Saturday, October 2, 2010

Flyers roster taking shape as preseason winds down

With just one game remaining, the most successful Flyers preseason in recent memory is just about to wrap up. While, just like any sport, you can't put much stock in preseason hockey results, the Flyers have looked tremendous while winning 5 of their 7 games. With just one game left, the Flyers are now faced with some tough roster decisions as they prepare for their season opener on Thursday against the Penguins.

Here's a look at how their 23 man roster is shaping up:


Locks (10): Daniel Briere, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Scott Hartnell, Nikolay Zherdev, James van Riemsdyk, Jody Shelley, Claude Giroux, Ville Leino, Blair Betts

Bubble (3-4 spots): Daniel Carcillo, Bill Guerin, Darroll Powe, Andreas Nodl, Ben Holmstrom

Injured: Ian Laperriere (LTIR)

The list above assumes that Blair Betts will be ready to play from the start of the season. The injury to Lappy has left the door wide open for Guerin to get a contract and Carcillo to keep his spot. At this point, I bet that both stay and that Powe and Nodl are both kept as extra forwards in case Betts isn't 100%.


Locks (6): Kimmo Timonen, Chris Pronger, Andrej Meszaros, Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn, Sean O'Donnell

Bubble (1-2 spots): Matt Walker, Oskars Bartulis, Erik Gustafsson, Marc-Andre Bourdon

It isn't known right now if Chris Pronger will be ready to skate on opening night, which means one of the extra defensemen might get some ice time. I'm still scratching my head as to why the Flyers bothered to acquire Matt Walker, they have plenty of kids that can do what he does for much less salary. While I would be all for demoting him, the smart money says that Walker stays and Bartulis is shipped to the AHL.


Lock (1): Brian Boucher

Bubble (1 spot): Sergei Bobrovsky, Johan Backlund

Injured: Michael Leighton (LTIR)

The Leighton injury has opened the door for preseason sensation Sergei Bobrovsky to make the team. While I still would prefer that he get more familiar with the North American game this season and get a ton of minutes in the AHL, he has made a strong case to stick around. The biggest drawback to keeping him will be his salary, which at 1.75 million, will be even more than Leighton will make. With Backlund banged up, however, "Bob" might be given a shot.

It's hard to believe we are less than a week away from the Eastern Conference Champs return to the ice for some real games!

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