1) Tomorrow on PhiladelphiaFlyers.com, the Offseason Inventory series will continue with a look at NHL rookie hopefuls Morgan Frost, Wade Allison, Tanner Laczynski, Tyson Foerster, Cam York and Egor Zamula. All of these players saw time in the NHL last season.
Frost (season-ending shoulder surgery after his second game of 2020-21), Allison (pre-season ankle surgery), Lacynski (pre-season core muscle surgery, season-ending hip surgery in late April) and Foerster (early-season tibia microfracture, late-season separated collarbone) were all set back by significant injuries last season. Allison was able to stay healthy the rest of the season -- after several years of injury setbacks and shortened seasons -- once he finally got into the Phantoms and Flyers lineups.
In the meantime, second-year pro Isaac Ratcliffe (pre-camp rib fracture and collapsed lung) had a belated started to an already shortened AHL season and never got untracked with just two goals and eight points in 22 games. He did have a few flashes of offensive production -- particularly on a breakaway goal -- but they were few and far between for the former OHL 50-goal scorer. Ratcliffe mostly remained in the bottom six (generally fourth-line) role that he came to play in 2019-20. We'll see if new Phantoms head coach Ian Laperriere expands the 22-year-old's role next season now that the player is going into the final year of his entry-level contract.
The 19-year-old Foerster, who will turn 20 on Jan. 18, was able to spend all of last season in the American Hockey League with the Phantoms due to the cancelation of the Ontario Hockey League season. With the temporary suspension of the CHL/AHL age rule in 2021-22 for teenage players who spent last season in the AHL, Foerster would be eligible to have his contract slide to the AHL again unless he makes the Flyers' NHL roster and burns the first year of his entry-level contract.
Zayde Wisdom, who turned 19 on July 7,holds the same exemption as Foerster if the Flyers prefer (as they likely do) him to play a second AHL season rather than returning to the OHL. Both Foerster and Wisdom showed promise in the American League this past season.
Recently, neither Foerster nor Elliot Denoyers were able to participate in the World Junior Summer Showcase for Team Canada. Foerster tweaked his shoulder in training; a 10-to-14-day injury that was ill-timed but, per Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr, will not prevent him from taking part in camp with the Flyers. Desnoyers had off-season surgery that kept him out of the WJSS but, likewise, should be fully rehabbed in time for Flyers camp.
2) Fellow Bostonians, longtime friends and now Flyers teammates Kevin Hayes and Keith Yandle were Jason Myrtetus' special guests on the new edition of the Flyers Daily podcast on the Flyers Broadcast Network. Hayes was instrumental in convincing Yandle to sign with the Flyers after he was recently bought out by the Florida Panthers. Yandle accepted a one-year, $900,000 contract with the Flyers to make it fit cap-wise, although he had a few higher offers from other clubs.
To access the audio version of the podcast, click here. If you prefer to watch the video version that was posted on the Flyers' YouTube page, it is embedded below.
3) Elsewhere in the Flyers-related podcast realm, here are a few other recent shows you may enjoy:
* On the current edition of the Nasty Knuckles podcast, Derrick Settlemyre and Riley Cote speak to Flyers Alum defenseman Nicklas Grossmann. Now 36 years old, Nick retired as an active player a couple years ago after an accumulation of injuries (especially to his knees). Nowadays, the bear-like Swede works as the strength and conditioning coach for HockeyAllsvenskan (Swedish minor league) team Södertälje SK.
* On recent editions of Zak Kindrachuk's My Dad Used to Play Hockey, he caught up with U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and Flyers Hall of Fame left winger John LeClair and two-time Stanley Cup winning center, former NHL All-Star Game participant and longtime Flyers and national hockey broadcaster Bill Clement. A few weeks ago, he spoke with legendary Flyers "Bruise Brothers" enforcer and longtime pro scout Dave Brown.
* Mid-to-late 1980s Flyers captain Dave Poulin is the guest on the newest episode of the Parent/Favell Generation X Podcast co-hosted by Kim Parent and Cory Favell. Poulie is always a must-listen for his articulate insights into the game and stories from his playing days. The episode should go live very soon. Other recent guests include Blake Allen (son of the late Hockey Hall of Fame general manager and inaugural Flyers coach Keith Allen) and Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher, talking not about the current Flyers club but about his own journey in the sport as the son of Cliff Fletcher. Brian Propp, Ron Duguay and Bruce Boudreau have also made recent appearances on Kim and Cory's show. To access any episode, click here.
3) Today in Flyers History: August 5, 1977
Sometimes, the most innocuous-seeming trades can end up having a major impact. For example, when the Flyers acquired oft-injured AHL veteran defenseman Barry Ashbee from the Boston Bruins organization in the spring of 1970, no one would have predicted that Ashbee would become an iconic leadership figure as a player and assistant coach in Philadelphia before his untimely passing in 1977. His No. 4 jersey hangs among the retired Flyers numbers in the Wells Fargo Center rafters, along with Hockey Hall of Famers Bernie Parent (No. 1), Mark Howe (No. 2), Bill Barber (No. 7), Bobby Clarke (No. 16) and Eric Lindros (No. 88).
On the flip side, sometimes trades that seemed like a big deal at the time end up having minimal impact. Such was the case with the trade the Flyers made with the Colorado Rockies on Aug. 5, 1977. In exchange for defenseman Mark Suzor, the Flyers acquired left winger Barry Dean from the Colorado Rockies. Dean had been the second overall pick of the 1975 NHL Draft; the same year the Flyers selected Mel Bridgman with the first overall pick. Suzor was the Flyers' first-round pick (17th overall) in the 1976 Draft.
The free-spirited Dean, who was coming off a 14-goal, 39-point rookie season with the Rockies, made a big initial splash upon arrival in Philadelphia. He posted five points in his first four games for Philly and 10 points in his first 13 games. However, Dean soon fell into disfavor with head coach Fred Shero as he had in Colorado under Johnny Wilson. Dean ended up spending more time in the American Hockey League with the Maine Mariners than he did with the Flyers.
The Flyers left Dean unprotected in the 1979 NHL Expansion/WHA Merger Draft on June 13, 1979. However, after the Flyers lost enforcer Dave Hoyda in the Draft, they added Dean to the protected list (as was permitted in Expansion Drafts of that era). Dean remained in the AHL in 1979-80. On June 11, 1980, the Flyers traded him to the Edmonton Oilers for Ron Areshenkoff and a1980 10th-round pick (Bob O'Brien) on June 11, 1980. Dean did not resurface in the NHL and retired after the 1981-82 season.
Suzor, a big-framed (6-foot-2, 220 pound) offensive-minded defenseman with some physical bite dressed in four NHL games for the Flyers in 1976-77. He struggled with the pace and decision-making at the top level but made an AHL impact while on loan to Springfield (24 goals, 49 points, 108 PIM in 74 games).
After the trade to the Rockies, he spent an inconsistent 1977-78 season in the NHL. He was traded to the Boston Bruins early in the 1978-79 campaign but never again played in the National Hockey.
What had started out as a marquee swap of recent top-end Draft picks turned out to a footnote trade in Flyers franchise history. However, Dean was a popular player in Maine and, to this day, periodically attends Flyers Alumni events.