Flyers Continue to Make Moves, Send Schenn to AHL
With two days to go before the start of the regular season, the Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have placed F Blair Betts, D Matt Walker, and D Oskars Bartulis on waivers.
In two years with the Flyers, Betts posted a total of 30 points as a fourth-line center. Walker was acquired by the Flyers last July in the trade that sent Simon Gagne to Tampa Bay. He spent most of last season injured and only played four games with the squad during the regular season. Oskars Bartulis played 13 games with the Flyers in 2010-2011, missing the last two months of the season with a shoulder tear resulting from a hit in mid-February.
General Manager Paul Holmgren also announced today that F Brayden Schenn (acquired along with Wayne Simmonds in the trade for Mike Richards), will start the season in the AHL with the Phantoms. F Harry Zolnierczyk and D Erik Gustafsson were also sent down to the Phantoms. It wouldn’t be surprising to see any of these three called up some point during the season, especially Schenn and Gustafsson.
What do all of these moves mean for the Flyers? With Betts gone, the Flyers will most likely fill the vacant fourth-line center position with summer acquisition Max Talbot.
Talbot will likely replace Betts on the PK as well. Andreas Lilja, another new face on the Flyers, will be the 6th D-man. It also looks like Sean Couturier, the Flyers’ first-round draft pick, will start the season with the big club along with Matt Read and possibly Zac Rinaldo.
While news of Schenn starting the season with the Phantoms may surprise some, it shouldn’t. It has been speculated that he is merely starting out in the AHL due to a nagging shoulder injury.
That may not be the only reason Schenn has been sent down to the AHL. Capgeek.com has reported that if Schenn plays just one game in the AHL, his cap hit drops from $3.11 million to $1.705 million. Since Couturier is only eligible to play 10 games at the NHL level before his contract counts against the cap, it is believed that the young forward will be keeping Schenn’s spot in the lineup warm while he recovers in the AHL.
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