Quick Hits: June 19, 2021
1) Congratulations go out to two-stint Flyers Alumni winger Mark Recchi for his selection to the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame's Class of 2021. A three-time winner of the Bobby Clarke Trophy as Flyers' MVP, Recchi is one of only six players in franchise history who played at least 100 games as a Flyer to average north of one point per game (1.04). He holds the franchise single-season scoring record with his 123 points (53 goals, 70 assists) in 1992-93.
Although Recchi was well-traveled during his Hockey Hall of Fame career, he spent more games in a Flyers uniform (602 regular season matches) than he did for any of the other five NHL teams for whom he played, including the Pittsburgh Penguins (389 games) and Montreal Canadiens (346 games).
The induction ceremony will take place on Nov. 4, 2021. This year's other inductees: Bill Bradley (football); Bonnie Rosen (lacrosse); Dallas Green (baseball); Gary Smith (sportswriter, legacy of excellence); Jim Katcavage (football); "Kid" Keinath (football/basketball); Larry Foust (basketball); Lew Tendler (boxing); Mike Teti (rowing); Olga Dorfner (swimming); Richard Hamilton (basketball); Seth Joyner (football); Yolanda Laney (basketball); "Zack" Clayton (basketball/boxing); and the 1947 BAA Champion Philadelphia Warriors (team induction).
For more on Recchi's Flyers career and Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame selection, click here
A couple of personal notes on two posthumous Class of 2021 inductees. The late Lew Tendler, a famed lightweight boxer of the 1920s was the great-great uncle of my ex-wife, Jeneane. Lew Tendler was also a relative of Glenn and Matt Tendler, who have ties to the Flyers Alumni Team. I never met Lew Tendler, who passed away in 1970, but my former mother-in-law Paulette Acker (nee Tendler) told me many stories about him. He owned a famous restaurant in Philly, with a very colorful clientele. She waited tables there when she was young.
Going a little further afield here, the late Jim Katcavage was the person who sold me my first car in 1988. He was long retired from playing football and from being an NFL scout by that point. When I met him, his fingers were gnarled from football and arthritis and he had difficulty walking. He let me try on the ring the Eagles (for whom he scouted in the late 1970s and early 1980s) gave him for winning the NFC championship in 1980. He was one heck of a nice man, who I met by happenstance. He passed away in 1995.
2) As expected, Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov has won the 2020-21 Selke Trophy as the NHL's best defensive forward, unseating Flyers center Sean Couturier. Couturier, despite battling through injuries for much of the season, had a solid offensive campaign (41 points in 45 games) but it was not one of his best all-around seasons. This year, Couturier finished 15th in the Selke voting, including one third-place vote and two votes for fourth place.
3) I have heard the same rumor that Eklund reported yesterday: Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones' decision to test unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2022, rather than signing an extension, applies not only to the Blue Jackets but to much of the NHL.
Is that true? I don't know. But while I am i/n favor of the Flyers spending what would be necessary to acquire Jones via trade this offseason if he'd be willing to sign an extension, I would not be in favor of acquiring him as a very expensive rental for one season and then either losing him or nothing or having to win a bidding war.
On a related note, I have heard that 26-year-old Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba (who is signed for two more years at a $6 million cap hit) is among the group of defensemen in whom the Flyers are exploring acquisition possibilities this offseason. I'm not sure if there's fire to the smoke or it's driven mainly by the obvious Minnesota connection to Chuck Fletcher and Brent Flahr, who drafted Dumba in the 2012 first round.
Dumba plays a lot of all-situation minutes in Minnesota and is a right-handed shooter. However, hiis last three seasons have not measured up to his breakout 2017-18 campaign. He's a good player but don't know how I'd feel about him in a 1A/1B pairing with Ivan Provorov going up every night against other teams' top lines. Would the chemistry be right? Jonas Brodin is the shutdown guy in Minnesota while Dumba's been more of the attacker.
On the other hand, Dumba would bring two seasons of cost-certainty without severely hampering a cap-management plan to address other needs. He can routinely absorb significant minutes across both ends of special teams and even strength, and he'll bring some physicality and shot blocking to the right side of the blueline.
Keep in mind that rumors are just that: rumors, not facts. But it sounds like Dumba is another name in the Silly Season mix for the Flyers. Right now, the Flyers seem to be getting mentioned as a possibility for a whole lot of names out there, and not just defensemen. Pierre LeBrun even tied the Flyers in as a club that might pursue Jack Eichel.
4) Today in Flyers History: On June 19, 2019, the Flyers signed center Kevin Hayes to a seven-year, $50 million contract. The team had acquired the rights to the impending unrestricted free agent from the Winnipeg Jets and used their exclusive negotiating window time to work out a deal with the Hayes camp before he was allowed to talk to other clubs.