Given the circumstance, amateur defenseman turn NHL blue liner for the day, David Sloane, did not have a bad game on Thursday, despite only getting 6:44 of ice time and having one blocked shot. But there is something to say about a Philly guy playing his first game at the highest level, against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, in a playoff-style atmosphere.
“One minute I’m in Albany (with the Phantoms), the next I’m in a rental car coming down to New York,” Sloane said. “It was a total surprise to me.”
Because defenseman Ryan Parent was still feeling the lingering effects of a groin tweak. And Riley Cote was out with a bum finger. The Flyers were stuck with both players’ salary on the books and needed a replacement on defense, while being pressed hard against the cap. The solution — sign an amateur on the Phantoms that hasn’t played a professional game and play him within 24-hours. Signing Sloane meant that for 24-hours, the 24-year old defenseman from Colgate University, wouldn’t count against the cap.
“It’s not an ideal situation to be in,” said Flyers’ general manager Paul Holmgren. “I don’t particularly like playing short-handed. David Sloane is a college hockey player who has never played a pro game. Is he ready for the National Hockey League? Probably not, but he’s going to be put under fire.”
Lucky for the Flyers, Parent will be ready to play on Saturday against the New York Islanders, while Sloane will get sent back to the Phantoms.
Also in defensive news, the Flyers have assigned Luca Sbisa to the Phantoms. Sbisa’s junior season ended Wednesday night, making him eligable to go pro for the rest of the season. Sbisa will join the Flyers once the playoffs start, when the salary cap becomes virtually meaningless.