Here's a trend for Flyers fans and fantasy hockey junkies to watch for when the season finally starts: Over the course of his NHL career to date, Flyers defenseman Matt Carle has typically had his most productive offensive stretch the season in October.
Last season, Carle scored 2 goals and 12 points in 11 October games. He had 6 goals and 35 points for the full season.
Likewise, in his first full NHL season (2006-07 with San Jose), Carle scored 2 goals and 12 points in October en route to 11 goals and 42 points as a rookie. In his disappointing second NHL season, he had 5 points in 12 October games, tied for his most productive month of the campaign. Only in 2008-09 with Tampa prior to being traded to the Flyers did Carle have a quiet October offensively.
Flyers free agent forward Mika Pyorala generated little to no interest among NHL teams this off-season but he's been highly-sought by teams in Europe. Today, he agreed to a three-year contract with the Frolunda Indians of Sweden's Elitserien.
Pyorala never projected as a big scorer at the NHL level, and I think some people got the wrong impression based on his hot preseason last year. First and foremost, he's a defensively responsible forward who can play all three forward positions with comparable skill. At the AHL level and in Europe, he is also a capable scorer.
After being sent down to the Phantoms midway through last season, Pyorala was unavailable to the big club in the postseason due to a broken collarbone. He should be ready to go for Frolunda when the Swedish season starts.
It's always hockey season somewhere. With the reversed seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres, summer here is winter time in Australia. This week's Across the Pond at NHL.com looks at the 2010 Australian Ice Hockey League
season, focusing in on the four-time AIHL champion Newcastle North Stars. The team is led by a pair of Alaskan imports. Although the AIHL is far from a top league, there have been import players with NHL or top-level Euro experience in the league. The most notable AIHL alumnus is Rob Zamuner.
On IIHF.com this week, I take a look at the Hockey is Diversity program
Tomorrow on Versus.com, I will take a look at the way the Detroit Red Wings have made better use of their farm team and European elite leagues as player development sources than just about any other team in the NHL.
For those of you with NHL Network, tonight's Raising the Cup installment will be the Montreal Canadiens' clinching win in the 1993 Final against Los Angeles. Of course, future Flyers Eric Desjardins and John LeClair were pivotal in Montreal's Cup win, with LeClair tallying a pair of OT winners in the series and Desjardins posting a hat trick game.