Who could’ve blamed Jody Shelley for rooting against the Flyers in last season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs? The Orange and Black did, after all, bounce his Rangers from the postseason chase on the final game of the regular season in a shootout and left Shelley with an entire off-season to ponder a heartbreaking defeat. The victor of that game 82? Well, those Flyers went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, and enter this season as the defending Eastern Conference Champions.
Still, despite the agonizing loss, and the success of the team that got in instead of his Rangers, Jody Shelley cheered for the Flyers last season during the playoffs. Shelley told CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio that he was cheering for “Philly in the end. I was jealous all the way. You guys beat us out. You want to lose to the best.”
“Us,” according to Shelley in that quote, is his former team, the New York Rangers. Now, “us” means his current set of colors: the Orange and Black of the Philadelphia Flyers. Signed to a contract that many – this writer included – still don’t understand when he became a free agent on July 1st, Shelley will likely be a regular for the Flyers on the fourth line this season, working with Ian Laperriere and Darroll Powe until Blair Betts returns from injury. As Panaccio points out, he gives the Flyers a bonafide “Tough guy,” something they haven’t had regularly in their line-up for a while.
One thing that impressed me about Shelley is the genuine excitement he seems to have in being a Flyer. In the article, he talks about how the pictures of old Flyers smiling and their missing teeth that line the walls of the dressing room reaffirms in his mind the constant credos associated with Philadelphia: hard work, and very blue-collar.
While I don’t necessarily agree with Shelley’s price tag, there is no doubting that he’ll be a force on the Flyers fourth line this season. Hopefully – who knows – he can rekindle that scoring touch he had against the Flyers the final two games of last season and be a bit of a scoring surprise as well.
For the full article from Panaccio, check out the link here: AS A RANGER, SHELLEY ROOTED FOR THE FLYERS