Meltzer’s Musings: Thursday Quick Hits

THURSDAY QUICK HITS

* Several people have asked if Michael Del Zotto will be a restricted or unrestricted free agent next summer. The 24-year-old defenseman became a UFA this summer when the Nashville Predators declined to present him a qualifying offer. The same situation would apply with the Flyers next summer. If the team makes a qualifying offer, he will be a restricted free agent. Otherwis

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Timonen’s Hockey Future is Cloudy; Flyers Sign Del Zotto

The Flyers announced horrible news today: veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen is hospitalized in Finland with blood clots in both of his lungs and his lower right leg. The good news is that the player is in stable condition and should be released from the hospital soon. The bad news is that is unclear if and when the 39-year-old assistant will be able to play hockey again.

Earlier this off-seaso

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Meltzer’s Musings: Prospect Updates, Paddock, Nolan and More

PADDOCK TO COACH REGINA

Former Flyers assistant coach John Paddock will be the next head coach of the Western Hockey League's Regina Pats, according to a Leader-Post report. The 60-year-old Paddock will also have front office responsibilities including control of hockey operations.

Paddock served as a Flyers assistant coach each of the last two seasons. In the lockout-shortened 2012-13 camp

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Meltzer’s Musings: Flyers Prospects in Game Action, Roenick, Quick Hits

FLYERS PROSPECTS IN ACTION

Numerous Flyers draft picks are playing this week for their national teams in early competition for spots at the 2014-15 World Junior Championships. Friendlies are underway both in Lake Placid, NY, and Montreal/Sherbrooke, Que. Participants include first-round picks Samuel Morin and Travis Sanheim (Canada), Robert Hägg and Oskar Lindblom (Sweden) and Radel Fazleev (R

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Meltzer’s Musings: Hall to Switzerland, Quick Hits

FREE AGENT HALL SIGNS WITH ABRI-PIOTTA

Unrestricted free agent forward Adam Hall was not in the Flyers' plans for the 2014-15 season. At age 33, the veteran of 682 NHL regular season games and 56 playoff games remained unsigned in August. He faced an increasingly uphill battle to find another NHL team.

Hall decided to seize an alternative opportunity. He signed a one-year contract with Swiss

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Meltzer’s Musings: Hard-Luck Prospects, Russian Flyers and Much More

TOP FIVE HARD-LUCK FLYERS PROSPECTS

For all the intensive scouting and careful preparation that teams do, there is an element of luck involved -- at least beyond the first round -- in whether the players selected pan out as future NHL players. The biggest variable, of course, is injury.

Even under ideal circumstances, teams are going to have more Draft-day misses than hits, at least beyond

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Meltzer’s Musings: Mason, Flyers Hall of Fame, 20th Anniverary, Flanagan

MASON SUSTAINS BROKEN PINKY FINGER

As first reported by TFP's David Strehle and confirmed by the Flyers, goaltender Steve Mason sustained a broken right pinky finger in a ball hockey game last Sunday. The injury to his right (glove) hand will keep him off the ice for two weeks. In the meantime, Mason will continue off-ice workouts.

With about seven weeks to go before the start of Flyers trai

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Meltzer’s Musings: Giroux, Draft Re-Entries and More

THURSDAY QUICK HITS

* In his most recent article for ESPN Insider, Craig Custance polled a panel of a dozen people currently working in the NHL. Four are team executives (general managers or assistant GMs), four are head coaches, one is an assistant coach, two are players and one is a former general manager.

The panel was asked the following question: If you were starting a franchise from s

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Meltzer’s Musings: Analytics, Alderson, Markov and More

HEXTALL ON THE POTENTIAL AND LIMITATIONS OF ANALYTICS

On the day he was announced as the Flyers new general manager, Ron Hextall explained his philosophy on the proper place for using analytics in today's NHL. In a nutshell, Hextall said that he felt data can be mined to determine areas where the team can hone in on specific areas of strength and weakness. He also cautioned that he did not beli

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Meltzer’s Musings: Prospect Pipeline, Bunny, Vinny and More

TUESDAY QUICK HITS

* Want to get a sense of just how much the Flyers' farm system has improved in the last four years? Yesterday I glanced at the Future Watch Zone section of The Hockey News' 2010-11 Yearbook to see who they rated as the Flyers' top 10 prospects.

Here was THN's top 10:

1) Jon Kalinski LW
2) David Laliberte RW
3) Kevin Marshall D
4) Joonas Lehtivuori D
5) Andreas Nödl

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