The Flyers may have kept primarily silent on NHL trade deadline day, however, they did make one depth move that could pay dividends.
With time running out on the 3 P.M. deadline, general manager Paul Holmgren acquired 6-foot-5, 228 lbs. brute force winger Tom Sestito from the Columbus Blue Jackets for the Flyers 2010 third-round pick Michael Chaput and 26-year-old center and AHL regular, Greg Moore.
Sestito will be immediately assigned to the Adirondack Phantoms.
Sestito, 23, a Columbus third round pick in 2006, played nine games with the Blue Jackets this season, earning a pair of goals, assists and 40 penalty minutes. Big, mean and physical is Sestito’s game. A willing fighter and role-player, the native New Yorker could be used as a net presence and physical entity.
Certainly a project if the Flyers want more than specialized duty from him, Sestito could work as a depth call up or “black ace” come playoff time. Although Sestito might not be the ideal choice to play any post-season games, considering the Flyers’ vapid depth pool, he is an upgrade at 14th or 15th forward.
Late in the third period of Thursday’s 4-3 overtime win against the New York Islanders, Flyers’ defenseman Chris Pronger blocked a shot with what appeared to be his left wrist. The 36-year-old waited until the play stopped before going directly down the tunnel to the locker room. He did not return.
Update: According to general manager Paul Holmgren, x-rays on Chris Pronger’s wrist were negative. He should be OK.
Pronger has four goals and 20 assists in 46 games this season.
According to general manager Paul Holmgren, as a result of a late hit by Phoenix Coyotes forward Scottie Upshall on Tuesday, the Flyers’ seventh defenseman will undergo shoulder surgery to fix “instability,” and will miss 10-12 weeks.
After leaving with a knee injury in the first period of Sunday’s 4-2 win over the New York Rangers, Flyers defenseman Sean O’Donnell said he could have returned to play and that holding him out was simply precautionary.
However, upon further review, the injury might have been more serious than expected
According to general manager Paul Holmgren on Monday, O’Donnell, who skipped practice, will miss 10-14 days with a knee sprain. Seventh defenseman Oskars Bartulis is expected to fill in during that time.
O’Donnell, 39, has one goal and 11 assists, and is a plus-7 in 59 games with the Flyers. Not accustomed to missing time, O’Donnell has played 75 games or more in 11 of his 14 seasons prior to this year.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie on Monday, the Flyers have traded a 2011 first and third-round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for forward Kris Versteeg.
Considered a solid two-way forward, Versteeg, who has 14 goals and 21 assists in 53 games this season with Toronto, gives the Flyers’ already deep lineup even more potency. The Alberta-native will likely take the place of Nik Zherdev or Andreas Nodl as a top-nine winger. With little cap space and next to no young talent coming through the prospect pipeline, this move solidifies the Flyers’ intention of going boom or bust to bring home the Stanley Cup in 2011.
Although it was a Tuesday to forget for the Flyers, who fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning, there was something that should make the Philly faithful smile.
At some point during the Washington Capitals – Montreal Canadiens game, Capitals’ captain Alex Ovechkin hip checks Canadiens’ rookie PK Subban in the open ice. Subban flies up in the air and almost lands directly on his head. The rookie then went after Ovechkin, only to receive a penalty.
Earlier in the season, Flyers’ captain Mike Richards prognosticated that Subban would eventually receive his on-ice punishment for running his mouth in excess as a rookie.
Ryan Bright (Philabright@gmail.com) is a sports writer, born and raised in the Philadelphia area. A graduate of West Chester University, he has been with the Daily Local News in Chester County since early 2007, working as the paper's college and high school ice hockey beat writer. In 2010, began as a contributer for CSNPhilly.com, covering the Flyers and the Philadelphia Union.