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Flyers keep Maxim Lamarche around on AHL deal

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The Lehigh Valley Phantoms, proud AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, are pleased to announce that defenseman Maxim Lamarche has been signed to an AHL contract.

A 6’3″, 217-pound blueliner from Laval, Quebec, Lamarche produced one goal, five assists, six points and 21 penalty minutes in 29 games with the Phantoms last year. Entering his fourth professional campaign, he’s appeared in 48 career games with the Phantoms from 2013 to 2016 during which he’s compiled one goal, seven assists, eight points and 32 penalty minutes.

via the Phantoms

Wayne Simmonds on Tanner Glass' threats: "I'm laughing"

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Simmonds was much less expansive when asked about Glass’s remarks following Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the visiting New Jersey Devils. "I’m laughing," Simmonds said. "I am going to play a hockey game."

The Inquirer's Marc Narducci has Simmonds' reaction to Rangers forward Tanner Glass' threats from earlier in the week that he will fight Simmonds on Sunday night for his punch on Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh. You can tell he's very scared.

Jakub Voracek's growth from Czech kid to NHL star

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Voracek’s English strengthened as he picked up phrases in the dressing room and on television, and with that he drew closer to Stephen and Dawnelda. He began to reveal to them the bright, charismatic kid he was in the Czech Republic. One evening, he devised a classic prank. After dinner each night, Voracek Skyped with his father, Milo, back home, and Stephen decided he wanted to be able to speak a little phrase to Voracek’s dad in his native language. No problem, Voracek said, so Stephen asked him to write out the proper way to ask of Voracek’s father in Czech, "How are you doing tonight?" Stephen practised and practised, and finally when Milo appeared onscreen Voracek retreated behind Stephen but kept near enough that he could be seen in the chat’s video window. Stephen spoke the line, but Milo and his son broke into hysterics. "What happened, Jake?" Stephen wondered. "Did I get it wrong?" He’d been had. Voracek had instead written out a phrase for Stephen that can’t be printed in The Hockey News. It was a small moment, but it told Stephen and Dawnelda they had in their home a young kid becoming much more than just a boy passing through.

Jason Buckland, The Hockey News

When Voracek first came to North America to play hockey for the Halifax Mooseheads, he was entering a strange country and about to live with strange people.

Along the way, his billet parents, Stephen and Dawnelda, helped him become the person he is today - and even became a second set of parents for him; a couple he still talks to to this day.

Be sure to give the entire article a read for some further insight on Jake - he's awesome.

PSWA names Jakub Voracek Pro Athlete of the Year

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"To be picked out of the four main sports in Philadelphia, it’s a tremendous honor. There’s so many good athletes in the city. When I came over four years ago, I would never have thought I would accomplish something like this. I couldn’t do it without my teammates; they deserve credit."

Jakub Voracek, via the Flyers. Considering he was pretty much one of the best hockey players in the world throughout 2014-15, this is a good pick by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association.

Andrew MacDonald, on playing with Shayne Gostisbehere: "It'll be fun"

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"Obviously Ghost is a great young player. He had a really good camp. I think people are pretty excited about him. He's got a great skill set and he skates so well. It'll be fun. I played a little bit with him last year when he was up and practiced with him a fair bit."

Andrew MacDonald, via Tony Androckitis.

AMac may or may not end up as Ghost's regular partner, but for the time being, he's got a great attitude about it. Of course it's not the league he'd like to play with him in, but hey: make the best of the situation you're in.

Be sure to read the rest of Androckitis' piece for more insight from MacDonald. Of course he's not happy to be in the AHL, but it's not like he's rolling over and dying. Hopefully he'll do well.

Shayne Gostisbehere near NHL-ready if not for torn ACL

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"If he had played all of last year, he’d be very close."

Ron Hextall on Shayne Gostisbehere's NHL readiness, via Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts. Ghost unfortunately tore his ACL in November 2014, which means he hasn't really played in a nearly a year - something that has, of course, set his development back.

Danny Briere is looking for a position with the Flyers

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Kimmo Timonen visited Skate Zone Tuesday and plans to spend this year with his family. Hextall said Danny Briere, on the other hand, has approached Flyers president Paul Holmgren and the two are discussing a position.

via Tim Panaccio.

We already saw Kimmo, but apparently, he's taking his time before officially coming back to the Flyers.

Briere, on the other hand, appears to want back in sooner rather than later. They'll probably find something for him - he's Danny Briere, how could they not?

You have to love the Flyers alumni. They're the best. This is the best.

Why Wayne Simmonds gives back

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"Growing up, I had so many people that were there for me, giving me that chance to play the game I love. You never forget the unselfishness, the way people stepped up and helped you. As you get older, you appreciate more and more what that means."

Wayne Simmonds, via the NHLPA. People helped him get where he is - so of course, he wants to continue the chain, and help other kids in turn.

Evgeni Medvedev looking forward to playing on smaller rinks

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"No problem. Good small."

Evgeni Medvedev, via the Courier-Post.

Medvedev is brand new to the U.S., which the article goes into, so right now, he's mostly speaking through a translator. Those words, though? Those were his own words, in English, when asked if the smaller rinks would be a problem for him.

It sounds like Medvedev is a great pickup for the Flyers, but of course, there are differences between the NHL and KHL, one of the most prominent of which is rink size - something Medvedev is actually interested in changing. The smaller the rink, the faster the game is, and the more interested Medvedev is, too.

There's going to be an adaptation period, for sure, but Medvedev wanted to honor his commitment to his KHL team first before fulfilling his childhood dream: coming to the NHL. Now that he's here, it should be a good season.

Claude Giroux sees a bright future for the Flyers

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"Obviously when guys aren’t looking for contracts there are no distractions, the guys just go and play. We’re happy with everyone on our team and how we’re building. We’re still a young team and we have so much to learn and everybody wants to learn with the new coach coming in. Last year, we learned the hard way but we’re going to be better because of that."

Claude Giroux, catching up with the Flyers. One thing he was asked about was what it meant to have his teammates - especially Jakub Voracek - locked up on long-term deals (he's a fan). And, of course, even more praise for Dave Hakstol.