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Daily Times beat writer Anthony J. SanFilippo takes you inside the locker rooms of the Philadelphia Flyers and the rest of the NHL.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

FLYERS SCOUTING GILROY (plus Sbisa and Knuble updates)

A couple of really interesting notes today:


I spoke to an organizational source today that said the Flyers have sent amateur scout Patrick Burke to the NCAA championship game tonight in Washington D.C. between Boston University and Miami of Ohio.

While Burke is there looking at every player, there is one player in particular that the Flyers are looking at - much like many other NHL teams are - and that is Terriers defenseman Matt Gilroy.

Gilroy, 24, winner of the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey and BU captain, is a truly interesting story. Undrafted in 2003 because he was deemed too small, Gilroy has sprouted to 6-foot-2 in college and is older than most college kids, meaning he's physically more mature than most would-be first year pros.

His game has blossomed while at Boston University, and many teams are now interested in his services.

But, the Flyers might have the inside track.

I received an e-mail this morning from someone close to the Gilroy hoopla who has said that Gilroy's camp has quietly made it known that the Flyers are tops on his list.

Gilroy is eligible to sign an entry level contract tomorrow, so keep an eye out for where he ends up... possibly playing in the playoffs with the Phantoms.

Speaking of the Phantoms, Luca Sbisa made his AHL debut with the Phantoms in last night's playoff clinching victory.

However, he didn't get rave reviews. One Flyers' source said he played well below the bar - at least the bar he set when he played so well for the Flyers during preseason and the first half of this season.

Of course, that could be because of an unexpected weight loss.

According to the same source, Sbisa dropped 10 pounds while back at junior hockey and went into last night's game weighing 194 pounds.

Obviously, he'll have to bulk up if he is to be used in the playoffs for the Flyers.

There is some speculation that part of the reason he dropped that much weight was how much he was being used in Lethbridge, his junior hockey team.

One Flyers' report had Sbisa logging an obscene 41 minutes of ice time in Lethbridge's Game 7 victory over Saskatoon last week.

Finally, word out of the Flyers organization is that they want to resign pending unrestricted free agent Mike Knuble, and that they hope to get a new deal worked out with him before July 1.

According to the same organizational source, the Flyers will look to work out a fair deal with Knuble that will pay him incentives that won't count against the cap in the year they are achieved (although they might in future years) as part of the over-35 contract exception.

Knuble, 36, has been the model of consistency in his four years with the Flyers scoring 34, 24, 29 and 26 goals in his four seasons in Philadelphia.

2 Comments:

Blogger md said...

Wow. I would love it if the Flyers could sign Gilroy and re-sign Knuble.

If Gilroy and Sbisa were both able to play for the big club next year, that would definitely give the team the flexibility to move Carle or Jones to free up some cap space and maybe make a move for a goalie.

April 11, 2009 at 8:10 PM 
Blogger Paul Miles said...

Sbisa looked well out of his depth against Hershey in the last two games. In Hershey on Saturday the Bears ran at him all night and put him on the ice a lot. I'd bet money they had a target on him.

When he wasn't getting hit he looked confused, and didn't know where to go when he had the puck.

He really looked green on the ice. The weight loss wouldn't affect his ice IQ. But he'll still be 19 on opening day next year.

The real problem, though, was nobody knew what they were doing on Saturday night's game. Pat Maroon had some flashes, but still doesn't have the creativity to be a pure scorer. And Jared Ross was scratched. So the three young guys you're hoping will be on the big club in the next year or two all finished off with big question marks.

April 12, 2009 at 11:11 PM 

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