Claude Giroux

Injuries piling up as preseason schedule begins


Sunday marks the beginning of the 2014-15 preseason schedule with seven teams participating in five games. Many of the league’s other teams will participate in scrimmages throughout the day.

However, just three days after camps began, injuries are piling up.

(Note: This post will be updated a few times on Sunday.)

Here is a list of players, who are currently sidelined:

Many of the injuries are day-to-day situations or precautionary. Should today be Day 1 of the regular season most of the aforementioned players would likely be taking part in game action. That said, these injuries could linger and become nagging situations as the season continues. Now you know where they originated.

Flyers’ Laughton likely headed to Lehigh Valley


Philadelphia Flyers’ prospect Scott Laughton is likely headed for the American Hockey League when camp concludes and he’s OK with that.

Laughton, 20, was selected 20th overall by the Flyers in 2012 and after four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League is set to begin his professional career this season.

The 6-foot-1, 190 pound center was finding the silver lining Saturday when talking about the possibility of starting the season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

“I know (Claude) Giroux went down there too,” Laughton told CSN Philly’s Sarah Baicker. “He’s one of the best players in the world, so if he can do it, I think anyone can.”

Laughton, who played six games with the Flyers’ AHL affiliate in 2013, won’t count his training camp as a disappointment.

“I don’t really look at it like that,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of good players here. Hopefully I get in a couple exhibition games, I don’t know what’s going to happen yet, but hopefully I can show what I can do there and then we’ll see what happens.”

Laughton could get an extended look during the preseason as Giroux is expected to miss two weeks with a lower body injury.

“It’s up to them at this point,” Laughton said. “Wherever they think is the best fit for me right now, I’ll be willing to do. We’ll see what they think up there, and we’ll go from there.”

Laughton’s three-year, $3.4 million entry-level contract doesn’t kick in until this season, which means the Flyers have plenty of time to give him a year of seasoning in the AHL before deciding whether he’s ready to make the leap to the NHL full-time in 2015-16. It’s a good problem for general manager Ron Hextall to have especially given the team’s depth at center.

Related: Schenn moves to center in Philadelphia

Schenn moves to center in Philadelphia


The Columbus Blue Jackets aren’t the only team with issues at center.

With captain and top center Claude Giroux sidelined for two weeks with a lower body injury, the Philadelphia Flyers have moved forward Brayden Schenn from the wing to the middle on the team’s top line.

“I’ve got to be ready for whatever is thrown at me,” Schenn told CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio. “I’m a versatile guy who can play center or wing and I feel comfortable at both. I’ve had enough reps and games at left wing and I’ve played center my whole career.”

Additionally, forward Michael Raffl has moved up to the team’s top line at training camp.

As coach Craig Berube’s line juggling continued, R.J. Umberger moved to left wing on Vincent Lecavalier’s unit with Jason Akeson.

“I got to look at Akeson with Lecavalier which is always of interest to me to see because (Akeson) passes the puck well and Vinny is a finisher,” Berube said. “It’s good that Schenner gets reps in the middle, too, because there’s a good chance he’ll play center at some point.”

Schenn is no stranger to playing the center ice position; he spent parts of last season in the middle when he wasn’t playing alongside Lecavalier, but linemate Jakub Voracek  knows there’s no replacing Giroux.

“They are different players,” Voracek said. “Schenner is a power forward and G (Giroux) is a guy who makes everything happen on the ice. Schenner is a smart kid. He sees the ice well, he has a great shot and he understands the players he is with.

“We’ve just got to click. I don’t know how the lineup is going to be for the next, few games or on opening night. But we’re professionals and we have to find a way.”

Training camp and preseason are a time for coaches to juggle, mix-and-match and see what he has in terms of chemistry. Schenn certainly isn’t going to be the team’s top line center when Giroux returns, but should the Flyers be in a situation, which requires line juggling down the road, Berube will know how Schenn fits in on the top line.

Update: Giroux out two weeks with lower-body injury


Fingers crossed, Flyers fans.


Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux sustained a lower-body injury and is being evaluated, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said Friday.

Giroux left the ice about 15 minutes into the team’s first practice of training camp.

That’s all that’s known for sure at this point. At least one observer is speculating a groin injury — a relatively common injury at training camp — but that hasn’t been confirmed.


Just a short while ago, Hextall announced that Giroux would miss approximately two weeks to a lower-body ailment. Recovering within the 14-day timeframe would allow the Philly captain to be ready for the club’s season-opening game against the Bruins on Oct. 8.

Much to his relief, Lecavalier will start season at center


Vincent Lecavalier could still end up playing the wing for the Philadelphia Flyers, but he’ll start the season at his natural position of center.

And the 34-year-old sounds pretty darn happy about it.

From CSN Philly:

When the club’s main training camp opens Friday morning on the ice, Lecavalier will be at center, not wing, [coach Craig] Berube said.

How long he stays there is unknown, but Berube did say recently, “He’ll start the season at center.”

When Lecavalier heard that through a reporter, you could see relief come across his face.

“That is significantly good to hear,” he said. “I am more comfortable in the middle. …”

Of course, that begs the question — which players will Lecavalier line up between?

Flyers beat writer Randy Miller ( expects Lecavalier to be the “third-line center” with R.J. Umberger on the left side and either Michael Raffl or Jason Akeson on the right.

The top two lines, according to Miller, would look like this:

Brayden Schenn-Claude Giroux-Jakub Voracek
Matt Read-Sean Couturier-Wayne Simmonds

Whatever the combinations end up, Lecavalier sounds like he just wants to put last season behind him.

“You have to move on,” he said. “And I believe in this team.”

Related: Lecavalier believes he can be better after ‘tough year’