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Quick Hits: Draft Countdown, Flyers Daily, Alumni, Grossmann, TIFH

June 17, 2024, 11:54 AM ET [196 Comments]
Bill Meltzer
Philadelphia Flyers Blogger •NHL.com • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Quick Hits: June 17, 2024

1) Mondays with Meltzer: In today's edition of the Flyers Daily podcast, host Jason Myrtetus and I discuss the value of glue guys/ character players to a hockey team (in the context of how teams benefit from players in the mold of Nick Seeler or Garnet Hathaway, who were never highly touted NHL prospects and battled for a number of years to find a niche). We also talk about Sean Couturier's sports hernia and after-season surgery adding a lot of context to why his game fell off so dramatically in mid-January of the 2023-24 campaign. Another segment of the discussion talks about the quirks of NHL scheduling and how the Four Nations tourney in February will force severely compacted schedules for every team at junctures of the 2024-25 season.

2) With the NHL Entry Draft set for June 28-29 in Las Vegas, we will start shifting the coverage focus on PhiladelphiaFlyers.com for the next couple weeks to the upcoming Draft. Later this week, Flyers general manager Danny Briere and assistant general manager Brent Flahr (who heads scouting and drafting operations for the organization) will hold their annual pre-Draft press conference.

In terms of pre-Draft content, we will take a look at candidates for potential 12th overall selection in the first round. One article will look at centers, another at defensemen and the third at natural wingers. A subsequent piece will look at possible candidates for the 31st or 32nd overall pick. On June 27, we will have my annual first-round mock Draft. I may also do a pre-Draft edition of the Prospect Pipeline podcast with Brian Smith.

The Flyers' annual Devlopment Camp runs from July 2 to 6, at the FTC in Voorhees. The yearly World Junior Summer Showcase at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan runs from July 26 to August 3. In addition to Team USA, teams representing Canada, Sweden and Finland will participate.

3) I returned to Philadelphia yesterday for some meetings this week with the Flyers, pre-Draft press conference coverage, and coverage of a couple of Flyers Alumni Association events (pickleball tomorrow night in Malvern, Golf Invitational tournament on June 24). The Alumni are planning a fundraising pickleball tournament for later this year. For tomorrow night's event, participants include Paul Holmgren (the Alumni's most avid pickleball player), Scott Hartnell, Todd Fedoruk, Neil Little, Brad Marsh and Bob "the Hound" Kelly. For Monday's golf event at Dupont Country Club in Wilmington, upwards of 50 Flyers Alumni will be on hand.

4) Today in Flyers History: June 17

1977: The Flyers deal rugged forward Steve Short to the LA Kings for a player to be named later. On Nov. 3, the Kings send center Paul Evans to the Flyers in order to complete the trade. An impact offensive player at the AHL level with the Maine Mariners, Evans also plays 103 regular season games (14 goals, 25 assists, 39 points) and one playoff match for the Flyers over parts of three seasons.

1985: The Flyers sign Per-Erik (Pelle) Eklund to his first NHL contract. He receives a two-year deal, paying $125,000 per season. As a rookie in 1985-86, Eklund posts 66 points (15 goals, 51 assists) in 70 games. Head coach Mike Keenan, not yet trusting the diminutive Swedish forward to play in all game situations, largely confined Eklund to fourth line and power play duty during the early part of the player's career.

1989: The Flyers sign Pelle Eklund to a three-year contract extension. He posts a career-high 23 goals among his 62 points in 1989-90. The next season, Eklund wins the Bobby Clarke Trophy as Flyers MVP (19 goals, 50 assists, 69 points in 73 games).

On the same day, veteran goaltender Pete Peeters returns as a free agent for his second stint with the Flyers. An NHL All-Star in both his rookie (1979-80) and second NHL seasons (1980-81) with Philadelphia, Peeters later won the Vezina Trophy with the Boston Bruins after been traded in the 1982 deal that brought Brad McCrimmon to the Flyers. By the team he returns to the Flyers seven years later, Peeters is a backup goalie is Ron Hextall. Peeters struggles in 1989 (1-13-5 record, 3.74 GAA, .883 save percentage). He has a better season the next year, posting a 9-7-1 record, 2.88 GAA, .903 save percentage and one shutout.

5) Congratulations go out to Flyers alum defenseman Nicklas Grossmann. The 39-year-old Stockholm native has been named an assistant director for Sweden's junior national team program. Grossmann, a veteran of 592 NHL regular season games and 31 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs, retired as active play five years ago. Today, he is an assistant coach for Södertälje SK, which was his Swedish mother club during his playing days.
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