A Toronto-Philadelphia rivalry primer for Drake and Meek Mill

Tie Domi (far left) and Donald Brashear  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

One of the biggest pop culture stories going around right now involves rappers Drake and Meek Mill, former friends turned enemies. The beef between the pair began over hurt feelings and escalated into several freestyle diss tracks…you don’t care about this. We’re The Hockey News. But since Drake used the Blue Jays’ World Series victory over the Phillies as ammo against Meek Mill (guess which two cities these guys are from?), I thought we should hockey this thing up, just in case the rappers need more material (and after hearing Meek Mill’s “Wanna Know,” they do).

Here’s a brief history of the bad blood between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers:

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Flyers cap situation could make for tough choices in 2016-17

Jared Clinton
Vincent Lecavalier

Whether you’re a fan of Jakub Voracek’s new contract or not, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: the Philadelphia Flyers are going to be in some serious cap trouble.

While this season’s cap situation looks like it could cause some difficulties, what with the Flyers having less than $600,000 in available cap space, it has nothing on what the outlook for the 2016-17 campaign will be if Flyers GM Ron Hextall is unable to make some savvy moves to free up room.

The biggest concern for the Flyers isn’t necessarily the money they’ve spent or the contracts for their top players — Voracek and Claude Giroux would be worth $8-plus million on the open market. What is worrisome, however, is that when 2016-17 begins, unless Hextall makes some moves before then, the Flyers will have only 15 players under contract. That could make the 2016-17 season an incredibly trying one in the City of Brotherly Love. Read more

Flyers lock up Voracek long-term with eight-year, $66 million deal

Jared Clinton
Jakub Voracek

Jakub Voracek won’t be hitting the free agent market next off-season.

The Philadelphia Flyers announced Thursday evening they have re-signed Voracek to an eight-year deal. While the Flyers did non initially release the terms of the deal, TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported the deal is worth $66 million, carries an annual cap hit of $8.25, and keep Voracek locked up until the 2023-24 season.

This past season, the 25-year-old winger had a career year. He started off with a bang and was the early scoring leader in the league, finishing the year with a career-high 81 points, which was good for fifth in the league. His 22 goals were also the second-highest mark of his career and the third consecutive 20-plus goal season. Read more

Flyers ink Sean Couturier to six-year, $26 million extension

Jared Clinton
Sean Couturier (Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

Sean Couturier has signed a six-year, $26 million extension with the Philadelphia Flyers that runs through to the 2021-22 season.

Couturier, 22, was a first-round pick of the Flyers in 2011, eighth overall, and made the jump to the NHL immediately following his draft year. In 2011-12, Couturier had a stellar rookie season, scoring 13 goals and 27 points in 77 games with Philadelphia. But more than just his offense, it was his two-way play that brought hope to the Flyers faithful.

Over the past three seasons, Couturier has racked up 32 goals and 91 points in 210 games, with his career best point total coming in 2013-14 when he notched 13 goals and 39 points. He set his career mark for goals in a season with a 15-tally campaign in 2014-15. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Flyers, Sharks and Oilers buzz

(Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

It appears efforts by the Philadelphia Flyers to trade Vincent Lecavalier have once again proven futile. GM Ron Hextall told CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio his club remains “status quo” with the 35-year-old center, adding they intend to start the season with Lecavalier to see how it goes.

Last summer, there was interest in Lecavalier from the Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers, prompting speculation Hextall might find a taker this year. However, the combination of Lecavalier’s ongoing decline and his $4.5-million annual cap hit through 2017-18 makes him a tough sell, even to clubs which have the cap space to absorb. it.

Panaccio reports Hextall was hoping interest in Lecavalier might increase after the Flyers paid his $2-million signing bonus on July 1, but received no offers. Without freeing up cap space, Hextall could find it difficult promoting a promising defensemen next summer. Read more

Futures Mailbag: Blueline prospects in Philly, Dylan Strome and more

Samuel Morin (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Welcome to my new mailbag, a spot where I will answers questions from readers who reached out to me on Twitter using the hashtag #thnfutures. The idea behind this space is to bring you info on prospects and the draft, so anything in that world is game. There was a pretty good crop of questions right off the bat, so if you don’t see yours answered this week, check back next Friday. Here we go:

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Flyers re-sign Michael Del Zotto, who completes his comeback

Michael Del Zotto  (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto has a new two-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers that will pay him an average of $3.8 million per campaign. It’s a nice raise for a player the Flyers took a chance on this season and a bit of security for a still-young D-man who believes he found himself in the City of Brotherly Love.

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Why hasn’t your team done anything this off-season?

Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman.  (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

We’ve seen plenty of turnover on NHL rosters so far this summer, setting up what appears to be even crazier parity than normal in each division. The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks made major moves in the Pacific. The Washington Capitals jazzed up their top two lines in the Metropolitan. The Chicago Blackhawks did anything but sit on their championship team, making over a quarter of their roster.

A bushel of franchises, however, have been oddly quiet so far. Some are justified in their thought process. Others have their angry fans yelling “DO something!”

Why do some of these teams appear to be deer in the headlights right now? There’s a plausible explanation for each, though some are more maddening than others.

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