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Broken Twigs: Flyers’ Rosehill Problem and Your FGSB Mailbag

Aug 1, 2013, 12:09 PM EDT

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Something I’ve noticed about the Flyers is that they seem unable to be grasp a basic subject that most of league has picked up on over the past few years – opportunity cost.

Here are some completely random transactions from recent Flyers history:
April 17, 2013: Jay Rosehill signed to a 2 year, $1.35M contract
July 1, 2010: Jody Shelley signed to a 3 year, $3.3M contract
July 1, 2008: Riley Cote signed to a 3 year, $1.65M contract
October 7, 2007: Jesse Boulerice signed to a Ryan Kessler’s face contract

And the reason I bring this up is that as disappointing as the Jody Shelley contract was financially, the Jay Rosehill contract is conceptually.

Let me be clear that this is not a fighting debate. Although I know fighting is probably unnecessary when it comes down to brass tacks, and is surely reckless and completely dangerous, for some reason I’m a fan. I like fighting in hockey even though I know it’s against my better judgment and will leave it to people more progressive than I to remove it. But the fact that a “player” like Jay Rosehill could possibly be on the big club this October instead of a younger, faster, more promising prospect such as Tye McGinn doesn’t sit well with me. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be a young guy. It could be an old salty veteran that excels at killing penalties (and pirates). It could be Scott Gomez! It could literally be anyone with any sort of skill that was more hockey-related than UFC.

Jay Rosehill has 3 goals and 3 assists in 83 NHL games. Jay Rosehill has 24 fights in 83 NHL games. Last season Jay Rosehill averaged 6:47 TOI during his 11 games as a Flyer (I had to go to the second tab to find that stat! He wasn’t even in the top 30 on the freaking team!). Jay Rosehill has never put up real points at any level including junior and is not a consistent, defensively-sound checking forward. Jay Rosehill is a fighter when what we need in 2013 is a hockey player.

It’s no secret that the number of pugilists in the league has been dropping steadily for years, since the advent of the instigator rule and much more so since the 2004-05 lockout resulted in a faster, slicker, sexier brand of hockey. But the Flyers don’t get that. Or more clearly stated, don’t care to get that. This is Philadelphia and no one’s going to push us around and Broad Street Bullies and Rob Zombie and gggrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

So they sign Jay Rosehill to a two year deal and then they traded a puck-moving piece of defensive inventory for Kris Newbury. There was probably someone in that conference room that was considering resigning Jody Shelley. And what we as fans get is a couple fights with Colton Orr and to grit our teeth every time the 4th line is out. Sounds good.

Hopefully this is some underlying, double secret plan to finally give the people of Glens Falls some entertainment after 4 years of hockey that wasn’t winning but wasn’t Slap Shot either – aka boring. The worst part is you know it’s not. And you know there will be injuries. And you know that there will be a game where our 4th line features Jay Rosehill and Kris Newbury – both with the hockey skills of Riley Cote, one of whom he used to beat up and another one he should have.

Time for some questions!

Bill L.: What kind of season is Danny Briere going to have with Les Canadiens?
The weird thing about being a Philadelphia fan is that more than winning, possibly, you love to see former players excel in new environments because a) you appreciate their service and b) you love to have spare darts to throw at management. That being said, Briere will lead the league in points next year with 110 points in 81 games. He will miss one game because the President cannot find Jack Bauer and needs Danny Briere to save the world in 24 hours sometime in January. He’ll do that AND manage to take his kids to a One Direction concert because he’s a good dad.

Ada D.: Couldn’t Kurtis Foster have stayed in the NHL, somewhere?
It would appear not. Good rule of thumb for anything in life is that if people would rather have Oliver Lauridsen do it, it’s time to start doing something else. But I’m glad to see Fozzie Bear head to Europe to play, even though I thought he’d return to the Finland or possibly even head to a less competitive league in Austria. Kurtis Foster is a good dude that has worked really hard and had some really bad luck. That he can change leagues, make at least the same amount of money and go from never knowing if he’d be in the press box to #1 superstar offensive dynamo defenseman is deserving of his hard work. I saw a lot of Twitter rubbish talking about moving to Siberia and whatnot but if you’ve never been to Croatia (which I haven’t) you should Google Images the town he’s going to be playing in (which I did) – it’s absolutely beautiful.

mhoc3518: What do you think about the Philadelphia Amateur Hockey Combine?
I think the 64 13-15 year olds who were invited to that camp probably have a good chance of playing college hockey somewhere, and it’s nice to get them together to reaffirm to every other kid in the area that they probably don’t. Which raises the question: when is a good time to tell your son he is not going to play in the NHL and should start staying up all night developing apps unless he wants to be a floor salesman when he grows up? I would guess that deep down you know if your kid’s got a shot at pro hockey around the age of 10, and I suggest as soon as the thought even occurs to you (missed breakaway, bad practice, whatever) you tell him that he doesn’t. No need to fill his mind with dreams of Joel Otto, Matt Read or other late bloomers – it’s not going to happen. There are over 500,000 active registrants in USA Hockey. There are 600 NHL positions available. If you play the odds and stick your kid at forward there are actually only 360 spots available (forget about goalie). Then take into account that people of at least a one decade range are competing for those 360 spots, not just ‘96’s or ‘04’s. And then take into account Canada, Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Finland, and Slovakia. When you’re delivering this news be sure to blame most of your son’s failure on your spouse’s lack of athletic ability.

source:  Mike K.: What is your obsession with Jim Dowd.
Let me ‘splain something to you. Matt Read was a very good college hockey player, right? His best year he had 41 points in 37 games and it appears he’s going to put together a decent NHL career. Now think about this – Jim Dowd’s best year at Lake Superior State he had NINETY TWO points in 46 games. One year in NJ high school he had 113 points in TWENTY FOUR games. Jim Dowd Y’all!
Also, when he finished his NHL career with the Flyers in 2007-08 he scored 6 goals during the course of the year and looked as excited as a squirt scoring his first goal ever every time. That was fun.

Mike G.: You think the NHL will ever see a Royce White?
Ever is a long time but still, probably not. Hockey so manly that there is fist-fighting allowed (see: above). Concussions (brain damage) are hidden by the players if they’re not elite. Above all, individualism is only allowed as a marketing tool and personalities or other distracting qualities(see: Bryzgalov, Ilya) are frowned upon. That aspect is probably one of the biggest challenges You Can Play faces in hockey culture – that coming out is a personal action in a team environment. On that line of thinking Royce White probably needs to not travel for a while, but besides the logistical hurdles this raises for the coaching staff, it would make for a weird locker room, which is also not tolerated in hockey (see: Island, Dry). We’re huge proponents of both You Can Play and Royce White’s mission to bring mental illness to into the professional sports discussion, but it’s going to be a while until hockey culture sees either.

Yinztweet Breakdown of the Week

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She’s saying she had a sex dream about Sidney Crosby. That’s what she’s saying.

  1. TartanSixNine - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Jimmy Dowd was an INCREDIBLY underrated role player. There’s a reason he lasted 17 years in the NHL. Heck the Flyers could use him on the 4th line right now for his faceoff skills alone.

    Reply
  2. dan - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Why would you even bother taking time to “answer” that Briere question? It is an interesting question that I am sure many people would like to hear real analysis about, especially once you have selected it from one of the many submissions as one you actually answer. But hey, I’m sure that 24 reference will make a few people quietly chuckle.

    Reply
    • Snevik - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      Finally! Someone who really gets it.

      Reply
  3. Snevik - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Great locker room presence. Semi-sober designated driver. Dresses in the clown suit for teammates’ kids’ birthdays. Prevents reporters from walking over the floor logo during media scrums. Records and registers all secret handshakes between teammates. 255 bowling average for all future charity bowl-offs against the Penguins. Don’t you worry, Ryan and Fran, this man is earning his money.

    Reply
    • flyersgoalscoredby - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Ah….had overlooked the off-ice benefits. Silly me was focused on hockey and money!

      Reply
  4. BenE. - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Tye McGinn should not replace Jay Rosehill because Tye McGinn is not a 4th line player. He should start on the 3rd line at least. This means he replaces someone like Fedotenko. In fact, I’d like to see a 3rd line of McGinn – Scooter – Schenn.

    Hartnell (I know) – Giroux – Voracek
    Simmonds – Lecavalier – Read
    That 3rd line
    Rinaldo – Hall – Rosehill

    Laughton, Akeson, and Newbury are the first call-ups depending who is injured.

    Reply
    • Negativo - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      It’s just So close to perfection!

      I think they need to find away to get Schenn some time at center. He has better vision and devensive prowess than he is able to show on the wing. And he needs to start developing that potential….not that I really know how you do that. Maybe it’s as simple as moving coots to wing.

      Reply
      • BenE. - Aug 1, 2013 at 8:07 PM

        ^ Hopefully

    • flyersgoalscoredby - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      If the 4th line is better than the younger guys on it get more ice time and the entire team benefits..

      If faced with 15 min in the A with Ben Holmstrom or 10 min in the N with Adam Hall I might put a young top 9 prospect on the 4th just so he can learn the NHL game.

      Bottom line there are much more useful stop-gaps/plugs than Rosehill. Pandolfo, Langenbrunner…shoot bring Nodl back…

      Reply
    • MJS - Aug 1, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      Are you saying that Talbot will get traded?

      Reply
      • BenE. - Aug 1, 2013 at 8:08 PM

        Hopefully

  5. gq - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    I disagree with this. I do think the flyers need to move a bit further away from the broad street bully days, but what do you want them to do when the bruins, leafs and others are in town and taking runs at the Flyers? No, it doesn’t put points on the board, but if you’ve ever played the game, there’s definitely a mental part of it. And if the opposing team is hitting you at every chance they get and laying out big checks, it puts something in the back of your head. I’d rather be the team dealing out the hits, and it’s not like Rosehill is Jody Shelly. The Delta Ice Girls skate better than Shelley. He had zero offensive upside. Rosehill at least is a good forechecker and doesn’t look out of place. Leave him on the roster, who cares, it’s less than $700k a year…

    Reply
    • BenE. - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:50 PM

      Great post. I, for one, look forward to another season of owning everybody who thinks 4th line players need to be 20 goal scorers.

      Reply
      • MJS - Aug 1, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        I don’t think anyone has argued that a 4th liner needs to score 20 goals (if they did, then they are fools), but I think what people want out of a 4th line is a mixture of guys that can control the puck in the offensive of zone, play decent defense/kill penalties, win some faceoffs, hit/energize, and fight, all without without being too much of a liability.

        With Rinaldo, you clearly get the last two pieces. I know he’s working towards getting on the PK too. At the end of the day, he is our clear-cut energy guy. With Hall/Talbot, you get the faceoffs and PK. So it comes down to what you need in a specific game for the other wing. gq brought up the Bruins and Leafs. Yes, it definitely makes sense to have a guy like Rosehill in the lineup against those teams, but what about teams that don’t have a big enforcer (most teams)? Wouldn’t it make sense to have someone with offensive potential (Akeson) in?

      • BenE. - Aug 2, 2013 at 8:49 AM

        MJS, what you just described is a line of Rinaldo – Hall – Rosehill. Give them playing time, and you might be surprised at the results. The Leafs 4th line was very successful last year with Orr – McClement – McLaren. Back to our potential 4th line, it has a faceoff guy, defensive responsibility, a PKer in the making, energy, muscle, and the potential for occasional offense. What more could we (realistically) ask from our 4th line?

        The Flyers have tried the purely “offensive potential” strategy before with Harry Z, Eric Wellwood, and the like. It never works out because those players don’t belong on the crash line. There is a certain mentality the 4th line needs to have to be successful. Trying to be a scoring line is not it.

        As for my 20-goal scorer comment, that came from fans and sites like flyersgoalscoredby using goal totals against 4th line players like it’s supposed to mean something.

      • MJS - Aug 2, 2013 at 7:09 PM

        I hope you’re right about giving them time. I’m not against Rosehill, I just think there are better options on a regular basis. I agree that lines can randomly be good like the Orr line, but it’s definitely not something to bank on with players like that (ie when was the last time anyone said a Colton Orr line was very successful for an entire season). (side note: seeing a Flyer finally beat Orr was definitely a pleasure (and a first) this past season)

        You brought up Harry Z and Wellwood and I agree with the Harry Z part. I don’t understand the dislike of Wellwood though. He always creates and keeps the other team on their heels with his speed . Doesn’t always finish, but he’s on the 4th. He’s the offensive guy that the 4th line needs. Never understood why he never got the love from the organization. I know he’s currently injured, but using him as an example. Why not see what Akeson (or someone else) brings to the 4th line? If he’s kicking ass and someone else is struggling, he can get moved up a line. Play Rosehill when you’re playing a team like Boston or Toronto, or when you need to shake things up.

        You’re clearly not a Talbot fan, but he’s like not gonna get scratched over Hall or Rosehill, so there is that aspect that hasn’t been mentioned or considered.

  6. David W - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    Rosehill is a much under rated player. He’s a great guy and a leader on and off the ice. He played here in Norfolk twice. I’d rather have him on the ice than Rinaldo who is a cheap shot artist.

    Reply
  7. ckd - Aug 19, 2013 at 5:04 AM

    It’s nearly impossible to find knowledgeable folks on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re speaking about! Thanks
    ckd http://thesinglesclub.net/profile/bagmexico9

    Reply

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