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Hockey Invades the Bank

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

For one week, Citizens Bank Park was turned into a Winter Wonderland filled with hockey action.

The action featured Philadelphia hockey in it’s most beautiful and elegant form, which was in front of 45,000-plus diehard Flyers fans for the whole world to see.

The past week was the fifth annual NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic. For the third time it was held in the confines of a true American landmark: a ball park. After Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Boston’s Fenway Park, Citizens Bank Park played host to the growing winter sensation the NHL created with the Heritage Classic in Canada almost a decado ago.

The fantastic week of hockey, which we will recap with a little help from “The Checking Line – Flyers Edition“, began on New Years Eve and concluded this past Friday, January 6.

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Papelbon inks four-year deal with Phils

(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

It looked as though the Phillies were going to resign closer Ryan Madson but the deal seemed to fall apart.

Instead they plucked former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon off the free-agent market. The deal is believed to be worth $50 million over four years.

It also includes a vesting option for a fifth year. The contract could reach $60 million when it’s all said and done.

The deal is the richest in MLB history for a closer. It will surpass the five-year, $45 million pact that B.J. Ryan signed with the Toronto Blue Jays back in 2005.

Papelbon was 4-1 with a 2.94 ERA with 31 saves in 63 appearances this year. He has a career 2.33 ERA and 219 saves over his big-league career.

But did the Phillies sign the right closer?

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Citizens Bank Park to host legendary concert next July

The Wall standing erect at the Wells Fargo Center on November 11, 2011 (photo by John Russo)

Is there any Pink Floyd/Phillies fans out there?

Music legend Roger Waters is returning to North America with another leg of his “The Wall” tour, this time hitting up some outdoor venues while he’s at it. On of the destinations is Citizens Bank Park on July 14, 2012.

Last November, Waters did a three-night stand at the Wells Fargo Center that sold out every night (read a review from last year’s show here). Imagine the atmosphere for this type of show in an outdoor setting.

“This new production of ‘The Wall’ is an attempt to draw some comparisons, to illuminate our current predicament, and is dedicated to all the innocent lost in the intervening years,” Waters wrote on his website before the tour began.

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Phils rookies hazed today

“The moment you’ve all been waiting for….”

That’s right, Jimmy Rollins. After Todd Zolecki tweeted about the rookie hazing, Rollins and Hunter Pence passed along to us the wonderful costumes that our Phillies rookies had to don during their flight to Atlanta.

And to no disappointment, included in this post is the picture tweeted by Rollins that contains some rather hilarious costumes. My winner: our Jewish reliever Michael Schwimer rocking a rabbi costume.

Pic after the jump… Read more of this post

Roy-Freshing: Oswalt K’s season-high 9 in win

Phils starter Roy Oswalt struck out a season-high nine in eight shut out innings of work against the Nationals. The Phils won, 5-0. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Ryan Zimmerman punched the Phillies’ gut with a walk-off grand slam Friday night, but in typical Phillies fashion, they bounced back and took down the Nationals on, what I guess you could call ‘the road.’

It took until the fourth inning for a team to tally a run tonight’s game at Nationals Park, when Wilson Valdez sliced a two-run triple to right field, scoring John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz. The scoring on that play was a bit favorable to Valdez, being that Jayson Werth played a game of hop scotch out in the right-outfield corner, allowing Valdez to score.

The Phillies tacked on three more runs en route to a 5-0 victory.

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CBP to host NHL’s Winter Classic

The Flyers' Claude Giroux battles in the corner for a loose puck with Boston's Matt Hunwick in the 2009 Winter Classic at Fenway Park. Also pictured is Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The National Hockey League is bringing the Winter Classic to Philadelphia.

Playing in their second Winter Classic in three years, the Philadelphia Flyers will host the New York Rangers on January 2, 2012 at Citizens Bank Park according to league officials.

With the National Football League schedule showing games on January 1, the annual date of the Winter Classic, the NHL has decided to move it back one day in order to not compete with the NFL.

And with the Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Washington Redskins that week, Lincoln Financial Field was unavailable.

The NHL wanted Philadelphia, a sports town like no other. NBC also wanted New York, their target market. That’s what brought the game to CBP.

The first winter classic has gone back and forth between football and baseball stadiums. In it’s first year, the Buffalo Sabres hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The following two years were in Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Boston’s Fenway Park, where the Flyers were hosted by the Boston Bruins. Last season, the game was played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

The official announcement will be made later this month.

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