As the pre-season gets ready to start, so too are we preparing for the orange and black to get back onto the ice. Here in the Flyers section of DeliverPhilly4, we’ll be providing recaps of how the Flyers did in the past week (would that be a weecap?) every Friday, along with a look ahead to the next week’s games. Along with the recaps, we’ll provide opinions, analysis, and discussion in our once-a-week look at the Flyers and how their season is going from a slightly-biased point of view.
Some things you may have missed:
-Former Flyer Adam Hall is now playing in Switzerland on a one-year deal.
-Phantoms D-man Brandon Manning re-signed with the Flyers to a one year, two-way deal. Manning was an AHL All-Star in 2013 and has seen a little time with the Flyers as an injury replacement.
-The Flyers signed Zac Rinaldo to a two-year contract extension worth $1.7M total. This keeps Rinaldo in orange and black for the next three years.
My take on the Rinaldo signing: he’s not particularly gifted on either side of the puck. Almost all of his value lies within being a pest, hitting people and enticing them to take penalties against him. Now make no mistake, there’s always room on a team for one of those; the trouble is he gets penalized due to his reputation as a physical player and some questionable judgment in his past (he’s been fined and suspended multiple times for illegal hits). More penalties are being called on him as well; two years ago, he took 2.3 penalties per 60 minutes on the ice (per www.behindthenet.ca). That’s not so bad when you see that two years ago, he drew 3.0 penalties per 60 mins, so he gave the Flyers more power play time than he caused penalty kill time. Last year? He took 3.2 penalties per 60 minutes (up 0.9 pen/60) and drew only 1.7 pen/60 (down 1.3 pen/60). That’s taking almost twice as many penalties as he draws. When you have little other real value, that’s actively hurting your club.
What’s the plan for Zac? Do they plan on developing him more as a penalty killer, a role he’s played sparingly? Do they plan on letting Rosehill go after his deal runs out this year and going without a designated tough guy, letting guys like Rinaldo do the tough guy stuff too? Whatever the plan is, it probably involves Zac walking the fine line between being antagonizing and illegal and getting back to drawing more penalties than he takes; otherwise, this extension may be terrible even before it begins.
17 days until hockey!