(November 29) - The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have recalled 5'11", 180-pound goaltender Martin Houle (HOOL) from their American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, according to General Manager Paul Holmgren. Houle has been assigned uniform number #35.
In addition, the team announced that goaltender Robert Esche today underwent successful surgery to repair his adductor muscle and will be out of action for two to four weeks.
Houle, 21, has registered a 4-4-0 record, 3.91 GAA and .885 save percentage in nine games for the Phantoms this season. He was named the Phantoms' 2005-06 Rookie of the Year after compiling an 18-18-1 record, 2.54 GAA, .914 save percentage and two shutouts in 40 games for the Phantoms. He also played seven games with the Flyers' ECHL affiliate, the Trenton Titans, during the 2005-06 season, posting a 4-3-0 record, 2.10 GAA, .935 save percentage and one shutout.
Over parts of four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with Cape Breton (2001-02 through 2004-05), the Montreal, Quebec native registered a 65-51-9 record, 2.72 GAA and nine shutouts in 138 games.
He was named the QMJHL's Defensive Player of the Year for the 2004-05 season after posting a 26-18-5 record, 2.51 GAA and league-leading six shutouts in 56 games. During the 2003-04 season, Houle compiled a 34-15-1 record, 2.32 GAA and three shutouts in 51 games. He was first in the QMJHL in save percentage (.921) and was second in the QMJHL in wins (34) and goals-against average (2.32). He was named to the 2003-04 QMJHL First All-Star Team.
Houle was drafted by the Flyers in the eighth round (232nd overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Esche, 28, has registered a 2-4-0 record, 5.64 GAA and .820 save percentage in seven games for the Flyers this season.