Written By Jason Voorhees
The 2020 NHL Trade Deadline was today and the Flyers were able participants.
On Monday the Flyers added (F) Nate Thompson from the Montreal Canadians in exchange for a 5th round pick. The Flyers then traded prospect (F) Kyle Criscuolo and a 4th round pick to the Anaheim Ducks for (F) Derek Grant.
These were certainly not the household names that Flyers fans were craving. This was not Jeff Carter or Wayne Simmonds. It was certainly not Vincent Trochek and was most definitely not Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
Those were the sexy names that most Flyers fans wanted to hear on deadline day. While Thompson and Grant are not the fancy names that everyone wanted...I will promise you that these guys are just what the Dr. ordered.
And of course you will say...how is that? The fact of the matter is that this is not a popularity contest. This is the NHL. This is a league where TEAM probably most represents every aspect and facet of the sport. These are two role players that bring veteran leadership to a still very young team and that is a welcomed addition in my book.
This Flyers team has definitely surpassed all of my expectations thus far. I firmly believe that this has already been a successful season under the leadership of first year coach Alain Vigneault; and the sky is the limit.
Everything else that happens from this point is gravy. Anything can happen. With that being said, I am not saying that this organization is without fault and that they have not made mistakes. However; they are definitely moving the needle in the right direction.
I have been extremely critical of the Flyers organization over the past few seasons and rightfully so. I have probably been one of their harshest critics. As a diehard fan I have earned that right. However; any realist must admit that this team is trending in the right direction. This team is playing with an edge and you have to love it.
Anything can happen in the NHL playoffs and you don't have to look further than last season when the upstart Blues won the Stanley Cup. Carter Hart has the talent and wherewithal to go on a run and this team definitely has the talent to win it all. Adding two role pieces to this kind of team could be exactly what gets them over the top. There is a much different vibe with this team under AV's leadership...something that has been missing since can I dare say it...2010.
Nate Thompson is a two way player that brings versatility to the forward position. He can play multiple positions and he is an excellent penalty killer. Likewise, Grant is another versatile forward that can also put the puck in the net (14 goals). While Thompson is probably a fourth line center that will see time on the PK, Grant can play 5-5, PK or even the power play.
Neither of these players are guys that are going to light up the scoreboard on any given night. They are not star players that are going to get the fans excited with energy. However; these are exactly the types of players that bring success and can definitely help this team moving forward. Thompson and Grant are veterans that add depth to a team that really didn't have much besides the youth waiting to make their entrance in the NHL.
Will the Flyers win the Stanley Cup in 2020? The answer is probably almost certainly no. Can this current team win a championship though?? Absolutely.
If you look back at trade deadline moves, the big name players more often than not do not make a difference in winning a team a ring. In fact, its usually the opposite. There are countless examples of role players that have been traded at the deadline that have gone on to help their new team win the Stanley Cup.
Only time will tell if this Flyers team is ready to move to the next level.
However; Chuck Fletcher did an excellent job today with preparing for that very task by adding two veteran role players that will provide depth and leadership down the stretch. And that is a breath of fresh air for a consistent critic like me.
I have had my issues with this team but I can honestly say that I love the direction that this team is moving. And its under the radar trades like today that could catapult this team over the top and for that I am thankful. Here's hoping that two minor moves could be the start of something huge. No matter what happens down the stretch, the sexy or fancy name will not be the deciding factor...but instead it will be the role player that gets it done.
Written By Jason Voorhees
So the year is 2020. You are the most sought after music producer on the market and are trying to make a "huge splash." Eddie Trunk from "That Metal Show" comes to you with the idea of a lifetime.
His proposal: He wants you to arrange the biggest and baddest heavy metal musical festival in history. This event should feature the best of the best in Heavy Metal...new and old. The criteria...the bands that you choose must have name notoriety as well as multi platinum status. The band should also fit into the general metal category but could also be hard rock.
Eddie wants a commitment of 40 bands as the festival will be a two day event featuring 20 bands per day.
All of the money and proceeds from this festival will be used to help fund the war against Cancer. The festival will be called METAL GODS OF THUNDER AND LIGHTNING. The festival will be played at the iconic Woodstock grounds in Bethel, New York.
At this point its being labeled the concert of the century...and the anticipation is building. The only major criteria is that the bands must fit the heavy metal category (Hair Metal, Grunge Metal, Death Metal, Thrash, Speed, Industrial, etc) in some way shape or form.
Ok...so you as the next musical guru have a month to get the lineup created. Eddie has secured Black Sabbath and AC/DC as the two headliners. Sabbath will perform on Saturday (first night) and AC/DC will perform Sunday (second night). You are also given the option of having a band that has retired to reunite. More importantly...maybe even secure a band that has lost one or more founding members.
This opportunity is one for the ages and will either make or break you. Eddie wants you to try and assemble the bands in order of musical lore and importance to the greater cause. You have been given unlimited funds and also an expert team of stellar recruiters. Your team includes some of the greatest musicians of yesterday as well as today. The team is composed of Mick Jagger, Ozzy Osbourne (who will be performing with Black Sabbath), Billy Idol, Jimmy Paige, Alice Cooper and Steven Tyler.
The team sets out to recruit the best of the best and the results are gold. After weeks of work the following bands have been assembled to participate in this festival of all festivals...
Guns N Roses, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Aerosmith, Van Halen (featuring Sammy Haggar and David Lee Roth), Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Pantera (featuring Zack Wylde on guitar and Chris Adler on Drums), Lamb of God, Megadeth, Slayer, Testament, Anthrax, Overkill, Alice In Chains, Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, Skid Row (featuring Sebastian Bach), Tool, Ratt, Whitesnake, Poison, Cinderella, Alice Cooper, KISS, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, Faith No More, Sevendust, Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, Marilyn Manson, KORN, Nine Inch Nails, White Zombie, Bon Jovi, and Dokken.
Along with those bands, there will be a few special performances by Jimmy Paige/Robert Plant, Billy Idol and The Rolling Stones; during an opening ceremony on Friday, September 11th.
After assembling the bands, Eddie agrees that this is a very impressive lineup and that this could be a potentially epic event. Forty of Metals best. The Beasts of Metal. Some hot reunions; Star Studded Talent up and down the lineup.
After failing to secure the Woodstock grounds, the team has now settled on the New York Yankees stadium as the venue. The tickets will hold a $300 dollar price tag which will be non refundable. The $300 dollars covers the entire event (3 days). As mentioned...all proceeds will be donated to Cancer research and helping cancer patients.
The show will be held Saturday, September 12th and Sunday, September 13th with a special opening ceremony on Friday September 11th.
Along with the bands, there will be plenty of refreshments as well as donations and sponsors from Pepsi, Frito Lay, Apple, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and many others. The entire cast of "That Metal Show" will be on hand as well and will film a three day live show at the event. Guest appearances will also be made by BEYONCE, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Lopez, David Chappelle, porn's best, "The Hangover" cast, Jim Breuer, as well as other team members, Billy Idol, Jimmy Paige, The Rolling Stones and Steven Tyler.
Your team has struck gold. Eddie Trunk Salutes you. You are now a METAL GOD! Stay tuned for the show. Get your tickets as they are hot for the take. Rock on America. This is more than a fistful of metal...its more like a DUMPSTER FULL. Here is the three day lineup for the festival that is coming at the end of the year....
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 11th
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 12th
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13th
Written By Jason Voorhees
On Wednesday, Phillies local beat writer Matt Breen had some pretty poignant comments regarding the current state of the Phillies; while speaking as a guest of 975 The Fanatic Radio Show.
"These owners are not willing to pay into the luxury tax. Nobody wants to pay and that's where the Phillies are," Breen stated. He went on to say that "I'm not going into spring training saying this is a playoff team. In fact, I struggle to say that their a wild card team."
Certainly not a glowing review for a franchise that has stated numerous times that they are not rebuilding and ready to contend. Last year at this time, John Middleton was star hunting. The Phillies managing partner was courting one of the league's biggest star free agents in Bryce Harper. We all know how that played out and the fans were stoked.
However; what a difference a year can make. Although there was so much promise going into last season, the team had a disappointing finish and they fired their manager. There is no doubt that adding a manager like Joe Girardi will make a huge difference. The team also added Bryan Price as their new pitching coach which should also pay instant dividends.
Moreover; the team signed Zach Wheeler and Didi Gregorious as free agents and those are all satisfying moves as well. At this point, I don't think there is a question that this team will be better.
However; what is the ultimate goal? Hopefully your answer is to win a championship. At the very least, your answer has to have the Phillies ready to contend this year and at least make the playoffs. The fact of the matter is that this team continues to have many holes in its roster and they are not even the best team in their own division. And that is a bothersome situation to be in.
I hate to sound like a Debbie downer but I am just not that confident. And that brings me to my biggest beef...why is John Middleton being cheap all of a sudden? Is he just another fraud sports owner that makes his bed in lies and deception?
As a die hard fan, its hard for me to have any sympathy for a professional sports ownership group when it comes to spending money. Especially when that owner is a billionaire like John. And frankly, it disturbs me even more when that same guy said that the team was ready to spend stupid money just one year ago.
As a writer that often does a lot of research; I totally get the fact that comments are often exaggerated and many times are taken out of context.
However; its also true that when comments are made they can either be backed up by actions or just flat out misunderstood. The point is that last year John made a declaration that this team was all in and that they were laying all of the cards on the table. Well, when the team traded for all-star catcher J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura, followed by signing Bryce Harper, David Robertson, Andrew McCutchen and more it certainly signified that he was not messing around.
However; now all of a sudden this team refuses to go over the luxury tax threshold. Any realist will recognize the importance of finding balance when constructing a roster. Furthermore, there is no doubt that this team needs a blend of youth (prospects) as well as veterans to sustain an upwards trend. With that being said though, today's game shows that there are still teams out there that are willing to spend and those teams continue to field superior talent.
My main concern at this point is whether John Middleton is truly commited to making this team great; or whether his real intentions are to just get the team to contend and sell tickets. While appearing as a guest on WIP sports radio in 2017, Middleton made an almost legendary quote that "We're going to get that trophy back somehow, or I'm going to die trying."
That was as close to a declaration or promise to do whatever it takes to get this team another championship, as there comes. What a way to set the bar high and with that fuel the expectations of the die hard fans. Well, it appears that Middleton is talking in riddles now. Because if he was wiling to do whatever it takes, going over the luxury tax would not be an issue folks.
Even if you are in the camp that the team cant just buy buy buy, there is no arguing that there were better moves that could have been made and it all comes down to money. And that my friends is a travesty. Now I will cite a few examples of why I feel that John Middleton is a fraud; and that he has duped Phillies nation in an epic fashion...
The bottom line is that Mr. Middleton is not backing up those promises with action. By refusing to go over the tax he is not only signifying that this team is not good enough to contend, he is also going against the basic principals that he has preached so feverishly.
I have tried to remain optimistic and patient this offseason and to trust that the organization will do whatever it takes to win.
Well, my patience has worn thin. My confidence meter now screams miniscule numbers. And my anger level has reached 911. I am afraid that Middleton is not the stand up man that he has portrayed himself as. Im concerned that he has alterior motives to not transcending the tax, motives that only have aspirations of making this team good...but not great. And my heart is telling me that John has turned back into a pumpkin and that this franchise is destined for failure.
Well I hope that my fears are just my imagination. Im praying that my opinion is just exaggerated and just an overreaction. And I am trusting that he will ultimately make me eat crow. Sometimes my meltdowns crave the voice of reason, and God knows I have had many arguments about the state of this team. But as a die hard fan, my expectations are high. And when I smell a problem, I am compelled to action.
Hopefully, the John Middleton that I thought I knew will suddenly appear. And then this will all just be blog speak in someone else's version of GOT MAIL. Mr. Middleton, you are the next contestant on the price is right...now do the right thing damnit and pay the price. Please please please...its only money. For the sake of Phillies fans everywhere...DO THAT THING!
About Jason Voorhees
Jason resides in Norristown, PA and writes about all things sports and heavy metal music.