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07-20-2011, 03:43 AM
  #1
Rick Deckard
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NHL ready Phantoms

Interview by flyersfaithful with Phantoms Beatwriter Tim McManus:

Quote:
Which Phantoms do you think are NHL ready at this point and have the potential of winning a job with the big club?

I think the two obvious candidates are Ben Holmstrom and Erik Gustafsson. Holmstrom is the guy I feel could help most immediately. Hes strong on faceoffs, reliable on the penalty kill, and his offense has been coming along, although hell probably never score a ton of goals at the NHL level guy. Just a mature guy who can handle the grind and has an NHL body.

Overall though, I thought there were going to be more holes the Flyers would try to fill with Phantoms. At most I see about one forward spot and maybe a seventh defenseman, at least to start the season.
There are informations about many other Phantoms as well: Read, Gustafsson, Holmstrom, Marshall, Bourdon, Rinaldo and Lehtivuori. It's a good interview overall.

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07-20-2011, 05:57 AM
  #2
o Hamhuis 2 x
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I think for forward it could be Holmstrom, Testwuide, and Read competing and on defense its Gustafsson and a small chance of Marshall or Bourdon. Maybe even Lauridsen since he apparently played well in the prospects game. Maybe there are some surprises but I think those are the main candidates for spots.

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07-20-2011, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o Hamhuis 2 x View Post
I think for forward it could be Holmstrom, Testwuide, and Read competing and on defense its Gustafsson and a small chance of Marshall or Bourdon. Maybe even Lauridsen since he apparently played well in the prospects game. Maybe there are some surprises but I think those are the main candidates for spots.
How good is holmstrom on face-offs. I've never seen a figure for him.

If he's good, i think he's a lock for the fourth line. I think gustafsson is a lock for the team too on the third pairing with PP time. Lauridsen will either make the top 6 or he will be on the phantoms, they wont keep him as the 7th over bartulis.

If Read and Testwuide compete hard enough at camp it will create a spot for them on a scoring line. They have to beat out Nodl. If Nodl or weed makes it, Schenn and Simmonds become a shutdown line. If Read makes it they become a scoring line, and apparently homer is very high on Read.

JVR - Giroux - Voracek
Jagr - Briere - Hartnell

Simmonds(lock) - Schenn(lock) - Nodl
Betts - Holmstrom - Talbot(lock)
Shelley

Pronger - Carle
Kimmo - Coburn
Mezaros - Gustafsson
Bartulis/lilja

We have some serious competition in the bottom 6, and the 6th/7th D. The top 6 is locked, too much money there to move anyone. The bottom six will be very interesting with players like Sestito, Rinaldo, Shelley all looking to become the "enforcer" type.

We have a pretty big log jam of quality players in the bottom six. I don't think they will risk losing Sestito for nothing by sending him down to the AHL. They are high on shelley for some unknown stupid reason, and both wont be on the team together. The best thing Shelley could do is play on the phantoms and crack some heads, or pull a riley Cote

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07-20-2011, 08:10 AM
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PhillyCurt12
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not even a mention of wellwood? he didn't look that out of place in his brief stint with the flyers this past season.

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07-20-2011, 08:15 AM
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mirimon
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Holmstrom didn't take that many face offs during his stint with the Flyers last season, but he didn't fare so well either. Just five wins in 16 attempts. That's good for ~31%

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07-20-2011, 08:18 AM
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Thats his first crack in the NHL though. You could factor in nerves and playing against much more experienced players for his first few games.

Tell you what, the training camp is going to be seriously awesome this year. So many players competing for so few spots. When does it all start?

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07-20-2011, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyCurt12 View Post
not even a mention of wellwood? he didn't look that out of place in his brief stint with the flyers this past season.
I thought that he would need to be on a scoring line and he plays center? If he plays wing he has a very good chance but he won't be a 4th liner.

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07-20-2011, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by o Hamhuis 2 x View Post
I thought that he would need to be on a scoring line and he plays center? If he plays wing he has a very good chance but he won't be a 4th liner.
He's mostly been used as a LW I believe.

Personally, I see Wellwood as more of a 3rd/4th line player in the NHL if he manages to take that step. He's not big, but he has the speed and defensive awareness to keep up. I would be very surprised if he were to turn into a top 6 guy.

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07-20-2011, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirimon View Post
He's mostly been used as a LW I believe.

Personally, I see Wellwood as more of a 3rd/4th line player in the NHL if he manages to take that step. He's not big, but he has the speed and defensive awareness to keep up. I would be very surprised if he were to turn into a top 6 guy.
I see him as a 2nd or 3rd liner. I don't think he's the right type of player for the 4th line. That might just be me but I think if he makes it to the NHL he'll be on the 3rd line. I don't think he's a top 6 player but he's a scorer so he should be on a minor scoring line

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07-20-2011, 09:03 AM
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I personally see 2 potential forward spots being open, as well as 1 D spot.

Putting Talbot on the 3rd line for now (because he is a lock to make the team), you have Betts, Nodl, and Shelley as the remaining veterans. Shelley, at best, is the 13th forward. So for sure we have at least a 4th line spot open. I personally think that Shelley COULD be beat out for the 13th forward spot (by Sestito, and Betts COULD be beaten out for a 4th line spot as well. It's unlikely both happens, but if 2 of the young guys have great camps, they could force a move.

As for D, we definitely have 1 spot open, and if Pronger starts out on LTIR, we could have 2.

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07-20-2011, 09:23 AM
  #11
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It could be that we end up with this though:

JvR-Giroux-Hartnell
Voracek-Brire-Jagr
Ndl-Schenn-Simmonds
Shelley-Betts-Talbot

Pronger-Carle
Timonen-Coburn
Meszaros-Bartulis
Lilja

They could go with just 12 forwards until there is an injury or something else that forces them to call up someone, and if Pronger isn't ready to go we will have Lilja and Bartulis as a 3rd pairing playing >10 minutes/game.

There are a few spots open for competition this year though, and it will be interesting to see if guys like Gustafsson, Wellwood, Read, Holmstrom, Kalinski, Sestito can step up and claim one.

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07-20-2011, 09:30 AM
  #12
o Hamhuis 2 x
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I don't know about anyone else, but if there's a spot open, I really want to see Read next season.

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07-20-2011, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyCurt12 View Post
not even a mention of wellwood? he didn't look that out of place in his brief stint with the flyers this past season.
not trying to belittle the guy but he only played 3 games with the Flyers and played on a line with Richards and Nodl who are both very good defensively. Take into consideration flyers played against the islanders, hurricanes and ranger (early in the year when they really sucked) in those three games. obviously those teams are filled with NHL caliber players but they weren't contender. my whole point is they probably want to see more from him at the ahl level first. on the phantoms wellwood played in 73 games and had 16G and 12A for 28pts and was a -15 for the year as compared to holmstrom who played in 79 games and had 16G and 22A for 38pts and was -12 or testwuide who played in 76 games and had 18G and 21A for 39pts and was a +12. taking those numbers into consideration and each players respective size (wellwood 5'11" 179lbs, holmstrom 6'1" 180lbs and testwuide 6'3" 210lbs) I would think a couple players would get a spot on the flyers roster before he does. Personally I would like to see testwuide get a shot on the 3rd line with schenn and simmonds and if that doesn't work you could drop him down to the 4th line and put nodl on the 3rd line wing.

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07-20-2011, 09:52 AM
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With Marshall's lack of passing skill, I would think Lauridson will be in the NHL before him

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07-20-2011, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o Hamhuis 2 x View Post
I don't know about anyone else, but if there's a spot open, I really want to see Read next season.
I don't see any reason to rush it.

Assuming that Read's future is on the wing...this is what we're looking at when looking at the forward position long-term:

Holmstrom (24)
Giroux (23)
Schenn (19)
Couturier (18)

Read (25)
Nodl (24)
Testwuide (24)
Simmonds (22)
vanRiemsdyk (22)
Voracek (21)
Akeson (21)
Wellwood (21)
Ranford (19)

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07-20-2011, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoDu View Post
With Marshall's lack of passing skill, I would think Lauridson will be in the NHL before him
Let's not make Lauridsen out to seem like an all-world passer either...

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07-20-2011, 09:59 AM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
I don't see any reason to rush it.

Assuming that Read's future is on the wing...this is what we're looking at when looking at the forward position long-term:

Holmstrom (24)
Giroux (23)
Schenn (19)
Couturier (18)

Read (25)
Nodl (24)
Testwuide (24)
Simmonds (22)
vanRiemsdyk (22)
Voracek (21)
Akeson (21)
Wellwood (21)
Ranford (19)
If these guy develop into what most of us hope that's a really solid group

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07-20-2011, 10:00 AM
  #18
o Hamhuis 2 x
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
I don't see any reason to rush it.

Assuming that Read's future is on the wing...this is what we're looking at when looking at the forward position long-term:

Holmstrom (24)
Giroux (23)
Schenn (19)
Couturier (18)

Read (25)
Nodl (24)
Testwuide (24)
Simmonds (22)
vanRiemsdyk (22)
Voracek (21)
Akeson (21)
Wellwood (21)
Ranford (19)
I don't know. To me, if Akeson is getting bigger and everything else, he could even make the team. Ranford could make it in the next few seasons. Read is just a guy that I think could possibly fit in with us this year. He's the oldest of our prospects you mentioned and he seems like the best choice if a spot is available. It will all come down to training camp and preseason for these guys, so we'll just have to wait and see.

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07-20-2011, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyersFan61290 View Post
If these guy develop into what most of us hope that's a really solid group
Well, there is some pitfalls to that group.

In there you have two potential 1st line wingers:

vanRiemsdyk and Voracek

Then you have a bunch of 3rd line wingers/potential 3rd line wingers:

Read, Nodl, Testwuide, Simmonds, Akeson, Wellwood, and Ranford. (You can throw McGinn and Noebels in there I guess.)

Theoretically, of that group, Ranford and Akeson have the potential of being more than just 3rd line wingers, but they both have their problems that will have to be overcome if they're going to reach full potential ignoring the obvious fact that they have to even develop into NHL players first.

I think that's where the key to this lies. I don't see Read or Wellwood jumping up into second line roles. The ability for Ranford and Akeson to reach the potential they displayed in Canadian juniors is what becomes the make it/break it point for this young offensive "core" as I posted it. It is lack the meat in the middle so to speak. It doesn't make it bad, just lacking of something.

Granted, there are other ways to acquire wingers, but the lack of the middle of the pack is what keeps our prospect scenario from being almost perfect offensively.

We have the centers down potentially after all:

1A - Giroux
1B - Schenn
1C - Couturier
4th - Holmstrom

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07-20-2011, 10:34 AM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
Well, there is some pitfalls to that group.

In there you have two potential 1st line wingers:

vanRiemsdyk and Voracek

Then you have a bunch of 3rd line wingers/potential 3rd line wingers:

Read, Nodl, Testwuide, Simmonds, Akeson, Wellwood, and Ranford. (You can throw McGinn and Noebels in there I guess.)

Theoretically, of that group, Ranford and Akeson have the potential of being more than just 3rd line wingers, but they both have their problems that will have to be overcome if they're going to reach full potential ignoring the obvious fact that they have to even develop into NHL players first.

I think that's where the key to this lies. I don't see Read or Wellwood jumping up into second line roles. The ability for Ranford and Akeson to reach the potential they displayed in Canadian juniors is what becomes the make it/break it point for this young offensive "core" as I posted it. It is lack the meat in the middle so to speak. It doesn't make it bad, just lacking of something.

Granted, there are other ways to acquire wingers, but the lack of the middle of the pack is what keeps our prospect scenario from being almost perfect offensively.

We have the centers down potentially after all:

1A - Giroux
1B - Schenn
1C - Couturier
4th - Holmstrom
can't know for sure but the flyers could potentially put the whole forward roster together with these guys and a couple UFA signing or future draft picks in a little while.

on a similar note i think paul needs to hold onto our 1st and 2nd rounders the next couple years (even the other 2 2nd rounders we got via trades). Free agent signing can only get you so far IMO.

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07-20-2011, 07:20 PM
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I would love to see holmstrom replace betts a couple months into the year...betts has really "aged" over the last year, and he looked slow and weak on the puck during the pk. Holmstrom seems to have great instincts as a player, good hockey sense for a grinder role, and he can only be an upgrade over betts offensively to the 4th line.

I would really like to see matt read playing on the 3rd line. They would be very young, but I truly think this guy is ready to score some goals at the nhl level.

bottom 6 look like this

read-schenn-simmonds
nodl-holmstrom-talbot

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07-21-2011, 02:09 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeCrush28 View Post
I would love to see holmstrom replace betts a couple months into the year...betts has really "aged" over the last year, and he looked slow and weak on the puck during the pk. Holmstrom seems to have great instincts as a player, good hockey sense for a grinder role, and he can only be an upgrade over betts offensively to the 4th line.

I would really like to see matt read playing on the 3rd line. They would be very young, but I truly think this guy is ready to score some goals at the nhl level.

bottom 6 look like this

read-schenn-simmonds
nodl-holmstrom-talbot
That's exactly what I want to see

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07-21-2011, 02:50 AM
  #23
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Any chance Wellwood could jump up and take Nodl's spot?

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07-21-2011, 03:06 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyers View Post
Any chance Wellwood could jump up and take Nodl's spot?
Right now I see the race for the last top nine winger spot looking like:

1. Nodl
2. Read
3. Wellwood
4. Testwuide
5. Akeson

HM: Couturier (only a possibility if signed after the Flyers move some contracts around)

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07-21-2011, 03:12 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o Hamhuis 2 x View Post
That's exactly what I want to see
Same here. But i want read to earn it. Not be "given" a chance.

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