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Flyers Daily: Kovalchuk Returns, Red Wings Flop in Kane’s Debut

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Travis Konecny led the way in the Philadelphia Flyers' 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. (Photo: AP)

Are the Philadelphia Flyers back? Some are saying yes, after the Flyers handily dismantled the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, coming away with a 4-1 win. The penalty kill units were still dominant against Arizona, even without PK mainstay Ryan Poehling. Poehling was too ill to play, and therefore Olle Lycksell came into the lineup and made his 2023-24 debut. The Flyers didn’t appear to have a plan for Lycksell, as the 24-year-old rotated into some lines and managed just 6:11 of ice time. There seems to be a bug going around the NHL right now (more on this later in the article), so if Poehling can’t go or other Flyers get sick, Lycksell is going to be forced to take more responsibility going forward.

Also included below, we talk the latest NHL trade rumours, including Rasmus Ristolainen, Tuukka Rask’s return to the Boston Bruins, Patrick Kane’s Detroit Red Wings debut, Ethan Bear, Simon Nemec’s first NHL goal, and a former NHL superstar’s return to pro hockey.

Philadelphia Flyers

Philly Hockey Now: The Toronto Maple Leafs have shown some interest in Rasmus Ristolainen. If the Flyers intend on wheeling and dealing defensemen, how about Mario Ferraro? We graded some players and groups after Philadelphia’s win over Arizona, and Travis Konecny and Cam York stood out the most. Before them, it was Tyson Foerster who was stealing the show.

Matvei Michkov has pneumonia and won’t be participating in the KHL All-Star game, though he’s expected to make a full recovery before the end of the month. Denver Barkey, Oliver Bonk, Alex Ciernik, and Cutter Gauthier made their respective World Junior Championship preliminary rosters.

NHL trade talk, NHL news, and more around the globe

TSN: Ilya Kovalchuk is apparently back! Yes, that Ilya Kovalchuk – the one that left the New Jersey Devils high and dry before going to Russia, coming back to the NHL and bouncing around, going back to Russia again, and then pseudo-retired. The 40-year-old superstar has returned to professional hockey after two years off, inking a one-year deal with Spartak Moscow in the KHL.

Boston Hockey Now: Speaking of comebacks, Tuukka Rask returned to the Boston Bruins on Thursday. Well, not really. The Bruins, like the Flyers, are dealing with some kind of illness going around, which put goaltender Jeremy Swayman on the shelf. Short of bodies at practice, the Bs placed a call to old friend Tuukka Rask, who gave them a helping hand while they waited for Providence Bruins goalie Brandon Bussi to arrive and join the team after his emergency call-up. Maybe they could’ve used the old Rask, as the Bruins fell to the Sabres, 3-1 on Thursday. Charlie McAvoy exited the game early with an upper-body injury.

Colorado Hockey Now: The Colorado Avalanche weren’t happy with their 4-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Cale Makar shouldered the blame for the tough loss all on his own, and went out of his way to praise Nathan MacKinnon.

Calgary Hockey Now: After the first quarter of the season, trade rumors are starting to heat up. It looks like Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin is now the most coveted name available on the block.

Detroit Hockey Now: The Detroit Red Wings welcomed Patrick Kane to the ice for the first time, but it all went up in flames. After leading 4-0 late in the second period against the San Jose Sharks, Detroit lost, 6-5 in overtime.

San Jose Hockey Now: Don’t look now, but the San Jose Sharks are on a roll. Head coach David Quinn, Tomas Hertl, Nico Sturm, and Fabian Zetterlund spoke postgame about the exhilarating comeback win against Detroit.

New Jersey Hockey Now: The New Jersey Devils got a rare win in which they allowed only one goal against. Akira Schmid had a strong bounce-back performance, and 19-year old Simon Nemec scored his first NHL goal. It just so happened that the goal was also the game-winner. Though the Devils are probably happy with what they’ve gotten from Nemec, they’re also reportedly interested in Ethan Bear.

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