Flyers Training Camp and Injury Details EmergingBREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News, NHL Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
It has been reported that the NHL Players Association does not intend to officially ratify the new collective bargaining agreement until this Saturday. As a result, training camp will not begin until Sunday, January 13.
This leaves just six days for players to get into game shape for the 2013 NHL season. In other words, expect some sloppy play across the board for a few weeks.
As I wrote over a month ago, the Philadelphia Flyers won’t be in bad shape when it comes to the offense and goaltending. The only forwards who haven’t been playing regularly are Scott Hartnell and Jody Shelley.
CSNPhilly reported today that the wrist injuries plaguing Danny Briere while he was in Germany will put him out of the line-up for approximately three weeks.
Ideally, either Matt Read or Brayden Schenn will center the second line in his absence, with the other playing on the wing. Three weeks may not seem like much, but if four games are played per week, that means Briere will miss a quarter of the season.
The defense is really where the trouble lies. An already suspect group is going to hit the ice with out of game shape players, several of which are still coping with injuries.
I had been wondering where Matt Walker was going to fit in this group, but he is still coping with hip and back injuries.
There has been no official camp invite list released by the organization, but Anthony SanFilippo, who became the Flyers’ “inside reporter” last season, released a tentative list on his Flyers’ affiliated blog.
Forwards fighting for vacant positions:
- Eric Wellwood
- Harry Zolnierczyk
- Zac Rinaldo
- Tom Sestito
- Tye McGinn
- Scott Laughton
With Briere’s injury, that means there is an opening for third line winger, fourth line left and right wingers, and a reserve forward.
While I’m just as skeptical about bringing up Laughton so quickly as I was about the similar decision for Sean Couturier last season, I suspect he’ll be on the team for at least the minimum nine games allowed by the NHL without burning a year off his entry level contract.
Unless Laughton performs well enough to stay or additional injuries pile up, he can easily be sent back to Oshawa. Look for him to otherwise rotate in on the third line.
Among the remaining forwards, my money is on Wellwood, Sestito and Rinaldo. You could argue that having the trio of Rinaldo, Sestito and Shelley on the roster is redundant, but has that ever stopped the Flyers from loading up on muscle before?
On defense, the Flyers are inviting Brandon Manning to camp. He is taking the place that Erik Gustafsson and Marc-Andre Bourdon would have filled had either of them been healthy. Manning has not played that well this year, but few of the Phantoms are NHL ready (aside from veteran AHLer Danny Syvret) and it can’t hurt to be able to evaluate him up close at camp.
The Flyers aren’t bothering with any external invites at the moment, which isn’t surprising. Not only is the market for quality defensemen bare, but few of them are likely in game shape either.
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