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Meltzer's Musings: Neuvirth and Gudas, Medvedev, Prospects, Alumni & More

August 30, 2015, 6:03 AM ET [43 Comments]
Bill Meltzer
Philadelphia Flyers Blogger •NHL.com • RSSArchiveCONTACT

1) New Flyers defenseman Evgeni Medvedev is already in Voorhees, NJ, getting a head start on his first NHL training camp. The Russian defenseman told Russia-Hockey.Ru that he spent his 33rd birthday (Aug 27) doing two hours of on-ice training in the morning and another two hours of dryland training in the afternoon. The player told the home press that his first impression of the North American offseason is that there is much more individual freedom to decide when and how long to train, as opposed to the traditional Russian team live-and-train baza (base). Medvedev said he plans a short trip to Canada to check out some new hockey equipment and meet up with agent Petr Sbovoda before returning to the Philadelphia area to continue preparations for training camp under new Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol.

2) Two other new Flyers, goaltender Michal Neuvirth and defenseman Radko Gudas recently told Czech media outlet iDnes that they did not know one another especially well before this summer but have bonded since each joined the Flyers. The two men met up at a rink in the Czech Republic to train together. Although not much was said between the two at first, they soon hit it off and have already become friends. They made a plan to train together in Voorhees, too. Neuvirth described Gudas as "a cool dude," adding that he thinks he is going to have a lot of fun being on the same team as Jakub Voracek and Gudas.

3) Four Nations Under-20: Team Czech Republic blanked host Team Russia, 4-0, on the second day at the round-robin tournament. Flyers 2015 fifth-round pick David Kase (number 22 on the Czech team) assisted on the first goal of the game, scored off the rush at 3:12 of the first period. Flyers 2015 fourth-round pick Mikhail Vorobyov (number 12) played extensively for Team Russia. The game can be watched below in its entirety. The tourney wraps up today with Russia playing Finland and the Czech Republic opposing Sweden.

4) Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Reading Royals: According to a Twitter post by Phantoms reporter Tony Androckitis, Lehigh Valley has extended the AHL contracts of goaltenders Connor Knapp and Martin Ouellette for the 2015-16 season. Both will likely be assigned to the ECHL's Reading Royals. Last year, 23-year-old former University of Maine netminder Ouellette appeared in eight AHL games for the Phantoms (2.90 goals against average, .890 save percentage) and 27 for Reading (2.91 GAA, .907 SV%). Former Buffalo Sabres goalie Knapp, 25, appeared in 45 regular season games for the Royals (2.58 GAA, .915 SV%) and seven ECHL playoff games. He dressed as a backup for the Phantoms a few times during the season but did not appear in a game.



1979: The Flyers sign 1979 first-round draft pick Brian Propp to an NHL contract. He will go on to set a Flyers regular season rookie record (later broken) with 34 goals and 75 points and then add 15 playoff points in 19 games as the Flyers come within two wins of the Stanley Cup.

1993: The Flyers sign veteran unrestricted free agent checking forward Dave Tippett to a one-year contract.

1995: The Flyers trade defenseman Dmitri Yushkevich to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a 1996 first-round pick (Dainius Zubrus), a 1997 second-round pick (Jean-Marc Pelletier) and a 1996 fourth-round pick (later traded to Los Angeles for John Druce and used by LA on the selection of Mikael Simons). The Flyers also send their own 1996 second-round pick (Francis Larivee) to the Leafs in the deal.

Flyers Alumni Birthdays

Two Flyers Alumni share August 30 birthdays: Late 1960s to early 1970s winger Jean-Guy Gendron (born 1934 in Montreal) and mid-2000s defenseman Vladimir Malakhov (born 1968 in Ekaterinburg, Russia).

Gendron was one of the better goal-scorers early in Flyers franchise history. Playing left wing on a line centered by Andre Lacroix with Leon Rochefort on right wing, the 5-foot-9 Gendron notched a 55-point season (20 goals, 35 assists) in 1968-69. He went on to post 23 and 20 goals the next two seasons.

The well-traveled and inconsistent but undeniably talented Malakhov was on a contract drive as an impending unrestricted free agent when he came to the Flyers as a rental player at the 2004 trade deadline. In the deal, the Flyers sent a 2005 2nd-round pick (later transferred to the Atlanta Thrashers and used on the selection of goaltender Ondrej Pavelec) and prospect Rick Kozak to the New York Rangers. Malkhov was a tower of strength for the Flyers during the 2004 playoff drive that saw the Flyers fall one win short of reaching the Stanley Cup Final.

With the blueline riddled with key injuries and its depth depleted by money-saving trades of veterans Eric Weinrich and Chris Therien, Malakhov was outstanding in averaging 24:56 of ice time and 29 shifts per game during the playoffs. He departed via free agency after the season.
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