The Pack's Time on "Propper Hockey" >

The Pack's Time on "Propper Hockey"

Created 6 years 260 days ago
by Michael DeNicola

Tags: Brian Propp Lou Tilley Propper Hockey
Views: 1686


Over the Thanksgiving break, I received an email from Lou Tilley... 

Yes, THAT Lou Tilley. 

Apparently our hockey blog slipped on to his radar at one point in time, and he's been reading our articles for awhile. I was very pleased to hear this news. Immediately I was proud of my co-writers, Joe and Tim, as well as felt my head and ego inflate just a tad more than it already is (I played high school football and rocked....wanna check tape?!?!).

But as Lou's email grew longer I read that he was interested in having me as a guest on a new Flyers hockey television show that airs on WMCN44 every Wednesday night at 9:00. 


He and former Flyers hockey great Brian Propp host a one hour program called, "Propper Hockey" --

Brian and Lou team up to analyze and entertain as they “check” the Flyers with their weekly guests, including current and former players.

Lou told me that he and Proppy love having local bloggers and small-time beat writers as guests on their show. It gives the viewers a perspective that they can relate to. And seeing as how I am not a credited reporter and never disclose any news firsthand from behind the scenes, this was a perfect chance to really connect to the demographic I come from, and write to. 

I accepted Lou's invitation and broke the news to my family and friends. Everyone was excited except for me. I was nervous. Like, REALLY nervous. 

Unable to enjoy dinner because of all the butterflies in my stomach, I began running thoughts through my mind fueled by anxiety. 

"What am I going to talk about? Should I wear a tie? What if I sound stupid?"

The list goes on and on. I have never experienced anything like this before. Sure, we here at Orange & Black Pack have aired an online radio show, but even that never had more than 30 or so listeners tuning in. 

WMCN44 reached out to millions of homes in the tri-state area! Another fact that left me ill in my stomach. 

Nevertheless, I showed up last Monday at Adelphia Restaurant in Deptford, NJ for the taping of that coming Wednesday's show. Each show's replay can be found on Propper Hockey's LiveStream webpage a few days after the episode airs (which is why this article's being posted now, rather than last week). 

Below is the embedded video of the hour-long program. And further below the video are a few notes and explanations I made that dive a bit deeper than the time I was given to on air. 

I was a nervous wreck and winded up looking like a sweat-soaked, albino Kevin James, but being in front of a tv camera will do that to a man. Enjoy!!!


Time:   Note:  
16:23 Alright, pause right there. "I must have read that thing [NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement] four or five different times," is what I said. How many of you out there just stood up and screamed, "HORSESHIT!"???

Allow me to clear this up. I haven't read the CBA front-to-back. What I HAVE done on four or five separate accounts was sit down and read very large portions of the CBA to get a better understanding of it. I go back and use excerpts countless times for my articles. 

I only said I read the whole CBA because I was nervous and under the gun. It's next to impossible to read the agreement front-to-back without your brain exploding. 

From what I understand, I spend an abnormal amount of time reading the CBA. Much more than any given fan on any given day. I do my best to understand it, and go back to it when there are league-wide issues, or any questions related to what can be explained in the agreement. 

21:10 I get into Matt Carle's contract and the fact he's on his final year of said contract. 

Matt does not have a No-Trade/Movement Clause on his contract that would limit the Flyers from trading him without Matt waiving it himself. I specifically noted that Carle's game is primarily dependent on Chris Pronger as a linemate, and I stand by that. 

Once this league year is over, it'll be time to re-sign Matt Carle to an extension. One I believe would have to be an increase in pay than what he's earning today (4-years, $13.75M, roughly $3.44M AAV). I also personally believe Matt is not worth that paygrade. 

With a big, dominating blue liner like Chris Pronger out for a long time, it makes it clear this team's success is related to his positive/negative health. But Chris is a 37-year old man. Many believe his body is breaking down. It's time to get a young defenseman with sasquatch size and snarl, and rebuild our defensive pairs for the short, and long roads ahead. 

Extending Braydon Coburn's tenure here in Philadelphia is a start, but I think the Flyers could use Matt Carle as part of a trade package to get what they'll need. 

Then again, with Matt Walker clearing re-entry waivers, that possibility is looking more and more dim. 

30:55 Lou Tilley asks us who the biggest disappointment has been for the Flyers thus far this season. I mention Ilya Bryzgalov, but Brian Propp comes back with Andrej Meszaros. 

Though I agree that the defense hasn't been as effective as what they'd seem like on a roster sheet, I still believe Bryzgalov fit the bill. 

Meszaros' stats as of today (Monday, 5-December) are 6-points scored (2 G, 4 A) and a plus-4 rating on the ice. Last season, he and Sean O'Donnell carried the best +/- rating of any defensive pairing for quite some time throughout the 2010-11 season. Andrej really opened a lot of eyes. So I can see why Proppy chose Meszaros as one of the more disappointing skaters for this season. 

But when you're a netminder who signs on board to sit and guard the twine (a position this city's needed desperately for longer than I can remember) and accepts a contract worth $51-million paid in nine better PLAY LIKE A $51-MILLION NETMINDER. 

You accept the contract, you accept the responsibility behind it. No more. No less. 

36:20 Here I go complaining about Briere again. I won't ever quit. 

"He earns his contract in the Playoffs!" you all say. 

Well that's fantastic. But guess what? We need to make it to the Playoffs first. After the Flyers had a horrendous season back in 2006-07, it was evident Paul Holmgren needed to go after the best talents in the free agency market. Which meant putting larger dollar signs in the players' eyes than any other competing GM. 

One of which was former Buffalo Sabre, Danny Briere. 

Our general manager pitched an eight year, $52-Million contract into the bread basket of Briere. And ol' Danny Boy accepted. That contract comes out to be a $6.5-Million cap hit each season. 

There have been lots of times Briere's earned his pay, however he never ceases to frustrate me. Daniel goes through offensive cold streaks and hot streaks so regularly throughout the 82-game schedule that the only thing he's been consistent of is inconsistency. Not to mention he's a liability defensively. 

I understand he's a tremendous mentor to the younger guns and up & comers, but when you're the one player on this roster with the most expensive annual cap hit, fans such as myself have a right to question you often.

Brian Propp says that a team needs to surround a player like Briere with a linemate who's more gritty, physical and effective on the back/forecheck in order to make that line more balanced on the attack and defensive. I absolutely agree.

But there's that $6.5-Million cap hit again. If you're taking that big of a slice from the pie, it shouldn't be players added to your line that makes YOU better. It should be YOU making the players on your line better. Does Danny do that? Sometimes, yes. But not enough to earn him the most expensive cap hit of any of our players.

Again, when you accept the accept the responsibility.


I just want to thank Lou Tilley, Brian Propp and all those who put an effort into making my segment with Propper Hockey possible. Couldn't have had a better time, and it's something I will not soon forget.

“Propper Hockey” will be taped live every Tuesday evening at 6pm at The Adelphia Restaurant in Deptford, New Jersey. Show segments will include Flyers Player of the Week, Flyers Fan of the Week and Flyers Trivia. For more information on “Propper Hockey” and WMCN44 visit


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