A signing may be brewing in Flyers Land. Up against the 50-contract limit with 49, the Flyers have traded defenseman Patrik Hersley to Nashville for future considerations. The move gives the Flyers 48 contracts, allowing them to possibly sign forward Blair Betts and remain under the limit by one.
Hersley was a low-end prospect currently playing for Modo in Sweden. The 6’3 defenseman spent most of his career in the ECHL, playing just five games for the Phantoms in 2008-09.
VOORHEES — With all but one forward roster spot filled for the 2009-10 season, the biggest question for the Flyers becomes … who is with who?
“I like the combination of forwards we have now,” said defenseman Kimmo Timonen. “We have three really good lines and we have a ton of guys who are competing for a spot on the team. And that’s a good situation to have going into training camp.”
The Flyers open training camp on Sept. 13 at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J. And although the team is primarily keeping the same line chemistry as last season, there will be some changes.
VOORHEES — For those who assumed that Blair Betts’ training camp try out would automatically end in a roster spot – think again.
On his first day of skating at the Flyers’ practice facility at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., Betts didn’t seem confident that he was a shoe-in on the Flyers’ roster.
“We have been talking to the Flyers for a couple months and there seems to be a little bit of interest from them,” said Betts, who spent the last four years with the Rangers. “There is an opportunity (to earn a contract) but I don’t know how great of an opportunity it is.
“My conversations with them (Paul Holmgren and John Stevens) were very short. I was told to play hard and work hard and an opportunity may open up for me. That’s all I’m focusing on right now.”
As I first reported on my Twitter (@philabright), the Flyers have signed forward Blair Betts to a training camp try out beginning on Sept. 13. At 6’3, 210 lbs., Betts is a top-notch defensive forward and penalty killer. Averaging about 50% on faceoffs in the last three seasons with the Rangers, the 29-year old would top the Flyers in that statistic.
If Betts does make Flyers’ roster as a third-line center, it could push forward Claude Giroux to the first or second line. That would make a big difference in whether the team continues a search for a UFA winger.