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by Anthony SanFilippo / Philadelphia Flyers

It looks like Zac Rinaldo is ready to come back.

The Flyers have placed forward Chris Vandevelde on waivers today. If he clears, the Flyers have the option to send him back down to the Adirondack Phantoms.

They could keep him on the active roster even if he clears, but it’s unlikely they would risk losing Vandevelde to another team if there wasn’t another roster move pending.

With Rinaldo poised to return from injured reserve, the Flyers would have to make a roster move to make room for him on the roster. The team is only allowed to have 23 active players on the roster, which means Rinaldo can’t come off I.R. until there is a vacant spot available.

The only player on the current Flyers roster who does not have to clear waivers to be sent down to the Phantoms is Michael Raffl, which makes waiving Vandevelde the obvious move.

If he clears, he will likely join the Phantoms immediately as Rinaldo is joining the Flyers on the trip to California.

Vandevelde, 26, carries a cap hit of $550,000 for the Flyers. He has one assist in 17 games this season.

Meanwhile, Rinaldo, 23, is likely to return well ahead of schedule from his injury. He suffered high ankle sprain against Montreal Jan. 8 – a game in which he scored his lone goal of the season – and was expected to miss six weeks.

However, the ankle healed quicker than expected and although there is no guarantee he plays in Anaheim tomorrow, he is that much closer to getting back into the lineup after being sidelined for just three weeks.

In 44 games Rinaldo has one goal and one assist for two points and leads the Flyers with 101 penalty minutes. His 135 hits this season rank 25th in the NHL, which is impressive for someone who averages just 7:31 of ice time per game.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

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