Philly fill­ing his wal­let

Konecny agrees to 6-year, $33M deal to re­main with Flyers

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Wayne Fish

VOORHEES, N.J. — Travis Konecny has come a long way in his first three years with the Flyers, and on Mon­day he got re­warded for that ef­fort.

Konecny was signed to a new sixyear, $33 mil­lion con­tract. The Flyers wanted to get Konecny signed as quickly as pos­si­ble be­cause they didn’t want him miss­ing valu­able train­ing camp time.

There’s a pos­si­bil­ity he could be see­ing ac­tion on the team’s top line at some point and the Flyers want to get off to a fast start this sea­son for a change.

“We are happy to have Travis un­der con­tract for the next six sea­sons,” said gen­eral man­ager Chuck Fletcher. “Travis has shown pro­gres­sion in each of his three sea­sons and is an in­te­gral part of our group of young for­wards. His speed, skill and tenac­ity set him apart in to­day’s NHL.”

The 22-year-old is en­ter­ing his fourth pro­fes­sional sea­son. He has ap­peared in 163 of a pos­si­ble 164 games over the past two sea­sons and is com­ing off a ca­reer-best sea­son of 24 goals and 25 as­sists for 49 points.

He recorded eight multi-point games in 2018-19, in­clud­ing a three-point game

(one goal, two as­sists) Nov. 23 ver­sus the New York Rangers.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited about sign­ing with the Flyers and be­ing able to call Philadel­phia home for the next six years,” Konecny said. “I can’t wait to get back with my team­mates and start a new re­la­tion­ship with the coach­ing staff. It’s on me now to work hard and make up for the cou­ple days I wasn’t able to be here.”

Konecny made his NHL de­but on Oct. 14, 2016, against Los An­ge­les, post­ing a two-as­sist game for his first NHL points. He joined the Flyers fol­low­ing a three-year ca­reer in the On­tario Hockey League with Ot­tawa and Sar­nia, dur­ing which time he rep­re­sented Team Canada at the 2016 World Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships.

A na­tive of Lon­don, On­tario, Konecny was se­lected by the Flyers in the first round (24th over­all) of the 2015 NHL en­try draft. He ranks seventh among all play­ers in the 2015 draft class in goals (59) and ninth in over­all points (124).

Hart happy to have El­liott back: Carter Hart hasn’t started call­ing his backup goalie “Un­cle Brian” just yet, but few would be sur­prised if he did.

The Flyers’ sec­ond-year net­min­der is ob­vi­ously pleased the Flyers de­cided to re-sign vet­eran Brian El­liott dur­ing the off­sea­son. Not only do the two play­ers have a com­fort­able re­la­tion­ship, the 21-year-old Hart ac­knowl­edges he’s still in the learn­ing phase of his ca­reer and can pick up a lot from the 34-year-old El­liott dur­ing the 2019-20 cam­paign.

“We get along re­ally well,” Hart said af­ter a prac­tice. “I split time play­ing with him, Michal [Neu­virth] and Cam [Tal­bot] last sea­son. They were all re­ally great to me.

“Moose [El­liott] is a vet­eran goalie; he’s played in the NHL a long time. I’m ex­cited to play along­side him for a full sea­son. I learned a lot from him last year with how he ap­proaches the game, how hard he works.

“I mean he’s the first guy here in the morn­ing, warm­ing up and tak­ing care of his body. I com­mend him for that and re­ally re­spect that.”

The Flyers want to get the most out of Hart. But they don’t want to wear him down and make him sus­cep­ti­ble to in­juries, ei­ther.

Bar­ring some­one get­ting hurt, look for some­thing like a 55/27-game split for the two goalies. Hart said he isn’t look­ing too far ahead.

“I mean for me right now, I take things day by day,” Hart said. “I don’t get too ahead of my­self. I’m just re­ally ex­cited to get things go­ing here Oct. 4.

“We added some key ad­di­tions this sum­mer. I’m just start­ing to get to know these guys. I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to a very long sea­son.”

Hart played for Canada at last spring’s World Cham­pi­onships and that team was coached by Flyers bench boss Alain Vigneault.

What are Hart’s im­pres­sions of AV?

“Over there, he was awe­some,” Hart said. “The guys re­ally liked him. He seems like a player’s coach. Guys got along with him re­ally well. He’s easy to talk to.

“He has a bit of a sense of hu­mor as well. I know guys can re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate that. Over there, it was mostly about hockey; back here, it’s all Flyers. I know he’s def­i­nitely ex­cited to get things go­ing.”

Hart showed re­mark­able poise for a rookie last sea­son and seems im­per­vi­ous to the “pres­sure” of so­cial me­dia and so forth.

“Hon­estly, all that out­side noise doesn’t mat­ter at the end of the day if you don’t get the job done,” he said. “For me, that’s all I have to worry about.

“We have 24 peo­ple on the ros­ter, and if ev­ery­one does their job we’re go­ing to have a lot of suc­cess. At the end of the day, all that mat­ters is this group. All that out­side noise, we need to block out and just worry about what’s in­side this locker room.”

Flyers lose pre­sea­son opener: Ex-Flyer Luca Sbisa scored the de­cid­ing goal at 2:24 of the third pe­riod as the Is­lan­ders beat the Flyers 3-1. James van Riems­dyk scored at 4:27 of the sec­ond pe­riod to pull the Flyers even af­ter Thomas Hickey scored on start­ing goalie Brian El­liott at 2:03 of the first pe­riod. The Is­lan­ders added a late empty-net goal.

Short shots: The Flyers’ morn­ing skates will re­turn to the Wells Fargo Cen­ter this sea­son. The team had been skat­ing be­fore games at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. How­ever, Vigneault has made it known he’s not a big morn­ing-skate guy, so the sched­ule for these ses­sions could be spo­radic. … The Le­high Val­ley Phan­toms signed for­ward Steven Swavely to a one-year AHL con­tract. Swavely, 27, played in 40 games last sea­son, tal­ly­ing seven as­sists. … The Flyers’ War­riors hockey team, cap­tained by Pineville/Bucks County na­tive Jim Young, coasted to an easy 16-3 win over the Pitts­burgh War­riors on Mon­day af­ter­noon at the WFC.


The Flyers’ Travis Konecny cel­e­brates his game-win­ning goal against the Red Wings last Fe­bru­ary. Konecny is com­ing off a ca­reer-best sea­son of 24 goals and 25 as­sists for 49 points.


Carter Hart says he “has learned a lot” from vet­eran goalie Brian El­liott, whom the Flyers re-signed.

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