PHILADELPHIA -- He skated onto the ice Friday night wearing No. 35, but a more appropriate number for goalie Sebastien Caron could have been No. 7.
As in, Caron became the seventh goaltender to dress for the Flyers this season. A club spokesman said that is a team record.
Caron was signed Friday afternoon, and hours later he was sitting on the Philadelphia bench as Brian Boucher's backup for the Flyers' showdown with Montreal.
The 29-year-old Caron last played in the NHL during the 2006-07 season, playing one game each for the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks. He's spent the last three seasons playing with Fribourg-Gotteron in Switzerland. In 46 games this season, he was 19-27 with a 2.94 goals-against average and .916 save percentage
"It's kind of a shocker for me," Caron told the Flyers' Web site. "I was expecting to be done for the year and got the phone call, so I'm ready to be a part of the team and finish the season with them."
Caron is ineligible to play in the postseason, and Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren admits Caron is a stopgap until talented rookie Johan Backlund is healthy enough to back up Boucher. Jeremy Duchesne had served as Boucher's backup the last two games, and saw his first NHL action in Thursday's loss 6-4 to the Islanders, allowing one goal in a mop-up role..
"Clearly he's more experienced than anybody else we have in our system right now," Holmgren said of Caron. "He's a serviceable goalie and he was anxious to get over here and help us."
Caron, a 1999 third-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins, has 92 games of NHL experience in five seasons with the Penguins, Blackhawks and Ducks.
Holmgren felt compelled to bring in a more experienced netminder after watching Duchesne stop three of four shots in 16:44 of action. The 23-year-old 2005 fourth-round draft pick had played just six games above the ECHL prior to Thursday night.
"I'm not sure I would have put in Jeremy last night if I was coaching," said Holmgren. "He's been limited in the (ECHL), limited in the American league. No disrespect to him as a young goalie. He did make a couple saves and the goal they scored was a nice goal. I guess it was good for him."
But not so good for the Flyers, who entered Friday's game sixth in the Eastern Conference, but just two points ahead of ninth-place Atlanta and four ahead of the 10th-place Rangers.
"We need to win games," said Holmgren.
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