Monday, September 21, 2009

Flyers make first cuts as roster begins to take shape

With three middling preseason game performances in the books, the Flyers finally started to pare down their roster in preparation for the coming season and trimmed down by 29 players. There are very few surprises amongst the 29, although camp invite Mark Bell was cut and familiar names like Andreas Nodl and Jared Ross were sent to the minors.

The only other player besides Bell that was outright released was Adrian Foster while the Flyers sent the following 19 players to the Phantoms: forwards Josh Beaulieu, Rob Bellamy, Matt Clackson, Ryan Dingle, Jon Kalinski, Garrett Klotz, Jonathan Matsumoto, Nodl, Ross, Tomas Sinisalo, defensemen Oskars Bartulis, Marc-Andre Bourdon, Joonas Lehtivuori, Kevin Marshall, Mike Ratchuk, David Sloane, Logan Stephenson and goalies Jeremy Duchense, Nic Riopel and Michael Teslak.

The Flyers also shipped 8 players back to their junior teams: David Labrecque, Zac Rinaldo, Mike Thomas, Eric Wellwood, Tyler Hostetter, Brennan Yadlowski, Adam Morrison and Jacob DeSerres.

The release of Bell comes as a slight surprise although he didn't do anything noteworthy in his preseason action. Nodl, Ross and Kalinski all spent some time with the Flyers last season but were long shots to crack the NHL roster. The rest of the group listed above have been placed where they belong.

As for who is left, the Flyers still have a few key decisions to make. NHL teams can keep up to 23 players and the Flyers will have to think long and hard about who the last few players will be that make the team. Camp invite Blair Betts, for example, has shown that he can win faceoffs and kill penalties, two valuable assets to a team with a propensity for spending time in the box. The play of rookie James van Riemsdyk also presents a good problem for the Flyers. Will the team choose to keep him in the NHL and give him enough ice time to develop or will he be better served dominating in the AHL?

Another decision the Flyers need to make is if it's really necessary to keep Riley Cote around. The team seems to already have enough fighters on the roster and Cote doesn't bring much else to the table. It would be a shame if Cote makes the team ahead of someone more deserving, like Betts.

Here is a look at the Flyers roster, including players likely to make the team and those battling for the last spots:

Forwards (11): Danny Briere, Mike Richards, Simon Gagne, Jeff Carter, Scott Hartnell, Daniel Carcillo, Claude Giroux, Arron Asham, Riley Cote, Darroll Powe, Ian Laperriere Possible 12th and 13th forwards: Mike Pyorala, Blair Betts, James van Riemsdyk

Defensemen (6): Chris Pronger, Braydon Coburn, Kimmo Timonen, Randy Jones, Ryan Parent, Matt Carle Possible 7th defenseman: Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, Danny Syvret

Goalies (2): Ray Emery, Brian Boucher

Other longshots for roster spots include: G Johan Backlund, F David Laliberte, F Patrick Maroon, F Jason Ward


jnuzzi08 said...

(1A)Gagne - Richards- JVR
(1B)Hartnell- Carter - Briere
(03)Powe - Giroux - Laperriere
(04)Carcillo- Betts - Asham

(1A)Timonen - Coburn
(1B)Pronger - Carle
(03)Parent - Jones


Of course these lines are contingent on van Riemsdyk making the team, but Holmgren said that so far, he is playing like a top 9 forward. Although, assuming my math is correct, and that Betts signs for $0.600M, about his contract last year, we would have to move a body to have room, even more so because Betts would be the organization's 50th contract.

The most likely candidates? Powe might not make the team, putting Cote in the lineup and Carcillo on the third line. Or they could move expensive 6th defenseman Jones. Or JVR might not make the team.

allthingsphilly said...

Great lines, jnuzzi, I would be happy if the Flyers line up that way. Yeah, don't rule out the possibility of the Flyers trading Randy Jones to free up some of the cap space to keep Betts/JVR, although with how poor Tollefsen has looked I'm not sure they want him as their 6th D-man.

Brian said...

Gotta give Giroux someone to work with, and the Giroux-Briere combo worked pretty well last season...i'm thinking:


Although Pyorala is making a strong case to be a RW on one of the lines...with Carter? Giroux?