The news is as expected for Oskars Bartulis.
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.
According to TSN, the Flyers have placed forward Nik Zherdev on waivers.
The move comes three days after Zherdev’s agent Jay Grossman and Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren met in New York on Sunday.
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.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)
Immediately after trading forward Simon Gagne to the Tampa Bay Lightning for 6’4 depth defenseman Matt Walker, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren attempted to explain his reasoning behind the move.
“When we came out of the Stanley Cup Final loss to the Blackhawks, we had specific objectives in mind,” Holmgren told CSNPhilly.com. “And the No. 1 thing on our list was to improve our defense, and No. 2 on our list was to get a little bigger.”
And he seemingly achieved both this offseason by signing Walker, 6’3 forward Jody Shelley, as well as defensemen Sean O’Donnell and Andrej Meszaros, who both stand at 6’2.
But despite the appearance of greater size and talk from the GM, the truth is in the numbers — the Flyers are no bigger than they were last year.
The whispers of the re-worked Flyers lineup have finally been confirmed — forward Dan Carcillo will enter the lineup for James Van Riemsdyk and defenseman Oskars Bartulis will play for Ryan Parent. Michael Leighton will start in goal.
“You battle all year with these guys and you want to be in at this time of year,”Carcillo told the media on Monday. “It was hard sitting out those three games. I’ve got a lot of pent-up energy you’ll probably see released tonight.”
According to Sarah Baicker of CSNphilly.com, after spending two promising but uninspired seasons in the AHL with the Phantoms, Flyers’ defensive prospect Oskars Bartulis, will get to see his first NHL action tonight as the Flyers take on the San Jose Sharks at the Wachovia Center.
Bartulis, 22, is a stay-at-home defenseman with puck-handling skills. A converted forward from his younger days, the 6-2, 195 lbs. Latvian had yet to prove his frame was strong enough to battle at the NHL level. But apparently general manager Paul Holmgren believes the former third round draft pick is ready.
Bartulis will likely take the place of sixth defenseman Danny Syvret and will wear number 38.
UPDATE: Bartulis was a late roster scratch. He was brought in just in case an unnamed defender couldn’t go due an injury or illness.