Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NHL Trade Deadline

The NHL trade deadline past this past Monday (2/27).  This year was surprisingly quiet in terms of blockbuster trades.  Columbus Bluejackets Captain Rick Nash, who is reportedly unhappy with how the organization is being run, requested a trade, but it never went through.  Most insiders feel that the price for Nash, a franchise player, was simply too high.  There were plenty of rumors between Nash and the Flyers, but luckily nothing happened.  If the Flyers were to trade for Rick Nash, we would get a highly skilled player, but he would cost the team part of its future and it would give the team even less financial flexibility then before.

While the Flyers didn't make any moves the day of the deadline, the team made two trades in the past two weeks for a couple of big defenseman.

Nicklas Grossman was aquired from the Dallas Stars in exchange for a second round pick.  Grossman is a big, stay at home defenseman who should help stabilize the opposing offense as he can help clear the puck and keep it out of the crease.  His skill set, while not nearly as impressive, is comperable to that of Chris Pronger, the teams captain and heart and soul, who has only played 13 games this year due to severe post concussion syndrome.  Grossman is only 27 years old and if resigned could help the blueline for a long time.

The Flyers sent a second and fifth round pick, along with low level prospect, Jon Kalinski to Tampa Bay for defenseman Pavel Kubina.  Kubina, 35, has Stanley Cup experience who has the rare combination of size, defensive ability and he can move the puck.  The fact that he is a right-handed shot, something the Flyers have not had in a defenseman in a long time, can really help out on the powerplay.  His experience in quarterbacking the pp can also take some of the burden off of Kimmo Timonen, who has been fantastic this whole year, but needs a break.

Paul Holmgren, the general manager of the Flyers was able to add two quality and experienced defensemen this year while not moving any players from the main roster.  These were two low-risk, high reward moves that will definitely help the team, hopefully en route to a Stanley Cup victory.

Until next time,

Follow the Flyers on twitter @NHLFlyers

Monday, February 20, 2012

Flyers Wives Fight For Lives Carnival

For the past 35 years, wives and girlfriends of Flyers players, past and present, hold a family-fun carnival to raise money for charity.  While I've never been to one, this is truly a great event that shows the class of this organization and that they care about others.

Back in the 1970's, the Flyers had a defenseman named Barry Ashbee.  He sustained a career ending eye injury in 1975.  After signing on as an assistant coach for the team, Ashbee found out he had leukemia in 1977.  The entire team was behind Barry, but he sadly passed away at age 37, just one month after his diagnosis. 

Soon before Ashbee's passing, the Flyers Wives started an annual carnival; where families can go and have fun and interact with the players while also supporting a good cause.  Once Ashbee died, the event took on a heartfelt focus.  As the years have past, Comcast Spectacor has donated over $23 million dollars to various Philadelphia-area charities.  This is so nice to see in a world full of greed. 

All of the players and a lot of the staff attends the carnival as well as the charities that are being supported.  The event is a day of fun including autographs and pictures from the players and alumni, games like the dunk tank (where fans can drop their favorite players into the water) and fans even get the chance to score on the teams goalie on the ice.

The Flyers Wives Fight for Lives Carnival was held yesterday, February 19th and it was an enormous success, yet again.  On TV, you can see all of the players interacting with the fans and having a genuinely good time.  In fact, forward Max Talbot was showing off his dance moves with some of the fans, it was quite funny.

This is truly a great event where the players and fans interact in a great environment for a great cause.

Here is a link to some of the great pictures from the day. Check it out.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Are the 76ers the Real Deal?

Are the 76ers the Real Deal?

The Philadelphia 76ers improved their record to 19 - 9 last night with a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The season so far has been a surprise to most basketball fans after the Sixers went 41 - 41 last year while not making any big changes over the off season.  Leading the Boston Celtics in the Atlantic Division by four games, 28 games into this lockout-shortened 66 game season, proves that this team is able to compete with the top teams in both the Eastern Conference as well as the entire league.  

Before the season started, many insiders and analysts didn't think the Sixers would improve a whole lot over last season for a few reasons.  For one, the Sixers lack a "superstar."  Sure, players like Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner are young, cornerstones of the team, but neither is at the level of Chris Paul or Dwyane Wade.  The Sixers also didn't make a big splash in free agency this year either.  The only notable signings were of Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes, both of which were already on the team.

This lack of change hasn't hindered the Sixers at all.  They play hard, with teamwork and defense that is second to none.  Every player carries his weight, and any player can go off on any night.  The opposition needs to take every player seriously or they can get blown out.  And so far, that's what the Sixers have done, blow teams out.  

Considering the youth and explosiveness this team has, don't be surprised if the Sixers keep this winning up all year long.  They have a very real chance of obtaining a high playoff seed this season.  Will the Sixers be able to get past the first round this year?  Can they manage a win over the Heat this year (0-2 so far)?  Will the team be able to reach the finals for the first time since 2000-2001?  We'll just have to wait and see.

On a side note, congratulations to Andre Iguodala for making his first All-Star game this year.  Only two players in the league average at least 13 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.8 steals per game.  They are Iguodala and LeBron James who I think is the best overall player in the world.  Iguodala deserves this honor as he is a consistent hard worker who routinely shuts down his man with his impeccable defense. Way to go Iggy!

Until next time,

Follow the 76ers on twitter for updates if you are interested @Sixers 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Intro to Blog

Hey, I'm Steve Rossi and I am a diehard Philly sports fan.  I follow all 4 major teams (Flyers, Sixers, Phillies, Eagles) and I want to share my opinions and thoughts with you.  Growing up in South Philly, just 3 blocks away from the sports complex, I was constantly around professional sports.  In this blog, I will be posting different recaps and analysis's of the latest games and current events in the world of Philly sports as well as giving my opinion on various sports topics.  Enjoy.