Friday, April 2, 2010

Flyers add goaltender Caron for last 5 games

And the Flyers goaltender carousel continues. With five games remaining in the season, the Flyers have signed goaltender Sebastien Caron of the Swiss Elite League. If Caron clears waivers, you can assume he will be the backup goalie to Brian Boucher for the remainder of the season. He won't be eligible in the playoffs, however, since he is signing so late in the year.

If the name sounds familiar, it's because Caron has played in 92 games in the NHL, most of them for the Penguins before he spent some time with the Blackhawks and Ducks back in 2007. Caron has never put up great numbers in his career, including his time in the Swiss league, but he is at least a goalie with some NHL experience, something the Flyers severely lack in their system.

The addition of Caron means that the Flyers can send Jeremy Duchesne, who is still in college, down to the Phantoms. What it means for Johan Backlund, the logical choice for backup goalie in the playoffs, is another story. Since Backlund is still dealing with a groin issue, is Caron being brought in just for insurance? Backlund didn't play great in his one partial game this season but you would have to think the Flyers will want him ready if Brian Boucher completely collapses in the playoffs. Is it possible the Flyers will just cut Caron or send him to the minors when Backlund is healthy again? I guess only time will tell on that front.

Simply put, the Flyers goaltending situation has been a mess this year. For those counting at home, if Caron gets some game action, he will be the sixth (Emery, Boucher, Leighton, Backlund, Duchesne, Caron) Flyer goaltender of the season. With Boucher looking like a complete disaster against the Islanders on Thursday night and the Flyers having no one they can turn to that they trust, things could get really ugly in the playoffs, especially if they meet the Penguins or Capitals in the first round. It's going to be a convenient thing for the team to blame their goaltending when they get ousted in the playoffs rather than the uninspiring play we have been seeing lately.

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