With Niitty down, Flyers turn to familiar face

With backup goaltender Antero Niittymaki on the shelf for over a month with a hip injury, the Flyers have formally invited former top prospect Maxime Ouellet to attend training camp.

Ouellet was selected by the Flyers 22nd overall in the 1999 entry draft and was instantly one of the top goaltending prospects in the league. Controversy surrounded the butterfly style backstop in 2002, when then General Manager Bob Clarke shipped him and three draft picks to the Washington Capitals for washed up 39-year old center Adam Oates.

But what seemed like a complete fleecing of Clarke at the time, turned out to be not so bad, when Ouellet would fail to pan out as the talented starter he was tapped to be.  The former Quebec Remparts standout would only play 12 NHL games before returning to the AHL and ultimately ending up in the ECHL.

At 27 year old, Ouellet may still have something in the tank.  But the fact that the Flyers are searching high and low for someone to replace Niitty, says a lot about the front office’s faith in the goalie talent in the system, which is not good.

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