The Phoenix Coyotes won on Friday, but they’re still shaking up their roster a bit after a rocky start. They added a little versatility and a lot of veteran experience on Saturday by signing Jeff Halpern to a one-year, two-way deal.
The 37-year-old has 907 regular season and 39 playoff games under his belt. He’s probably best known for his time with the Washington Capitals, but he split last season between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens.
Halpern seems to fit Phoenix’s style as a defense-first, experienced forward. It’s unclear how much time he’ll spend in the NHL vs. AHL, but maybe the team thinks he can replace some of what Boyd Gordon took with him to Edmonton.
AZ Central’s Sarah McLellan notes that the team is already at the 23-man limit at the NHL level, so a roster move would be necessary if the Coyotes would want Halpern to play against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren updated the status of injured forwards Scott Hartnell and Vincent Lecavalier on Saturday. It turns out that Hartnell’s upper-body injury might keep him out two-to-four weeks while Lecavalier’s lower-body issue stays in the estimated week-long window.
Both were injured during Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.
CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio reports that the only details Holmgren gave about Hartnell is that he’s experiencing a “stabbing pain in his upper body.” Hopefully that doesn’t have any connection to the elevated heart rate the 31-year-old dealt with in late September.
Holmgren said that the team won’t make trades to fill the voids, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi. Instead, the team will give Tye McGinn and Michael Raffl a chance to impress. (Pun enthusiasts are hoping Raffl makes it.)
If early trends continue, the Flyers might be best served acting as sellers instead of buyers in the trade market, anyway.
At this point, it’s impossible to avoid a terrible* regional joke: Philly is just getting creamed. On the same night that Scott Hartnell left with a lower-body injury, Vincent Lecavalier also ended his Friday early with an LBI. (No word if the two hurt the same part of their … lower bodies.)
If that wasn’t enough, the Flyers lost as well, falling to the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1. They now have one win, two points and six goals to show for in five discouraging games.
Losing Lecavalier might hurt more than Hartnell at this point. While his floppy-haired peer doesn’t have a point yet this season, Lecavalier’s been involved in half (one goal, two assists) of Philly’s meager goals this season.
The 33-year-old seems like he’s fitting in well, however, yet injuries have been a big part of the problem for “the Michael Jordan of hockey.” Philly likely hopes that this is just a minor issue.
* – Seriously, sorry.
The Carolina Hurricanes seem like they can’t buy injury luck, so maybe Elias Lindholm is fitting in quickly. He was banged up twice against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday, with an upper-body injury ending his night, according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer.
Lindholm, 18, came into tonight’s game with one goal in four games on his lone shot on goal. He added another shot on goal tonight, but remains with one point in his brief NHL career.
It will be interesting to see if the Hurricanes keep the fifth pick of the 2013 NHL Draft at the NHL level beyond the nine-game deadline before they’d “burn” a season from his entry-level contract.
This wasn’t the only worrisome moment of the night, as Justin Faulk seemingly suffered a lower-body injury, but managed to return.
Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell’s knack for falling over and over again generated the #HartnellDown meme, but considering some tough breaks recently, the hashtag just seems sad. The team clarified that Hartnell suffered an upper-body injury, not a lower-body one as previously announced.
Injuries and inconsistent play plagued the 31-year-old winger’s 2013 season, as he was limited to 11 points and 70 PIM in 32 games. Those tough times hurt that much more because he came off the best year of his career in 2011-12, scoring 37 goals and 67 points in 82 games.
That slump has carried over into 2013-14, as Hartnell has gone pointless through five games (or four and change).
Even if Hartnell is playing poorly, this is another tough break for a team in turmoil, unless it opens the door for a young player to get some reps.