So long to the Czech line? Petr Prucha waived by Phoenix

Bad news today for Coyotes and Petr Prucha fans as the Coyotes have waived the Czech winger. If you were a fan of the Coyotes “Czech line” featuring Martin Hanzal, Radim Vrbata, and Petr Prucha chances are you’ve been disappointed for most of this season as the line was broken up this year. Hanzal missed some time due to injury, Vrbata has found chemistry with other players and Prucha… Well, Prucha has had a hard time staying in head coach Dave Tippett’s lineup and he’s been the same streaky player Rangers fans remember seeing when he played in New York.

In 11 games this season, Prucha had zero goals and one assist. While many players on Phoenix have been having down offensive seasons, Prucha’s struggles were mighty and it showed with a lack of ice time. Prucha averaged just over 11 minutes a night this season and if you needed a sign that things were going south, he was a healthy scratch in last night’s game.

As for potential interest in Prucha on waivers, he’s making just over $1 million this year and his deal runs out at the end of the season. For a team looking for a potential jump offensively he could make for a good, low-cost addition if you’re in need of depth. Banking on Prucha for steady second line work might be a bit too risky.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.