The Brayden Schenn experiment is about to unfold in the City of Brotherly Love.
Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren re-called his prized wing from the Adirondack Phantoms on Wednesday morning and returned forwards Zac Rinaldo and Harry Zolnierczyk.
While rehabbing a shoulder injury with the Phantoms, the 20-year-old Schenn contributed 4 goals and 8 points in four American Hockey League games in Glens Falls. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Wednesday's transactions leave the Flyers with approximately $21,000 in cap space. The Daily News also reported that Schenn's stint in the AHL reduced his salary cap hit by nearly $1.75 million.
The Flyers will play host to the Washington Capitals on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center. In addition to Schenn's possible debut, fourth-line forward Jody Shelley is also eligible to return on Thursday after serving a five-game NHL suspension.
Schenn, of course, was a major piece in the wheeling and dealing conducted by Holmgren last June on the eve of the 2011 Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn.
After trading center Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for wing Jakub Voracek and two draft picks, Holmgren dealt captain Michael Richards to the Los Angeles Kings for Schenn and forward Wayne Simmonds. The moves enabled Holmgren to then ink free-agent goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to a contract reportedly worth $51 million over nine years.
The trades have certainly ignited the Flyers to start the 2011-12 campaign. The club has won four of five games to open the season while outscoring its opponents, 19-10. In fact, the last time the Flyers totaled nine points in their first five contests was in 1998-99. Additionally, Philadelphia celebrated three road victories to open a season for the first time since 1993-94, while outscoring its road foes, 12-3.
Voracek and Simmonds are tied for seventh on the team in scoring with 2 goals and 3 points. They have each averaged over 15 minutes of playing time per game. Rookie center Sean Couturier, who the Flyers were able to select No. 8 via the trade with Columbus, has 1 goal, 3 points and a plus-4 rating in five contests.
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale