Sunday, June 30, 2013

Downingtown's Lodge selected by Jets

A pleasant surprise to come out of the third round of Sunday's draft was the news that Downingtown, PA native Jimmy Lodge went with the 84th pick to the Winnipeg Jets.

The 18-year-old right-handed shooter completed his second season with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League with 28 goals and 67 points in 64 games.

Listed at 6-feet-2 and only 168 pounds, Lodge is clearly a project, but has been taken by a franchise which can afford to wait and develop talent.

Goulbourne taken by Flyers in third round

It wouldn't be a draft without the Flyers throwing in a genuine head scratcher.

With the 72nd selection in Sunday's draft, the club snagged left-handed shooting winger Tyrell Goulbourne from Kelowna of the Western Hockey League.

The 19-year-old Edmonton native totaled 14 goals, 27 points and 135 penalty minutes in 64 games this past season. Over his four-year stint in juniors, the 5-foot-11, 195-pounderhas collected 21 goals, 43 point and 271 PIMs in 145 appearances.

Flyers select Hagg in second round

The Philadelphia Flyers moved beyond the boundaries of North America for their second pick in Sunday's draft, taking defenseman Robert Hagg from Modo from the Swedish Elite League.

Hagg, 18, who stands 6-foot-2 and just over 200 pounds, produced one assist in 27 games last year. He was ranked as the eighth-best European skater by Central Scouting.

Flyers take QMJHL defenseman Morin in first round

It was a prototypical selection for the Philadelphia Flyers.

With the 11th pick of the first round in Sunday's draft, Paul Holmgren announced that Samuel Morin from Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is the newest member of the franchise. It was a stunning rise for the young man, who was listed 23rd amongst all North American skaters by Central Scouting.

A 6-foot-6, 200-plus-pound blueliner who has toughness and grit, but needs to work on his skating, the 17-year-old native of Quebec totaled four goals, 16 points and 117 penalty minutes in 46 regular-season games in his second Canadian junior campaign. An injury derailed his season in January.

Morin picked up eight assists in 62 games during his first season with Rimouski in 2011-12, earning him a spot on the Q's All-Rookie squad, and competed for Team Canada at the 2013 Under-18 World Championship, finishing with two points and a plus-six rating in seven games to help Canada win the gold.

He was the fourth of seven defensemen selected in the top 15 picks.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

30 years ago, McCammon guided the Flyers draft which led to a Renaissance

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor 

What does the most lucrative draft in the recent history of the Flyers organization have in common?

Neither Bob Clarke nor Paul Holmgren were involved.

Thirty years ago, coming off a Patrick Division title and a shocking first-round exit in a three-game sweep to the fourth-place New York Rangers, the Philadelphia braintrust managed to pluck four cornerstones which aided the progression of the second great era of Flyers hockey.

Organizational upheaval created uncertainty at the highest levels of operation in the wake of that playoff setback. Long-time General Manager Allen was essentially pushed upstairs after a wildly-successful 14-year stint at the helm, and, for lack of a better candidate, head coach Bob McCammon was given extra duties as a way to head off potential interest from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Add to that, the fact that the club had a new team president, who was just under one month into his new job: Jay Snider, son of owner Ed Snider, and all of 25 years old.

Because of their franchise-altering deal with the Hartford Whalers the previous Summer which netted them future Hall of Fame defenseman Mark Howe, the Orange and Black did not have a first-round choice, instead having to sit around and wait until the end of the second round to make their initial selection.

Another reason chaos might have reigned was that the scouting department underwent an overhaul under McCammon immediately preceding the draft, to eliminate what the younger Snider said was the dynamic of "whoever shouts loudest makes the decisions" which result from no distinct hierarchy.

 "Jay always called it the 'mass-confusion' draft," McCammon later related in Full Spectrum.

McCammon installed Jerry Melnyk as head scout, a position which had been left vacant for five years prior; and hired Dennis Patterson to replace Eric Coville -- whose greatest contribution to Flyers hockey was to lure Tim Kerr away from the Detroit Red Wings in 1980.

Whatever the goal in the long term, in the short term things worked out pretty well.

After such future stars as Claude Lemieux, John Tucker and Wayne Presley were off the board, at #41, the Flyers selected forward Peter Zezel from the Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey League. The 18-year-old Toronto native with Croatian ancestry was coming off a rookie season where he tallied 35 goals and 74 points in 66 games, and went on in his second and final year in juniors to explode for 47 goals and 133 points.

Zezel made his NHL debut in October of 1984, scoring his first NHL goal in the club's fourth game that season, a 13-2 rout of Vancouver at the Spectrum. He went on to set a franchise rookie record for assists with 46, then in his third year with Philly, established personal records of 33 goals and 72 points in 1986-87. Upon his trade to St. Louis in November of 1988 after a disappointing slide in effort and production, he departed with 91 goals and 261 points over 310 regular-season games, along with 10 goals and 31 points in 56 playoff appearances.

Zezel was a capable postseason performer, snagging a share of history by assisting on two of Kerr's NHL-record four goals in a span of 8:26 in the clinching Game 3 of the Patrick Division Semifinals against the Rangers in 1985, potting his first career hat trick in a 7-1 rout of New York at Madison Square Garden in Game 4 of the 1986 Patrick Semis, then was the player who carried the puck up ice immediately preceding J.J. Daigneault's electrifying go-ahead goal late in Game 6 of the '87 Stanley Cup Finals against Edmonton.

Only three slots later, early in the third round, Derrick Smith was plucked at #44, an undersized winger from the Peterborough Petes in the OHL. Smith, a left-handed shooter and native of the Toronto region, put together 35-and-66-point seasons in his two years at the junior level. Another of "Keenan's Kids" who never quite played the same when Holmgren took over as head coach, Smith posted career bests of 17 goals and 39 points in his rookie season of 1984-85, then endured a bizarre stretch of 50 games his sophomore season without an assist.

Always an energetic presence, Smith was paired up with the Sutter brothers and another player to be listed later in this column to provide spark and turnovers for the Flyers' transition game. Beset by injury and Holmgren's indifference, Smith was shipped to Minnesota in 1991 after going for 80 goals and 167 points in 494 games here over seven seasons.

It wasn't until the sixth round that Rick Tocchet was snagged with the 121st overall pick. Tocchet, a rugged winger from Sault Ste. Marie of the OHL, was on the Flyers' radar thanks to head coach and former Flyer Terry Crisp, who grew quite enamored with the elder Tocchet's wine selection. The 19-year-old was coming off a 66-point campaign in the Soo which would turn into a 108-point, 209-penalty minute season the next year before he made his NHL debut under Keenan.

His blossoming a combined result of Keenan's prodding, circumstances and his own drive and development, Tocchet's point totals increased every year from 1985-90 while his goal totals moved up four years running. He ended his first stint with a pair of 40-goal seasons and, depending on who does the stats, the last player in league history to score at least 30 goals and rack up at least 300 penalty minutes in one season (1987-88).

In spite of a sudden and acrimonious departure for Pittsburgh and a Stanley Cup title in February of 1992, Clarke came to his senses and re-acquired Tocchet for the 2000 stretch run and he stayed here until a knee injury ended his career early in the 2001-02 season. He left his mark on this city after 232 goals, 508 points and a franchise-high 1,817 penalty minutes.

The Flyers finally took a leap of faith and dipped into the European pool and, at #161, selected forward Pelle Eklund, then a 20-year-old who put together 14 goals and 30 points during his second season with AIK Solna in 1982-83. Eklund didn't make it over to North America until the Fall of 1985, and was confronted right away with the loss of mentor and countryman Pelle Lindbergh only a month into his rookie season.

Nonetheless, the swift Swede earned more playing time as the year progressed, and managed to set a new franchise record for assists by a rookie thanks to feeding Kerr on the power play. He established himself in the '87 playoffs with 27 points in 26 games as a dangerous puck-moving winger who could skate effectively in all three zones -- something the Flyers have been trying to recapture for the last 20 years.

Though the era in which he was tabbed as a top player and team leader coincided with the club's rebuilding phase, Eklund nonetheless provided the franchise with its first long-term non-North American star player. Upon his acquisition by the Dallas Stars in March of 1994, he racked up 334 assists and 452 points over 589 games along with 43 points in 57 postseason matchups.

In spite of leaving his mark over one single day in Montreal, McCammon was dumped as both coach and GM only 10 months later, after another first-round sweep, this time to the Washington Capitals.

The fruits of his labor were evident in the team's rise under Keenan and Holmgren for the next half-decade, but McCammon remains a footnote in team history when measured against those who have made a life out of working within the organization. Those drafts are well-documented and the players selected all hold a special place in the hearts of thousands.

While other drafts have yielded better talent to a man since then, no single one possessed the punch and had as immediate an impact as 1983.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Sixers confirm Kazemi deal

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they acquired the draft rights to forward Arsalan Kazemi as part of a series of trades made during the second round of last night’s NBA Draft.  Kazemi was selected 54th in the NBA Draft, becoming the first Iranian player drafted into the NBA.

The Sixers started by trading the 35th overall pick to Washington in exchange for the 38th overall pick and the 54th overall pick, where Kazemi was eventually selected.

The Sixers then traded the 38th overall pick to Milwaukee for the 43rd overall pick and Houston’s 2014 second round pick.

The Sixers then traded the 43rd overall pick to Dallas in exchange for Brooklyn’s 2014 second round pick.

Kazemi (6-foot-8, 226) was the first Iranian-born player to compete in NCAA Division I men’s basketball.  Phoenix’s Hamed Haddadi became the first Iranian to play in the NBA as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008.

As a senior at Oregon last season, Kazemi averaged 9.4 points, a team-high 10.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.0 steals while shooting 59.5% from the floor in 35 games played.  He earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 and became the first Duck ever to be named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team.

Kazemi spent his first three seasons at Rice, averaging a double-double as both a sophomore and a junior.  For his entire collegiate career, Kazemi had nearly as many steals (225) as turnovers (232).

Union acquire Brazilian defender Fábinho

Chester, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union have signed Brazilian defender Fábio Alves, known as Fábinho.

Fábinho, 28, will join the team pending reception of his U.S. P-1 Visa, International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and will occupy an international roster spot. Per club and MLS policies, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Fábinho has had a successful career and we’re excited to add someone of his caliber,” Team Manager John Hackworth said. “We think he can provide good depth and quality to an area of our team where we were a little thin.”

Fábinho has played professional soccer in Australia since 2011, spending last year with Sydney FC in the A-League, Australia’s top division, where he made 18 appearances for the club. He spent the earlier part of his career with several teams in his native Brazil and was also a member of the Brazil U-20 National Team.

Fábinho is not eligible to play in MLS until July 9 when the international transfer window opens, making the Union’s match on July 12 against Chivas USA the first he will be available for selection.

Name: Fábinho
Position: Defender
Number: 33
Age: 28
Birthdate: 3/16/1985
Height: 5-7
Weight: 149
Hometown: Ariquemes, Brazil
Last Club: Sydney FC

Sixers take Carter-Williams with 11th pick

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia 76ers selected Michael Carter-Williams with the 11th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. 

Carter-Williams was an early entry candidate for the draft following his sophomore season at Syracuse.

The 6-foot-6, 185-pound Carter-Williams averaged 11.8 points, a team-high 7.3 assists, 4.9 rebounds and a team-high 2.8 steals for the Orange this past season en route to earning All-Big East Second Team honors.  His 111 steals set a school record for a single season.

During Syracuse’s run to the Final Four, Carter-Williams had a career-high 24 points against No. 1 seeded Indiana in the Sweet 16.  He tallied 10 double-doubles over the course of the season, including 15 points and a career-high 16 assists vs. Monmouth.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Daulton diagnosed with brain tumors

Former Phillies All-Star catcher Darren Daulton has been diagnosed with two brain tumors.

Daulton, who now hosts a show on 97.5 FM called "Talking Baseball with Dutch," is reportedly in intensive care at Jefferson University Hospital, and one of the tumors is inoperable.

"Darren Daulton has not been feeling well over the past two weeks. He went to the doctor who discovered two brain tumors and is scheduled for surgery early next week," 97.5 said in a statement.  "Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family at this difficult time. Of course we want to respect his privacy at a time like this, but if you would like to send him get well wishes you may do so at"

Daulton played for the Phillies from 1983-1997 and finished his career with the Florida Marlins in '97, winning a World Series in his final season. A three-time All-Star Daulton was inducted to the Phillies' Wall of Fame in 2010.

Extra Points: Understanding Aaron Hernandez - Football Wires -

Extra Points: Understanding Aaron Hernandez - Football Wires -

By John McMullen

Philadelphia, PA - Why?

It's a simple question, but an answer isn't always as straightforward.

To those of us on the outside looking in at Aaron Hernandez, he had it all. A 23-year-old star who lived in a luxurious home with his fiance and baby, Hernandez was a popular player who signed a monstrous $41 million extension in August of last year with one of the NFL's marquee teams, the New England Patriots.

It was all vindication for the troubled kid from Bristol, Conn., the same guy who was vilified for his persistent marijuana use at the University of Florida, along with the inability to control a prodigious temper.

Hernandez finally had the respect and reputation he was looking for.

Or did he? recently published a photo of a 17-year-old Hernandez flashing gang signs often associated with the Bristol Bloods street gang in Connecticut, all while dressed head-to-toe in red clothing. It was seemingly confirmation of Aaron's long-rumored affiliation with the group.

Most of us assume everyone has the same kind of dreams -- to be financially secure with a loving family and friends. To young men caught up in a gang culture, however, the thought process is far darker.

Yeah, respect and reputation are still sought but not from conventional sources like a significant other or an offspring. It's all about impressing your real "family," the other members of the gang. And if you don't get the aforementioned respect or garner the rep you "deserve," a third "R" comes into play -- retaliation.

According to Esperanza, a Philadelphia-based activist network designed to strengthen the Hispanic community, defending the reputation and respect of a gang is the logical and expected behavior for all members.

"It becomes a primary function of gang membership," the group wrote in its publication, Gangs 101. "Any disrespect or challenge towards the gang or one of its members, whether perceived or real, will force an action. The challenge must be answered in order to maintain the respect and reputation of the gang. The response or action is usually violent and criminal and it serves as an opportunity to increase a member's individual status or to regain the gang's respect and reputation."

Massachusetts authorities, of course, are accusing Hernandez of orchestrating the murder of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old Boston man whose body was found in a North Attleborough, Mass., industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez's home on June 17.

Bristol County assistant district attorney William McCauley believes the plot to kill Lloyd began on June 14, when Lloyd and Hernandez went to a Boston nightclub and Hernandez saw Lloyd talking to people Hernandez "had troubles with."

Two days later, Hernandez allegedly summoned two men from Bristol, Conn., to help him kill the "disrespectful" Lloyd. One of them, 27-year-old Carlos Ortiz, was taken into custody in Connecticut on Wednesday after Massachusetts officials issued an arrest warrant. Ortiz is currently being held in The Nutmeg State on $1.5 million bail for probation violation and as a fugitive from justice.

During Hernandez's arraignment on Wednesday, prosecutors claimed they have video surveillance from several sources showing Lloyd getting into a silver Nissan with Hernandez and two other men in Dorchester, Mass., before arriving at the industrial park shortly before the murder.

During the alleged ride to his eventual execution, Lloyd seemed to understand he was in trouble, texting his sister moments before he was shot five times, execution style.

"Did you see who I am with?" Lloyd wrote shortly after 3 a.m., before answering himself with two chilling messages right before being killed: "NFL." and "Just so you know."

Night workers at the industrial park heard gunshots between 3:23 and 3:27 a.m. and a few minutes later, surveillance video at Hernandez's home showed him walking through the house with a pistol in his hand,

The Patriots cut Hernandez less than two hours after he was taken into custody on Wednesday and now the former Pro Bowl tight end is looking at life in prison without parole.

To most of us, this is a tragedy on the level of Macbeth or Othello.

But to the guy who was always more concerned about earning the respect of his "friends" from Bristol, it's possible football was just his job and his athleticism enabled the money to come far too easily to appreciate.

In other words, the things we think are important meant nothing to Aaron Hernandez.

The real story here is Hernandez's inability to leave a dysfunctional group behind despite having the means, opportunity and obligation to do so. 

McInerney named to U.S. Men's National Team

Chester, Pa. – Philadelphia Union forward Jack McInerney has been named to the U.S. Men’s National Team roster for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, marking the first time a current Philadelphia Union player has been named to the USMNT senior roster for a competitive tournament.

“It means a lot for me," McInerney said. "This is something that I’ve always wanted. I always grew up watching the Men’s National Team play and wanted to be there one day. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I think it will once I get there, but right now in the moment, it feels good.”

McInerney, 20, will be available for the Union’s match against FC Dallas Saturday and depart to San Diego, Calif. for international duty July 1. McInerney will miss the Union’s matches against Real Salt Lake (July 3), Houston Dynamo (July 6) and Chivas USA (July 12). Should the U.S. advance past group stages, he would remain with the team past July 16 for as long as the team advances in the tournament, which ends July 28.

The USMNT will play in three group stages matches before possibly advancing to the quarterfinals stage. The squad will face Belize July 9 at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Ore., Cuba July 13 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah and Costa Rica July 16 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn.

Although McInerney has represented his country at youth levels, including the 2009 U-20 World Cup, he has yet to appear for the U.S. Men’s National Team on a senior level.

“I think it will be a good experience for me," the striker said. "Obviously, it will be tough; I haven’t been in this situation before and it will take some adjusting, but like I said, I’m excited, and I’m ready to go in there and try to compete for a spot.”

The Union forward has scored 10 goals in 16 matches this year for the Union and is currently in a three-way tie for most goals scored in MLS. McInerney has also garnered back to back MLS Player of the Month honors in April and May, marking just the third time in MLS history a player has won the award in consecutive months. Earlier this year, the 20 year old became the youngest player ever to lead MLS in goals scored in a season.

Penn State men's hockey releases full 2013-14 schedule

On Thursday, the Penn State Nittany Lions men's hockey team revealed its full 2013-14 schedule.

The Nits will be joining the newly-created Big Ten Conference in D-I hockey, along with its football rivals Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.

Bang the link for all pertinent info.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

John McMullen talks Aaron Hernandez arrest

Listen to internet radio with Mo Radio Show on BlogTalkRadio

Oregon gets probation for Kelly-era violations

The University of Oregon has been given three years of probation and scholarship reductions as penalties stemming from recruiting violations under former head coach Chip Kelly.

The NCAA issued its findings on Wednesday, saying the school improperly used a recruiting service provider, who became a representative of the university's athletics interests.

Kelly, who left the school in January to take the vacancy with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, was also cited for failure to monitor the football program. He was given an 18-month show-cause order, which would require any school wanting to hire him to appear before the NCAA.

"I want to apologize to the University of Oregon, all of its current and former players and their fans," Kelly said in a statement released. "I accept my share of responsibility for the actions that led to the penalties. As I have I stated before, the NCAA investigation and subsequent ruling had no impact on my decision to leave Oregon for Philadelphia."

The NCAA's investigation stemmed from Oregon's ties to a recruiting service run by Willie Lyles.

Wednesday's release said Lyles began assisting the university's football program in May 2008 and provided a prospect with lodging and training, as well as cash. He also engaged in impermissible calls and off-campus contacts with potential prospects, their families and high school coaches.

Kelly went 46-7 and led Oregon to a BCS bowl game in each of his four years with the school.

Video: Hernandez perp walk

Bryzgalov departs with uncanny eloquence

On Wednesday morning, outgoing goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and his agent, Ritch Winter, crafted a statement regarding his feelings surrounding yesterday's announcement the Flyers plan to use their second compliance buyout to cancel the effects of his mega-contract. 

“As my family and I move forward to meet the new challenges ahead, I could not leave Philadelphia without publicly thanking Mr. Snider for the faith he showed in me when he committed to the long term contract that has secured my family’s financial future and acknowledging his passion for the game of hockey. Jeniya and I really appreciate his faith in me and what he has done for our family. Mr. Snider has an amazing energy for the deals he does and for winning. Hockey fans in this area should consider themselves lucky to have the team they cheer for led by a man who is as passionate about winning and doing whatever it takes to win as Flyers’ fans are. Getting to know Mr. Snider, has been a great experience. To see his passion for this game has been inspiring.

"I am grateful for teammates, to management and fans for the support I felt from so many of them through some very dark days and difficult situations. I have made many friends here – on the team, in the organization, among the media and throughout the community. Don’t ever think that I didn’t appreciate the kind comments of support made in the media by teammates and management and in private by so many very nice people I met on the streets of Philadelphia and in the surrounding area.

"I appreciate this experience more than many of you will know. I will learn from it. I have always said that a heavy sword makes a very strong arm. I intend to take this experience with me to my new team, to help me be stronger - a better player and, hopefully, a better person. At the end of the day, that is the challenge we all need to wrestle with.

"I look forward to the bright future ahead, but will never forget my time with the Philadelphia Flyers. For this time and this experience, I am grateful. “

Sure doesn't sound like a second grader strafing his ex-classmates on the way out of town with his family.

It is sad that, in this media saturated world of Philadelphia hockey, there seems to be just two camps regarding the 31-year-old Russian: silence and criticism. That unfairly skews public opinion on the matter since those who criticize hold the appearance of the balance of power to shape that opinion, and it is unfortunate that Bryzgalov himself had to cite unnamed teammates and media and fans who have come to his defense.

The smear job attempted by Sam Carchidi of the Inquirer and Randy Miller of the Courier Post, and by whoever else wishes to pile on as events unfold is so transparent as to have the opposite of its intended effect.

To quote Bob Marley: you can fool some people some time, but you can't fool all the people all the time.

And sure, this is a canned statement, but it is the best possible option for Bryzgalov at this juncture, as certain vultures waited to strike lest he slip up while speaking extemporaneously in a second language, one in which he is not entirely comfortable without resorting to metaphor and tangential thinking.

There might not be another team in another town in North America, given the caveats with Bryzgalov's contract, but he is owed a chance at a fresh start without the misguided feeding frenzy.

If Paul Holmgren can be professional and cite that the buyout was a business decision, and tell the world that Bryzgalov took the news like a pro, it isn't too much to ask those who cover him but dislike him, to grant him the same respect. 

That's something Chairman and agent provocateur of the signing Ed Snider acknowledged in his own statement on the matter:

"I fully support Paul Holmgren in his decision to use our final compliance buyout for Ilya Bryzgalov. It was a very difficult decision from a financial standpoint, but if Bryz remained a Flyer, the dollars would be far greater in a shorter time frame. We now have cap space, which will allow us to improve our team. In the meantime, Bryz can try to find a situation where he can achieve true happiness."

Though the blame in Snider's case is always implicit, never explicit, as he seeks to constantly move forward and make the deals which will push his franchise to another Stanley Cup, he knows that the risk of putting bad business before good doesn't sully the reputation of the player who falls victim.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Another Bryzaster averted; Ilya will be bought out

Getting the jump by more than 36 hours, the Philadelphia Flyers have decided to use their second and final compliance buyout on embattled goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

“I met with Ilya this morning and informed him that we are going to exercise a compliance buy out of his contract. This was a very difficult business decision to make for us and we want to thank Ilya for his time here and wish him all the best moving forward," said Flyers GM Paul Holmgren in a statement issued a short time ago.

Thus ends the era of one of the most polarizing players to ever don the Orange and Black, after less than two full seasons here.

A subject of controversy ever since his rights were acquired from Phoenix two Junes ago and then signed to a mammoth $51 million deal over eight seasons, Bryzgalov exits Philadelphia having racked up a 52-33-7 record, 2.60 goals-against average and seven shutouts in 99 appearances. He also went for a 5-5 record and 3.46 GAA in 11 playoff starts.

"It's a costly mistake we made. It's hard to fault Ilya. But in a salary-cap world you need to make decisions that put you right when moving forward. It probably makes the most sense when you start looking down the road when keeping players like Claude Giroux in the fold," Holmgren added.

Welcomed more by teammates and fans than certain others close to the organization, Bryzgalov's exit -- whether for hockey reasons, business reasons, or both -- simply continues the "goaltending carousel" team power broker Ed Snider warned against in May of 2011 in the wake of a four-game sweep at the hands of the Boston Bruins.

Now, having missed out on snagging the re-signed Nicklas Backstrom and the traded Jonathan Bernier, the Flyers can hone in on the remaining top names in the ranks to supplement Steve Mason's development.

"We think a lot of Steve going forward. So we're obviously in the market for a goaltender who can play in tandem with Steve whom we feel comfortable with," Holmgren stated.

Under rules of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, the club cannot officially announce Danny Briere or Bryzgalov's buyouts until roughly tomorrow evening, which would be 48 hours following the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Excision of the two biggest albatross contracts Philadelphia owned now gives Holmgren more maneuverability with the pending free agent period set to start on July 5.

Video: Blackhawks score twice in 17 seconds to win Stanley Cup

Monday, June 24, 2013

Laviolette a finalist for Sochi post

There are only three possible choices for head coach of Team USA for next Winter's ice hockey tournament in Sochi, and Peter Laviolette is one of them.

Along with the now-unemployed John Tortorella and Pittsburgh's Dan Bylsma, Laviolette is one of a small fraternity of coaches in the NHL who were born and raised in the States.

Laviolette, a native of suburban Boston, represented Team USA as a player in 1988 at Calgary, eventually putting up 22 assists and 25 points in 56 games for the 1987-88 season. The Red, White and Blue snagged a seventh-place finish after posting an 8-4 win over Switzerland.

The finalist will be named by USA Hockey on Saturday in New York City.

Ron Wilson served as head coach for the Americans at Vancouver four years ago, leading them to a Silver medal.

Tortorella was an assistant on Wilson's staff in 2010.

Union record big win over Red Bulls

Chester, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union earned a 3-0 victory against Eastern Conference Rival New York Red Bulls Sunday evening behind a brace from Conor Casey and another from substitute Antoine Hoppenot.

“Coach [John Hackworth] came to us and said, ‘Everybody thinks we are just an OK team; we need a signature win,’” said Union defender Raymon Gaddis after the match. “And I think today we went out there and executed exactly what coach told us to do.”

It was the Union (7-5-4, 25 points) that set the tone against a New York (7-6-4, 25 points) side devoid of three standout players in midfielders Juninho, Tim Cahill and defender Jamison Olave. And although world class striker Thierry Henry roamed the expansive pitch at PPL Park, it was the Union that showed class creating numerous chances – most notably putting away three.

“It is just one game, so we have to keep it in perspective, but the Red Bulls are a very good team,” said Team Manager John Hackworth. “We started here well, put the game on our terms and still, even being up a man, it is awful hard to beat a team of the quality of the Red Bulls. So I’m very happy for the players and the team and this organization.”

Casey opened the account in just the seventh minute, finishing off a curling in-swinging cross from Sheanon Williams. In the 64th, Casey was at it again, finishing off a deflected shot from Keon Daniel. Casey cut into the box just above the six, and used his left boot to slot the ball past New York goalkeeper Luis Robles.

“As a forward, obviously you want to score and the most important thing is to put the work in,” Casey said postgame. “Jack [McInerney] has put the work in all year and it’s good for the other guys like me to come in and take the load off of him…today was good for a lot of different reasons.”

The goal for Casey was his fifth of the MLS regular season and his third of the year against New York, scoring in a 2-1 loss at Red Bull Arena on March 30. Hoppenot closed the affair finishing off a nice run down the right flank from Sebastien Le Toux. Drawing defenders, Le Toux smartly played the ball to the top of the box to an awaiting Hoppenot who buried his first of the season, while Le Toux improved to a League-leading seven assists.

The Union’s tough stretch of games continues next Saturday when the club hosts FC Dallas at PPL Park (5:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network).


Philadelphia Union 3, New York Red Bulls 0

Wednesday, June 23; 5:00 p.m. ET

PPL Park, Chester, Pa.


PHI: Casey 7’ (Williams)

PHI: Casey 64’

PHI: Hoppenot 88’ (Le Toux)


NY: Sam 28’ (red)

PHI: Farfan 42’ (caution)


MacMath, Williams, Okugo, Parke, Gaddis, Carroll (Kassel 90’+1), Cruz (Farfan 36’), Daniel, Le Toux, McInerney, Casey (Hoppenot 73’).


Robles, Holgersson, Miller, Barklage (Kimura 45’), Pearce, Sam, Alexander, McCarty, Steele (Espindola 67’), Henry, Luyindula (Akpan 83’)

Soul extend win streak to 3, top Iowa

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Soul extended their win streak to three games after defeating the Iowa Barnstormers, 54-30, in front of 8,048 fans at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday. 

The Soul (8-5) took control of the lead early in the first quarter and never looked back in their routing of the Barnstormers (6-8). 

“We’re taking it one game at a time,” explained Soul head coach Clint Dolezel after the win.  “We’re playing well in all three phases of the game, which is a big part of our consistency over the past couple weeks.  When you perform well in the three phases, you get big wins, which is what happened last week and tonight.  We’re getting into a groove as a team and our performance is starting to show that.”

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game Ryan McDaniel had five catches for 47 yards with two receiving touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.  Tiger Jones led all Philadelphia receivers with 57 yards on four receptions and two touchdowns. Andrae Thurman had three catches for 38 yards.

Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh was efficient leading the offense on 12-of-15 passes for 142 yards and four touchdowns.

On the ground, FB Derrick Ross rushed for 54 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Game and J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game Larry Brackins led the defense with two interceptions and seven tackles.  DB David Richardson recorded 9.5 tackles while DL Bryan Robinson had five tackles and a sack on the night. 

Iowa’s QB J.J. Raterink connected on 15-of-27 passes for 145 yards along with a touchdown and three interceptions in the first half before being benched for QB Brian Reader, who finished 13 of 20 for 124 yards and two touchdowns.  WR Marco Thomas led the Barnstormers’ receivers with 10 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown.  LB John Mohring led the Iowa defense with 6.5 tackles.

The Soul forced a turnover on the opening drive of the game with an interception by Larry Brackins.  The turnover led to a touchdown on the next play and the Cutters Catch of the Game, with a 23-yard touchdown catch by WR Tiger Jones.  After stopping the Iowa offense on the ensuing drive, Jones scored again on a 7-yard catch to close out the first quarter, 14-0.

The Barnstormers put their first points on the board on a 13-yard touchdown catch by WR Jesse Schmidt.  After the score, Iowa tried for the two-point conversion and failed.  Philadelphia added to their lead, scoring on a 3-yard rush by WR Ryan McDaniel.  After another interception by Brackins, FB Derrick Ross punched it in on a 3-yard run, keeping the Soul in the lead, 27-6.  

The Soul opened up the third quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run by Ross for his second of the night.  .  On Iowa QB Brian Reader’s first drive of the night, he marched them downfield to score on a 5-yard pass to Schmidt.  The Soul capped the scoring in the third quarter with a 6-yard catch by McDaniel, extending the Soul lead to 41-14.

The Barnstormers scored on their opening drive in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard run by Reader.  After recovering a fumble, Iowa then cut the deficit to 11 on a 9-yard catch by WR Marco Thomas. Philadelphia answered back to extend on another McDaniel score on a 23-yard catch.  With Iowa driving, DL Calvin Fance recovered a fumble and ran it in for an 18-yard touchdown return, earning him AFL Highlight of the Game.  The game ended with Philadelphia winning, 54-30.

The Soul will travel to Cleveland next week to face the Gladiators on Saturday, June 29 at 7 p.m. ET. 

Russell Athletic Offensive Player: Philadelphia WR Ryan McDaniel

Riddell Defensive Player: Philadelphia WR Larry Brackins

J Lewis Small AFL Playmaker: Philadelphia WR Larry Brackins

Cutter’s Catch of the Game: Philadelphia WR Tiger Jones 23-yard TD catch

Spalding Highlight of the Game: Philadelphia DL Calvin Fance Fumble Recovery for TD

Friday, June 21, 2013

MO Radio Show on Sports W/ NFL Insider John McMullen 06/21 by Mo Radio Show | Blog Talk Radio

MO Radio Show on Sports W/ NFL Insider John McMullen 06/21 by Mo Radio Show | Blog Talk Radio

Union to face Stoke City FC in friendly

Chester, Pa. - The Philadelphia Union will face Barclays Premier League side Stoke City FC on Tuesday, July 30 in a friendly match at PPL Park.

“We are pleased to continue the tradition of top international competition at PPL Park with the match with Stoke City,” said Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. “We look forward to welcoming them and their fans to Philadelphia next month.”

Stoke City was established in 1863 and celebrated its 150th anniversary this year, making it the oldest club in the Barclays Premier League, England’s top level of competition. The squad features prominent players such as England international Peter Crouch and U.S. Men’s National Team members Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Maurice Edu, all of whom spent time early in their careers in MLS. The Potters, managed by Mark Hughes, play at Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, located in Staffordshire, England.

The friendly will mark the English side’s third game against MLS competition, and only one on the East Coast, during its second-straight summer tour of the United States, with matches scheduled July 24 against Houston Dynamo and July 27 against FC Dallas.

“The trip to the States last year was a huge success due to the quality of the opposition we faced in our three matches and the high standard of training facilities, something we feel we have replicated with the arrangements for this nine day tour,” commented City’s Chief Executive Tony Scholes.

The match versus Stoke City marks the fourth time the Union have faced an English squad in a friendly and the third played at PPL Park, previously squaring off against Manchester United, Everton and Aston Villa. The club boasts a 5-1 all-time record at PPL Park against international opponents in friendlies, having defeated Celtic FC, Chivas de Guadalajara, Everton, Schalke 04 and most recently, Pumas UNAM.

Union MF Daniel to miss four games

Chester, Pa. – Philadelphia Union midfielder Keon Daniel has been called up to the Trinidad & Tobago National Team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.

Daniel will join Trinidad & Tobago for international duty from June 25-July 16, missing the Union’s matches against FC Dallas (June 29), Real Salt Lake (July 3), Houston Dynamo (July 6) and Chivas USA (July 12). Should Daniel and his squad progress past group stages, he would remain with the team past July 16 for as long as the team advances in the tournament, which ends July 28.

Trinidad & Tobago will play in three group stages matches before possibly advancing to the quarterfinals stage. The squad will face El Salvador July 8 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ, Haiti July 12 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., and Honduras July 15 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Daniel has made 53 appearances and scored 13 goals for Trinidad and Tobago since making his debut in 2007.  He most recently appeared in a March friendly against Belize, playing 88 minutes in the 0-0 draw.

The 26-year-old has started in 11 of the Union’s 15 MLS matches this year, logging 1,065 minutes and notching one assist.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Briere's tenure as a Flyer complete

After six often memorable seasons, it's official: Danny Briere's time in Philadelphia is over.

The Philadelphia Flyers put an end to weeks' worth of speculation, and formally announced on Thursday that the club will buy out the remaining two years of the veteran forward's contract.

Under rules of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, the move can't become official until at least 48 hours following the completion of the Stanley Cup Finals, which are tied at two games apiece heading into Game 5 on Saturday.

"I met with Danny last week and informed him of our decision to use a compliance buy out on his contract," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement. "This was a very difficult decision for us to make as Danny has been a very good player for us over the past six years. Danny came to our organization as a free agent in July of 2007 and has been a tremendous player, person and role model in all aspects and for that we thank him. We wish him continued success and best wishes in any future endeavors."

The money owed the 35-year-old Briere was not necessarily the problem. Rather, it was the cap number.
Although he was due to make only $5 million over the final two years of the eight-year, $52 million deal he signed as a free agent in 2007, Briere still would have counted $6.5 million against the cap. That's problematic as the salary cap for 2013-14 is set to be roughly $6 million lower than it was this past truncated season. 

The Flyers will now have to pay Briere 75 percent of the remaining money he is owed over the next four years ($937,500 per season).

Briere totaled 124 goals and 159 assists in 364 regular-season games with the Flyers. The Quebec native earned the moniker as "Mr. Playoffs" for putting up sterling postseason numbers while in Philadelphia. He compiled 37 goals and 72 points in 68 playoff games as a Flyer and set a franchise record for points in a single postseason with 30 during (12G, 18A) Philadelphia's run to the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals.

"There's a lot of good times.  The first five years here were amazing.  Obviously last year, not making the playoffs was a tough year – the lockout, the short season.  But before that, the previous five, there were a lot of good memories," Briere said to a packed room at Voorhees. "The one that I think stands out the most was the [2010] playoff run – making the playoffs on the last regular season game, on a shootout, and going on that run all the way to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.  That's definitely probably the best little stretch of my time here."

For his career, Briere has registered 286 goals and 373 assists in 847 games with Phoenix, Buffalo and the Flyers.

MO Radio Show on Sports w/ NFL Insider John McMullen 06/20 by Mo Radio Show | Blog Talk Radio

MO Radio Show on Sports w/ NFL Insider John McMullen 06/20 by Mo Radio Show | Blog Talk Radio

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Extra Points: Idol hands could take down Patriots' Hernandez | NFL - The News Tribune

Extra Points: Idol hands could take down Patriots' Hernandez | NFL - The News Tribune

Eagles hire former Soul coach Bret Munsey as scout

PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles have hired former Philadelphia Soul head coach Bret Munsey as the team's NFS scout.

Munsey joins the Eagles after spending the 2011-12 season as the head coach of the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League. Prior to his stint in Orlando, Munsey served two seasons as the director of player personnel for the Florida Tuskers of the UFL where he succeeded Eagles player personnel executive Rick Mueller in evaluating player personnel for the team.

During his stint as the head coach of the Philadelphia Soul from 2006-08, Munsey led the team to a 35-20 overall mark in three playoff seasons, including a 13-3 record and Arena Bowl title in 2008.

A native of Winter Park, FL, Munsey began his coaching career in 2000 as the defensive coordinator of the Augusta Stallions of the AF2 league. He also spent one season with the Carolina Cobras of the AFL in 2001 before venturing back to the AF2 as head coach of the Tennessee Valley Vipers in 2002, where he was named the league's coach of the year. The following season, he began his first stint with the Predators as the team's secondary coach and director of player personnel from 2003-05.

A former three-sport star at Winter Park High School, Munsey played collegiately at Concord University (WV) and played professionally for the Predators from 1991-95.

Union sign veteran goalkeeper Nikolov,

Chester, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union have signed veteran goalkeeper Oka Nikolov, who most recently played for Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt.

Nikolov, 39, will join the team pending reception of his U.S. P-1 Visa, International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and a medical examination and will occupy an international roster spot.

“We’re excited to have a player with Nikolov’s experience and leadership join our team,” said Team Manager John Hackworth. “We think he will provide excellent depth and mentorship to our young goalkeepers.”

After signing with Eintracht Frankfurt in 1994, Nikolov spent nearly 20 years with the club and earned 414 total appearances, including 229 in the Bundesliga. Most recently, the German-born goalkeeper started the final eight games of Eintracht Frankfurt’s 2012/2013 season, helping earn the club a spot in the play-off round of the 2013/2014 UEFA Europa League.

Nikolov, who possesses dual citizenship from Macedonia and Germany, appeared for Macedonia’s National Team five times during his career.

Name: Oka Nikolov
Position: Goalkeeper
Age: 39
Birthdate: 5/25/1974
Height: 6-2
Weight: 190
Hometown: Erbach im Odenwald, Germany
Last Club: Eintracht Frankfurt

Soul's Ross becomes AFL's all-time rushing leader

PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia Soul fullback Derrick Ross became the Arena Football League's all-time leading rusher this past week,after a 54-yard performance against the Pittsburgh Power.

Ross, who was eight yards shy of Bo Kelly's record of 1,571 heading into the matchup, finished the night with 1,618 career-rushing yards.

The 6-foot, 240-pound Ross has broken multiple records since he came into the league three seasons ago. In 2011, his rookie season with the Dallas Vigilantes, Ross set the AFL record for most rushing yards in a season, with 622 yards. In 2012, his first year with Philadelphia, Ross would shatter his own record by rushing for 645 yards.

"It's a blessing to make this accomplishment in my career," explained the new rushing leader. "I put a lot of time and effort into this game and I always made sure my work reflected that. All my life I wanted to be the best and thatdrives me. However, I know this award has come to me because I've been blessed to be in the right situations. I've had the right teammates and Coach Dolezel with me, I have to thank them for helping me along the way."

The record-breaking night earned Ross the AFL Highlight of the Week. In 2013, Ross has 351 rushing yards for 26 touchdowns. He is currently No. 2 in AFL history for most career-rushing touchdowns at 97 touchdowns, 30 shy of Dan Alexander's record of 127 touchdowns.

This week, the Soul (7-5) host the Iowa Barnstormers (6-7) for Military Appreciation Night at the Wells Fargo Center at 6:05 p.m. on Saturday, June 22.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Looking back at the U.S. Open

On Justin Rose, 2013 U.S. Open champion
Frank Nobilo (@FrankNobiloGC): “He knocked some key putts in, no question about that.  It was a little reminiscent of the Ryder Cup, and oddly enough he played Phil last year in a huge match…The drive he hit on 18 was reminiscent to what Angel Cabrera did at Oakmont in 2007.”

On Phil Mickelson’s post-round interview
Colin Montgomerie: “I think he is very honest in his interviews, and it is nice to see.  Some of the top players aren’t as honest as Phil.  It is great when questions are asked of Phil, he gives an honest answer.”

On the importance of Justin Rose’s win
Colin Montgomerie: “This could start a new trend here. We waited 43 years after all since Tony Jacklin won on U.S. soil as a Brit.  I tried, Faldo tried, we all did our best to try and win, but never came up with trumps, and now we have.  This should spur on to greater success Poulter, Donald, Westwood to get going again and start this European trend again, because this is the first European winner of a major in a long, long time.”

On Justin Rose’s 18th hole
Colin Montgomerie: “Those two shots he hit on No. 18 were Hogan-esque. Talk about 1950. That drive he hit right down the middle, right down the middle, and his 4-iron… I wasn’t here in 1950 to watch Hogan hit his two shots, but I was fortunate to be here to witness those two, because they were as good as any.”

Brandel Chamblee (@chambleebrandel): “Ben Hogan himself knew he needed to make par there and that’s why we still talk about how Ben Hogan played that hole. Years from now, 20, 30, 40 years.  They will still be talking about how Justin Rose played that hole.”

On Merion Golf Club
Brandel Chamblee: “Merion extracts the best from the best ball strikers.  David Graham, we still talk about his execution in the final round in 1981.”

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Jettisoned by Flyers, Bobrovsky responds with Vezina Trophy

Compiled by Phanatic staff

Eventually, the effects of the perpetual motion machine known as the goaltending carousel and Paul Holmgren's plan to deal with such was going to come back and haunt him, and it managed to do so in the worst way.

Sergei Bobrovsky took home the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best netminder when the league announced its four biggest awards on Saturday night.

Bobrovsky, only 24 and capping his third NHL season, beat out last year's winner Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks. His ascension marks another victory for European-trained goalies, as he became the first Russian-born crease guardian to be so honored in North America.

"It is a great honor. You dream about some day winning the Vezina Trophy but there are a lot of great goaltenders, like Henrik and Antti, so it is hard but I am very proud," Bobrovsky said. "It also means we had a good team in Columbus and I could not have won this award without my teammates and coaches."

In his third NHL campaign and first away from Philadelphia, Bobrovsky took the starting job from an ineffective Steve Mason, going for a 21-11-6 record, 2.00 goals-against average and .932 save percentage along with his first four career shutouts. He finished with 17 first-place votes and appeared on 26 of the 30 ballots cast, accumulating 110 points.

What's more, is that the English-challenged crease guardian finished fifth in league MVP voting, after leading the Jackets to the verge of a playoff berth before just falling short.

When the Flyers plucked Bobrovsky from Novokuznetsk of the Kontinental Hockey League back in 2010, there was no inkling of the true ceiling of his potential.

At 22 years and 17 days old, he became the youngest goaltender to win a season-opening game for the Flyers in a 3-2 victory at Pittsburgh in October of 2010, eclipsing Ron Hextall's mark which stood from  October of 1986, then added NHL Rookie of the Month honors in November.

He was eventually given the reins full time during the regular season, going 28-13-8 with a 2.59 goals against, but faltered with the rest of the team down the stretch and didn't engender confidence in head coach Peter Laviolette during a drama-filled 11-game playoff course two Springs ago.

That earned him a spot behind the never-ending circus known as Ilya Bryzgalov in 2011, and the demotion behind the $51 million dollar man acquired under certain orders from those higher than Holmgren certainly hurt his confidence and it showed in his play.

But even with the fresh start -- so often offered by the Flyers' front office when a player whose talents outstrip his opportunity to play -- that came last Summer upon his trade to Columbus, didn't hint at the greatness to come.

That start, of course, was delayed three-and-a-half-months by the third lockout in 18 years, and by Columbus' own slow beginning with Mason in the crease at the outset.

It all began with a March that stands tall in franchise lore. Bobrovsky was finally raised to starter, and quickly warmed to the task, being named to the NHL's player of the week ledger twice and clocking in as the league's third star for the month after compiling a 9-2-3 record with a 1.49 GAA, .950 save percentage and three whitewashes in 14 games.

As the Blue Jackets ended up with their most successful month in the entire history of the team (10-2-4), he allowed only 20 goals on 404 shots in 807 minutes played, surrendering one goal or fewer in 10 of his 14 appearances and making 30-or-more saves seven times.

"I don’t know. I am still going to work hard to improve every day and help my team to win," Bobrovsky said when asked if there was anything special which contributed to his sudden hot streak. "The goal of every team and player is to win the Stanley Cup and I haven’t done that yet."

Meanwhile, it was a thrill a minute in the never-ending soap opera between Bryzgalov and the mainstream media in Philadelphia, which produced more storm clouds in the locker room than the Flyers conjured up through their on-ice performance.

That drama has spilled over to this offseason, beset with equal and opposite rumors of Bryzgalov's status as locker-room martyr or buyout casualty.

With the new divisional alignments on tap for next season, Columbus and Philadelphia will be seeing a lot more of each other. That's an unforeseen consequence of a front office whose modus operandi is to find trading partners in the opposite conference where backlash can be felt least.

Now Holmgren and goalie coach Jeff Reese will both have their feet held to the fire over this decision, which has made Jackets goaltender coach Ian Clark look as good as ever.

"He was a big part of my game this year. We changed some small details in how I was playing and that really helped me a lot," said Bobrovsky of Clark.

And while it remains to be seen what kind of path this Vezina victory so early in his career will forge, it's good to know Bobrovsky's not looking too far down the road.

"When I was traded to Columbus, I didn't think of what people said or people think. The most important thing for me was to concentrate how I can help this team, what can I do better, how could I prepare myself to make this team even better."

Step one is already accomplished. Step two, an unintended consequence, was making his old team which couldn't get out of its own way to try and continue his development look foolish in the process.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Eagles sign Barkley

The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to terms with QB Matt Barkley on a four-year contract Thursday. Barkley is the seventh of eight Eagles 2013 draft choices to sign with the team.

Barkley (6-foot-2, 227) was the Eagles fourth-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft (98th overall). The 22-year old was the all-time leading passer in both Pac-12 Conference and USC history. A four-year starter for the Trojans, Barkley finished his career with over 12,000 passing yards and became the only player in conference history to throw for over 100 touchdowns (116) in a career.

A native of Santa Ana, CA, Barkley attended Mater Dei High School where he finished his career as the all-time passing yardage leader in Orange County.

Experts review Day 1 at U.S. Open

On the opening round leaderboard at the U.S. Open
Brandel Chamblee (@chambleebrandel) – “I am a bit surprised at how much golf the players got in today and I am also a bit surprised at the quality of this leaderboard.”

On the opening round at Merion Golf Club
Colin Montgomerie – “I think it has stood up to the test.”

Brandel Chamblee – “It caught a lot of people off guard.”

Colin Montgomerie – “Today was as easy as you could possibly play this golf course.”

Frank Nobilo (@FrankNobiloGC) – “Don’t mistake these guys.  These guys can really play.  One of two of them will really start to come to grips with this golf course, because it is great and it deserves great play.”

On Luke Donald
Colin Montgomerie – “For such a short hitter, Luke Donald does not hit as many fairways as many people think he does…Lee Trevino always said if you hit the fairways you have a chance, if you don’t – and you saw what happened to Tiger Woods – you are making mistakes.”

On Tiger Woods’ golf swing and the stress on his left wrist
Brandel Chamblee – “One of the most shocking things I have seen in the last couple of weeks is just how short Tiger Woods’ golf swing has gotten.  When you combine that with a little bit of a bow in the left wrist and the quick change in direction, he is setting himself up for stress with that left wrist.”

On Tiger Woods
Frank Nobilo – “We knew yesterday he needed to do three things to play well.  Had to drive the ball well, had to wedge it well and had to putt well. He three-putted two greens, didn’t really wedge it close and hit the ball too many times out of the hay.  And that was just in 11 holes.”

On Phil Mickelson’s opening round
Colin Montgomerie – “What a great effort.  If anyone deserves to win this U.S. Open, it is Phil.”

On Sergio Garcia’s opening round and his back nine 33
Colin Montgomerie – “All credit to him for hanging in there, because it hasn’t been easy for him this last month.”

Brandel Chamblee – “This is a big week for Sergio Garcia because if he can handle the inevitable jeering of this crowd and handle it magnanimously and respond with respect, I think he will gain the respect of fans and the media.  And he will gain his own respect.”

Brandel Chamblee – “This is a very big week for Sergio Garcia.  It is time for Sergio Garcia to grow up and to respect himself and respect his talent.  He is good enough to win multiple major championships, if he would start to respect his own talent and handle the intrusions that are so hard to handle.  But he needs to handle them and get over them.”

Colin Montgomerie – “Sergio now has to believe in himself and move on.”

On Adam Scott
Frank Nobilo – “Confidence is fickle.  Belief is far more permanent.  He now has belief.”

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Kirchhevel leaves Penn State men's hockey program

The long, strange trip of Justin Kirchhevel through Division I college hockey will likely see at least one more destination.

On Wednesday, the 23-year-old bid adieu to the Penn State men's hockey program for what was called "personal reasons."

Kirchhevel sat out a year after transferring from Alaska-Anchorage, and totaled just two goals with four assists in 16 games for the Nittany Lions last year.

“I want to thank the coaching staff & my teammates for an amazing experience. It truly was an honor to represent the Nittany Lions," the South Dakota native said in a statement.

A winger who shoots left handed, Kirchhevel posted two goals and one assist in eight games for the Seawolves in 2010-11.

“Justin was a significant part of our program’s foundation & a consummate Nittany Lion. He will be missed, & we wish him well," noted PSU head coach Guy Gadowsky.

Updates from Merion

On the USGA restarting round one after a weather delay
Arron Oberholser (@ArronOberholser): “These guys don’t want to play lift, clean and place at all. For a restart to happen, it would take an extraordinary set of circumstances.”

On low scores at Merion Golf Club
Arron Oberholser: “The scoring that everyone has been talking about all week, and how it could be record low scoring, I’m not sure about that. I’ve got the number at -6 winning. I might take the under on my own score.”
On Merion Golf Club
Arron Oberholser: “That is the beauty of this golf course. You have long holes and you have short holes. There are par 5s that you can reach and a par 5 that you can’t. You will see eagles on the par 4s and see an eagle on a par 5. You might see a hole-in-one on #13. Then again, you will see double or triple bogeys.”

Frank Nobilo (@FrankNobiloGC): “There was a lot of debate coming into the U.S. Open if time has passed Merion by. Is Merion too short? The easy answer is no. It is still a great golf course.”

On Merion Golf Club
David B. Fay: “Some people probably are hoping that Merion is going to get annihilated and say that they (USGA) have lost control. I think that they are going to be disappointed.”

On Tiger Woods
David B. Fay: “Will he get to Nicklaus’ record? I used to think he would. I don’t think so now. I don’t think it has to do with his ball striking and I don’t know if it has to do with him as a finisher. I’m one of those simple people who believe time is moving on.”

On the chances of playing lift, clean and place at Merion
David B. Fay: “If that were to happen, Don McLean would write another song. It would be ‘The Day the USGA Died.’”

Eagles release training camp info

Thursday, June 13 – The Philadelphia Eagles today announced a variety of fan-focused activities that will take place at the free public practices at Lincoln Financial Field this summer.

In addition to watching full team practices, there will be music at the HeadHouse Plaza prior to practice, opportunities to meet Eagles alumni, chances to get an autograph from a current player, interaction with Eagles Cheerleaders and more.

“Our goal is to have a fun atmosphere for fans as they get an up-close look at the team,” said Eagles President Don Smolenski. “There will be special events surrounding every practice including an opportunity for all kids 14 and under to catch a pass from Eagles alumni on the field after practice.”

Fan Activities At Every Practice Will Include:
·         Touchdown Catch – After every practice, all fans ages 14-and-under will have the opportunity to catch a pass on the field from Eagles alumni.
·         Autographs – Every fan entering Lincoln Financial Field will receive a scratch-off ticket. Those who receive “winning” tickets will be directed to the SCA and West Club levels for player autographs after practice.
·         Family Entertainment – Beginning at 10:30 am in the HeadHouse Plaza, there will be music, face-painting artists, appearances from SWOOP, and Eagles Cheerleader entertainment.

Special Event Days
·         Sunday, July 28 – Alumni Day
The Eagles will recognize alumni players on the field prior to practice. In addition, some of the many honored players will begin signing autographs for fans in the HeadHouse Plaza at 10:30 am.
·         Monday, August 5 – Military Appreciation Day
On Military Appreciation Day, presented by Dietz & Watson, the Eagles will honor members from all four branches of the military on the field prior to practice.
·         Sunday, August 11 – Bobblehead Giveaways
The first 10,000 kids entering Lincoln Financial Field, ages 12-and-under, will receive a LeSean McCoy mini-bobblehead doll, courtesy of ACME.
·         Saturday, August 17 – Health and Safety Day
The Eagles will honor members of the Philadelphia Police Force, Fire Department and First Responders on the 4th annual Health and Safety Day, presented by Teva Pharmaceuticals. In addition, fans can learn valuable information about health and wellness, emergency services and safety tips for the whole family.

Training Camp Partner
Sports Authority is the official presenting sponsor of Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp and will be running several promotions throughout Training Camp, as well as during the season. Prizes include a VIP road trip to an Eagles away game, VIP experiences at the NovaCare Complex, Sports Authority gift cards and Eagles autographed merchandise.

Lincoln Financial Field Training Camp Information
·         Public Practice Dates (every practice begins at 12:30 pm)
Ø  Sunday, July 28
Ø  Monday, August 5
Ø  Sunday, August 11
Ø  Saturday, August 17**
Ø  Monday, August 26
           ** - practice time may change to 8:15 am if Phillies game gets flexed on August 17
·         Ticket Information
Ø  Free and available beginning Tuesday, June 18 at 2 pm.
Ø  Fans can obtain tickets by visiting, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.
Ø  Seating will be general admission by section, with an 8-ticket limit per practice.
·         Training Camp Hotline and Website
Ø  Please call the Eagles Training Camp Hotline at 215-320-5160 or visit the Eagles Training Camp Website at for updates on practice and other events at Training Camp.
·         Parking
Ø  All parking will be free with lots opening at 9:30 am.
·         Entry to Stadium
Ø  The HeadHouse Plaza will open at 10:30 am and the interior gates will open at 11:30 am. All fans should enter the stadium through the Northeast and Xfinity gates only.
·         Concessions
Ø  Concessions will be available inside the stadium. No alcoholic beverages will be sold.
·         Rain Plan
Ø  If practice is forced to move away from LFF on one of these days due to weather, the Eagles will let fans know about this decision no later than 9 am. Fans can access this information by calling the Eagles Training Camp Hotline, logging on to and following @Eagles on Twitter. In addition, the team will communicate this information through its e-mail database and all its social media platforms.
Ø  Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts, there will be no re-scheduling of Training Camp practices at LFF.

Union fall to D.C. United in U.S. Open Cup match

Boyds, Md. – The Philadelphia Union were knocked out of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Wednesday evening as the club fell to D.C. United, 3-1 in a fourth-round matchup played at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md.

“Really disappointed in our performance tonight, in particular the way we started that game,” said Hackworth. “It was unacceptable on a lot of levels. I give full credit to D.C., they were good tonight and we knew they were going to bring it. At the same time, I certainly don’t think we brought our best.”

United pounced first in the 24th minute when Dwayne De Rosario scored his first of three on the night, hitting a driven curler past the outstretched arms of Zac MacMath. De Rosario then scored his second in the 75th, when he finished off a nifty ball in from forward Lionard Pajoy, but Union goal scoring guru Jack McInerney brought one back just a minute later, finishing a low driven ball into the box from Don Anding to make the score, 2-1.

A big highlight for Philadelphia was the play of Anding who entered as a left midfielder in the 67th minute, which shifted fellow second half substitute Leo Fernandes into center midfield. Anding had nice touches on the ball and sent a few crosses into the box that created dangerous chances.

“He certainly came on and had some great touches to help Jack get the goal,” Hackworth said of Anding. “He’s got great pace and athleticism, he just needs more time to develop.”

But in the 85th minute, De Rosario stifled all hope as a Union defensive lapse at the edge of the final third saw the future MLS Hall of Famer take a shot from close to midfield that rolled in behind Union goalkeeper MacMath, who was off his line.

“We were just caught sleeping,” said Union forward Sebastien Le Toux postgame. “We came out and there was no intensity and we were running out of position and not defending [as a team] and it’s hard to play like that. We went after the score [in the second half]…but a lack of concentration didn’t help. We know we have to be better; no one is happy with this result, especially not me.”

What the Union also lost was a chance to host USOC quarterfinal play at PPL Park on June 26. Instead, it will be United who get a chance to move onto the semifinal round when it returns to the Maryland SoccerPlex to host New England who were 4-2 winners over New York Wednesday night.

The Union will look to return to winning ways when they travel to play USL-PRO affiliate Harrisburg on June 18. Then it’s a return to MLS action on June 23 against the New York Red Bulls.

D.C. United 3, Philadelphia Union 1
Wednesday, June 12; 7:00 p.m. ET
Maryland SoccerPlex, Boyds, Md.

D.C.: De Rosario 25’
D.C.: De Rosario 75’
PHI: McInerney 76’
D.C.: De Rosario 85’

PHI: Okugo 46’ (caution)
PHI: Fernandes 56’ (caution)

MacMath, Williams, Okugo, Parke, Gaddis, Carroll, Farfan (Anding 73’), Daniel (Fernandes 45’), Le Toux, McInerney, Casey (Hoppenot 65’)

Willis, Kemp, Woolard, White (Pajoy 67’), Riley (McDonald 62’), Pontius (Nyassi 45’), Thorrington, Kitchen, DeLeon, Townsend, De Rosario