Michael DeNicola


Not only did PhillyReign.com air its first ever hour-long podcast LIVE over the weekend, but some other interesting news broke from a few chicken coops while we enjoyed alcoholic beverages, sandy beaches, workless days and barstool balancing acts. 

These flashes of current events involve Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Laviolette and his decision making, and even Sidney Crosby and Michael Leighton.


According to HockeyProspectus.com, the acquisitions of Schenn and Couturier have brought the Philadelphia Flyers, as a system, from being ranked 30th Overall to the 14th spot. 

Prior to the trading of Mike Richards for Schenn, and Sean Couturier being drafted by the Orange & Black, our prospect pool was about as shallow as the collection of oil dripping from a rusted 1978 Ford Bronco. Because of these two gentlemen, our organization was able to climb 16 steps upwards nailing yet another great reason to be psyched for this upcoming season, along with many to consecutively follow. 

The article's author, Corey Pronman, listed a variety of Schenn's strengths with next to no negatives whatsoever -- 

Schenn is one of the elite prospects in hockey and was arguably the most NHL ready Junior-aged player last season. He has top-end puck skills and playmaking ability, with the ability to be an offensive threat on a shift-by-shift basis.

His hands are very impressive and he's a significant open-ice threat who can regularly make opponents miss. Schenn's vision is plus, with the ability to see the ice very well and he can thread top-level passes with ease when he identifies a lane. He has an above-average shot that is quite accurate, although the release can lag a little. Schenn plays a hard-nosed game at both ends of the rink. He drives to the net well, plays with a physical edge, and plays his defensive assignments tough.

These are all positive attributes that declare no surprise to those who have kept a sharp eye on the 19 year old prospect since his acquisition back in late June. His absolutely fantastic outing in Prospect Camp only strengthens the argument. 


Sean Couturier stands at 6'4", and at the adolescent age of 17 he's a friggin man-child. All of his tools have been said to be "above average", and anything he needs to improve on has been given all the time in the world to evolve. 

Though he's projected to be "An above-average first line center who safely projects as a below-average first line center," it's my personal opinion that he'll spend one more season in the Quebec Majors before he's given a spot on this Flyers roster. 



Head coach, Peter Laviolette wants to make it perfectly clear that he is in no rush to name a team captain just yet. 

Over the weekend, Lavvy answered questions directly from fans. And as expected, we're all antsy to find out which of our guys will wear the classic 'C' on his sweater. 

It is virtually a unanimous opinion that Chris Pronger will represent the Bullies as team captain. But Peter had this to say --

"Once everybody gets back in here, myself and Paul Holmgren will start having discussions and talk about the options that we have in front of us. Then we start talking to the players. I think we’ll get to that point where we do name a captain, but at this point it’s not on the radar in immediate, near future."


Dance around the subject all you want, Pete, but this all sounds like management's waiting to see how Pronger's return pans out. And if that's the case, why not come out and say that? 

It's no secret that Prongs is your leading candidate in this race. Holmgren's mentioned other Philadelphia players who once wore the 'C' for other squads in the past (Briere for BUF, Timonen for NSH) but as we [PhillyReign] discussed on our podcast last night, the 6'6" veteran takes the cake. Let's pray Chris' return goes smoothly and is not premature.



Flyers beat writer, Chuck Gormley met up with Michael Leighton in the last couple days in Vorhees, NJ where the journeyman is currently on the ice and working out, and.....trying to compete for a role on this roster?

"After signing that deal," Leighton said, "I definitely didn't expect to be having to fight my way back again."


Life's a bitch, Leights, and so's that 5-hole of yours that allows more to pass through it than the Lincoln Tunnel. 

Just to refresh your memory, I pick on this guy not because of Patrick Kane's slow moving, Final winning biscuit he twined behind Leighton in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup. I pick on Michael because he signed his $1.55M extension without disclosing his injury first. 

The Philadelphia Flyers pride themselves on treating everyone in their organization as family. And just like family, the members are expected to live by an honor code. Being the professional journeyman Leighton was, he saw his chance to finally etch his name in the family crest....dishonestly. 

Well anyway, with the stockpile of puck stoppers this team's added over the off-season (not to mention his genius display of failure in that one SemiFinals start in net last May) he's got about as much of a chance to squeeze back onto this Flyers squad as Carlos Mencia has at coming up with his own material...




I know Sidney Crosby's a Penguin and not a Flyer. Who doesn't? But if there's one thing these two fanbases have in common, it's clutching onto a string of Rosaries and repeating a few Doxologies for their star player. 

Flyers fans did it with Lindros back in the '90s. 

Penguins fans? Get ready to pray. 


TSN.ca posted an update on Crosby's condition. And it doesn't come to any surprise to me that (arguably) the league's best player could possibly sit out the beginning of the 2011-12 season after his concussion he suffered back in early January. 

Symptoms remain looming over Sid the Kid, and as we all know....once you've endured the head trauma once, you're susceptible to fall victim to the agonizing unfortunateness again. 

Penguins GM, Ray Shero spoke of making his decisions based on the quality of the team's long-term benefits, and I wouldn't argue for a second if he and the rest of the Pittsburgh bench-bosses sat their captain out for however long the medical professionals deem appropriate. Not because I'm a rivaled fanatic or because of my undying hatred for the Penguins. But because I legitimately feel for the young gun. 

Players with his skill level and magnitude do not come along in every single entry draft, and I truly believe the league's better off financially with #87 skating in yellow & black, able-bodied and 100%. 

Now I need a shower.