of his own. He had a 2.30 GAA and .921 save percentage in 130 playoff games.
Barrasso won the Vezina Trophy as a rookie with the Buffalo Sabres in 1983-84, and he was a runner-up for the award the following season. In 1991 and 1992, Barrasso backstopped the Pittsburgh Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup victories, and he managed to play 10 more seasons after that. Barrasso finished his career with a 3.24 GAA, .892 save percentage and 38 shutouts in 777 games played.
Like Barrasso, Vernon was a two-time Stanley Cup champion. Vernon powered the Calgary Flames to their first Stanley Cup in 1989, and he won a Stanley Cup as the Detroit Red Wings’ starting goaltender in 1997. En route to his second Stanley Cup, Vernon earned a GAA of 1.76 and a save percentage of .927. Vernon was a five-time All-Star, and he was known to mix it up after the whistles, especially against the Colorado Avalanche.
Turgeon spent 19 seasons in the NHL, and he was a prolific goal-scorer in his prime. From 1988-89 to 1993-94, Turgeon scored a total of 242 goals, which ranked eighth in that time span. After that, Turgeon was a consistent 20-goal scorer, and he hit the 30-goal mark three more times. Turgeon, who played for six different franchises, finished his career with 515 goals, 812 assists and 1,327 points in 1,294 games.
Caroline Ouellette had a highly-decorated career with the Canadian women’s national team. Ouellette recorded 30 points in 20 Olympic games and 68 points in 59 World Championship Games. Between the Olympics and the World Championships, Ouellette racked up 10 gold medals throughout her career. Ouellette also played 10 years in the NWHL and CWHL, and she recorded 199 goals and 264 assists in that time.
Hitchcock is the fourth-winningest coach in NHL history with 849 victories over the course of 22 seasons. Hitchcock led the Dallas Stars to their first and only Stanley Cup in the 1998-99 season, and he took them to the Stanley Cup Final the next season before losing to the New Jersey Devils. Hitchcock coached five different NHL teams, and he went to the playoffs in 14 of his 22 years behind the bench.
Lacroix served as general manager of the Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche from 1994 to 2006, and the franchise reached the playoffs in every season. Lacroix built two Stanley Cup champions in 1995-96 and 2000-01, and the Avalanche won eight division titles with him at the helm. Lacroix, who died in 2020, will be inducted posthumously.
Starting in the 2023-24 season, NHL teams will no longer wear specialty jerseys during warmups for themed nights. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the decision following the league’s Board of Governors meeting.
This decision from the NHL comes after a season that was filled with how various Pride nights were handled across the league. Some individual players refused to wear the warmup jerseys, and several teams chose not to wear an LGBTQ-themed warmup jersey at all.
Immediately following the meeting, Bettman spoke with Sportsnet about the decision. Bettman said the debate about the jerseys became more of a “distraction.” He also suggested that nixing the jerseys would put more focus onto the nights themselves.
“Actually, I’ve suggested that it would be appropriate for clubs not to change their jerseys in warmups because it’s become a distraction and taking away from the fact that all our clubs, in some form or another, host nights in honor of various groups or causes,” Bettman said. “We’d rather those continue to get the appropriate attention that they deserve and not be a distraction.”
Bettman acknowledged the jerseys can make fans the LGBTQ community feel more included and that the NHL made this decision during Pride month but re-emphasized his opinion that the jerseys had become a distraction.
“Those are legitimate concerns, but in the final analysis, all of the efforts and emphasis on these important various causes have been undermined by the distraction in terms of which teams and which players (are wearing them),” Bettman said. “This way, we can keep it focused on the game. On these specialty nights, we’re going to be focused on the cause.”
Bettman said that Pride nights — and all specialty nights — are here to stay in the NHL. The only change will be that players no longer wear themed jerseys in warmups.
“Absolutely, 32 of our clubs did Pride nights. Some do Heritage nights,” Bettman said. “Everyone does Hockey Fights Cancer. Some do military nights. All of those nights will continue. The only issue will be — or the only difference will be — we aren’t going to change jerseys for warmups because really that has become more of a distraction from the essence of what the purposes of these nights are.”
The discussion around NHL Pride nights began when then-Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov chose not to wear the team’s warmup jersey for religious reasons. Throughout the rest of the season, Eric Staal, Marc Staal, and James Reimer sat out Pride Night warmups for the same reason.
Several NHL teams chose not to wear special warmup jerseys at all because of new Russian anti-gay laws that may have put players from that country in jeopardy if they promoted pro-LGBTQ causes. Teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators, and San Jose Sharks chose to go ahead with Pride Night warmup jerseys despite having Russian players in the lineup.
The Nashville Predators have traded center Ryan Johansen to the Colorado Avalanche, the team announced on Saturday. In return, the Predators will receive forward Alex Galchenyuk, who is set to become a free agent on July 1.
As part of the deal, the Predators will also retain 50% of Johansen’s $8 million salary cap hit over the next two seasons. Nashville retained a portion of Mattias Ekholm’s salary after trading him to the Edmonton Oilers prior to the 2023 trade deadline, so the team can retain salary on just one more player after the Johansen deal.
This move provides the Avalanche with the second-line center that they were missing for much of the 2022-23 season. When Nazem Kadri signed with the Calgary Flames last summer, that left a void in Colorado’s lineup, and Johansen should slot into that role at just $4 million per year, which is a reasonable gamble to make.
Johansen is just a couple years removed from his 2021-22 campaign in which he recorded 26 goals and 37 assists for 63 points in 79 games. Last season, Johansen’s production dipped to 28 points in 55 games, and he suffered a season-ending leg injury on Feb. 21. He should be back in time for the start of the 2023-24 season.
For the Predators, this trade frees up $4 million in salary cap space and gets a big contract off the books, at least partially. Nashville has entered a rebuilding mode, and the team has traded some big names in the last few months, like Ekholm and Mikael Granlund. Johansen played eight seasons with the Preds and played the role of No. 1 center in their run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017.
Galchenyuk, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, failed to record a point in 11 games with the Avs last season.
The Los Angeles Kings announced they have traded defenseman Sean Durzi to the Arizona Coyotes. In return, the Kings will receive a 2024 second-round draft pick, which was originally owned by the Montreal Canadiens.
Durzi just completed his second NHL season, and at the age of 24, looks like he could develop into a solid top-four option for Arizona. In 2022-23, Durzi totaled nine goals and 29 assists in 71 games. With Durzi on the ice at five-on-five, the Kings controlled 51.3% of the expected goals, per Natural Stat Trick.
In the team’s official announcement, Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong said Durzi can contribute at both ends of the ice.
“Sean is a reliable two-way defenseman who has good vision and contributes offensively,” Armstrong said in his statement. “He will be a very good addition to our blue line and we look forward to having him on our roster this season.”
Durzi is entering the final season of his two-year contract at $1.7 million per year, and he is set to be a restricted free agent next summer.
The Kings, who just recently signed Vladislav Gavrikov to a two-year contract extension, already have a strong stable of defenseman. Trading Durzi frees up some cap space for Los Angeles to improve its team in other areas, whether that is in goal or up front.
The Boston Bruins had a regular season for the ages and goaltender Linus Ullmark was a big reason for that success. On Monday, Ullmark won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender, beating out other finalists Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets and Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders.
Ullmark is the fifth goaltender in Bruins history to win the Vezina Trophy and the first since 2014, when Tuukka Rask won the award. Pete Peeters became the first Boston goaltender to win the award in 1983, while Tim Thomas earned the honor in both 2009 and 2011.
Ullmark had a phenomenal regular season:
He tied the Bruins’ single-season wins record (40) while also posting a league-leading 1.89 goals-against-average and .938 save percentage in 49 games (48 starts). The Bruins netminder also had a pair of shutouts throughout the year, as he helped lead the Bruins to an NHL record 135 points alongside fellow goaltender Jeremy Swayman. Ullmark, 29, yielded just two or fewer goals in 36 of his 49 games throughout the 2022-23 season. In his 49th game of the season, Ullmark became the fastest goaltender in NHL history to reach the 40-win mark. It also tied him for the franchise wins record in a single season with Pete Peeters, who accomplished the feat in 63 games during the 1982-83 season. According to MoneyPuck, Ullmark produced a league-best .966 save percentage when facing unblocked shots during the regular season. Ullmark also led the NHL with a 0.883 goals saved above expected per 60 minutes and a 0.88 goals-against-average better than expected.
On top of that, Ullmark even made some wild history as he became just the 13th goaltender in NHL history to score a regular-season goal. He scored in the Bruins’ 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on February 25.
This was just Ullmark’s second season with the Bruins after signing a four-year, $20 million deal in the 2021 offseason. He had spent the first six seasons of his NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres after the team selected him in the sixth round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP during the NHL Awards ceremony on Monday. McDavid edged out the likes of Boston Bruins star David Pastrnak and Florida Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk to win the award.
It marks the third time (2016-17 & 2020-21) that McDavid has won the Hart Trophy in his eight-year NHL career. It’s also the third time in four seasons in which an Oilers player has earned MVP honors. Leon Draisaitl won the Hart Trophy during the 2019-20 campaign while McDavid captured the league MVP in the 2020-21 season.
McDavid racked up a career-high 153 points (64 goals & 89 assists) during the 2022-23 season. The Oilers star produced the highest point total since former Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux had 161 points in 1995-96.
The Oilers forward led the league in points, goals and assists while ranking second in power-play goals (21) only behind Draisaitl. McDavid had never produced more than 123 points in a single season, which he racked up during the 2021-22 campaign.
After just eight NHL seasons, McDavid already has the fifth-most points (850) in franchise history behind only Wayne Gretzky (1,669), Jari Kurri (1,043), Mark Messier (1,034), and Glenn Anderson (906). McDavid could likely pass Messier for the third spot on the Oilers’ all-time points list next season.
McDavid wasn’t the only player to take home some hardware on Monday evening. Here are the rest of the NHL Award winners:
Vezina Trophy: Linus Ullmark (Boston Bruins) The Boston Bruins had the best regular season in NHL history as they amassed 135 points. Goaltender Linus Ullmark was a big reason why and received some validation when he won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.
Ullmark topped Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets and Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders to win the prestigious award.
Ullmark became the fifth goaltender in Bruins history to win the Vezina Trophy and the first since 2014 when Tuukka Rask earned the honor. Pete Peeters became the first Bruins goaltender to win the award in 1983 while Tim Thomas earned the honor in both 2009 and 2011.
Ullmark had a phenomenal regular season as he tied the Bruins’ single-season wins record (40) while also posting a league-leading 1.89 goals-against-average and .938 save percentage in 49 games (48 starts). The 29-year-old also had a pair of shutouts throughout the year as he helped lead the Bruins to an NHL record 135 points alongside fellow goaltender Jeremy Swayman.
Norris Trophy: Erik Karlsson (San Jose Sharks) Erik Karlsson became just the second player in San Jose Sharks history to win the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman. Karlsson won the award over Adam Fox of the New York Rangers and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche.
Karlsson joins Brent Burns (2016-17) as the only two players in Sharks history to win the Norris Trophy.
Karlsson became the first defenseman to top the 100-point mark in a season since former Rangers blue-liner Brian Leetch reached that plateau with 102 points during the 1991-92 campaign. The Sharks defenseman finished the 2022-23 season with 101 points (25 goals & 76 assists) in 82 games.
In addition, Karlsson’s 76 assists were tied for third in the league behind only Connor McDavid (89) and Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov (83). He accomplished that while playing for a Sharks team that earned the fourth-fewest points (60) in the NHL.
Calder Trophy: Matty Beniers (Seattle Kraken) Matty Beniers has become the first player in Seattle Kraken history to earn some major hardware. Beniers won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie on Monday as he earned the honor over Buffalo Sabres defenseman and former University of Michigan teammate Owen Power and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner.
Beniers finished the regular season with 57 points (24 goals & 33 assists), which was fourth on the team. The 2021 No. 2 pick led all NHL rookies in the point department as he edged out Arizona Coyotes forward Mason Matias Maccelli (49) and Anaheim Ducks forward Mason MacTavish (43) for the league lead.
Selke Trophy: Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins) For the second consecutive season, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has won the Selke Trophy as the league’s top defensive forward. Bergeron beat out New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner for the honor.
It marks the sixth career Selke Trophy for Bergeron, who has spent all 19 seasons of his career as a member of the Bruins. Bergeron also won the award three times over four seasons, spanning from 2012 to 2015. The 37-year-old blocked 54 shots while forcing 38 turnovers in 78 games this season.
Jack Adams Award: Jim Montgomery (Boston Bruins) Sensing a pattern here? The Bruins had a historic season, which means that they won the majority of the regular-season awards at the league’s ceremony.
Considering that the team racked up an NHL record 135 points, Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery took home the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top head coach. Montgomery topped the likes of Dave Hakstol of the Seattle Kraken and Lindy Ruff of the New Jersey Devils. This marked Montgomery’s third season as an NHL head coach and his first with the Bruins.
Ted Lindsay Award: Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) Connor McDavid won his second award of the night as he took home the Ted Lindsay Award. McDavid beat out San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson and Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak to earn the honor.
The Ted Lindsay Award is handed out to the NHL’s most outstanding player as voted on by his peers. This marks the fourth time that the Oilers star has won the Ted Lindsay Award during his professional career. McDavid shattered his previous career-high in goals (64) after never having more than 44 in a single season.
Lady Byng Trophy: Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings) Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar won the Lady Byng Trophy for displaying the best sportsmanship in the league. Kopitar edged out New Jersey Devils star Jack Hughes and Tampa Bay Lightning star Brayden Point to win the award as he earned 77 first-place votes.
The award is given to the player that was “adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
It’s the second time that Kopitar has taken home the Lady Byng Trophy as he won the award following the 2015-16 season. Kopitar is coming off of a season in which he registered a team-high 74 points (28 goals & 46 assists) in his 17th NHL season. He led his team in scoring for the 15th time in his career, which is the third-most in NHL history behind only Wayne Gretzky (19 times) and Gordie Howe (17 times).
Bill Masterton Trophy: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang won the Bill Masterton Trophy as he edged Arizona Coyotes star Clayton Keller and Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock. The award is given to the player that “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
During the 2022-23 season, Letang suffered the second stroke of his NHL career in November 2022, but returned to the ice just 12 days later. The veteran defenseman also lost his father, Claude Fouquet, and Letang was forced to be away from the team in order to mourn the horrific loss. Letang became the first Penguins player to win the Bill Masterton Trophy since Mario Lemieux won the award in 1993 following being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma that season.
The Chicago Blackhawks have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, and as such, the Connor Bedard hype train has reached terminal velocity ahead of Wednesday night.
It may seem like too much buzz for a 17-year-old stud who has yet to play an NHL shift, but Bedard really does have the pre-draft resume to justify it.
Few of the top NHL Draft prospects over the last decade have received as much attention as Bedard — and that list includes Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews. It’s because Bedard completely dominated his draft year, both in the Western Hockey League and at the World Junior Championship.
In his time with the WHL’s Regina Pats, Bedard posted some eye-popping numbers, especially for his age.
2021-22: Bedard became the first 16 year old to score 50 goals in a single WHL season. 2022-23: Bedard tallied 143 points (71 goals and 72 assists), which led the WHL by 36 points. 2023 playoffs: Bedard notched 10 goals and 10 assists in seven playoff games. In addition to those numbers in junior hockey, Bedard has two World Junior Championship gold medals. He was a superstar at the 2023 tournament.
2022: Bedard scored four goals and added four assists in Canada’s gold-medal run. 2023: Bedard set a Canadian record with 23 points and was named tournament MVP. Even before 2023, Bedard cemented his place atop the 2023 NHL Draft board. He compares quite favorably to some of the most highly-touted No. 1 overall picks in recent memory. To prove it, let’s look at how Bedard stacks up with MacKinnon, McDavid and Matthews.
Nathan MacKinnon, 2013 draft class In the 2013 NHL Draft, MacKinnon was the top pick, selected ahead of players like Aleksander Barkov and Seth Jones.
Entering that draft, MacKinnon was highly regarded as a franchise player after a fantastic career with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. Even at the age of 16, MacKinnon put up gaudy numbers in Halifax.
2011-12: MacKinnon totaled 31 goals and 47 assists in 58 games as a 16-year-old. 2012-13: MacKinnon scored 32 goals and tallied 75 points in just 44 games. MacKinnon’s junior hockey career was good enough to make him the best prospect in the 2013 draft, but he wasn’t able to find as much success as Bedard in the World Junior Championships. MacKinnon earned a spot on Team Canada in 2013, but he tallied just one assist in six games as the team stumbled to a fourth-place finish.
Connor McDavid, 2015 draft class McDavid was the definition of a generational prospect. He had the size, speed, production and intangibles necessary to succeed at the NHL level, and he has delivered on the goods (he still hasn’t won a Stanley Cup, though) in eight seasons with the Edmonton Oilers.
Even at an early age, McDavid had the makings of a potential NHL superstar. He was only 15 years old when he began his career with the OHL’s Erie Otters, but didn’t look out of place at all.
2012-13: McDavid scored 25 goals and 66 points in 63 games in his first junior hockey season. 2013-14: McDavid displayed his elite passing ability with 71 assists and 99 points in 56 games. 2014-15: McDavid took his goal-scoring to another level with 44 tallies in 47 games while posting 120 points. 2015 OHL playoffs: In just 20 playoff games, McDavid recorded 21 goals and 28 assists. McDavid was already a superstar before the draft because of the way he torched the OHL, but he also played well in two World Junior tournaments. He played in the 2014 tournament at 16 and helped lead Canada to a gold medal in 2015.
2014: McDavid scored one goal and added three assists while Canada finished fourth. 2015: McDavid was tied for the tournament lead in points (11) as Canada won gold. Between his physical tools and his production in the OHL and World Junior Championship, there wasn’t any doubt that McDavid was an incredibly rare prospect. The fact that Bedard has the statistics and the accolades to match McDavid only makes him more tantalizing to NHL scouts.
Auston Matthews, 2016 draft class Matthews’ pre-draft path to the NHL was a less traditional than others, but it was still clear that he was an elite prospect.
In his final season on the U.S. National U-18 Team, Matthews led the team in scoring by 10 points, and that roster included players like Matthew Tkachuk and Jack Roslovic. In his draft year, Matthews went to play for Zurich SC of the Swiss-A League and held his own against professionals in Europe.
2014-15: Matthews led the U.S. national team in goals (20), assists (28) and points (48). 2015-16: Matthews led Zurich SC in goals (24), which was tied for fourth in the league — despite missing 14 games. Matthews’ goal-scoring ability also translated to the World Junior Championship. He had a relatively quiet tournament as an 18 year old in 2015, but he bounced back in 2016.
2015: Matthews scored one goal and notched two assists as Team USA failed to medal. 2016: Matthews tallied seven goals and 11 points in seven games; USA won bronze. Matthews was a big center who could score goals at an impressive clip, and that has translated very well at the NHL level. Bedard doesn’t have Matthews’ size, but he has shown a similar penchant for filling the net.
The verdict No matter how you slice it, Bedard is in rare air in terms of his pre-draft resume. Even those best prospects of the last 10 years above struggle to compete when it comes to Bedard’s achievements in junior hockey and on the international stage.
In a recent poll of five NHL scouts and executives conducted by The Athletic, Bedard was ranked as the second-best No. 1 prospect of the last decade, dating back to 2014. Only McDavid ranked ahead of Bedard, due to the Oilers star’s larger size and unmatched speed.
That doesn’t mean Bedard will be just as good or better than McDavid, Matthews and MacKinnon. Physical traits like size and speed can’t be overlooked when projecting a prospects NHL career, and no two prospects develop at the same rate.
That said, it’s easy to look at what Bedard has done to this point in his career and imagine him as one of the top five players in the league sooner rather than later.
The Philadelphia Flyers are making moves ahead of Wednesday’s NHL Draft. Philly traded forward Kevin Hayes to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a 2024 sixth-round pick, the team announced on Tuesday.
The Flyers are also retaining 50% of Hayes’ $7.142 million salary in the deal.
Hayes just completed his fourth season with the Flyers after signing a seven-year contract with the franchise in the summer of 2019. After a strong first season in Philadelphia, Hayes has battled health and off-ice tragedy (his brother and fellow NHLer Jimmy Hayes died in 2022 at 31), and his production has taken a step back as a result. Over the last three years, Hayes has tallied 40 goals and 76 assists in 184 games.
In 2022-23, Hayes did have somewhat of a bounce-back season by tying his career high in assists with 36 and posting 54 points, which is the second-highest total in his eight NHL seasons. If Hayes can play at that level more often in St. Louis, this deal will prove to be a bargain for the Blues, especially at just over $3.5 million per year.
Hayes has three years remaining on his contract, and he joins a talented forward group in St. Louis that already includes Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, and Brayden Schenn. That foursome should be able to provide plenty of offense for the Blues.
The Flyers were able to move out some salary and create more flexibility as they continue their rebuild under new general manager Danny Briere. There is a good possibility that more moves are on the way for Philadelphia this summer.
The most recent update to the 2023-24 CBS Sports Preseason Top 25 And 1 came more than a month ago, when Kentucky secured a commitment from West Virginia transfer Tre Mitchell and moved up to No. 17 in those rankings. Since then, things have been slow in the sport of college basketball. But the Wildcats received another commitment from another frontcourt piece on Tuesday that necessitates another update to the Top 25 And 1.
His name is Zvonimir Ivisic. He’s a 7-foot-2 center from Croatia. His addition has John Calipari’s program up to No. 16 in Version 20.0 of the Top 25 And 1.
“I got the [scholarship] offer … from Coach Calipari to attend the University of Kentucky,” Ivisic posted on social media. “I’m excited to [announce] that I [have] accepted the scholarship, and [that] I will play [at UK] next season. Go Big Blue!”
Ivisic just had a string of impressive performances at the FIBA U20 European Championship last month, averaging 11.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.4 blocks while shooting 34% from 3-point range. Exactly how the soon-to-be-20-year-old will translate to the high-major level remains unclear. But the worst case scenario has Ivisic adding depth to a roster that needs it, especially considering Kentucky bigs Aaron Bradshaw and Ugonna Onyenso are both currently injured.
Kentucky is one of five SEC schools in Version 20.0 of the Top 25 And 1. The others are No. 11 Arkansas, No. 14 Tennessee, No. 15 Texas A&M and No. 25 Mississippi State. The only other league with at least five schools in the Top 25 And 1 is the Big East with No. 6 Marquette, No. 8 UConn, No. 9 Creighton, No. 24 Villanova and No. 26. St. John’s.