Bill Meltzer: Meltzer’s Musings: Prospect Updates, Quick Hits

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QUICK HITS: AUGUST 30

 Radel Fazleev and Travis Sanheim both enjoyed multi-point games but the Calgary Hitmen sustained a 6-5 loss to the Regina Pats in Western Hockey League preseason action last night. Calgary outshot Regina by a 43-20 margin but yielded three goals apiece in the first and third periods. In the meantime, the Hitmen exploded for five goals in the second period but could not find the net in the first or third periods.

Fazleev, the Flyers’ sixth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, notched an even strength goal and two power play assists. He was minus one for the game. Sanheim, Philadelphia’s first-round pick in the 2014 Draft, had a pair of primary assists on Calgary power play goals (the Hitmen went 3-for-8 on the man advantage). Sanheim was minus-two in the game.

* Samuel Morin, the Flyers’ first-round pick in 2013, did not record a point but was credited with four shots on goal and was an even plus-minus in Rimouski’s 3-2 shootout loss last night to Acadie-Bathurst. Morin was one of the Oceanic’s shooters in the skills competition but failed to score.

* Oskar Lindblom, Philadelphia’s fifth-round pick in 2014, notched a pair of first period assists yesterday in Sweden’s 7-2 win over the Czech Republic at the Four Nations Under-20 Tournament in Jököping, Sweden. Today, the Swedes take on archrival Finland.

* Flyers Alumni birthdays: Jean-Guy Gendron celebrates his 80th birthday today. The left winger spent all or parts of five seasons with the Flyers during the foundation years of the 1967 expansion franchise. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound forward played a solid two-way game and hit the 20-goal mark three straight years for Philadelphia teams that severely lacked offensive punch. “Smitty’s” best season was 1968-69, when he recorded 20 goals and 55 points in 74 games. Gendron was second on the team in scoring, trailing only linemate Andre Lacroix (24 goals, 56 points).

* Vladimir Malakhov turns 46 today. Amidst an up-and-down NHL career that saw him sometimes play at an elite level and just as frequently play disinterested and mistake prone hockey, Malakhov played some of the best two-way hockey of his career during his brief stint with the Flyers late in the 2003-04 season.

On March 8, 2004, the Flyers acquired the 35-year-old Malakhov from the Rangers for a 2005 second-round pick (later traded by New York to the Atlanta Thrashers and used on the selection of goaltender Ondrej Pavelec) and the rights to right wing prospect Rick Kozak. Malakhov dressed in six regular season games for the Flyers down the stretch and then dialed up his game in 17 playoff games. Apart from posting six points and a plus-nine rating, Malakhov logged massive ice time (an average 24:59 per game) for Ken Hitchcock’s injury-decimated blueline.

Following the lockout-canceled 2004-05 season, unrestricted free agent Malakhov signed a multi-year contract with the New Jersey Devils. The deal, which carried a $3.6 million cap hit, turned out to be disastrous for New Jersey.

Malakhov dressed in only 29 games for the Devils and soon got in Lou Lamoriello’s doghouse. In Dec. 2005, he left the team. Reports surfaced that Malakhov had retired from the NHL. The player’s agent disputed that the player had retired, saying Malakhov was taking a personal leave of absence. The Devils suspended him from the team.

The Devils found themselves in a heap of salary cap trouble heading into the 2006-07 season. In order to rid themselves of Malakhov’s cap hit, New Jersey parted with a first round pick and accepted two non-NHL players (career minor league defenseman Brian Fahey and the rights to Vityaz Chekhov forward Alexander Korolyuk) in a trade with the San Jose Sharks. Malakhov never played in another game.

This post originally appeared on www.hockeybuzz.com and we thank them for permission to rebroadcast it here.

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