Quick Hits: March 26, 2020
1) Coming up today on the Flyers' official website. The second installment of the in-depth play profile series will feature defenseman Justin Braun
. The first profile focused on Scott Laughton
Speaking of Laughton, kudos to the Flyers' center for donating to Philadelphia's Ronald McDonald House. The coronavirus pandemic first RHM to postpone its annual spring events that are crucial fundraisers for the charity, which provides care, comfort and support for critically ill children and their family. Laughton's donation assisted in the uninterrupted continuation of the local RMH food service program.
2) On Wednesday, the National Hockey League announced that the 2020 NHL Awards, NHL Draft Combine and the Entry Draft have been postponed. It appears that the league awards ceremony will not be held again until next year.
The NHL Combine, Draft Lottery and Draft itself will be rescheduled, although the "location, format and timing" are uncertain at present due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It is possible that the Draft this year might not be a live event, although that remains to be seen.
Originally, the Combine was slated to be held 1-6 in Buffalo, N.Y., June 18 in Las Vegas, and June 26-27 in Montreal, respectively, due to the ongoing uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus.
3) As with other teams around hockey, the Philadelphia Flyers Warriors team is staying in touch via teleconferencing while observing social distancing recommendations. Last night, at the invite of Warriors head coach Brad Marsh and the team, I "sat in" on their first video conference call. The primary topic was one that applies not just to the Warriors or hockey players in general, but to all of us. Brad discussed the importance of goal-setting during the absence of people's accustomed routines. Having something that is within one's control, and working steadily towards meeting it, is good for his or her mental wellness as much as the other benefits to be gained.
Marsh discussed how former Flyers assistant coach Ted Sator helped him set -- and acomplish--- his goals leading into the 1984-85 season under new head Mike Keenan, and how important it was to the player's career. Prior to that, Marsh said, he simply showed up at the rink to practice and play.
What should the person's goal be? That is strictly up to the individual. It could be a physical fitness goal, such as losing 10 pounds. It could be a household project the person has been putting off. It could be just about anything. The important part, Marsh said, is to write down the goal and to tell someone -- it only need be one person -- who can help support the goal-setter in seeing through the objective to complete. When that's done, set a new goal.
Flyers Warriors assistant coach Bob "the Hound" Kelly also took part in the teleconference. He chimed in the only way the Hound knows how: by needling the guys before sincerely praising their dedication to the program and their teammates.
Some of the upcoming Warriors teleconferences will have a physical fitness component to them, incuding instruction from Madeline Marsh (Brad's daughter, former collegiate women's hockey goalie). Others will feature special Flyers Alumni guests. Some will just be for online socializing and joking around with teammates. The common thread: Staying connected as a team even when it's not possible to be together on the ice.
4) Congratulations to Buffalo Sabres 2018 second-round pick Mattias Samuelsson, the son of longtime Flyers development coach and two-stint player Kjell Samuelsson, for signing an entry-level contract with the Sabres after two collegiate seasons at Western Michigan. A native of Voorhees, Mattias represented Team USA at both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 IIHF Under-20 World Championships.
5) Today in Flyers History: On March 26, 2011, James van Riemsdyk recorded his first career hat trick, with two of the goals coming in the opening period. The Flyers downed the host New York Islanders, 4-1.
6) March 26 Flyers Alumni birthdays: Luke Richardson (1969), Ulf Samuelsson (1966).