This week in Flyers history will certainly go down as one of the strangest, and perhaps as disappointing as well.
Firstly, the Flyers hinted through promotional video that a big surprise was coming. The video features construction scenes around the Wells Fargo Center, similar to how the AHL affiliate Phantoms unveiled their mascot. Then, before we knew it, our eyes were opened as we looked upon a new mascot for the Flyers. Behold! Gritty!
Yes, it is terrifying, and initially many in the Flyers fan community (mostly adults) refused to accept Gritty as one of our own. However, more recently, Gritty has won over the hearts of many Flyers fans for his first performance on ice against the Boston Bruins in which he fell on the ice multiple times, and threatened the Pittsburgh Penguins mascot. Oh a Flyers fan indeed he is.
Not only does Gritty fit into the Flyers theme of ginger-beardedness, but the crazy eyed puffball successfully captured the attention of the nation, mostly through internet articles exclaiming how ridiculous he is. Nonetheless, it appears Gritty is here to stay, and I’m all for it.
Additionally, news came out this Wednesday from Finnish site MTV3 that Flyers forward Jori Lehtera, who many hoped would be out of a roster spot, has been questioned over his potential involvement in a cocaine ring in his summer town (where he has a cottage), Tampere. His possible involvement comes as Finnish police are undergoing a large scale bust of the trafficking of the drug, and even raided his summer cottage, though he was not there at the time. It is reported that 2 kilos of cocaine were part of the Tampere based ring.
It is unclear whether or not this will impact Lehtera’s roster spot, as it looks increasingly likely Mikhail Vorobyev will take the 3rd center role. However, the story perfectly fits in with this crazy week in Flyers fandom.
Lastly, the Flyers sent Phil Myers, along with Nicolas Aube-Kubel, back to the AHL Phantoms. In terms of affecting the team, this is the event that actually has any value to it, as many expected Myers to make the team out of camp. However, with Andrew MacDonald ahead of schedule, it appears unlikely now that Myers will be called up any time soon barring injury.