Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Flyers finalize roster: JVR makes it but no Betts yet

With NHL rosters due at 3 pm today, the Flyers made their final moves to get their roster ready for Friday's opening game. An NHL team is able to keep 23 players on their roster so the Flyers had to shift a couple of players around to fit everyone in.

As expected, rookie phenom James van Riemsdyk made the team after a strong preseason showing where he basically forced himself onto the roster. Also making the team after looking solid this preseason was forward Mika Pyorala.

Not making the team, yet, was Blair Betts. Betts was brought in on a tryout basis and needs a contract to play for the Flyers. The Flyers are believed to be in negotiations with Betts at the moment but no agreement has been reached as of yet. Betts would make a great 4th line center who can win faceoffs and kill penalties so hopefully the Flyers reach a deal with him soon.

With the Flyers keeping JVR, Pyorala and hopefully Betts, they could have 14 forwards. Since teams only suit up 12 forwards a game, that means 2 players from an incredibly deep group will have to sit out every night. The likely scratches would be 2 from the following group: Pyorala, Darroll Powe, Riley Cote and Arron Asham. Having this many quality forwards means the Flyers can mix and match depending on their opponents strengths and weaknesses.

If the Flyers do sign Blair Betts in the next few days they would have to place hobbled goaltender Brian Boucher on the injured list. As of right now, Boucher stays on the roster although he won't be able to play for another week or so. Johan Backlund will temporarily be on the roster as the backup until Boucher is healthy enough to go.

The team also sent recently waived Randy Jones to the Phantoms, ensuring defensemen Danny Syvret and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen of roster spots. Syvret will likely be the 6th defenseman and Tollefsen will be a healthy scratch on most nights.

Here is the Flyers roster for the beginning of the season:

Forwards (13): Danny Briere, Mike Richards, Simon Gagne, Jeff Carter, Scott Hartnell, Daniel Carcillo, Claude Giroux, Arron Asham, Riley Cote, Darroll Powe, Ian Laperriere, Mika Pyorala, Blair Betts, James van Riemsdyk

Defensemen (7): Chris Pronger, Braydon Coburn, Kimmo Timonen, Ryan Parent, Matt Carle, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, Danny Syvret

Goalies (3): Ray Emery, Johan Backlund, Brian Boucher

No comments: