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Shelley returns to lineup for Flyers

by Adam Kimelman
PHILADELPHIA -- At age 35 and in his 11th NHL season, Jody Shelley understands how the NHL works and knows what his role is with the Philadelphia Flyers.

That role has consisted of him spending the last 10 games as a healthy scratch, but that stretch comes to an end tonight, as Shelley rejoins the lineup tonight against the Minnesota Wild in place of Zac Rinaldo, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Rinaldo was hurt in practice yesterday.

Shelley hasn't played since Dec. 23 against the New York Rangers, and this will be just his 15th game of the season.

It certainly hasn't been easy for Shelley, nor for coach Peter Laviolette, who respects what Shelley brings to the team.

"Jody has had a tremendous work ethic," said Laviolette, who talked prior to the announcement on Rinaldo. "He's remained very positive in waiting for an opportunity to get back in the lineup. When he does get back in there I'm sure he'll be a positive influence. He's a good teammate and he works hard. He tries to stay positive."

Shelley, who has 1 assist, a minus-4 rating and 17 penalty minutes, told his most important job is being a role model to the Flyers' collection of younger players.

"It had a huge impact on my career when I had guys like Luke Richardson, Mike Sillinger, Tyler Wright, Lyle Odelein show up and do their job every single day," he said. "You learn from the men in the room as a young guy. If you pick up on it, you can stay around a while. You try to do that. That's what you try to do. You try to bring something every day, whether it's a positive attitude, a little extra work or a little advice or be there for questions. You just do it. That's part of being an older guy in here."

Here's how the rest of the lineup shapes up tonight:

Jaromir Jagr - Claude Giroux - Scott Hartnell
Maxime Talbot - Danny Briere - Jakub Voracek
Matt Read - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds
Jody Shelley - Sean Couturier - Harry Zolnierczyk

Braydon Coburn - Kimmo Timonen
Matt Carle - Marc-Andre Bourdon
Andrej Meszaros - Erik Gustafsson

Ilya Bryzgalov will start in net, with Sergei Bobrovsky the backup.

Defenseman Andreas Lilja will be a healthy scratch.

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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