Quick Hits: May 24, 2023
1) The single-elimination medal round of the 2023 IIHF World Championships gets underway today with the quarterfinal round: USA vs. Czechia, Switzerland vs. Germany, Canada vs. Finland and Sweden vs. Latvia. Team USA, featuring Cutter Gauthier and Ronnie Attard, went a perfect 7-0-0 in Group 6 (six regulation wins, one OT victory) but has arguably the second toughest matchup for the quarterfinal game, with the Canada vs. Finland game being the toughest. Team Canada, featuring alternate captain Scott Laughton, finished second in Group B play while Finland was third in Group A.
2) Flyers Daily: Flyers center Morgan Frost, who recently celebrated his 24th birthday, is Jason Myrtetus' guest on Wednesday's edition of Flyers Daily. "Frosty" talks about playing for John Tortorella, why he wasn't fully sastisfied with his own 2022-23 season despite leading the club in scoring over the final 56 games, his offseason plans and more. The one-on-one interview was conducted on Exit Day, as were all interviews in this series. To listen to the 18-minute episode, click here
3) Today in Flyers History: On May 24, 1974, the defending Stanley Cup Flyers made a bold trade with the California Golden Seals: a four-for-one deal to acquire 23-year-old sniping right winger Reggie Leach. In return, the Flyers sent 22-year-old forward Al MacAdam, 21-year-old defenseman George Pesut, 21-year-old center Larry Wright (drafted by the Flyers with the 8th overall pick of the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft and the Flyers' 1st round pick in the first round of the 1974 Amateur Draft (Ron Chipperfield).
Of the pieces the Flyers sent to the Seals, MacAdam ended up having the best NHL career. He had an 864-game NHL career, was a two-time All-Star Game selection, which did not even include his career-best 1979-80 season (42 goals, 93 points in the regular season).
While MacAdam was a good NHL player for many years, Leach was still worth the trading price to get him. "The Riverton Rifle" went on to enjoy three season with 45-plus goals for the Flyers iincluding a franchise-record 61 regular season goals (and an NHL-record 19 playoff goals in route to winning the Conn Smythe Trophy) in 1975-76. All totaled, Leach had six seasons of 30-plus goals in Philadelphia. Right off the bat, despite a slow start in 194-75. Leach had a 45-goal regular season and eight playoff goals in 17 games as the Flyers won their second straight Stanley Cup.
3) Today in 1984: On May 24, 1984, the Flyers hired 33-year-old Mike Keenan as head coach, succeeding recently dismissed head coach/general manager Bob McCammon. Philadelphia had nearly hired 32-year-old Bill LaForge as head coach but LaForge was hired instead by the Vancouver Canucks, lasting only 20 games (4-14-2 record) before he was fired.
4) Reminder: Tonight at 7 p.m. ET on YouTube, the Flyers will launch a new offseason web series called "Liftoff: Embarking on a New Era of Flyers Hockey". The multi-episode digital series will chronicle the Philadelphia Flyers offseason, starting with the introduction of President of Hockey Operations Keith Jones and General Manager Daniel Briere, who join the organization’s senior leadership team along with Head Coach John Tortorella, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Spectacor and Flyers Governor Dan Hilferty, and President and CEO of Spectacor Sports and Entertainment Valerie Camillo.