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| Training Camp & September 2015 PREVIOUS HEADLINES
NOV. 282:38 p.m.SCHULTZ INJURED vs. RANGERS
Following the first period of today’s Rangers-Flyers game, Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced to the media that defenseman Nick Schultz has a upper body injury and will not return to the game at Madison Square Garden.
Schultz left the game at 10:58 of the first period after taking a hit from Rangers’ defenseman Dylan McIlrath. Schultz appeared in 3:44 of ice time on five shifts and registered one shot on goal.
So far this season, Schultz has appeared in all 24 games for the Flyers, recording one assist while averaging 18:22 of ice time in 23 games entering today’s contest.
He leads all Flyers defensemen in blocked shots (54) which also ranks third among all Eastern Conference defensemen and eighth in the NHL prior to today’s games.NOV. 271:35 p.m.COUSINS RECALLED; LEIER RETURNED
During the morning of their annual Black Friday game at the Wells Fargo Center, Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced a couple transactions that will affect the lineup for today’s Flyers-Predators game.
The club has recalled center Nick Cousins, while loaning left wing, Taylor Leier, to their AHL affiliate in Lehigh Valley.
“I was happy with Leier. I thought he did a good job and did a lot of positive things each game that he played,” said head coach Dave Hakstol, who also said that Cousins will center a line with Scott Laughton shifting to the wing. “Nick’s been playing very well and deserves an opportunity.”
Cousins gets the call after leading the Phantoms in scoring with 18 points, as well as 13 assists in 15 games. His 18 points are tied for seventh among all AHL players. He also leads Phantoms forwards, and ranks second on the team with a plus-minus rating of +10.
“I thought he picked things up very quickly,” added Hakstol on his impressions of Cousins during training camp. “He makes a lot of good, little plays. What you want to see in your center man, he’s pretty patient inside of the dots, he’s available in terms of breakouts and transitions. I think he’s smart with that next play on our side of the redline and he’s competitive.”
Leier returns to the Phantoms after appearing in six games, and made his NHL debut on Nov. 14 at Carolina. He went scoreless, while averaging 7:43 of ice time and recording three shots on goal in six contests.
Other news to come out prior to puck drop is that Michal Neuvirth will get the call in net, while defenseman Evgeny Medvedev will re-enter the lineup after missing the last six games. Neuvirth is unbeaten in regulation against the Predators, posting a 2-0-1 record to go along with a 1.29 GAA and .959 save percentage.NOV. 252:25 p.m.McDONALD IN; GAGNER UPDATE
Following the morning skate, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol announced that right wing Colin McDonald will be in the lineup tonight and make his Flyers debut. He was seen at the practice taking shifts on a line with Scott Laughton at center and Taylor Leier on the left side.
“I know it’s cliche but I’m really just focused on just doing my job out there and helping this team win,” said McDonald, who’s first game with the Flyers is against the team he last played for, the Islanders.
“It’s funny how sports kind of works these things out,” added McDonald. “Just to get another game in the NHL, I’m obviously very happy and to get a chance to play against my former team, there’s always something to prove and play with that chip on my shoulder.”
McDonald will fill in for the injured Sam Gagner. Flyers GM Ron Hextall talked to the media this morning and announced that Gagner will be out of action at least another week after sustaining an upper-body injury on Monday against Carolina. The cut he received from the hit was a result of pressure cut and not from his visor.
When asked about the decision to recall McDonald, Hextall added some insight to what goes on in the process of calling a player up from the minors.
“Whenever you’re looking to recall someone, you’re looking for a guy that fits into a certain place and brings qualities that you feel you need in a certain place in your lineup and [McDonald] was the fit right now.”
Added Hextall: “He brings size, really, really, really strong work ethic and he’s a right winger, so those are qualities that we felt we needed right now.”
He also made a few other announcements regarding injuries after the morning skate adding that RJ Umberger, who has been sidelined since Nov. 10 and has missed the last seven games with a lower-body injury, will skate for the first time on Thursday.
Forward Ryan White is still on the original timeline set at 2-4 weeks on Nov. 15 date with an upper-body injury that has caused him to miss the last four contests. White has been skating with the team for the last few practices and was a part of the morning skate at Barclays Center.NOV. 241:30 p.m.McDONALD RECALLED
Following practice today in Voorhees, NJ, Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that the club has recalled right wing Colin McDonald from their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
The 31-year-old has appeared in four games with the Phantoms, including the last three games, where he has recorded one assist. He missed 14 games due to an injury he suffered in the season opening game for Lehigh Valley.
McDonald serves as the captain of the Flyers AHL affiliate, after he signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Flyers during Free Agency this past summer on July 3.
McDonald will be available for Wednesday’s Flyers-Islanders game in Brooklyn. Prior to signing with the Flyers, McDonald spent the last three seasons in the Islanders organization where he recorded 17 goals and 26 assists for 43 points in 133 regular season games.NOV. 2311:45 p.m.GAGNER INJURED vs. HURRICANES
Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced in the second period that center Sam Gagner suffered an upper-body injury and would not return to the game against the Hurricanes at the Wells Fargo Center.
Gagner suffered the injury when he was hit into the boards at the end of the first period by Carolina forward Brad Malone. He went into the locker room and did not come out to start the second period.
He appeared in just three shifts and 1:54 of ice time before leaving the game.
He has played in 18 of 21 games this season, his first with the Flyers, but has not missed any games due to injury.
Prior to tonight, Gagner posted two goals and three assists for five points in 17 games and was the only player on the Flyers roster with a plus rating at +1.NOV. 218:27 p.m.LAUGHTON INJURED vs. OTTAWA
Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced to the media during the second period that forward Scott Laughton has an upper body injury and will not return to the game against the Senators in Ottawa tonight.
Laughton left the game on his first shift, at 17:52 of the first period, after taking a hit from Senators forward Alex Chiasson along the side boards in the Senators zone.
He has appeared in all 19 games for the Flyers this season, recording three goals and three assists for six points while averaging 12:19 of ice time.NOV. 17 1:05 p.m.STOLARZ RECALLED
Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that the club has recalled goaltender Anthony Stolarz on emergency basis from their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, today.
Stolarz receives his first recall of the season and is available for tonight’s Flyers-Kings game. He will wear sweater No. 65.
In nine appearances with the Phantoms, Stolarz is 5-3-1 with a 1.90 goals-against average and .930 save percentage. He has won two of his last three starts, dropping a 2-1 overtime decision to the Albany Devils in his last start, to go 2-0-1 in that stretch.
He was recalled to the Flyers on three occasions last season, his first as a professional, but did not appear in a game.
12:03 p.m.NEUVIRTH UPDATE
Following the morning skate, Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that goaltender Michal Neuvirth has an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day.
He participated, but was late coming on the ice at the morning skate. Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol confirmed that Neuvirth will not be available in tonight’s Flyers-Kings game (7pm, CSN & 97.5 The Fanatic).
There is no word on if the Flyers will recall another goaltender. Steve Mason will get the start in net tonight vs. Kings. It will be Mason’s third straight start coming off a 19-save performance in the Flyers’ 3-2 overtime win over the Hurricanes.
“It was up in the air yesterday and I found out at the morning skate,” said Mason. “It’s different circumstances, but it doesn’t really affect me. You prepare every single night as if you’re going to be playing the game regardless of the situation and last night was no different.”
Neuvirth is 3-3-1 with 2.08 goals-against average and .939 save percentage in nine appearances in net for the Flyers.NOV. 154:43 p.m.WHITE INJURED
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall announced this afternoon that forward Ryan White will be out of action for 2-4 weeks with an upper-body injury.
White appeared in 12:34 of ice time on 15 shifts in last night’s 3-2 overtime win over the Hurricanes in Carolina. He has appeared in all 17 games so far this year, recording a goal and two assists for three points and 24 penalty minutes while averaging 13:07 of TOI.
White ranks second on the team in the hit department with 53, trailing only defenseman Radko Gudas, who is currently ranked third among all NHL players with 77 hits.
The Flyers return to action on Tuesday when they face off against the Los Angeles Kings (7pm, CSN & 97.5 The Fanatic). The Flyers will honor Simon Gagne on his retirement with a special pre-game ceremony. Tickets are still available by clicking here…
NOV. 142:22 p.m.LEIER TO MAKE NHL DEBUT; BRAYDEN SCHENN OUT
Following the morning skate, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol announced that both call-ups, Taylor Leier and Shayne Gostisbehere, will be in the line-up tonight at Carolina.
For Leier it marks his NHL debut, while Gostisbehere will enter just his third game in the NHL and first since Oct. 28 of last season.
Neither Leier nor Gostisbehere were present for the morning skate, as both were en route to Raleigh to join the team after playing last night in the Phantoms 7-1 win over Rochester.
“He’s a real hard-working player. He’s a tenacious player and he’ll bring certainly some energy and speed to our lineup,” added Hakstol, who said the first thing that jumps out to him on Leier is his hockey sense. “He’s got a good presence on the ice. It’s easy to see the pace in his game and the competitiveness, but that was probably the other thing that struck me as a young player. I just thought he had a real good feel for the game in all three zones and that comes back to good hockey sense.”
With the duo going in, players must come out of the lineup. Vincent Lecavalier, Evgeny Medvedev and Brayden Schenn will not suit up for the Flyers. Schenn has five goals and seven points in 15 games this season, while Lecavalier has one assist in seven games.
“Brayden’s gotten off to a good start,” said Hakstol, who stated that Schenn wasn’t being taken out of the lineup because of injury. “Things haven’t gone great over the last couple of games so he’s just out for the night.”
Gostisbehere enters the lineup on defense in a much different scenario. With veteran defenseman Mark Streit out for a significant amount of time, he can continue to give the Flyers an offense minded blueline with his skating ability to be able to jump into the play, but Hakstol made it clear he wasn’t a replacement for Streit.
“I don’t want to paint him as a replacement for Mark Streit because that’s not fair,” added Hakstol. “We just want Ghost to come in a do a good job and play good sound defensive two-way hockey and add a little bit offensively because that’s what he does.”
The loss of Streit leaves more of a void on the team on the leadership front in the locker room. Streit has served as the club’s alternate captain for the second straight year.
“He’s a big factor for us in terms of leadership,” said Hakstol. “[He’s] a very quiet leader in the way he goes about it, but extremely well respected in our room. [He’s] the consummate professional that everyday, does the right things. It leaves a gap there that others have to fill in and an opportunity that others have to step into as well.”
Gostisbehere had a good showing in the preseason when he posted three goals, two of which came on the power-play, and 12 shots in three preseason games before being loaned to Lehigh Valley on Sept. 26.11:15 a.m.STREIT OUT; GOSTISBEHERE AND LEIER IN
The Flyers announced today that defenseman Mark Streit will undergo surgery Tuesday morning to repair a pubic plate detachment. The surgery will be performed by Dr. William Meyers. He is expected to be out at six weeks.
Streit will join RJ Umberger on the injured reserve. In his 16 games this season, Streit has posted three goals and six assists for nine points.
The Flyers also announced that defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and left wing Taylor Leier have been called up from their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Gostisbehere has notched two goals and eight assists in his 14 games this season with the Phantoms. Last year he joined the parent club for two games.
On the other side of the ice, Taylor Leier could make his NHL debut tonight. He's currently standing at four goals and five assists with the Phantoms.BELLEMARE RETURNS
Left wing Pierre-Edouard Bellemare has been activated from the injured reserve and will return to the lineup tonight.
Bellemare has been out since suffering a lower-body injury during the Flyers-Sabres game on Oct. 27. He rejoined the team on the ice for pregame skate on two days ago. After which, head coach Dave Hakstol said the team was looking forward to getting Bellemare back to his penalty-killing ways.
"It will alter the group of six forwards that we’re using a little bit," Hakstol said. "No question Pierre will go back into PK role. He’s one of our most efficient guys in that area."
The Flyers will face off against the Carolina Hurricanes for the first time this season tonight in Raleigh. Puck drops at 7pm ET on Comcast SportsNet and 93.3 WMMR. NOV. 1212:45 p.m.MEDVEDEV RETURNS; MASON STARTS
Defenseman Davis Drewiske returning to the Phantoms yesterday paved the way for Evgeny Medvedev to make a return to the lineup, and that’s exactly what will happen tonight as the Flyers face the Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. on CSN & 97.5 The Fanatic).
Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol made the announcement following the morning skate. Medvedev is returning to action after missing the last five games with an upper-body injury.
“It’s nice to have him back in tonight,” said Hakstol. “We want him to keep making steps and strides forward obviously. We didn’t want to have him out of the lineup for the length of time that he’s been out… Hopefully he can bring us good [stability] on the blueline, and he is a guy that can bring a little offense and we need that from him.”
Hakstol also stated that although there have been expected bumps in the road, he has mostly seen positives on the growth of Medvedev’s game adjusting from preseason to the regular season in his first season coming over to play North American hockey.
If the morning skate combinations are any indication, Medvedev will most likely be paired with Mark Streit, while Michael Del Zotto and Radko Gudas is another pairing to look out for tonight. Gudas ranks fourth in the NHL in the hit department with 63 in 12 games.
“Maybe there’s a couple elements to it,” said Hakstol who emphasized the move wasn’t specific to have Del Zotto focus on his offensive side.
“Putting Radko there, you’re putting a righty with a lefty. Radko brings a pretty hard-nosed style to that side of the ice and we want [Del Zotto] concentrating on a good two-way game - defending, moving pucks and then when the offense is there adding a little bit.”UMBERGER UPDATE
GM Ron Hextall also gave an injury update to the media, announcing that forward RJ Umberger will miss additional time with his lower-body injury and is expected to be out 7-10 days.
“He’s not as fine as we hoped,” added Hextall, who also stated that at this point there were no plans to place him on injured reserve.
Umberger has missed four games in total this year, including the last game against the Avalanche.
MASON BACK IN NET
Between the pipes, Steve Mason confirmed that he will get call in net. It will be his first action since Nov. 2. Mason is 2-4-2 with a 3.34 GAA and .902 save percentage, but has a 2.78 GAA and .918 sv pct. in his last six appearances.
“It’s been a lot longer than you would like to be sitting out,” said Mason. “I’m not going to try and go out and take the game by storm. I’m just going to go out and try to be steady out there and focus on it shot-by-shot. When you haven’t played in a long time it’s easy to get over excited… My goal is just to go out there and be a calm presence back there and give the team a chance.”NOV. 102:55 p.m.NEUVIRTH STARTS; BELLEMARE SKATING AGAIN
Michal Neuvirth took to the Flyers side of the goal crease and was first off the ice at the morning skate indicating that he would get the call between the pipes tonight against the Avalanche.
Following the skate, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol confirmed that Neuvirth would be getting his fourth straight start in net.
“His last two starts, both in Calgary and in Winnipeg, he did a great job,” added Hakstol stating that Neuvirth earned the start.
The Flyers return after a five-game road trip to play four of their next five on home ice.
“It’s good to be home,” said Hakstol. “Obviously the first few games of that trip were tough. We didn’t play the way we wanted to. We got back on track. We felt like we played well in Calgary, played well in Winnipeg and got three of our last four points so we have to move forward to today and make sure we take advantage of being at home here.”
The Wells Fargo Center has also been kind to Neuvirth. He earned back-to-back shutouts in his first two starts, which have been his only two games played at home. He has stopped all 61 shots he faced and has a shutout streak of 120 minutes as a Flyer on home ice.
Combined with his shutout in Winnipeg, Neuvirth leads all NHL goaltenders with three on the year. He also has an impressive 1.81 goals-against average and .945 save percentage in his seven appearances during his Flyers career.BELLEMARE SKATING AGAIN
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare re-joined his teammates for the first time since going down with a lower-body injury in the Flyers-Sabres game on Oct. 27. He took part in the morning skate, but will not be available for tonight’s game against the Avalanche.
“I have to check with the medical team after practice and tonight,” said Bellemare. “Right now I don’t feel anything, but [it’s about] how you feel a half an hour from now. It’s all about controlling it.”
Said Bellemare about anything that he can not do while skating: “Right now, it doesn’t feel like it. It was the first team practice that I had with certain stuff. I felt unbelievable, so I’m excited.”
Bellemare spent all of the Flyers 10-day road trip going through rehab, but did not do any part of the rehab on the ice. Monday was his first time hitting the ice, although he skated prior to the full team practicing.
When Bellemare is ready to return, one area the Flyers will welcome back is his penalty-killing ability. Prior to being injured he was an integral part of the Flyers unit, accounting for 2:54 of average ice-time while shorthanded, which led all Flyers forwards and ranked fourth on the team.
Added Hakstol: “It will alter the group of six forwards that we’re using a little bit. No question Pierre will go back into PK role. He’s one of our most efficient guys in that area.” NOV. 51:45 p.m. MT
After getting in good, long skating sessions the last two days, Sean Couturier joined his teammates for the morning skate in Calgary and will re-enter the lineup against the Flames tonight (9pm ET on CSN & 97.5 The Fanatic).
“It’s never fun to watch from the stands. I feel good. I feel ready and hopefully I can help the team,” said Couturier after the skate. “I’m just going to try and play my game. A solid two-way game and take care of the little details and control the puck offensively.”
He has missed the last six games after taking a hit in the Flyers-Bruins game in Boston on Oct. 21. He will be back playing amongst familiar teammates, centering a line with Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read.
“We’ve been playing a lot together, especially me and Reader. [Simmonds] the first few games of the season, we were pretty much together most of the time,” added Couturier. “Obviously the first few shifts might be to get the chemistry back but I’m not worried. I’m just going to keep it simple, try and keep my shifts short and get back into it.”
The Flyers are hoping to end their five-game skid on this road trip and Couturier back in the lineup could be the boost they need. The Flyers have three of their four wins this season with Couturier in the lineup with a 3-2-1 record.
“I think it’s a lift when you have a player come back in the lineup,” said Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol. “[Couturier] is a guy that we rely on and he’s accountable in every part of the game, so in a real quiet way he’s a very good leader for us.”
In another bit of news, Hakstol said that Scott Laughton will center Ryan White and Chris VandeVelde tonight.
“I think that can be a good group together,” added Hakstol. “Making no comparison between [Bellemare] and [Laughton] but there are some similarities in terms of the pace of play, their skating ability and tenacity.”
On the goaltending front, Steve Mason did not participate in morning skate. Flyers GM Ron Hextall stated that Mason is feeling under the weather but will be available for tonight's game.
The Flyers used the local junior team's goaltender, Brendan Burke, of the Calgary Hitmen. Burke is the son of former Flyers goaltender Sean Burke.
Speaking of the Hitmen, a couple of Flyers prospects were around the rink this morning. Travis Sanheim and Radel Fazleev stopped by and talked with a couple of the Flyers around the locker room. The Hitmen also play in the Scotiabank Saddledome and will take on the Edmonton Oil Kings on Friday night.
NOV. 410:45 p.m. MTFLYERS RECALL DAVIS DREWISKE
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Davis Drewiske from their AHL affiliate in Lehigh Valley. In addition, the club has returned forward Chris Conner on loan to the Phantoms.
Drewiske will wear No. 43 with the Flyers and will be available when they visit the Calgary Flames tomorrow night.
This is the first recall of the season for the 30-year-old. He has recorded one assist and has an even plus-minus rating in nine games for the Phantoms this season. Drewiske has appeared in 135 NHL games in his career for Los Angeles and Montreal, recording five goals and 20 assists for 25 points.
Drewiske has spent the last three seasons in the Montreal organization, appearing in a total of 83 games over the past two years for Montreal’s AHL affiliate that at the time was in Hamilton, Ontario. His last NHL action came with the Canadiens during the 2012-13 season.
Conner was recalled Monday and joined the Flyers in Vancouver, but did not dress for the club’s games in Vancouver or Edmonton. He is second on the Phantoms in scoring so far this season with four goals and four assists in eight games.NOV. 3 3:05 p.m. MTMEDVEDEV RETURNS TO PHILADELPHIA
Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that defenseman Evgeny Medvedev is flying back to Philadelphia with an upper-body injury. Hextall added that the club will know more once he is examined tomorrow by team doctors.
Medvedev missed last night’s game in Vancouver after appearing in the first 10 games of the season for the Flyers, as well as five out of a possible six preseason games where he recorded a goal and four assists.
He has one assist and averaged 17:28 of time-on-ice in 10 regular season games.NOV. 2 2:55 p.m. PTMEDVEDEV OUT VS. CANUCKS
Some news to come out of the morning skate in Vancouver was defenseman Brandon Manning will enter the lineup, while Evgeny Medvedev will not play.
“He’s continuously making progress,” said Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol on Medvedev. "There’s been a little bit of up and down with and without the puck. I think for him coming out [of the lineup] in a lot of respects, it might be a good thing for him to actually watch a game and keep progressing.”
This is Medvedev’s first missed game of the year. In his previous 10 games, he has one assist while averaging 17:28 of ice time.
Added Hakstol: “It’s a different game and I think he’s doing a really good job of adjusting, but again, without the puck there’s a lot of things that happen quick and things that he’s working at and improving at and continue to move in that direction.”CONNER & COUTURIER UPDATES
Chris Conner joined the team on the ice for the morning skate. He was one of the last players to come off the ice, so all indications point to him not being in the lineup tonight in Vancouver.
Conner, who had been playing on a line with Nick Cousins in Lehigh Valley, is excited to join the club on the road trip.
“It’s something that you always strive for, to get that call,” said Conner. “It’s great to be here and I just want to do whatever I can to help the team win games. As far as expectations for myself I want to prove that I can play here and play at this level.”
First off the ice at the morning skate was goaltender Steve Mason and all indications are that he will get the start between the pipes.
Flyers GM Ron Hextall also stated at the morning skate that forward Sean Couturier will join the team in Edmonton. However, it is not known whether he will play in the second of the Flyers back-to-back games against the Oilers on Tuesday night.
Couturier has missed the last four games with an upper body injury.
Hear more from Chris Conner, who spoke after the morning skate below… NOV. 1 10:50 p.m. PT updated: 4:11 p.m. PTFLYERS RECALL CHRIS CONNER
Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced today that the club has recalled forward Chris Conner from their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
“He brings speed, he’s got some skill,” said Hextall. “He’s a seasoned player so it gives our coach another option.”
Conner wasn’t on the ice for Flyers practice at the University of British Columbia on Sunday afternoon and is scheduled to arrive in Vancouver on Sunday night. He will, however, be available to play in the game against the Canucks.
“He’s coming here for a reason, he’s available to play. Whether or not he’s in tomorrow, I’m not ready to speculate on that right now,” said Hakstol. “I knew him as a young player and I followed his career, but he’s a guy that can bring pace; he’s a competitive guy especially on pucks and he can bring a little bit of offensive punch as well.”
Hakstol added that a decision will be made in the morning on Conner. Should he get the call, he will wear sweater No. 34.
This is Conner’s first recall of the season. He is currently tied for the Phantoms lead in goals (4) and ranks second on the team with eight points in eight games. He also leads the squad in plus-minus with a plus-6 rating.
The Flyers signed Conner to a two-year, two-way contract on July 1 at the start of free agency and appeared in one preseason game during training camp, going scoreless.
He spent last season with the Hershey Bears where he posted 19 goals and 33 assists for 52 points in 61 games. He has 180 career games of NHL experience over parts of nine seasons with the Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes and Capitals where he has posted 22 goals and 28 assists for 50 points.
The Flyers are in the midst of their five-game, nine-day road trip and take on the Canucks in Vancouver on Monday night (10 p.m. ET, TCN & 93.3 WMMR).
WATCH: GM Ron Hextall on Conner recall, Couturier injury and the play of the team lately below...