The Philadelphia Flyers sent Michael Raffl and Oliver Lauridsen to the Adirondack Phantoms a few days ago. Now they will be joined by forward Chris VandeVelde. Winger Adam Hall and defenseman Bruno Gervais cleared waivers and could also be joining the Phantoms.
Waiving Gervais was inevitable because of their depth of defensemen on one-way contracts. With Gervais gone, it is now down to Braydon Coburn, Nicklass Grossmann, Erik Gustafsson, Andrej Meszaros, Luke Schenn, Mark Streit and Kimmo Timonen. There is also Hal Gill who is still on a try-out contract with the Flyers. Since Gill isn't signed to a contract yet for the regular season, he is being excluded right now from roster prediction. With that in mind, the remaining players are the exact group of players that was predicted a week ago in the "Philadelphia Flyers Roster Prediction for Opening Night" article here on Flyers 101.
Here are the defensive pairings prediction from that article:
First: Timonen – Schenn
Second: Coburn – Streit
Third: Meszaros – Grossmann
Gustafsson will be rotated in to give other players a night off every once in a while. Timonen will especially need to have a game off here and there to stay fresh since he is close to the end to the end of his career and everyone knows how much of a beating his body takes as the season goes on. Gustafsson will also be on-call for Meszaros because no one knows how long Meszaros will last before he gets an injury.
If the Flyers do decide to sign Hal Gill, they would need to move one of the defensemen. All signs seem to indicate that Meszaros is the Flyers first choice to move because of his $4 million cap hit. Gill would then become the seventh defensemen and Gustafsson would likely take Meszaros' spot in the third pairing.
There are rumors going around that the Colorado Avalanche were offering John Mitchell, a left winger and center in a trade for a defenseman. If the Flyers bite on that, Meszaros is as good as gone. Luckily the Avalanche have the cap space to make that trade work.
With VandeVelde being sent to the Phantoms and Hall getting waived, the Flyers are sticking with Scott Laughton, the 19-year-old center, as the fourth-line center. It was surprising to see Hall get waived considering he was one of the teams better face off takers. If he is assigned to the Phantoms, he will likely be on the short list of possible call-ups during the season.
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