Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Collins and Thorn meet with media

Sixers coach Doug Collins and prez Rod Thorn meet with the media at PCOM - courtesy of the 76ers

Three Union players head to Europe for offseason training

Chester, Pa. - The Union’s Zac MacMath, Amobi Okugo and Zach Pfeffer will all be off to Europe this offseason to train with clubs in England’s Premier League and Germany’s Bundesliga.

For the second straight offseason, MacMath will be training alongside United States Men’s National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard at the Premier League’s Everton, while Pfeffer returns to Germany to spend just over a month with 1899 Hoffenheim.  Okugo will be making his first trip to SC Freiburg, though the California native is no stranger to Germany, as he recently completed National Team camp in Duisburg with the U.S. U-23's from November 7-16.

The fifth overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft, MacMath, 20, stepped in as the Union’s starting ‘keeper for the injured Faryd Mondragon in early September, leading the club to a 3-0-4 record, and their first ever playoff appearance with a a 1.07 goals against average.  This is MacMath’s second visit to Everton, a five-time FA Cup champion and winner of nine top flight league titles in England.

Okugo, 20, started 10 of 15 matches in the Union midfield this season and joins a Freiburg side that is currently in 17th place in the Bundesliga.  A member of Germany's top division since the club's promotion in 2009, Freiburg finished in the top half of the table last year, coming in at ninth place.

Philadelphia’s first ever Home Grown signing, Pfeffer, 16, makes his second trip to Hoffenheim and will remain with the club through the end of December.  Currently in ninth place in the Bundesliga, Hoffenheim is coached by Holger Stanislawski.

Union's Miglioranzi, Harrison available in MLS Re-Entry Process

Chester, Pa. (November 30, 2011) -- Philadelphia Union midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi and goalkeeper Chase Harrison will be eligible for selection in the 2011 Major League Soccer Re-Entry Process, the club announced today.
The Union, ranked 12th in the selection process, may still sign the two players through December 2 at 5:00 p.m. EST, which would remove them from the process.

A Union original, Miglioranzi joined the club from the LA Galaxy in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft, thus becoming one of the first 11 players to be signed in club history. The 34-year-old defensive midfielder has played a total of 43 games with Philadelphia, starting 36. In 2011, Miglioranzi played 980 minutes in 17 appearances, including 11 starts.

Harrison signed with the Union on September 23, 2011 from the club's USL-Pro affiliate, the Harrisburg City Islanders. Still awaiting his debut in Major League Soccer, the goalkeeper led his former club to the 2011 USL-Pro Final, in which Harrisburg lost in a penalty shootout to the Orlando City Lions.

Clubs must exercise the option for, or extend a Bona Fide Offer to all players selected in Stage 1. Players who are out of contract by December 2 may either accept or reject the Bona Fide Offer. Should a player reject the offer, the drafting club will hold the right of first refusal for that player in MLS. Players with option years left on their contract will automatically be added to the drafting club's roster.

10 Temple players honored by MAC, Pierce and 3 others named All-Conference

CLEVELAND – Ten Temple Owls earned All-Mid-American Conference team honors for football, the league announced on Wednesday.

Named to the first team were senior OL Pat Boyle (Towson, Md.), junior RB Bernard Pierce (Ardmore, Pa.), senior TE Evan Rodriguez (North Bergen, N.J.), and senior DE Adrian Robinson (Harrisburg, Pa.).

Named to the second team were senior LB Tahir Whitehead (Newark, N.J.) and junior P Brandon McManus (Hatfield, Pa.).

Third-team honorees were senior OL Wayne Tribue (York, Pa.), junior RB Matt Brown (Baltimore, Md.), senior DE Morkeith Brown (Harrisburg, Pa.), and senior S Kevin Kroboth (Nazareth, Pa.).

Pierce and Robinson garnered first-team accolades for the third consecutive season. They are Temple’s first three-time MAC first-team selections since joining the conference in 2007. Rodriquez earned first-team honors for the second consecutive year.

Ohio led all MAC schools with 11 honorees, followed by Temple with 10 honorees, Northern Illinois with nine, and Ball State, Toledo, and Western Michigan with eight each. Toledo’s five first-team selections were the most of any MAC team, followed by Northern Illinois, Temple, and Bowling Green with four each.

In 2010 and 2009, Temple had a school record eight first-team All-MAC honorees. The Owls had a school record 15 All-MAC honorees overall in 2009.

During their fifth season of MAC play, the Owls finished the regular season at 8-4 overall and 5-3 in the MAC’s East Division. Temple now awaits a bowl bid which will be announced on Dec. 4.

The 2011 Vern Smith Leadership Award and MAC Offensive Player of the Year honors went to Northern Illinois QB Chandler Harnish.  Western Michigan DL Drew Nowak was the Defensive Player of the Year, and Ohio’s K Matt Weller was named the Special Teams Player of the Year.  Bowling Green RB Anthon Samuel was the Freshman of the Year, while Eastern Michigan’s Ron English was named the MAC Coach of the Year.

The All-MAC teams and the Vern Smith Leadership Award were selected by the MAC head coaches. The other award winners were selected by the MAC News Media Association.

Boyle started all 12 games at left tackle. He also saw action as a member of the field goal unit. Boyle and his four fellow offensive linemen have combined for 130 starting appearances.  Providing great protection, the offensive line gave up no sacks against Ohio, Buffalo, and Akron this season.

Matt Brown played in all 12 games with three starts at running back. He is second in team rushing with 867 yards and five touchdowns on 142 carries.  Combining with Pierce, the duo each rushed for 100 yards in four games this fall, becoming the first duo to accomplish the feat in school history five times (13h time overall).  Brown is No. 6 on the career list with 2,226 rushing yards. He was named the MAC Player of the Week twice.

Team captain Morkeith Brown started all 12 games at defensive end. He has 35 tackles, four sacks, and a forced fumble.  A member of the MAC’s best defense, Brown had a career-high two sacks for a loss of 11 yards in the win over Miami. He also recorded a career-high seven tackles at Bowling Green. Brown was named the team’s most improved defensive player following 2011 spring drills.

Kroboth started all 12 games at safety. He is second on defense with 71 tackles, a team-best six break-ups, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery. He had a career-high 12 tackles in the win over Army, including a career-best 11 solo takedowns. Kroboth led the nation in interceptions in the first week of the season following a career-high two interceptions in the win over Villanova.

McManus, Temple’s placekicker for three seasons, took over punting duties this fall. In 12 games, McManus is second in team scoring with 85 points. He leads the MAC with a perfect 46-of-46 in PATs.  McManus has punted 45 times for 2,065 yards. Fifteen of those 45 landed inside the 20, while 16 were longer than 50 yards. McManus earned national specialist honors seven times this season.

Pierce has had a record-breaking season. In 11 games, he leads the Owls (and the MAC) with 1,381 yards and 25 touchdowns on 248 carries. He is the Owls’ and MAC’s top scorer with 150 points. Pierce is No. 2 nationally with 13.64 points per game, No. 2 in rushing TDs (25), and No. 7 in rushing (125.55). On Temple’s career charts, he ranks No. 1 in rushing TDs (51), No. 1 in total touchdowns (52), No. 2 in rushing yards (3,470), and No. 2 in 100-yard games (17).  As a true freshman in 2009, Pierce was a first-team All-MAC selection as well as the MAC Freshman of the Year.

Team captain Robinson started all 12 games at defensive end. Named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, he has 47 tackles, 11.0 TFL, a team-best six sacks, an interception, and a blocked kick. Playing in EVERY game of his collegiate career, Robinson has started 31 consecutive games and 37 games total. Robinson was a first-team All-MAC selection and the MAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.

Rodriguez played in all 12 games with 11 starts at tight end this season. Named to the Mackey Award Watch List, he leads the Owls with 427 yards and two touchdowns on 33 receptions. In the win at Maryland, Rodriguez had a career-high 96 yards on five receptions en route to National TE?of the Week honors from the National Football Performance Awards.

Tribue has started all 12 games at right guard. He also saw action as a member of the field goal unit. Tribue and his four fellow offensive linemen have combined for 130 starting appearances.  Providing great protection, the offensive line gave up no sacks against Ohio, Buffalo, and Akron this season.  Tribue was named to the 2011 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his community service work.

Team captain Whitehead played in all 12 games with 11 starts at Sam linebacker. Named to the Butkus Award Watch List, he is third in team tackling with 59 tackles, a team-best 12.0 TFL for a loss of 64 yards, five sacks, four forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.

2011 All-MAC Football Awards


QB – Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois
C– Scott Wedige, Northern Illinois
OL – Mike VanDerMeulen, Toledo
OL – Trevor Olson, Northern Illinois
OL – Joe Flading, Ohio
OL – Pat Boyle, Temple
TE – Evan Rodriquez, Temple
WR – Jordan White, Western Michigan
WR – Eric Page, Toledo
WR – Nick Harwell, Miami
WR – Kamar Jorden, Bowling Green
RB - Bernard Pierce, Temple
RB –Branden Oliver, Buffalo
PK –Mathew Sims, Northern Illinois

OLB –Aaron Morris, Ball State
OLB – Khalil Mack, Buffalo
ILB – Brian Wagner, Akron
ILB - Dwayne Woods, Bowling Green
DL – Roosevelt Nix, Kent State
DL – Adrian Robinson, Temple
DL – Chris Jones, Bowling Green
DL – Drew Nowak, Western Michigan
DB – Jahleel Addae, Central Michigan
DB – Dayonne Nunley, Miami
DB – Desmond Marrow, Toledo
DB – Sean Baker, Ball State
P – Brian Schmeidebusch, Bowling Green

KOR – Eric Page, Toledo
PR –Eric Page, Toledo


QB – Alex Carder, Western Michigan
C– Zac Kerin, Toledo
OL – Brandon Brooks, Miami
OL – Jordan Hansel, Ball State
OL – Brian Winters, Kent State
OL – Eric Herman, Ohio
TE – David Blackburn, Central Michigan
WR – LaVon Brazill, Ohio
WR – Briggs Orsbon, Ball State
WR – Perez Ashford, Northern Illinois
WR – Marcus Rivers, Buffalo
RB – Adonis Thomas, Toledo
RB – Jasmin Hopkins, Northern Illinois
K – Matt Weller, Ohio

OLB – C.J. Malauulu, Kent State
OLB – Tahir Whitehead, Temple
ILB – Travis Freeman, Ball State
ILB– Noah Keller, Ohio
DL – Sean Progar, Northern Illinois
DL – Tremayne Scott, Ohio
DL – Nate Ollie, Ball State
DL – Brad Ohrman, Eastern Michigan
DB – Johnnie Simon, Western Michigan
DB – Josh Pleasant, Kent State
DB – Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois
DB – Travis Carrie, Ohio
P– Brandon McManus, Temple

KOR – BooBoo Gates, Bowling Green
PR – Jamill Smith, Ball State


QB – Tyler Tettleton, Ohio
C– Ben Bojicic, Bowling Green
OL – Dann O’Neill, Western Michigan
OL – Wayne Tribue, Temple
OL – Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
OL – A.J. Strum, Ohio
TE – Garrett Hoskins, Eastern Michigan
WR – Nate Palmer, Northern Illinois
WR – Titus Davis, Central Michigan
WR – Cody Wilson, Central Michigan
WR – Chleb Ravenell, Western Michigan
RB – Donte’ Harden, Ohio
RB – Matt Brown, Temple
PK – John Potter, Western Michigan

OLB – Justin Cudworth, Eastern Michigan
OLB – Jerrell Wedge, Miami
ILB – Luke Batton, Kent State
ILB – Ryan Kennedy, Miami
DL – Austin Brown, Miami
DL – Morkeith Brown, Temple
DL – Freddie Bishop, Western Michigan
DB – T.J. Fatinikun, Toledo
DB – Latarrius Thomas, Eastern Michigan
DB – Kevin Kroboth, Temple
DB – Luke Wollet, Kent State
DB – Marlon Pollard, Eastern Michigan
P– Scott Kovanda, Ball State

KOR – Donte’ Harden, Ohio
PR – Terrell Jackson, Buffalo


Vern Smith Leadership Award Winner:  QB Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois
Coach of the Year:  Ron English, Eastern Michigan
Offensive Player of the Year:  QB Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois
Defensive Player of the Year:  DL Drew Nowak, Western Michigan
Special Teams Player of the Year:  K Matt Weller, Ohio
Freshman of the Year:  RB Anthon Samuel, Bowling Green

Phils invite 8 inlcuding Podsednik, Elarton to Spring Training

The Phillies have signed eight players to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training as non-roster players, the club announced today.
  • Scott Elarton, RHP – Elarton last pitched professionally in 2010, appearing in 16 games for triple-A Charlotte.  A nine-year major league veteran, Elarton was a 17-game winner for the Houston Astros in 2000, with his last big league appearance coming in 2008 with the Cleveland Indians.  In 232 career major league games (170 starts), he is 56-61 with a 5.29 ERA for the Astros (1998-2001), Colorado Rockies (2001, 2003-04), Indians (2004-05, 2008) and Kansas City Royals (2006-07).
  • Kevin Frandsen, INF – In 81 games in the Phillies minor league system in 2011, Frandsen batted .309 with five home runs and 43 RBI, appearing at first base, second base, third base and shortstop.  He hit .397 (27-68) in his final 17 games of the season.  In 228 career major league games, Frandsen has a .243 batting average with seven home runs and 53 RBI for the San Francisco Giants (2006-09) and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2010).
  • Tuffy Gosewisch, C – Gosewisch will attend his fourth consecutive major league camp with the Phillies.  The 28-year-old hit .247 with 13 home runs and 66 RBI in 109 games for double-A Reading, setting professional highs in games, home runs, RBI, hits (91) and stolen bases (4).  For the season, Gosewisch was named the best defensive catcher in the Eastern League by Baseball America.
  • Pat Misch, LHP – Misch, 30, made six appearances, all in relief, for the New York Mets in 2011, but spent most of his season with triple-A Buffalo, where he went 8-9 with a 4.00 ERA in 22 starts.  He pitched at least 7.0 innings in 10 of those starts.  In 78 career major league games (24 starts) for the San Francisco Giants (2006-09) and Mets (2009-11), Misch is 4-15 with a 4.80 ERA.
  • Pete Orr, INF – Orr, 31, shuttled between the Phillies and triple-A Lehigh Valley throughout the season.  Between both teams, he made starts at second base, shortstop, third base and right field.  Orr hit .219 in 46 games for the Phillies and .267 with five home runs and 26 RBI in 75 games for the IronPigs.
  • Scott Podsednik, OF – Podsednik spent the entire 2011 season in the minor leagues between the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia and was limited to 34 games due to a stress fracture in his left foot.  For the Phillies, the 35-year-old played in 14 games for triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he batted .245 with six doubles and a triple.  A member of the 2005 World Champion White Sox, Podsednik is a career .279 hitter in the major leagues with 41 home runs, 300 RBI and 301 stolen bases.
  • Brian Sanches, RHP – In 39 games for the Florida Marlins in 2011, Sanches went 4-1 with a 3.94 ERA.  The 33-year-old pitched at least 2.0 innings in 16 appearances last season, including two spot starts, and had a stint on the disabled list in the second half with a strained right elbow.  In 36 of his 39 appearances, Sanches posted a 2.48 ERA (15 ER, 54.1 IP).  In 189 career major league games, he is 13-6 with a 3.58 ERA for the Phillies (2006-07), Washington Nationals (2008) and Marlins (2009-11).
  • Raul Valdes, LHP – Valdes appeared in 13 major league games in 2011 and went 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA between the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees.  A native of Cuba, he appeared in a combined 30 minor league games (seven starts) for triple-A Memphis and triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and posted a 7-2 record with a 4.50 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 62.0 innings (9.3 SO/9.0 IP).  Valdes, 34, has a 2.18 ERA in his last 17 major league games with a .237 opponents’ batting average and 22 strikeouts in 20.2 innings (9.6 SO/9.0 IP).

Former Eagle Page signs in Minnesota

Former Eagle Jarrad Page has found a new home in Minnesota. The safety joins a lowly 2-9 Vikings club that has been decimated by injuries in the secondary.

Already without their top two cornerbacks, Antoine Winfield and Chris Cook, the Vikings were forced to put two safeties, Husain Abdullah and Tyrell Johnson, on injured reserve Tuesday.

Page, a 27-year-old out of UCLA who is in his sixth NFL season, began this season in Philadelphia, starting the first five games and amassing 36 tackles before being released two weeks ago.

Video: Ray Didinger and Marcus Hayes battle on DNL

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Welterweight prospect Young signs with new manager

New Jersey boxing manager Rich Masini has announces the signing of undefeated Welterweight prospect Anthony “Juice” Young of Atlantic City.

Young is added to Heavyweight John Lennox and newly signed Cruiserweight Jaywon Woods.

Young, twenty-three years old turned pro on October 28th with a four round unanimous decision over nine fight veteran Kywame Hill and then followed that up just three weeks later with a second round stoppage over Calvin Pritchard on November 18th.

He won the 2011 Philadelphia Golden Gloves and was runner up in the Mid Atlantic Golden Gloves.
“I was always a fan of the sport”, said Young

Young is a good kid with strong family support from his father and uncle and also Young has established himself as a strong ticket seller in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Young is trained by Ray McCline who has trained the likes of Ray Mercer and Virgil Hill.

When asked about signing with Masini, Young is very excited and confident about what his manager has in store.

“It was beautiful to sign with Rich”, said Young. “It was a team decision and Rich is a manger who cares about the fighter 100%. He takes care of all of our needs and I could not ask for anything more”

Young has appeal to many different ethnic groups as he is not only African American but also is Mexican and Puerto Rican.

He also is a great cousin of former world champion Wilfredo Benitez.

“I am very excited to sign Anthony”, said Masini. "This kid can really fight and within two years he will be fighting for some title.  With his ability and his great team with Ray McCline we feel the sky is the limit
“We are looking for a fight around December 10th to finish out the year for Anthony.”

Woods is twenty-six years old and is the son of former Heavyweight contender Darroll “Doing Damage” Wilson (the first man to defeat Shannon Briggs. He has a record of 8-1-1 with five knockouts.

Wood turned pro on January 26th, 2007 with a ninety-one second knockout over John Shaffer.  Woods went on to win his first seven bouts before drawing with fellow undefeated fighter Terry Roy.

After suffering his first pro defeat, Woods came back to score a four round majority decision over Mazur Ali on June 4th, 2010.

“Jaywon is a little further advanced but he has been off.  He has a ton of talent and obviously boxing is in his blood”, said Masini. We have an outlined planned on how to move Jaywon and we are putting that into motion and we are looking to put him on the same card with Anthony on December 10th.”

Eagles place Fokou on IR

The Eagles shaky linebacking corps got thinner on Tuesday when the team  placed Moise Fokou on injured reserve with an ankle injury.

Fokou has 22 tackles and two passes defensed in 11 games total this season. A 2009 seventh-round pick out of Maryland, Fokou has started 22 of his 43 games in the NFL, totaling 112 tackles and a quarterback sack.

Rookie linebacker Greg Lloyd, a 2011 seventh-round pick out of UConn, has been promoted from their practice squad to the active roster to replace Fokou.

Tthe 22-year-old Lloyd (6-foot-1, 247) started 23 games at middle linebacker for the Huskies, amassing 177 tackles, three sacks and an interception. He earned second-team All-Big East honors following the 2009 season after starting 10 games and finishing second on the squad with a career-high 91 tackles and one sack. A native of Clermont, FL, Lloyd is the son of former Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker Greg Lloyd.

Temple to host Bowl selection party

PHILADELPHIA  – The Temple University Athletics Department has invited alumni, fans, and friends to watch the 2011 Bowl Selection Show with members of the Temple football team and coaching staff this Sunday, Dec. 4.

The selection party will be held in the Liacouras Center lobby.  Doors open at 8 p.m. The BCS Selection Show begins at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN, followed by the College Football Bowl Selection Special at 9 p.m.

The Temple Owls finished the regular season at 8-4 overall and at 5-3 (2nd place) in the MAC East. Temple expects to make its second bowl appearance in three years. The last time the Owls played in the postseason was 2009 against UCLA in the EagleBank Bowl.

Joining the football team will be Hooter the Owl and the Spirit Squad.

Admission to the event is FREE.

Soul add All-Arena DB Robinson

PHILADELPHIA  – The Philadelphia Soul have been assigned First Team All-Arena defensive back, Micheaux Robinson for the 2012 season. 

Robinson enters his fourth season in the AFL, joins a group of defensive backs that includes former All-Arena performers, Rayshaun Kizer and Tanner Varner as well as veterans Kent Richardson and Keon Perry.

“Micheaux is one of the best defensive backs in the game today,” said Soul head coach Doug Plank. “He’s the total package – breaking up passes, forcing interceptions, and making tackles.  He is a fundamentally sound football player and our defense will benefit greatly from his style of play.  We are excited to add him to the mix of an already explosive secondary.”

Robinson is coming off his second season and an ArenaBowl XXIV Championship with the Jacksonville Sharks.  In two seasons with the Sharks, he has played in 34 games and holds team records in interceptions (18), tackles (171.0), and pass break-ups (74).  He was a finalist for the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year and received First Team All-Arena honors, breaking an AFL record for passes defended in a season with 46.

“The collection of talent coming to Philadelphia made my decision to join the Soul very easy,” said Robinson.  “I'm very proud of the accomplishments for our team and the fans of Jacksonville last season, and I am looking to use my talents to help bring a championship to another great team and city.”

Robinson ranked No. 4 in the league with 11 interceptions for the 2011 season.  He was awarded Defensive Player of the Week honors for the Week 2 match up versus the Georgia Force, registering 7.0 tackles, two interceptions, while breaking up five passes. Robinson received Second Team All-Arena honors in 2010 registering 63.0 tackles, seven interceptions, and 23 pass breakups.

Before becoming a member of the Jacksonville Sharks, Robinson played for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers (2008-09) in the af2.  He was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 while also earning First Team All-af2 American Conference honors.

Robinson is the team’s leader in interceptions with 28, and played in the 2009 ArenaCup Championship game against the Spokane Shock.  Robinson played for the Orlando Predators (2007) registering 36.0 tackles, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

The former Cardinal was a four-year starter at Otterbein (2001-04), and was an All-OAC Player (2003-04).  His 13 interceptions are tied for No. 1 in the school’s history, while also earning four letters.  In 2003 he was a All-American honorable mention.

Nodl a Flyer no more among roster moves

The story of Andreas Nodl's NHL career will be written and finished somewhere else, as the young forward has been claimed off waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.

Nodl was sparingly used this season due to a logjam of contracts, and only tallied one assist in 2 games thus far this year. The emergence of younger talent such as Matt Read and Sean Couturier surely blocked the Austrian's path towards more playing time.

Philly's second-round pick in 2006 played collegiately at St. Cloud State, making his Flyers debut during the 2008-09 campaign. He posted his best numbers last year, with 11 goals and 22 points in 67 games. All told, the 24-year-old Vienna native dressed for 127 NHL games and recorded 12 goals with 28 points.

In addition, the club recalled forward Brayden Schenn and defenseman Kevin Marshall from Adirondack of the AHL.

Schenn has been rehabbing his broken foot, suffered on October 26 at Montreal, and is within the original timetable of 4-to-6 weeks of recovery. Marshall went scoreless in two games during a recent call-up.

Hunter about to get captured by NHL game

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor

Dale Hunter was brought to the Washington Capitals prior to the 1987-88 season in a trade with the Quebec Nordiques in order to bring the successful but playoff-failing club some badly needed heart and muscle.

One season after blowing a 3-1 series lead to the New York Islanders and losing in an epic four-overtime Game 7 at home, the move paid dividends. Hunter tallied the final two Washington goals in a home Game 7 against the Philadelphia Flyers -- including the breakaway game-winner 5:57 into overtime -- giving the Caps a 5-4 decision that clinched a seven-game triumph after trailing 3-1 in the set.

But that was April 16, 1988. Hunter did not do anything so epic as that for his remaining 10-plus years with the franchise.

Check that -- he did. Except it was all over Pierre Turgeon's back five years later and garnered him an epic suspension.

And now, after more than a decade as head coach of the London Knights from the Ontario Hockey League, Hunter gets the call to sit behind the bench of the team for which he's apparently morphed into some kind of mythic figure.

Given his gritty hockey background, Hunter may turn out to be more King Canute than Red-robed Messiah, but it may not serve him well as he steps into the pressure cooker that has become the Washington Capitals.

I tossed out the question the other night: Other than a "different voice" from Bruce Boudreau, what does Hunter offer that will get his team to perform to expectations?"

The only answer came from Anthony Mingioni, now over at Sportsology. He unveiled a three-pronged response: Hunter's history with the organization, his ability to deal with "star players" in juniors, and his impressive record.

So let's deal with that, shall we?

Hunter played in Washington from 1987 until the end of the 1998-99 season, when he was shipped to the Avalanche to finish out his career. The man who apparently meant so much to the franchise only participated in two conference finals (1990, 1998), and his lone Stanley Cup Finals appearance ('98) came in his last full season with the team.

The Caps won one division title -- in 1989 -- and were promptly dumped in the first round by the fourth-place Flyers. They finished below .500 or less three times. Failed to win a playoff round five times.

While he was arguably the lifeblood which pulsed through the Caps' veins, Hunter wasn't chosen as captain until 1994 and he served that role up to his trade to Colorado. Just as a reminder, the Caps failed to win a game in that final series against Detroit, and by then, was it really his team even though he wore the "C?"

His decade-plus era was one, like that of Mike Gartner and Rod Langway before him, of elevated expectations never quite met. In spite of all the excitement he generated with his heart, desire and often illegal style of play, Hunter ultimately left America's capital empty-handed.

While in London, Hunter had the pleasure of molding future NHL stars like Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Patrick Kane and well...that's it. Doesn't that look like a very short list for how long he spent as head coach?

And of course, taking a Kane or Perry or Nash at ages 16 through 20 and guiding them into hockey players is a totally different animal than taking on Alex Ovechkin at multi-million dollars per season. If Bruce Boudreau's anti-systematic, but very much profane style of coaching could be tuned out by a roster which should be performing much better than it has, how can you argue that Hunter's style going to mesh well with adults in the long term?

On balance, so-called players' coaches have the same shelf life as the hard-asses and the candy-asses in the NHL, so what's the angle there? That Boudreau, who worked his way through the minors as a player and then as a bench boss, wasn't up to snuff and Hunter somehow magically will be?

What is he going to do to get the slumping captain, along with Alex Semin, going again to the point where they can carry the team as in years past -- point to his vicious elbow of Gordie Murphy in 1991 and say this is what I did to try and win for my team, you should too? Talk about finally getting over the hump against the Penguins in 1994 despite blowing a pair of 3-1 series leads to them in 1992 and '95?

After all, Hunter, unlike new Carolina head coach Kirk Muller, has not served his apprenticeship for any period of time in either the AHL or the NHL. While I think it's a noble concept, and a sharp public relations move to reveal that Hunter never wanted another post except that in Washington, the league is littered with men who came from Canadian juniors only to stumble in The Show.

At least in Muller's case, there are no serious expectations in Raleigh given the almost total roster turnover which stripped the team of its veteran core from just two years back. He'll have time to adjust on the fly, while Hunter goes directly underneath what's become an electron microscope from the drop.

But without those extra years of buffering, Hunter is less likely to turn out like, say, Ken Hitchcock or Bob Hartley.

Though his record is impressive: 431-184-17-30 as of the end of last season, there's one glaring fact: with all of that firepower and success year after year, there was just one Memorial Cup banner (2005 in a 59-win season, and no other title series appearances. If consistent regular-season success is what Ted Leonsis and George McPhee want, there it is. But if it's a shiny silver prize they're really after, they're looking past the regular-season record for something else.

Here's a short list of former successful junior coaches who haven't done/didn't do squat in their jump to the NHL: Brent Sutter. Craig Hartsburg. Dave King. Peter DeBoer. And the most notorious failure of all being Bill Laforge, whose club wore out its own goal light going 4-14-2 with Vancouver at the start of the 1984-85 season.

As for Hitchcock, he's living off his Cup win from 1999 and Stars clubs that were aided in no small part by no less than six potential Hall of Fame players (Hull/Modano/Nieuwendyk/Carbonneau/Belfour/Moog) at one time or another. Still, he'd been an assistant with the Flyers before this and coached in the IHL before getting the call to Dallas.

Hartley was also given the keys to the Lamborghini and told not to scratch it up, but still did and was axed less than 2 years after delivering Colorado's second Cup.

What Hunter needs to guard against the most is not how the opposition plans against his club, but how tangled the web of his mythos to the Capitals organization becomes with his actual performance on and off the ice. It will certainly become tangled at some point, once we find out just how he deals with the realities of NHL existence.

The guy who broke a playoff curse 23 years ago and gave the fans something to scream about in the old Capital Centre for years after that, is now a 51-year-old tasked with a tremendous responsibility with more on the line than he's ever experienced.

When you look deep enough, Hunter's bona fides suggest a rockier route than a star-spangled success story, but it does make for better headlines that a beloved former player has been called to the rescue and carried into town on a sedan chair, doesn't it?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Video: Joe Kapp vs. King Kong Mosca

Holmgren on Pronger and more 11/28/11

Q: How long have you known he's had a knee problem?

“Obviously Chris has played a long time. This has been an issue probably for the last month or so for him that's been nagging. He’s been playing through it up until this recent bout with his virus. As I said in my statement earlier, we kind of believed that through continuing the rehabilitation that he’s been doing on that, that he does on a daily basis anyway, and some medicine, that it would start to feel better. But Chris saw the doctor yesterday and had another MRI, and we just decided that this was the time to go ahead and get this taken care of. Some of the loose bodies in there are becoming a little bit of an issue, and we felt it was better to get it taken care of now.”

Q: Did he miss games because of the knee or because of the virus?

“The reason he missed games was because of the virus. This came up just recently, yesterday, and we decided the best way to attack this is with surgery now. But he'd been missing games because of the virus. It had nothing to do with his knee.”

Q: Has he recovered from that virus now?

“Well, he’s certainly feeling more like himself. If this hadn't come up with the knee, we were hopeful that he’d be able to play on Friday. Obviously now that’s out of the question.”

Q: What are you going to have to do now roster-wise?

“We're talking about a lot of things here today. I think initially… we sent [Kevin Marshall] back after the Ranger game on Saturday night, so he actually wasn't here the last couple days. I think initially we'll probably just recall Kevin and try to figure out where we're at at that point. But right now that’s kind of the way we’re leaning.”

Q: Was Andreas Nodl put on waivers too?


Q: Can you talk about that decision?

“Well, Andreas hasn't played as much. We’ll just gauge interest and see what happens. At some point tomorrow, if he clears waivers, we'll see what we're going to do with him – if we send him down or just keep him. But we’ll decide his fate tomorrow after we find out whether he clears or not.”

Q: Will Chris be moved to the long-term injured reserve?

“I would probably say yes, at some point, today or tomorrow.”

Q: On Pronger’s multiple surgeries

“Any time a player has surgery, there's concern, whether he’s an older player like Chris or a younger player. I do think Chris is a player that takes good care of himself, looks after himself, does the proper rehabilitation and conditioning to stay in top shape. I think this time, the only thing we can go by is what the doctors tell us, and it’s just a question of cleaning up some of those bodies. The structure of his knee is fine, he’s got good cartilage on both sides of that knee, so this is just kind of a maintenance thing more than anything, and to get him a little more comfortable. He’d been playing with some discomfort in that knee, apparently, and Dr. DeLuca believes if we just get this done now and take care of it, we can get him back playing in four weeks time and he'll be good to go. We're worried because he's going under surgery, yes, but long-term I still think Chris has a lot of miles left on his body, and based on his attitude about this and the way he takes care of himself and prepares, I think he'll be fine.”

Q: Will Andreas Lilja be going on long-term injured reserve as well?

“He's going to go on today or tomorrow as well.”

Q: Is Brayden Schenn a consideration to be called up?

“Yes, he will be [called up]. He was in town today to get a follow-up on his foot with Dr. Raikin and everything looks good there, he made it through the three games [with the Phantoms], so we will recall Brayden.”

Q: Updates on Jaromir Jagr & James van Riemsdyk

“Jaromir skated today, we've just got to take it a day at a time with him. James did not skate today. I would think there’s a chance Jaromir could play on the upcoming weekend. James is probably a long-shot right now, but I’ll know more tomorrow, we’ll see how he is tomorrow. He wasn't doing too good today.”

Former Phillies executive Clothier passes away at 66

Former Phillies executive Jerry Clothier died Saturday of prostate cancer. He was 66.

Clothier was once the Phillies senior vice president for business and finance and also was a long-time member of the Pension Committee of the Major League Baseball Players Benefit Plan.

"Jerry Clothier served as a trustee for the MLB Players Benefit Plan with insight, diligence and integrity,"   Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Michael Weiner said in a statement. "All members of the Plan – current players, former players, and their families – are indebted to him for that service.  Jerry will be missed by all who had the privilege to have known him.  He was a wonderful man."

Sixers have little cap space.

When the NBA "offseason" kicks off Dec. 9p the Sixers will already have $54,117,266 invested in nine players under contract, F  Elton Brand, F Andre Iguodala, F Andres Nocioni, G Lou Williams, G Evan Turner, F Marreese Speights, G Jrue Holiday, F Craig Brackins and G Jodie Meeks.

The Sixers will also have to sign first round pick, Nikola Vucevic to his rookie scale contract and re-sign  restricted free agents Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes, leaving little else than the mid-level exception.

Flyers' Pronger to have knee surgery

A shocker from the room this afternoon, as it was announced that Philadelphia Flyers captain Chris Pronger will undergo surgery Tuesday to clean out loose particles in his left knee and is expected to miss about a month of playing time.

The veteran defenseman hasn't played since Nov. 19, missing the last four games with an unspecified illness.

"We were hopeful that the time missed with a virus that Chris has been fighting would settle things down in his knee but after an examination yesterday, it was decided that the surgery is the way to go at this time," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said on Monday.

Pronger also missed six games earlier this season after being hit in the right eye with a stick. He has one goal and 11 assists in 13 games this season, his third with the Flyers.

Santos-Prindle bout ends in no contest

A vicious kick to the groin by Thiago Santos prematurely ended the Bellator Season 5 heavyweight tournament in Atlantic City on Saturday.

Santos' illegal shot in the first round against Eric Prindle was enough to stop the fight and rule it a no contest. Prindle, who trains with Team DeathClutch alongside UFC star Brock Lesnar and Bellator Heavyweight Champion Cole Konrad, found himself on his back when Santos misfired.

In other action lightweight Patricky "Pitbull" Freire won a controversial bout over former UFC competitor Kurt Pellegrino. Freire landed a right hand that knocked down Pellegrino in the first round and quickly pounced but Pellegrino was on his knees still defending himself when the fight was waved off.

Also in the bantamweight Season 5 finale Eduardo Dantas earned a unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Alexis Vila, a 40-year-old former Olympic wrestler, winning all three scorecards 29-28.

In the other televised bout, Marcin Held earned a split decision win over Phillipe Nover in a lightweight encounter. Held won (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) but the crowd was less than pleased by the decision..

The undercard featured Karl Amoussou topping Jesus Martinez in a catchweight bout at 175 pounds by TKO in the first round. 

"I didn’t really have a strategy, Amoussou said. "I like to take the fights and just see what happens. I knew he was good on every level but I think I was better in every aspect. I just wanted to win the fight."

Also, Levon Maynard took a unanimous decision over Christopher Wing in a welterweight clash (30-27, 30-27, and 30-26).

"I wanted to keep the fight standing. I felt like I was in control with the pace of the fight and got to work my top game," Maynard said after the win.

Lucas Pimenta defeated Doug Gordon with a first round KO in another 175-pound catchweight encounter.

"I threw a jab, then cross and as he was going down just finished with elbows on the mat," Pimenta said.

Scott Heckman proved to be the submission specialist of the night, catching Brylan Van Artsdalen in a guillotine during the first round to win their feathwerweight clash.

"The submission came off his shot," Heckman said. "That’s a bravo or guillotine choke- he went to take me down and I just tightened it right up."

Finally, Middleweight Gregory Milliard earned a unanimous decision over Brandon Saling via (30-27, 30-27, and 30-27).

"I’m a kick boxer so I feel comfortable in the pocket," Milliard said. "I didn’t want to catch myself in a brawl, and I prefer to pray on his weaknesses."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Alumni Game rosters announced

Just prior to this afternoon's Flyers-Canadiens tilt, the rosters for the December 31 Alumni Game were announced.

For your Philadelphia Flyers...

Bill Barber, Bob Clarke, Jim Dowd, Orest Kindrachuk, Eric Lindros, Ken Linseman, Dave Poulin, Jeremy Roenick, Al Hill, Bob Kelly, John LeClair, Shjon Podein, Brian Propp, Reggie Leach, Mark Recchi, Rick Tocchet

Defensemen: Terry Carkner, Eric Desjardins, Larry Goodenough, Derian Hatcher, Mark Howe, Brad Marsh, Kjell Samuelsson, Chris Therien, Joe Watson

Goaltenders: Mark LaForest and Neil Little

Coaches: Pat Quinn (head coach), Mike Nykoluk and Keith Primeau (assistant coaches)

Nykoluk holds somewhat of a record, as he is widely regarded as being the first full-time assistant coach in league history. He was Fred Shero's right-hand man during the Flyers' Stanley Cup era.

For the New York Rangers...

Goalies: John Vanbiesbrouck, Dan Blackburn

Defensemen: Ron Greschner, Darius Kasparaitis, Tom Laidlaw, Brian Leetch, Dave Maloney, Dale Purinton, Mathieu Schneider

Forwards: Glenn Anderson, Paul Broten, Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu, Mike Gartner, Adam Graves, Pat Hickey, Kris King, Nick Kypreos, Darren Langdon, Stephane Matteau, Brian Mullen, Darren Turcotte

Coaches: Mike Keenan -- Head Coach, Emile Francis/Colin Campbell (assistant coaches)

The game will be televised, this year on Versus. In past years, it had a home on NHL Network.

Flyers make Canadiens look like turkeys, claim 3-1 victory

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor

On a day which began like both hockey teams were still trapped in a tryptophan coma, the Philadelphia Flyers eventually snapped out of a holiday funk and blitzed the Montreal Canadiens with a three-goal second period for a 3-1 decision.

It didn't come easy without Jaromir Jagr and Chris Pronger, but Peter Laviolette's club was able to grit through another positive performance against a foe which doesn't exactly mirror its up-tempo style.

They will have to grit through the next portion of the schedule, which includes a Saturday matinee in Manhattan against the Rangers without Andreas Lilja, who was revealed to have a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss the next 6 weeks.

Claude Giroux led the way with a pair of scores, and Jakub Voracek netted the game-winner to back 23 saves from Sergei Bobrovsky as the Flyers won their second in a row and fifth in seven.

Petteri Nokelainen notched the lone score for the Habs, who have alternated losses and wins in their last seven outings.

Carey Price played well -- making 33 saves -- but a late-second-period collapse turned a victory into defeat.

Montreal played its usual style of getting in the way, clogging the zones and breaking up passing lanes to perfection for the first 33 minutes of regulation, but it all came crashing down in a span of 6:49 to complete the period.

Giroux had just exited the penalty box for a hooking infraction, and he was in the right place at the right time to corral an errant Matt Carle shot on the right side near the goal line, and slip a shot off Price and in to tie the score at 1-1.

As the clock slipped inside of three minutes remaining, Giroux made Habs checkers look foolish as he zigged and zagged his way through the offensive zone. He ultimately gave the puck up to Braydon Coburn at the point, and though his shot missed everything, Kimmo Timonen got to the loose disc first.

He managed to slide a pass through bodies in the crease area where Voracek was able to one-time it home at 17:45.

That one-goal lead appeared to be safe, but just for good measure, Philly decided to triple its edge.

Voracek was able to emerge from a battle to Price's right and behind the Montreal net, secured the puck and fed back to Timonen, whose blistering drive was turned aside. The rebound skidded beyond his grasp and right into the left circle, where Giroux ripped it home with 5.9 seconds remaining.

In a scoreless third stanza, the Flyers failed to click on a key two-man advantage for a span of 1:41 just after the midway point. It almost came back to haunt them as Erik Cole broke in for two chances in close several minutes later.

But Bobrovsky stopped them both, being square to the shooter and giving no quarter on the rebound to keep it a 3-1 contest. He halted all 11 Canadiens chances in the third to lock up the victory.

The Canadiens were one goal better than the hosts in a somnolent opening period, claiming an 8-4 shot advantage.

Nokelainen, a journeyman who fell into the Habs' lap in the offseason, was more alert to a loose puck than Andrej Meszaros, and his turnaround chance from between the circles was expertly placed between Bobrovsky's outstretched pad and the right post with 1:46 to play.

Notes: The Flyers have won three straight home games against the Canadiens and four of the last five...It was the club's first post-Thanksgiving home victory since beating the Blue Jackets in 2006 for what was former head coach Ken Hitchcock's Columbus debut...For Giroux, Friday marked his second multi-goal effort of the season and seventh multi-point performance this year...Canadiens captain Brian Gionta was held without a point and was a minus-2...The Flyers rolled up a 31-16 difference in shots over the final two periods.

Flyers-Canadiens update

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren made a stunning announcement prior to Friday's game, revealing that James van Riemsdyk has an upper-body injury of some type and will miss one to two weeks.

Villanova downs UC Riverside

ANAHEIM, Cal. – In its first trip to the West Coast since 2003, Villanova (4-0 overall, 0-0 BIG EAST) relied on stout defense and the offensive skill of juniors Maalik Wayns and Mouphtaou Yarou to defeat UC Riverside (1-3 overall, 0-0 Big West) 71-46 in the first round of the 76 Classic.

It was Villanova’s first game played on Thanksgiving Day since the Wildcats defeated George Mason at the 2007 Old Spice Classic.

Villanova advances to meet Saint Louis Friday at 2:30 p.m. eastern time in the semifinals of this event. The Billikens downed Boston College 62-51 in the first game here today at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Wayns scored 19 of his 23 points after halftime while Yarou delivered his third double-double in four games with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The native of Benin also had three steals.

“That was a good start to this tournament for us,” stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. “We have struggled with quick guards at times and I just told Coach (Jim) Woolridge that they really did a good job with their game plan. I thought Mouph was really effective inside in the first half and Maalik kind of took over in the second half.”

The first 20 minutes were dominated by defense. UC Riverside built a 9-3 advantage in the first 4:20 but the Wildcats slowly battled their way back.

“They did a good job of switching on ball screens early,” stated Wright. “We talked about having to work harder getting over ball screens and switches.”

Yarou keyed a surge midway through the half that gave Villanova the lead, highlighted by a steal and length of the court drive for a basket.

“We were having a tough time scoring early,” said Wright, “and to have someone like (Mouph) who we can go inside to and get easy baskets, that’s big for us. That got us going. That is an invaluable weapon for us.”

“I really thought the game didn’t change on offense, but on defense,” Yarou added. “I got a block and took a charge and my teammates did a good job of defending. Everyone did a good job of stepping up on defense.”

The Cats’ used a 20-2 run to end the half to build a 32-16 advantage at intermission, despite shooting just .333 from the field. A large part of the lead was built at the free throw line, where Villanova sank 12-of-14 in the first 20 minutes.

Yarou paced Villanova in first half scoring with nine points and also added six rebounds. Freshman Darrun Hilliard contributed seven points and two rebounds while Elliott Berry led the Highlanders with seven points and four caroms.

In the second half, junior Maalik Wayns, who tallied four first half points, helped spark the Wildcats’ offense, scoring ten points in the first 10 minutes of the period. With 6:42 to play in the contest, Villanova owned a 60-38 lead and Wayns had 15 of their 28 points in the second half.

The final count was 71-46. Hilliard (12 points) and James Bell (12 points) joined Wayns and Yarou as double digit scorers for VU.

“We did a little bit better job today with the lead than we have before,” stated Wright. “We had a couple of games where we had a lead at halftime and came out and didn’t really build on it. Today we came out at the start of the second half great. That really showed me something.”

The Wildcats will face St. Louis for only the second time on Friday, with an 11:30 a.m. local tipoff.

Union claim MF Nizar Khalfan, waive two

The Philadelphia Union has selected Nizar Khalfan in the MLS Waiver Draft after the Vancouver Whitecaps FC waived him.. Additionally, the Union have waived goalkeeper Thorne Holder and defender Juan Diego Gonzalez.

A native of Mtwara, Tanzania, Khalfan has seen action in a total of 22 Major League Soccer regular season matches since the 2011 expansion team started play in the league. In 1,066 minutes, Khalfan notched a goal and four assists. The midfielder joined Vancouver midway through the 2009 USL First Division season, playing a total 58 games and 3,029 minutes.

Holder originally signed with the Union on March 1, 2011, seeing action in four reserve games against New York (4/10), New England (7/18, 9/8) and Columbus (9/18). The goalkeeper suffered a season-ending concussion during his last reserve game against the Crew.

Gonzalez came to the Union on August 5, 2010 after three years with Colombian club La Equidad, playing a total of seven games with the first team. In 2011, the Colombian defender started all 10 of Philadelphia’s Reserve League matches but did not see action with the first team.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Union lose Mapp in expansion draft

Chester, Pa. – The Montreal Impact today selected Justin Mapp in the 2011 Major League Soccer Expansion Draft. Mapp joined the Philadelphia Union on July 26, 2010 from the Chicago Fire in exchange for allocation money.

Mapp made his Union debut as a second half substitute against New England four days after his signing. He scored his first goal with Philadelphia against the Revolution during injury time on August 28. Since joining the Union, the midfielder has appeared in 44 matches, including 34 starts, notching four goals and eight assists in 2,716 minutes.

Montreal have also selected Jeb Brovsky (Vancouver), Bobby Burling (San Jose), Brian Ching (Houston), Josh Gardner (Columbus), Sanna Nyassi (Colorado), James Riley (Seattle), Seth Sinovic (Kansas City), Zarek Valentin (Chivas USA), and Collen Warner (Salt Lake).

Eagles sign C Taylor to PS

The Eagles have signed C Zane Taylor to the practice squad.

Taylor, a 6-foot-2, 309-pound native of Moab, Utah, was most recently a member of Tampa Bay’s practice squad. The 23-year-old was signed as a rookie free agent by the New York Jets in July.

Taylor was a three-time All-Mountain West Conference performer at Utah and started 38 games. He began his collegiate career as a backup at right guard for the Utes before switching to center during his sophomore season. He started 12 contests as a senior in 2010 and was named first team All-MWC.   

Wrestler Bison Smith passes away

Bison Smith
Professional wrestler Mark Smith, a former offensive lineman at the University of Colorado, who was a star in Puerto Rico and for Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan as Bison Smith, passed away from a massive heart attack in San Juan at the age of 38.

Smith broke into wrestling after being trained in Northern California by Donovan Morgan and Michael Modest. By 2003 he was a main eventer for the  International Wrestling Association in Puerto Rico, winning the group's World Heavyweight Championship on two different occasions.

His biggest success, however, was in Japan for Pro Wrestling Noah, where he earned the GHC Tag Team Championship a pair of times with partners Akitoshi Saito and Keith Walker.

"Incredibly sad to hear about Bison Smith," fellow wrestler Chris Hero wrote on Twitter. "Over the last 5 years he'd become like a brother. He was a big scary lookin guy w/ a heart of gold."

In the U.S, Smith's most notable impact came in Ring of Honor, where he feuded with Bryan Danielson, who is now WWE superstar Daniel Bryan, in 2009.

"Ring of Honor officials, management, and the locker room would all like to take this time to acknowledge the passing of one of our alumni, a former member of The Embassy, Mark “Bison” Smith," the company said in a statement.

"Late last night word began to travel that Bison, aged 38, had passed away due to cardiac issues shortly after returning from a tour of Pro Wrestling NOAH. Smith first debuted in ROH back in January of 2009 at “Full Circle” and competed regularly throughout the year until his final appearance in March of 2010 at “Phoenix Rising”. During his tenure with ROH, Bison primarily competed alongside The Embassy and had several memorable bouts against Bryan Danielson and The Necro Butcher.

"More importantly, during his short time in ROH, Bison touched the lives of many individuals as noted by the outpouring of memories on Twitter shared by many of those who crossed his path."

Union reveal 2012 jerseys

The Union's new look
Chester, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union unveiled new primary and secondary jerseys today in advance of the 2012 season.

MLS teams change jerseys and uniforms in two-year intervals. The two new jerseys will be the fourth and fifth versions for the Union, as the club debuted a white third jersey last year, in addition to their original blue and gold jerseys.

The new primary jersey is inspired by the club's first primary jersey, maintaining a navy blue base with a gold center stripe. The new version features thicker signal blue piping, as well as a center stripe that extends to the collar and narrows as it reaches the bottom.   The new secondary jersey is a complete variation from the original gold secondary jersey, featuring a signal blue base and a white center stripe flanked by gold piping.

All 2010 home and away jerseys are now 50% off at

The new replica primary and secondary jerseys are available now for purchase exclusively on Authentic and youth jerseys are available now for pre-sale and due to ship in early 2012.

Soul assigned All-Arena DB Kizer

PHILADELPHIA  – The Philadelphia Soul have been assigned First Team All-Arena defensive back, Rayshaun Kizer for the 2012 season. 

Kizer looks to build off of a record-setting season where he set the league mark with 16 interceptions and has become one of the most dangerous defensive backs in the AFL.

“Turnovers are huge in this game and Rayshaun is a game changer that will help get us to the next level,” said Soul head coach Doug Plank.  “He is a double threat by not just intercepting passes, but also returning them for touchdowns.  He is a ball-hawking defensive back that has a knack for making the big play and making quarterbacks pay for their mistakes.”

Kizer is coming off two impressive seasons with the Orlando Predators (2010-11) receiving First Team All-Arena honors in both seasons.  In two seasons with the Predators, Kizer played in 32 games, had 28 interceptions, 385 interception return yards, four touchdowns, and 37 pass break-ups.

He lead the AFL in interceptions in the 2010 season with 12, and set two new league records in 2011 with 16 interceptions and 237 interception return yards, while returning three of them for touchdowns.  Kizer played in 18 games last season, leading the Predators in tackles (108.0) which ranked him No. 8 in the league.  He took home Defensive Player of the Week honors in Week 3 versus the Utah Blaze and again in Week 19 versus the Tulsa Talons.

The third-year AFL veteran also played for the Green Bay Blizzard (2009) in the af2.  Playing in 17 games for the Blizzard, he recorded 65.0 tackles, four interceptions, 15 pass break-ups, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.  He was awarded Defensive Player of the Week in the American Conference Finals Game sealing the victory with a game-ending interception.

Kizer was also a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2011) and Montreal Alouettes (2008) of the Canadian Football League, and was a member of the New York Jets (2007) as an undrafted free agent playing in three of four preseason games for the team.

The former Cavalier was a three year starter at Walsh University (2003-06) and ranks No. 3 on Walsh’s all-time interceptions list with 14.  Five of those 14 interceptions were returned for a touchdown, one of them breaking the school’s record for longest interception return for a touchdown, going for 104 yards.

He was named First Team All-American as well as First Team All-Conference during his senior season, leading the team with five interceptions, returning three for touchdowns.  During Kizer’s junior season he was named to the Second Team All-Conference, while his sophomore season saw him earn First Team All-Conference honors intercepting six passes returning two for touchdowns.

Eagles sign Fountain to PS

The Eagles have signed DE Maurice Fountain to the practice squad as a replacement for DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, who was signed by Tampa Bay. 

Fountain, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound native of Camden, SC, was with the Seattle Seahawks during this year’s preseason and was also a member of Seattle’s practice squad for the last week of the 2010 season. In 2008, Fountain spent time with the Miami Dolphins during training camp.

The 29-year-old spent two seasons with the Hartford Colonials of the UFL in 2009-10. He was selected as a member of the All-Rookie team as a member of the Utah Blaze (AF1) in 2008, and he set a franchise record with 13.0 sacks in 2007 while he was with the Manchester Wolves (AF2). Fountain became only the second player in Clemson University’s history to play in 50 career games, including three bowl games, and compiled five sacks as well as 19 tackles for loss and 90 total tackles from 2001-04 with the Tigers. 

Black Friday at Wells Fargo Center

PHILADELPHIA - Comcast-Spectacor is opening the doors to the Wells Fargo Center early for Black Friday door buster specials which include big discounts on Flyers and Sixers gear and an opportunity to purchase exclusive 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic jerseys and merchandise on Friday, November 25, beginning at 7 a.m.

“Beat the Clock” discounts will be in effect on most Flyers and 76ers merchandise. Fans who take advantage of the early hours can receive 30-percent off selected items from 7 a.m. until 8 a.m., 20-percent off selected items from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m., and 10-percent off selected items from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. Philadelphia Flyers alumni will attend the special sale and autograph gifts for customers.

Additional special Black Friday offers include discounts and special offers for the Philadelphia Wings indoor lacrosse team, Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream, and the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters.

The 47 Brand Store will be open for the Black Friday sale in addition to the Broad Street Official Team Apparel Store. All fans are encouraged to enter the Wells Fargo Center through the Broad Street side of the building. The stores will also have special holiday hours on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning on Monday, November 28 and running through Wednesday, December 21.

The Black Friday sale discount offers do not include jerseys, jersey lettering, and memorabilia, and does not apply to previously purchased merchandise

Following the massive Black Friday sale, the Flyers will host the Montreal Canadiens at 3 p.m.

Tickets for all Wells Fargo Center events are available exclusively through ComcastTIX at, by phone at 1-800-298-4200, or in person at the Wachovia Complex Box Office.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hip-Hop is no more

PHILADELPHIA – Bring back Big Shot!

The Sixers are officially parting ways with their mascot Hip-Hop, an idea that never really worked and was roundly criticized when the team's new ownership polled its season ticket holders.

Mindful of the two kids out there that might have actually liked the juiced-up rabbit, Sixers new Chief Executive Officer and co-Owner Adam Aron announced today that Hip-Hop, informed the team’s new ownership group that he has fallen in love, married and will relocate to a rural part of Pennsylvania to start a family. 

As a result, the Sixers have hired the world famous Jim Henson Creature Shop and Raymond Entertainment Group to recruit a new team mascot.

“We have proclaimed quite loudly in Philadelphia that we will listen to Sixers fans,” Aron said. “In the 6,500 fan comments and suggestions we received so far at, there was a tidal wave of commentary suggesting the Sixers needed a new mascot. We have hired an incredibly talented duo in Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and the Raymond Entertainment Group to help us develop a new mascot for the 76ers.”

The new mascot comes at a time when the Sixers new ownership has pledged to transform and enhance the game presentation at Sixers games.

Union leave Adu unprotected

Chester, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union have revealed their list of 12 players who will be unprotected during the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft on Wednesday, November 23.

The list includes veteran midfielders Freddy Adu, Justin Mapp and Stefani Miglioranzi as well as forward Velljko Paunovic. All will be available when the expansion Montreal Impact continue to fill up their roster. Montreal will choose ten players from the unprotected lists of the existing 18 teams in the league. When a player is chosen from any given team, that team is removed from the draft and cannot lose a second player.

The Union have a total of fifteen players exempt from selection (11 protected, one Homegrown and three Generation adidas). Philadelphia’s protected list includes goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, defenders Danny Califf, Gabriel Farfan, Carlos Valdes and Sheanon Williams, midfielders Brian Carroll, Michael Farfan, Keon Daniel and Roger Torres, as well as forwards Sebastien Le Toux and Danny Mwanga.

Additionally, Zach Pfeffer, Zac MacMath, Jack McInerney and Amobi Okugo will be unavailable for selection, as Homegrown and Generation adidas players cannot be drafted. Major League Soccer graduated Mwanga to Senior status beginning in 2012, obligating the Union to protect the young forward in order to guarantee he remains on the club's roster.

A complete breakdown of protected, Generation adidas, Homegrown, and unprotected players can be found below:

Philadelphia Union’s Protected Players:

1.         Califf, Danny (DF)
2.         Carroll, Brian (MF)
3.         Farfan, Gabriel (DF)
4.         Farfan, Michael (MF)
5.         Le Toux, Sebastien (FW)
6.         Daniel, Keon (MF)
7.         Mondragon, Faryd (GK)
8.         Mwanga, Danny (FW)
9.         Torres, Roger (MF)
10.       Valdes, Carlos (DF)
11.       Williams, Sheanon (DF)

Generation adidas Players (exempted from selection):

1.         MacMath, Zac (GK)
2.         McInerney, Jack (FW)
3.         Okugo, Amobi (MF)

Homegrown Players (exempted from selection):

1.         Zach Pfeffer

Unprotected Players:

1.         Adu, Freddy (MF)
2.         Gonzalez, Juan Diego (DF)
3.         Harrison, Chase (GK)
4.         Holder, Thorne (GK)
5.         Houapeu, Levi (FW)
6.         Langley, Morgan (MF)
7.         Mapp, Justin (MF)
8.         Miglioranzi, Stefani (MF)
9.         Nakazawa, Kyle (MF)
10.       Paunovic, Veljko (FW)
11.       Richter, Ryan (FW)
12.       Tait, Joe (DF)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Saint Joseph's Jones named A-10 Player of the Week

Saint Joseph's junior Carl Jones has been named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week for November 21. The 5-11 guard helped the Hawks to a third-place finish at the DIRECTV Charleston Classic, with wins over Georgia Tech and Tulsa.

Jones, from Garfield Heights, Ohio, averaged 26.0 points in the three games of the tournament and was named to the Charleston Classic All-Tournament team. He set a Charleston Classic single-game scoring record when he tallied 38 points in SJU's loss to Seton Hall. That total is the highest in the Atlantic 10 this season and second best in the nation so far this year.

 The guard scored 21 points in the 66-53 win over Georgia Tech, while going 5-for-11 from the field and making 8-of-81 free throws. Jones exploded for a career-high 38 points in the 78-70 loss to Seton Hall, making 12-of-17 field goals (70.6%) and 4-of-6 from three-point range. The junior followed that with a 19-point effort in the 79-75 win over Tulsa as he posted 13 in the second half and scored the Hawks' final eight points as they sealed the win.

 For the week, Jones connected on 60 percent (24-for-40) from the field, 66.7 percent (8-for-12) from the three-point arc and 95.7 percent (22-for-23) from the foul line. Jones had a streak of 26 consecutive made free throws this season until he missed one with 30 seconds to play against Seton Hall.

The junior is averaging 23.5 points per game while connecting on 56.0 percent of his field goal attempts, and an impressive 57.1 percent from beyond the arc.

 The Hawks, now 3-1, travel to Iona on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. That game can be heard on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.

Pleas for sanity in the NBA lockout

Pleas for sanity in the NBA lockout -

Flyers' Winter Classic jerseys revealed

Temple's Johnson earns MAC DPOY honors

Temple senior LB Stephen Johnson  earned Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors for the East division, the MAC announced on Monday.

In Temple’s 42-14 win over Army, Johnson led all players with a career-high 16 tackles, including a career-best eight solo stops.

In 11 starts this season, Johnson leads the Owls with 99 tackles, 34 more than any other Owl.  He also has a team-high five break-ups, two forced fumbles, and a hurry.

The MAC honor is the third of Johnson’s career and his third this season.

Also, The College Football Performance Awards honored junior PK/P Brandon McManus and junior RB Bernard Pierce with Honorable Mention national player of the week accolades on Sunday.

Named the Honorable Mention kickoff specialist for the third consecutive week, McManus made six PATs to extend his consecutive streak to 42 makes.  He also kicked off seven times for 488 yards, averaging 69.7 yards per kickoff.  He punted three times for 139 yards (46.3 average) with two touchbacks and one inside the 20.

In 11 games, McManus second in team scoring with 75 points. He leads the MAC with a perfect 42-of-42 in PATs.  In his first season with the added duty of team punting, McManus has punted 43 times for 1,985 yards. Fifteen of those 40 landed inside the 20, while 16 were longer than 50 yards.

On the career charts, McManus is No. 2 in field goals (41) and No. 3 in career points (241).

In this week’s national statistics, McManus is No. 5 in punting (46.16).

This is McManus’ seventh weekly honor from the CFP this season.

Named the Honorable running back, Pierce finished with 157 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries against Army, helping Temple to a season-high five rushing touchdowns.  With five rushing TDs in the game, Temple set the school record for rushing touchdowns in a season and now has a record 32 rushing TDs this season.

Pierce now has 294 career points, 48 career rushing touchdowns, and 49 total career touchdowns. He extended his school records and now has 22 touchdowns and 132 points this season. Pierce He eclipsed the 100-yard mark in rushing for the 16th time in his career and seventh time this season.

In 10 games, Pierce is the Owls’ rushing leader with 1,192 yards and 22 TDs on 224 carries. In this week’s national statistics, he is No. 3 in scoring (13.20 ppg) and No. 12 in rushing (119.20).

This is Pierce’s fifth weekly honor from the CFP this season.

Temple (7-4, 4-3 MAC) hosts Kent State (5-6, 4-3 MAC) in the regular-season finale on Friday, Nov. 25 at Noon at Lincoln Financial Field.  The Senior Class will be honored during a pregame ceremony.

Phillies acquire veteran utilityman Wigginton

The Colorado Rockies traded infielder Ty Wigginton to the Phillies on Sunday for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Wigginton, 34, batted .242 with 15 home runs and 47 RBI in 130 games for the Rockies last season.

The veteran is a lifetime .265 hitter with 158 home runs, 232 doubles and 548 RBI in 1,190 games in stops with the New York Mets, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Houston, Baltimore and the Rockies.

Video: Philly's Eddie Alvarez loses to Michael Chandler

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Vick, Maclin officially out

WR Jeremy Maclin (shoulder/hamstring) and QB Michael Vick (ribs) have both been listed as out for this Sunday night’s game vs. the NY Giants. Both players will not travel with the team.

Flyers to retire Howe's #2

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor

And then there was five.

Mark Howe will join the ranks of the illustrious in Flyers history, as he will have his #2 retired by the club prior to their March 6 game against the Detroit Red Wings, according to multiple sources.

Makes sense, right?

It will close a gap of 22 almost years since the last number was raised to the roof, then at the Spectrum, when Bill Barber saw his #7 elevated early in the 1990-91 season.

Howe didn’t win a Stanley Cup during his 10-season tenure in Philadelphia, and he’ll be the first player so honored that didn’t win a title here, but so what?

His influence on the team itself was immeasurable — the ultimate barometer. His peak years as an NHL player coincided with the Flyers’ rise once again to the league’s elite, and, sadly, his decline due to debilitating back issues was a contributing factor to the Flyers’ slide into their five-year dark period in the early 1990′s.

It shouldn’t come as much of a shock that Howe’s number is up, given chairman Ed Snider’s quote last week:

If a guy’s good enough for the Hall of Fame, he’s good enough to have his number retired.”

So let it be spoken, so let it be done.

I don’t think Ed Van Impe will have much of an issue with this, do you? Or Derian Hatcher, or Dmitri Yushkevich? Not a peep out of Frantisek Kucera, either. Bob Dailey might flap his cape in agreement.

After all, this was a man who, in the immortal words of Jay Greenberg in Full Spectrum, “kissed the Flyer defense and made it all better” upon his acquisition from the Hartford Whalers in 1982.

In an era where offense reigned, Howe posted six consecutive seasons of 10-or-more goals, 50-or-more points and a plus-minus of at least plus-20 from 1982-88. Twice he scored at least 20.

His 1985-86 campaign is now the stuff of legend: 24 goals, 58 assists, and an astronomical league-high plus-85 in 75 games in a year where the Flyers reeled from the death of Pelle Lindbergh. Howe was the beneficiary of a four-defenseman system head coach Mike Keenan rolled with for the majority of the year and Howe rose to the challenge.

All told, in 594 regular-season games, the 5-foot-11, 190-pounder totaled 138 goals and 480 points with a plus-349. Over 82 playoff appearances, he racked up eight goals and 53 points with a plus-43. In the club’s three long playoff runs (’85, ’87, ’89) in his tenure here, he posted a double-digit positive plus/minus.

After three years of progressively troubling injury which forced him out of the lineup for 139 of a possible 240 games, Howe was afforded the chance to return to his hometown. He spent the final three years as a veteran presence on the blue line with the Red Wings, finally hanging up the skates after the Wings were swept by the Devils in the ’95 Cup Finals.

Howe was inducted into Hockey's Hall of Fame, alongside his father Gordie, last Monday in Toronto.

Paterno has lung cancer

Embattled former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno has been diagnosed with a treatable form of lung cancer, according to his son Scott.

Paterno was diagnosed last Saturday, when he was hospitalized during the Penn State-Nebraska game.

Paterno, 84, was fired three days earlier in the wake of the child sex abuse case surrounding former Nittany Lions assistant Jerry Sandusky. 

Paterno has 409 career victories as Penn State head coach, the most in Division I history.

Soul add Thompson to coaching staff

PHILADELPHIA (November 18, 2011) – The Philadelphia Soul have hired former longtime Arena Football League veteran, Leroy Thompson, as an assistant coach .

Thompson, who played 13 seasons in the AFL, will work with the offensive and defensive line, fullbacks and linebackers for the 2012 season. 

“Leroy Thompson was one of the greatest fullback-linebackers in Arena Football League history,” said Soul general manager Tom Goodhines.  “He brings years of AFL experience and knowledge to our team.  By adding Leroy to Doug Plank and Clint Dolezel, we now have a coaching staff that has over 30 years of AFL experience and seven ArenaBowl appearances on its resume.”

Thompson was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff in the 2011 training camp through the NFL Coaching Fellowship Internship Program, where he served as assistant defensive line coach under currently line coach Jim Washburn.   He also coached collegiately as an assistant coach at Wesley College and Lincoln University (Pa.).  While at Lincoln, he helped the second-year program win two more games than the previous season, working with a defensive unit that shaved nearly two touchdowns per game off of its points allowed.

Thompson, who will enter his 14th season in the AFL, had previously played for the Albany Firebirds (1996-2004), New Orleans VooDoo (2005), and the Columbus Destroyers (2006-08).  His best statistical season came in 2000 while playing for the Firebirds, rushing the ball 59 times for 191 yards and 14 touchdowns.  Defensively, his best season came in 2002 tallying 16 tackles and five sacks including 37 rushes for 117 yards and 10 touchdowns.  His efforts were rewarded that season by being named First Team All-Arena FB/LB, and the AFL’s Ford Tough Man of the Year. 

Thompson was a participant in the 2007 ArenaBowl as a member of the National Conference Champion, Columbus Destroyers, and also won an ArenaBowl Championship in 1999 with the Albany Firebirds.  When he retired in 2008, he was only one of six AFL players who had rushed for over 1,000 career yards.  He led his team in rushing six of his 13 seasons in the League, while being in the Top 10 overall in that same category five out of those 13 seasons. 

“I am very excited about the opportunity to work with Leroy,” said Soul head coach Doug Plank.  “I know he will be very excited to work with players and bring out the best in them.  Leroy is a throwback that excelled on both sides of the ball during his playing days and will be a huge asset to the entire team.”

Thompson attended Delaware State University where he was a two-time All Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference selection.  As a senior, Thompson earned Kodak First Team All-America Honors as he lead the team with 89 tackles and 11 sacks.  During his junior season he recorded a school record 16 sacks, and five sacks in one game against North Carolina A&T which is also a school record.  Leroy’s 30 career sacks rate third all-time for the Hornets.

Thompson also played the role of Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Carl “Big Daddy” Hairston in the Vince Papale movie “Invincible.”

Friday, November 18, 2011

Report: Vick ruled out

Numerous sources are reporting that Eagles QB Michael  Vick, who broke two ribs in the team's loss to the Cardinals last week, has been ruled out for Sunday's game with the NFC East-leading Giants.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Read, Flyers get last laugh with 2-1 win over Coyotes

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Magazine

The big story is no longer that Ilya Bryzgalov played against his former teammates for the first time. Fact is, it happens so much these days with trades and free agency, that it's no longer a narrative worth pursuing.

What may be, is that Phoenix Coyotes hockey is a style of play in which even Michelangelo could not find any inspiration.

In front of a less-than-sellout crowd, which had more reason to sit on their hands than to wave them in the air until the final 20 seconds of regulation, Matt Read's rebound score sent the Flyers past the 'Yotes by a 2-1 count on Thursday night.

Read's tally came with 18.6 seconds remaining. It was the product of hard work along the left boards by Jakub Voracek, who emerged from a scrum with the puck and threw it on net. Mike Smith kicked the shot aside, but right to Max Talbot, who delayed a second before shuttling the puck across the crease where Read tucked it inside the left post for the deciding score.

And so, Bryzgalov got the last laugh, voted third star after stopping 30-of-31 shots by his former club. James van Riemsdyk netted the other goal as the Flyers continued their run of success, going unbeaten in regulation in their last six games (4-0-2).

One sour note on the night was that Jaromir Jagr suffered a lower-body injury, suspected to be a groin issue, late in the first period. He did not return.

But it wouldn't have mattered if Jagr came back, because Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett's approach to the game has all the earmarks of planning during a sleepwalking episode.

Smith acquitted himself well, making 40 saves, and you wouldn't think that a game which featured 73 combined shots could be considered dull, really had to be here to experience it.

Phoenix posted a 16-12 shot advantage in a scoreless opening period, but didn't test their former goaltender with quality chances.

A taste of excitement only crept into the action when Zac Rinaldo and Kyle Chipchura dropped the gloves deep inside the Coyotes' zone with 3:38 played in the second period.

But it was the Flyers who eventually drew first blood late in the middle period, as van Riemsdyk carried down the right wing on a 2-on-1, skated into the right circle and whipped a shot just under the crossbar.

It looked like the home team might have things under control from there, but the feeling of safety was punctured roughly 40 seconds later when a bad giveaway inside their own zone sprung Ray Whitney up the middle on a clean breakaway. Bryzgalov came to the top of his crease and snagged the rising backhanded chance with a sweeping flourish of his glove.

Phoenix did managed to tie the score at the 3:38 mark of the third, when Boedker whacked a loose puck off the back of Bryzgalov's pad at the right post and over the goal line. The score bore quite a resemblance to ones close in which Martin Biron gave up, failing as he often did to properly cut off space at each post on wraparound chances.

Notes: Phoenix had won four of the last five meetings coming in...It was the first time the Flyers beat the Coyotes in regulation at home since December 5, 2003...Philly leads the series 12-8-1 since the Jets relocated from Winnipeg in 1996...Van Riemsdyk snapped a three-game goal drought...Read has a three-game goal streak...Philadelphia travels to Winnipeg on Saturday.

Temple signs 3 to LOI

PHILADELPHIA - Tthree high school seniors have officially signed National Letters of Intent to play men’s basketball at Temple University. 

The three student-athletes who will make up the Owls’ Class of 2016 are 6-6 guard/forward Quenton DeCosey of St. Joseph-Metuchen (NJ), 6-7 forward Daniel Dingle of St. Raymond’s (NY), and 6-10 center, Devontae Watson of Lincoln Park (PA).

“We are excited to add these three young men to the Temple Basketball Program,” said coach Fran Dunphy. “They are all fine upstanding citizens from wonderful families.  We are looking forward to great things from them during their Temple careers.”

A native of Union, N.J. DeCosey averaged 23.4 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 3 steals, and 2.6 blocks as a junior last season at the storied St. Joseph’s-Metuchen High, which produced standouts such as Jay Williams (Duke) and Andrew Bynum (LA Lakers).   The swingman, who was named the All-Area and All-League Player of the Year by the Newark Star Ledger, earned First Team All-County and was 2nd Team All State honors in 2011.

As a junior, Dingle, a native of Bronx, NY, averaged 17 points, 12 rebounds and five assists per game in leading the Ravens to the CHSAA Class AA intersectional semifinals last winter.  The younger brother of former UMass standout Dana Dingle earned First Team all-City honors for the prestigious St Raymond’s High School.

A two-time second-team All-State selection, Watson helped Lincoln Park Charter School reach the PIAA Class A final by averaging 16 points, 18 rebounds and 12 blocked shots per game as a junior in 2010-11.  A native of Ambridge, Pa., Watson is a two-time WPIAL first team selection .

Agent Mark Bartelstein talks NBA lockout

Mark Bartelstein talks in detail about what happened in NBA lockout negotiations

Flyers D Gustafsson out 6 weeks

One of the keys to the Flyers' early success has been the play of their youngsters, but one of them will be out of commission for a while.

Defenseman Erik Gustafsson had a procedure on his wrist, and is slated to be out until the turn of another calendar year. General manager Paul Holmgren made the announcement earlier this morning.

"Erik underwent surgery this morning at Methodist Hospital. The surgery was performed by Dr. Randy Culp. We expect Erik to be out of action for six weeks."

The 22-year-old Northern Michigan product tallied one assist in five games this year with the Flyers, and also posted five assists in eight games with the Adirondack Phantoms in the AHL.

Video: South Park rips Penn State