Brayden Schenn

Flyers recall Brayden Schenn, continue to artfully dodge the salary cap


According to CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio, the Flyers have recalled highly-touted prospect Brayden Schenn from their AHL affiliate in Adirondack.

This is fairly big news in the City of Brotherly Love. Schenn, one of the signature pieces of the Mike Richards-to-Los Angeles trade, is one of hockey’s best young talents and absolutely tore it up with the Phantoms (4G-4A-8PTS in four games.) But hey, let’s  be honest here — Schenn would’ve been with the parent club from Day 1 had economics not played a role.

Publicly, the Flyers suggested Schenn started in the minors so he could recover from a shoulder injury, but the $1.75 million they saved off the salary cap (Schenn’s contract had a bonus structure where his cap hit would drop if he played one game in the AHL) was hard to ignore. According to, the Flyers have the NHL’s highest payroll with no wiggle room whatsoever. This explains why GM Paul Holmgren sent Zac Rinaldo (who KOed Drew Doughty over the weekend) and Harry Zolnierczyk (who scored his first NHL goal last night) down to the AHL today — he needed space for Schenn.

[NB: According to Panaccio, the Flyers have “about $21,000 in cap space,” which is “nowhere near what they will need to survive the season as a Stanley Cup contender.”]

But enough with the money talk — the focus now is on where Schenn, a center, fits in the lineup. Philly is deep down the middle with Daniel Briere, Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Max Talbot, and one would think Schenn needs to play in a top-nine role (at least). The easiest solution might be to send the 18-year-old Couturier back to junior in Drummondville, but he’s got three points in four games and is tied for the team lead with a plus-4 rating.

It’ll be interesting to see how Holmgren juggles things from here on in.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
Leave a comment

There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)

Lightning lament life as a .500 team

Leave a comment

The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.

After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:

Record at the end of October: 5-5-2

Record at the end of November: 11-11-3

As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.

The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?

Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.

They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.

The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?

Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby


Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.

One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.

Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?

Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).

Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16


Sorry Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.

OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.

For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.

You can watch all three goals in the video above.

It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.