After much deliberation and dramatic announcement ceremony on Wednesday, Steve Yzerman’s Team Canada has been named for the 2010 Olympics.
The list, with some noticeable omissions, includes Flyers’ defenseman Chris Pronger and forward captain Mike Richards. Jeff Carter was placed on the stand-in list in case injury should strike a roster player.
After missing 22 games due to a double hernia suffered on Oct. 26, Flyers’ forward Simon Gagne is set to make his return to the active lineup, Saturday against the New York Rangers.
“I’m very excited,” Gagne told the media on Friday. “I think today was pretty much the first time I enjoyed myself in practice. I knew the way I was feeling today that tomorrow was going to be my first day back.”
For all the Flyers’ fans expecting and clamoring for a trade before the holiday freeze on Dec. 19 — don’t hold your breath.
On Wednesday, general manager Paul Holmgren made it clear that he wants more time to observe the team under newly minted head coach Peter Laviolette before making a team-shaking move.
“I’d like to evaluate things under the new coach for a while and see how things go with the guys coming back,” Holmgren told the Inquirer, when asked about making a move.
Blair Betts (shoulder) is set to make his return tonight versus the Penguins, while Simon Gagne (hernia) and Darroll Powe (shoulder) are expected to return to the lineup before the New Year.
Holmgren hopes the influx of fresh bodies and minds helps rejuvenate a sullen Flyers team that has lost 11 of their last 14.
If that doesn’t help, heads are sure to roll.
According to a report by Ruefrontenac.com, Montreal general manager Bob Gainey offered the Flyers a trade involving goaltender Jaroslav Halak, when it was made public that Flyers’ goalie Ray Emery would be out for six weeks with abdomen surgery.
”I took this step because it is Jaroslav’s wish to have his chance to play,” said Gainey, who noted that the Flyers were not the only team offered. ”He feels ready to play a more important part.”
The original report had Gainey asking for a top-6 forward, but Gainey noted that wasn’t the case.
”Let’s be realistic,” Gainey told ruefrontenac.com. “I received a second round pick from the Washington Capitals for Cristobal Huet and the Flyers gave up a second round pick from Buffalo for Martin Biron.”
The Flyers did not tender an offer for the 24-year old, who carries a $775,000 cap hit.
On Tuesday, the Flyers picked up goaltender Michael Leighton off waivers from Carolina. Leighton will replace Johan Backlund as the back up until Emery returns.
Halak is 6-5 this season with a 2.91 GAA.
According to multiple reports, most noticeably Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the Flyers have interest in acquiring 34-year old goalie Marty Turco of the Dallas Stars.
In a running segment on TSN.ca for Off the Record, former Flyer and all-time hockey great Jeremy Roenick, gives his two-cents about news from around the NHL. When hitting on the issue of his former club, Roenick gave a very interesting take.
“There’s somebody bad in that locker room,” he said. “Somebody is tainting something in that locker room, whether it’s the leadership, or somebody who is leading them the wrong way, or somebody who is doing something and other people are following off the ice. They need to straighten that stuff up inside the locker room.”
After stating before Monday’s contest against Montreal that goaltender Ray Emery has “some nagging injuries, but is fit to play,” the Flyers have placed Emery on injured reserved with an abdomen injury. Brian Boucher is set to make back-to-back starts for the second time this season. Emery will need surgery to repair the tear and will miss six weeks.
Emery, who was thought to be held out of the game in Montreal to gain confidence against a weaker Islanders team, was abruptly placed on the IRwithout any media notification. General manager Paul Holmgren will address the situation prior to the tonight’s game.
An injury could explain why Emery has hit a wall this season. After beginning the year with a respectable record and a goals against average of just over 2.00, Emery has dropped four of his last five starts.