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Eastern Conference

Flyers’ Ron Hextall On Rebuilding: ‘That’s not in our DNA’

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If you were wondering if the Philadelphia Flyers were undergoing a rebuild, then general manager Ron Hextall will be very direct when describing the franchise’s direction.

Despite landing in the 2nd slot in the NHL Draft, the Flyers, who finished last season only seven points short of the final Eastern Conference playoff berth, aren’t rebuilding.

“You’re not rebuilding when you’re competitive,” Hextall said, according to Sam Carchidi of Philly.com.

“A rebuild, to me, is when you go to the bottom and you pick high, high, high – and essentially, you’re not trying that hard to win. That’s not in our DNA. We want to win. We want to win as many games as possible.”

“We’re not going to go to the bottom of the league and pick first overall for four or five years. That’s no way to build culture. Our vision was to stay competitive, and build, and get younger – and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Despite the proclamation, Hextall knows that the Flyers need to see more production on the ice.

“I can sit here and tell you 85 points, 105 points, but it really doesn’t mean anything,” said Hextall.

“What’s (important) is when our team starts the season and we go do it. Do we expect to make the playoffs? Of course we expect to make the playoffs.”

” … I’m comfortable saying we expect to make the playoffs because our team on paper is good enough to make the playoffs.”

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Eastern Conference

Lightning Shopping Slater Koekkoek

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are shopping defenseman, and former first round pick, Slater Koekkoek, according to SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Tampa Bay is now motivated to trade away their once prized prospect, who is currently playing with the Syracuse Crunch on a conditioning stint.

Koekkoek is waiver eligible and will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer of 2019.

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky Will Not Dress Due To Team Incident

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that veteran goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not dress for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators due to what is being described as an “incident”.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen stated the following:

“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture. An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”

In corresponding moves, the Blue Jackets has recalled Jean-Francois Berube, and placed both Brandon Dubinsky and Markus Hannikainen on injured reserve.

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Eastern Conference

Leafs’ Frederik Andersen Targeting Saturday Return

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Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender Frederik Andersen said that he is eyeing the team’s upcoming game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday to make his return to the ice.

Andersen was placed on injured reserve on January 3rd, retroactive to December 23rd, and hasn’t played since December 22nd.

Despite his goal of a Saturday return, Maple Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock is looking towards Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche as the best time for his return.

Babcock pours a little cold water on Andersen’s reveal, saying it might be Monday vs. Colorado. Hmmm…— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) January 9, 2019

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