Quick Hits: RTP, Alumni 12 Days of Christmas, TIFH and More
Quick Hits: December 18. 2020
1) As widely reported yesterday, the NHL's return-to-play plan has hit a roadblock in terms of venue availability if all 31 teams are to play at their home arenas. The NHL has not received the necessary approval from Canadian provincial health authorities to do so. The league has some alternatives -- a hub city format or playing in U.S. venues have been suggested. Likewise, within the U.S., every market is subject to whatever state and local restrictions may be in place for indoor gatherings. If Canadian teams temporarily have to relocate to the U.S., it could throw a wrench into the proposed one-season divisional realignments and cause further realignment.
Unfortunately, while all this is being sorted through in addition to figuring out how many games each team will play during a shortened 2020-21 regular season, another day passes on the calendar. The NHL has targeted a January 13 start to the season and a circa Jan. 2 start to training camps but each subsequent delay on the front end of setting up the parameters for training camps, venues and schedules could put those dates in jeopardy.
2) Flyers Alumni 12 Days of Christmas: Day 8
Prior to the official start of the Flyers Alumni Association's 12 Days of Christmas Season Giving, the Alumni made a pair of donations to local community-based organizations to whom the Alumni traditionally devote a day of volunteer service but were unable to physically assist this year due to COVID-related concerns.
Right before Thanksgiving, the Alumni did their annual food drive to drop off turkeys with all the fixings to St. Francis Inn in Kensington. However, for the first time in 14 years, the Alumni themselves were not able to volunteer in the kitchen to help serve the food to the homeless. In lieu of the volunteer day, the Alumni made a $3,300 donation to St. Francis Inn.
Likewise, last year, both the Flyers Alumni and the Philadelphia Flyers Warriors team directly volunteered to deliver a parcel of food for Philabundance as part of the annual Toyota Food Drive to combat hunger. This year, the Alumni made a $1,000 donation to the Food Drive.
With record numbers of Americans struggling this year to keep food on the table and food banks overrun with demand, assisting community food pantries is one of the primary focuses of this year's Alumni 12 Days of Christmas Season Giving campaign. In addition to the aforementioned donations, the Alumni are also making donations to community food assistance programs in Bucks County (at the behest of Kerry Huffman) and in Rochester, Minnesota (at the suggestion of Shjon Podein).
3) Today in Flyers History: December 18
1976: Bernie Parent saved the day, making early first-period goals by Bill Barber and Ross Lonsberry (power play) stand up in a 2-0 shutout win in St Louis. The Blues outshot the Flyers by a 38-22 margin but Parent was equal to the task. Barber assisted on the Lonsberry goal barely a minute after getting the Flyers on the board. Paul Holmgren and Mel Bridgman fared well in third period fights with Bob Gassoff as the Blues player attempted unsuccessfully to spark his team.
1980: Backup goalie Rick St. Croix earned a 22-save shutout against the lowly Colorado Rockies. The Flyers received second period goals from defenseman Behn Wilson and veteran center Rick MacLeish. Gary Morrison assisted on both goals, while MacLeish gets the secondary helper on Wilson's 10th goal of the season.
1986: Tim Kerr shot the lights out, registering a hat trick (goals 24, 25, and 26 on the season) and barely missing a fourth tally. Flyers captain Dave Poulin also notched a hat trick on this night. The Flyers crushed the New York Islanders by a 9-4 count at the Spectrum. Defenseman Mark Howe was plus-five on the night and chipped in the lone assist on Kerr's first goal. The third period of the blowout was filled with fights and penalty minutes as was typical of blowout games in that era. Flyers enforcer Dave Brown's night ended with 21 penalty minutes, including fighting and spearing majors, as well as a game misconduct.
1986: On the same date that the Flyers pummeled the Islanders, they announced a rare trade with the arch-rival Rangers: The Flyers acquire hulking defenseman Kjell Samuelsson in exchange for goaltender Bob Froese. The rapid emergence of rookie goalie Ron Hextall displaced Froese after "Frosty" played admirably the previous season following the tragic death of defending Vezina Trophy winning goaltender Pelle Lindbergh. Froese won the Jennings Trophy in 1985-86 and was the top runner-up to John Vanbiesbrouck for the Vezina Trophy.
1992: The Flyers traded winger Mark Pederson to the San Jose Sharks for forward Dave Snuggerud.
1993: A shorthanded goal by Al Conroy and a power play goal by Yves Racine enabled the Flyers to bounce back from a pair of one-goal deficits to earn a 2-2 home tie against the formidable Chicago Blackhawks.
1995: The Flyers officially acquired an American Hockey League expansion franchise, beginning operations in the 1996-97 season and playing in the Spectrum after the Flyers moved to a brand new facility across the parking lot. The Philadelphia Phantoms replaced the Hershey Bears as the Flyers' top minor league affiliate. The Phantoms won two Calder Cup championships (1998 and 2005) during their tenure in Philadelphia. After the closing and demolition of The Spectrum, the franchise was sold in early 2009. The club was moved to Glens Falls, NY and renamed the Adirondack Phantoms. In 2014, the team returned to Pennsylvania, moving to Allentown, PA as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and playing in the newly constructed PPL Center.
1999: Two goals by John LeClair and one apiece by defensive defenseman Ulf Samuelsson and checking forward Marc Bureau (shorthanded) are more than enough support for goalie Brian Boucher. The rookie earned the first of his 10 career shutouts (combined regular season and playoffs) in a Flyers uniform as the Flyers blank the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-0. Boucher made 29 saves.
2001: Mark Recchi reached a major career milestone in the Flyers' 6-3 win against the St. Louis Blues at the First Union Center. Scoring a late third-period power play goal, Recchi joined the NHL's 400-goal club, becoming the 65th player in league history to reach the milestone. Jeremy Roenick, Marty Murray, Kim Johnsson (power play), Chris Therien (shorthanded) and Ruslan Fedotenko (empty net) also scored for the Flyers' in the victory.
2010: Veteran goalie Brian Boucher flirted with a shutout for 48-plus minutes and went on to finish with 24 saves as the Flyers down the visiting New York Rangers by a 4-1 count. Philly received two goals from Nikolay Zherdev and one apiece from Ville Leino and Andreas Nodl. Three goals in the third period seal the win.
2018: Carter Hart made his NHL debut, stopping 20 of 22 shots in a 3-2 home win against against the Detroit Red Wings. James van Riemsdyk, Radko Gudas and Shayne Gostisbehere scored goals to give the Flyers a 3-1 lead through two periods. Hart stopped seven of eight shots in the third period as the team preserved the victory. In his debut game as Flyers interim head coach, longtime Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon got his first NHL head coaching win since 2011 with the New York Islanders.
4) December 18: Flyers Alumni birthdays
* Two-way center Bob Corkum was born on Dec. 18, 1967 in Salisbury, Massachusetts.
* Longtime Philadelphia Phantoms goaltender and subsequent Flyers and Florida Panthers scout Neil Little was born Dec. 18, 1971 in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
* Towering depth player Mike Siklenka was born on December 18, 1979 in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.