97.5 The Fanatic Philadelphia Flyers Weekly Roundup: Michkov Mania, Recchi, Center Ice
The 2023-24 NHL season is less than a month away. The Philadelphia Flyers will begin camp on Wednesday, Sept. 20 with an off-ice day. Practices will begin on the 21st, and you’ll hear the Flyers regular-season opener on 97.5 The Fanatic on Oct. 12.
The Flyers Rookie Games took place on Friday and Saturday against the New York Rangers Rookies at PPL Center, home of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. However, Matvei Michkov Mania continues to dominate the talk surrounding the Orange and Black.
Flyers Rookie Games: Ian Laperriere, Tyson Foerster
The Rangers Rookies took both games in Lehigh Valley over the weekend. Phantoms head coach Ian Laperriere coached for Philadelphia.
The former Flyers gritter didn’t praise the collective effort after a pair of losses, but he spoke highly of top prospect Tyson Foerster at camp in Vorhees last week.
“He had the swagger all year (in 2022-23)… He carried the load, especially offensively,” Laperriere said. “I’m not expecting him back in the (Lehigh) Valley. I’m sure that fans won’t be happy with me saying that.”
He spoke similarly about Noah Cates during rookie camp last September. Cates ultimately finished ninth in Calder Trophy voting for the NHL’s Rookie of the Year. He was also one of only three Flyers to play all 82 regular-season games.
Foerster will compete for a roster spot on opening night throughout camp and the preseason. The 21-year-old former first-round pick showed promise with three goals and four assists in an eight-game NHL stint last season.
Matvei Michkov Mania
The world of the Philadelphia Flyers will fixate on Matvei Michkov as the centerpiece of the organizational rebuild for the foreseeable future. The seventh-overall pick represents the hope of the fan base as the Russian superstar who could become the savior of the franchise.
His tremendous performance in the KHL preseason, however, didn’t lead to a strong start to his second season as a professional. SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL sat him as a healthy scratch to begin the regular season.
They later loaned him to HK Sochi, which is comparable to a level demotion by North American standards. Bill Meltzer spoke on the Flyers Daily podcast about the complexities of the situation that extend beyond hockey.
Michkov has built a reputation as a strong-willed young player. The intense landscape of hockey in Russia also creates a multitude of factors involving the country’s political practices. Flyers fans will inevitably continue to scrutinize any and all news about their number-one prospect.
Mark Recchi: Hall Fame Inductee
The organization announced the induction of Mark Recchi into the Flyers Hall of Fame. They will honor him during a pregame ceremony before a January 27th matchup against the Boston Bruins.
Recchi played parts of 10 seasons in Philadelphia in two stints. He holds the single-season franchise scoring record with 123 points, set in the 1992-93 season. The Flyers reached two Eastern Conference Finals in 2000 and 2004 in his second stint.
“My favorite moments were the two runs we had with the organization and with the players we had,” Recchi told the Philadelphia media on Sept. 14. “We were really a tight group (that) really enjoyed each other. We were a team that we felt if we got to the Finals we had an opportunity to win championships. We just didn’t quite get there.”
Recchi won three Stanley Cups during his NHL career. He is 13th in league history in scoring, the highest of any player who scored more points with the Flyers than he did with any other team.
97.5 The Fanatic Flyers Weekly Roundup: Center Ice Logos, Brian Boucher
The Flyers announced the return of the double logo at center ice at the Wells Fargo Center. They changed to a single logo in 2019-20. However minimal the change seems, the effort by the new regime to listen to minor recommendations from the fan base is a small step in the right direction.
Former goaltender Brian Boucher will take over for Keith Jones as the primary color commentator beside Jim Jackson on the NBC Sports Philadelphia broadcasts in 2023-24.
He played parts of six NHL seasons in three stints with the Flyers. He still holds the seemingly unbreakable record of the longest streak in NHL history without allowing a goal with 332:01 of scoreless time and five consecutive shutouts.
Philadelphia fans remember him as a contributor during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs and for his highlight-reel save against Patrick Elias in 2000.