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November 10 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“There are no immediate plans for James van Riemsdyk’s return, but when he does come back, coach Peter Laviolette wants the young Flyers winger to take his benching personally.
“When James gets back in there, you hope it burns him a little bit to be out of the lineup and he comes back with revitalized energy, like Z [Nik Zherdev] did, and makes it a point to show he shouldn’t have come out of the lineup – and shouldn’t come out anymore,” Laviolette said this week in a conference call with reporters.
Getting back in the lineup, however, won’t be so simple. Andreas Nodl’s strong play could keep the 21-year-old van Riemsdyk sidelined for a while. He has been a healthy scratch the last two games.
“There are tough decisions to be made,” said Laviolette, whose Flyers play his former team, the Carolina Hurricanes, on Thursday. “You’re trying to win hockey games every night. James got caught in a numbers game. He’s got to continue to practice hard, and when he gets that opportunity and gets get back in there . . . you want to make it a point to let everyone know that [a benching] is not going to happen again.”
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 draft, van Riemsdyk had an excellent preseason but did not score a goal in his first 13 regular-season games. He was among the players who made the trip to Carolina, where the team played golf at the elite Pinehurst resort on Tuesday.
Many believe that van Riemsdyk, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder who scored 15 goals as a rookie last season, needs to play with more of an edge to his game.
The Atlantic Division-leading Flyers (9-4-2) are 6-0-1 in their last seven games, but Laviolette thinks they can improve.
November 10 Camden Courier-Post:
“Imagine Scott Hartnell, Jody Shelley and Dan Carcillo hacking away from a tee box once graced by Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.
Imagine Darroll Powe, Claude Giroux and Mike Richards six-putting on a green where Sam Snead, Bobby Jones and Curtis Strange lined up their tournament-clinching putts.
That’s exactly what happened Tuesday when the Flyers followed in the footsteps of the likes of celebrities Amelia Earhart, Will Rogers, Babe Zaharias, Bing Crosby, John Philip Sousa, Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey, playing a round of golf at Pinehurst, N.C., one of the country’s most prestigious courses.
The outing was arranged as part of the club’s team-bonding, two-day getaway in North Carolina and according to Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, his hacking hockey players were not the most polished golfers on the sprawling layout designed by the same architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, that planned New York City’s Central Park.
“Just based on the handicap, I would say that our Russians are right down on the bottom there,” Laviolette said, referring to winger Nik Zherdev and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. “Our best golfers are probably (equipment manager) Harry Bricker, (assistant coach) Chief (Berube) and probably Danny Briere.”
In addition to a round of golf the Flyers (9-4-2) also planned a team dinner before hitting the ice for practice today for Thursday night’s clash with the Hurricanes (7-7-0) in Raleigh, N.C.
“Sometimes I think it’s important to get away as a group and spend some time with each other, so really that’s the point of it,” Laviolette said.
Of the 22 players who made the trip to Carolina, all but five were part of the Flyers’ run to the Stanley Cup finals last season. The newcomers that have been integrated into the lineup — Zherdev, Bobrovsky, Shelley, Sean O’Donnell and Andrej Meszaros — stand to benefit the most from the time away.
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