Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Flyers Just Cut Sam Morin and Taylor Leier

I guess it wasn't so much "cut" as it was "reassigned to the minor league affiliate," but efficient headlines are important in sports journalism.

To the surprise of nobody (I hope), Leier and Morin were returned to Lehigh Valley. Leier looked like a solid, reliable call-up option if the need arises this season. Morin looked like he's made huge strides in his development, but needs to cook for a little while longer. We'll see them both in orange and black in the future, without a doubt.

The interesting part about this round of cuts, though, is it leaves us with a very manageable group of guys left in Flyers camp. The roster now stands at 26, and Hextall has said they will be down to 23 before the season starts.

So let's take a look at who might be heading out of Philadelphia to get down to that magic number.

Not A Chance In Hell These Guys Aren't On The Team

Forwards (10): Nick Cousins, Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux, Boyd Gordon, Michael Raffl, Matt Read, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Jake Voracek, Dale Weise

That's three (or maybe two) guys on the top line, two (or maybe three) guys on the second line, and the third- and fourth-line centers (Cousins and Gordon). Depending on how everything shakes out, Raffl/Read/Weise will likely be wingers somewhere in the bottom three lines.

Defensemen (5): Michael Del Zotto, Shayne Gostisbehere, Radko Gudas, Nick Schultz, Mark Streit

I don't think anyone will have any debate about these top five.

Goalies (2): Steve Mason, Michal Neuvirth


That's the easy part. Now, let's look at who's competing for the other five spots on the roster. It'll likely end up being three forwards and two defensemen, but that could obviously change.


Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton
Roman Lyubimov
Chris Vandevelde
Jordan Weal

This whole section starts and ends with Konecny. If he makes it, he's playing on Giroux or Couturier's wing, and Raffl/Read will be thrown into the bottom six mix. That takes a spot away from one of these other guys, and it cascades from there.

But, for a team that certainly had offensive struggles last year, I don't think they can afford to leave Konecny off the team. He's more talented offensively than the other guys competing for that last top-six spot, and those guys are more talented than the people they'd be replacing in the bottom six. Everyone wins.

Well, everyone except Chris Vandevelde and Jordan Weal, who are going to get cut. The only exception might be if Hextall decides to send Laughton to Lehigh Valley. He's waiver-exempt, which means he can't be claimed by another team when he's sent down. Weal, though he's far from a franchise cornerstone, would likely be claimed by someone else and the Flyers would lose him for nothing. For that reason, I could see him being the odd man out (aka the healthy scratch press box guy).

In: Bellemare, Konecny, Lyubimov, Weal

Out: Laughton, Vandevelde


Andrew MacDonald
Brandon Manning
Ivan Provorov

I'll be brief.

If Ivan Provorov gets sent back to the WHL, it is going to be bad.

For expansion draft purposes, either Manning has to play 14 games or MacDonald has to play 40 games. I would rather have Manning rotate in every so often, either to give Streit/Schultz a break or to cover for a short-term injury. Playing MacDonald for half of the season would be detrimental to the team.

In: Provorov, Manning

Out: MacDonald

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