Archive | 3:34 PM

Shanahan Meets With Flyers Over Hits

9 Dec

VOORHEES, N.J. — Luckily for them, the Flyers haven’t seen a lot of Brendan Shanahan in his trademarked videos this season. Only Jody Shelley and Tom Sestito have been suspended this season and required editions of the ever-popular Shanaban Video Series. But on Friday, the league’s disciplinarian was there in flesh and blood at the team’s practice facility, going over the right way and the wrong way to hit.

“We just went over what it is that he looks at and trying to continue the videos that you see on the NHL Network describing the hits and why this one got something and that one didn’t,” said Peter Laviolette. “I think he was just trying to keep the players informed and up to speed on the hits to the head and the boarding calls and what constitutes a penalty and what doesn’t. I thought it was really good. I thought it was a lot of good information.”

Shanahan spoke for about a half hour with everyone from the players, to coaches, to general manager Paul Holmgren. The in-person drop-by was made in front of HBO’s cameras and will likely find a place in the first edition of “24/7” that will air next Wednesday.

“He just wants to show us right and wrong hits, that’s pretty much it,” said Braydon Coburn. “Obviously they deal with a lot of hits every night. I think he just wanted to show us some examples. So far, I think at the quarter-point of the year, some of the bad ones and why they were bad and some examples of good hits.”

Apparently, Marc-Andre Bourdon’s hit on Buffalo’s Nathan Gerbe was not included in the playlist of bad hits, since Shanahan didn’t walk to the front of the room and start the assembly with: “In a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night…”

The point of the meeting is obviously to keep the players healthy and avoid injuries like Brayden Schenn’s recent concussion.

“To get clarification from him,” said Schenn, “standing in front of you for a half hour, that’s good for everyone.”

While it’s likely that Shanahan has or will have similar meetings with the rest of the team’s in the NHL, Laviolette wasn’t sure.

“I don’t know, maybe we’re just special,” said the coach.

Perhaps, but they far prefer seeing Shanahan in person than having him star a video in which a Flyer is facing disciplinary action.


Brayden Schenn’s Latest Injury Is A Concussion

9 Dec

VOORHEES, N.J. — But wait, there’s more. It’s not just Chris Pronger, it’s Brayden Schenn too. The Flyers announced on Friday that the 20-year-old has a mild concussion and, according to general manager Paul Holmgren, Schenn won’t play this weekend.

He has missed the last two games with what the Flyers reported as an upper-body injury. It turns out that he got hit in the nose in the third period against the Phoenix Coyotes and got his bell rung hard enough for what he says is his first career concussion.

“[He] continued to play in the game, felt fine on the way home,” said Holmgren. “I think we had an off-day the next day, came in Monday he didn’t feel great. We kept him off the ice. We checked Tuesday, did an ImPACT test, passed that, went out for practice, felt pretty good halfway through practice and comes off after the end of practice and ‘I don’t feel great.’

“So, we’ve got to shut him down. Those are the rules and that’s what we’re dealing with.”

Schenn thinks it may have been Raffi Torres who hit him and kept him out of the lineup most recently. But he’s not concerned with retribution; he just wants to be healthy.

“It just seems to be one thing after another right now, but for me I’m just gonna keep positive and hopefully it will turn around eventually,” said Schenn. “It’s definitely never fun sitting out, watching the team. The good thing is that they’re winning hockey games and they’re playing good hockey right now.”

The Flyers claim that the concussion is a mild one, so there is no need for Schenn to travel with Pronger to Pittsburgh next Wednesday to see two concussion specialists. He hopes to return to the ice as soon as Monday to begin skating.

“Hopefully it gets better day-by-day and I guess you don’t want to rush it,” said Schenn. “There’s still a lot of hockey left and obviously for me I’m real anxious to finally get out there and get back and start playing. At the same time, you don’t want to push it too quick.”

Schenn says that to his knowledge he hasn’t had a concussion in his career. It makes it even scarier that the symptoms didn’t show up immediately for him.

“I was planning on playing in Buffalo,” said Schenn. “I’d play through anything, but for the reason of the symptoms, you don’t want to play through that because anything could happen.”

In his last two games, against Anaheim and Phoenix, Schenn was knocking on the door numerous times and came dangerously close to getting his first NHL goal, but now, thanks to a hit, the picture looks grim.

“You just want to be careful and cautious with the headshots and concussions that are around the league right now,” said Schenn. “Just be cautious while you can and make sure it goes away.”

Ironically, the Flyers had a team meeting on Friday with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. He went over things like headshots, and big hits to eliminate concussions.

“To get clarification from him,” said Schenn, “standing in front of you for a half hour, that’s good for everyone.”

Chris Pronger Out Indefinitely

9 Dec

VOORHEES, N.J. — Well, it turns out Chris Pronger’s mystery virus might be what we all feared it was all along. According to general manager Paul Holmgren, Pronger, who recently underwent left knee surgery, will be out indefinitely with concussion-like symptoms.

“While Chris’ knee is improving, he has struggled with other issues that are concussion-like symptoms,” said Holmgren. “Chris will see Dr. Joe Maroon and Dr. Mickey Collins on Wednesday, Dec. 14th in Pittsburgh for further evaluation.”

Pronger sat out four games with a mystery “virus” that sounded like it could have been a concussion from afar, but he seemed to suggest otherwise with how he described his effects.

“We’re still trying to ascertain what’s going on,” said Pronger on Dec. 1 in a conference call with reporters. “Like I said, I’ve never felt like this before, so I don’t really know what’s going on.”

So was it even a virus to begin with?

“That’s a good question,” said Holmgren. “I don’t know that we’ll ever know that. We didn’t know what we were dealing with then and I’m not sure we know now. With concussion-like symptoms continue to persist and we’re just gonna get him checked.”

While “concussion-like symptoms” doesn’t absolutely translate into an actual concussion, reading between the lines says that this is serious. Both of the aforementioned doctors were used by Sidney Crosby for his concussions that kept him out of action from Jan. 6 to earlier this month.

“I think Dr. Maroon’s been used before,” said Holmgren. “I know with Ian Laperriere from a couple years ago, with his issues, we sent Ian there to see him. Obviously he’s become more of a concussion star with Sidney, I guess.”

But even though he said there were “concussion-like symptoms,” Holmgren is not ready to actually call it a concussion.

“I think over the last few days, he’s had some difficulties,” said Holmgren. “Fairly persistent headache, just a sluggish feeling, so we’re just trying to do the right thing here and get him checked out by the doctors in Pittsburgh and just see what we’re dealing with.

“We didn’t know what we were dealing with then and I’m not sure we know now. Concussion-like symptoms continue to persist and we’re just gonna get him checked.”

While the Flyers say “concussion-like symptoms,” the fact is that Pronger didn’t didn’t begin really feeling awful until earlier this week.

“This is going back before the first game he missed from what we said was a virus,” said Holmgren. “Most of this has just come up in the last two or three days where he’s just got these symptoms that seem like concussion-like symptoms so we’re gonna get him checked.”

The most pressing concern, of course, is Pronger’s health. Secondarily, it becomes a question whether the Flyers will make a move with Pronger’s future uncertain. But Holmgren doesn’t appear to be doing any extra holiday shopping.

“Well, we have seven defensemen right now that are healthy and we’re happy with their play,” said Holmgren. “Through the course of every other day, you’re talking with someone about what’s out there, but I like the way our team’s playing right now. I like the way the young kids have played on defense and I don’t feel the need to really rush into anything.”

They also won’t rush into anything with Pronger, who has now missed more games than he’s played in this season.