All around the NHL, teams will have to make decisions on their rosters before Wednesday’s deadline. In particular, the transformed Flyers are going to have to make some tough roster choices.
Right now there are 15 locks for spots (8 forwards, 5 defensemen, 2 goalies) on the current team ( Briere, Giroux, Hartnell, Jagr, Simmonds, Talbot, van Riemsdyk, Voracek, Carle, Coburn, Meszaros, Pronger, Timonen, Bobrovsky, Bryzgalov). Blair Betts is a pretty safe bet. This leaves 6 or 7 spots open with about $7.7 million cap space.
There are six forwards fighting for four jobs. Two veterans, Andreas Nodl and Jody Shelley, along with four rookies, Sean Couturier, Matt Read, Zac Rinaldo and Brayden Schenn. Shelley counts towards the cap while he serves his five game suspension, and could possibly be relegated to the 13th forward once his punishment is up. Schenn has been hampered by an upper body injury, which may have opened the door for first round pick Couturier. If he’s sent to the Phantoms, Schenn will get a chance to heal up and will get plenty of ice time to continue his development. Couturier has impressed enough to be considered among the final cuts, and it sounds like he will make the opening night roster. Whether he’s on the roster for nine games, or the entire season remains to be seen. If he plays 10 games, the first year of Couturier’s contract is used up and if he plays 11 games, his contract counts against the organization’s 50 (the Flyers are at the max). So it’s possible he will be on the roster for the first nine games and sent back to junior. (more…)