The Flyers earned a Pyrrhic victory over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, winning the game 5-4 in OT but losing forwards Blair Betts and James van Riemsdyk to injuries.
Betts separated his shoulder in the third period and was said by general manager Paul Holmgren to miss at least four weeks.
JVR got his “bell rung” in the second period according to Holmgren. So sticking with their reputation of having players with severe brain problems, the Flyers sent him back to play in the third period. JVR said he didn’t feel right and left the game for good in the third. According to the Flyers, he will be reevaluated on Wednesday.
Barring a major line shake up, Ian Laperriere will take over for Betts as fourth-line center. The Flyers will activate Arron Asham and Riley Cote from the inactive list with Asham replacing JVR as third-line winger.
It took all of preseason but Blair Betts is finally a Flyer.
The 29-year old center officially inked a one-year deal on Thursday, just hours before the team is scheduled to travel to Carolina for the opening game. There were many conflicting reports as to what took the team so long to sign the penalty kill specialist, but all evidence points to some salary cap or roster number issues.
Betts is expected to play fourth-line center between Dan Carcillo and Ian Laperriere. He has 28 goals and 20 assists in 339 career games.
At one point in the 2009-10 offseason it seemed as if utility center Blair Betts and the Philadelphia Flyers were a match made in heaven. But with Friday’s season opener against Carolina creeping closer and Betts still remaining unsigned, it could very well mean any possible deal could be flat lining.
“I don’t know,” Holmgren told the media when asked if a deal would get done with the 29-year old. “We’ll see how it goes over the next day. If we don’t have anything done by tomorrow, it probably won’t happen.”
According to Betts, it’s the Flyers who are holding up the deal.
“I have no idea,” said Betts, when asked about what’s holding up the deal. “As the player, I honestly don’t know.
“[The Flyers] said they need a little bit more time and we are waiting to hear from them.”
During the second intermission of the Flyers’ final preseason game versus the Minnesota Wild, general manager Paul Holmgren held a small press conference saying that Blair Betts being inactive for the final game was simply circumstantial. He also mentioned ongoing meetings with Betts’ agent that include one and two-year deals.
“The fact they we have been talking is a good thing for us,” Holmgren told the media “We’ll see. The saga is not over.”
Three days after being placed on waivers, defenseman Randy Jones has not been picked up, therefore automatically assigning him with the Adirondack Phantoms. The cost-cutting move drops $2.75 million from the Flyers’ roster which gives the team the ability to sign utility forward Blair Betts, which is expected soon. Jones will be replaced by either Ole-Kristian Tollefsen of Danny Syvret.
Also sent down to the Phantoms were Patrick Maroon and Lukas Kaspar.
Betts, a training camp try out, impressed thoroughly in the preseason with his expertise in penalty killing and face offs. Now that Jones’ contract is off the books, a signing is expected before the end of the day.
For much of the preseason, the major roster question was who general manager Paul Holmgren was going to decide to keep with the big club — James van Riemsdyk, Mika Pyorala or Blair Betts. But according to Holmgren, the Flyers want all three.
“If we were submitting rosters tomorrow, yeah, (Pyorala, JVR and Betts) would probably would be on it,” said Holmgren.
General manager Paul Holmgren told the media that he expects to make a decision on the fate of Blair Betts sometime after Saturday’s preseason game in New Jersey. He also mentioned that the status of James van Riemsdyk and Mika Pyorala will be decided later in the week, possibly after the final preseason game versus the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, Sept. 29.