Colin McDonald

Flyers move Lecavalier back to right wing

4 Comments

Last season, Vincent Lecavalier wasn’t pleased that he was being used a winger.

Coming into this year’s training camp, new head coach Dave Hakstol moved the veteran back to his familiar position.

Unfortunately for Lecavalier, it looks as though the move back to center was only temporary.

The 35-year-old played on the right side of Philadelphia’s fourth line with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Chris VandeVelde in Friday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils.

The Flyers preferred using Scott Laughton as their third line center in their preseason finale.

“In terms of what we’ve asked Scotty to do, I think he’s done it,” Hakstol said. “He’s been very consistent.”

Hakstol also mentioned that opening the season with Lecavalier on the wing was a “possibility.”

The Flyers also announced that they have assigned Jason LaBarbera and Colin McDonald to their AHL affiliate in Lehigh Valley.

Wild claim Parise’s buddy, Chris Porter, off waivers from Philly

1 Comment

Chris Porter‘s stay in the Flyers organization was a short one.

The Minnesota Wild have claimed Porter off waivers, per Sportsnet. The move comes just one day after Philly waived Porter and fellow veteran forward Colin McDonald; Porter had signed with the Flyers this summer after spending the last eight years with the Blues organization.

A University of North Dakota product — where he played for four years under new Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol — Porter is close friends with Wild captain Zach Parise. The two were collegiate teammates; Parise was the best man at Porter’s wedding, and Porter was a groomsman at Parise’s.

“He’s a really, really hardworking guy on and off the ice,” Parise told the Star-Tribune in April, prior to facing Porter and the Blues in the playoffs. “He’s a guy that understands what he’s supposed to do. He knows that he’s supposed to go out there and be tough to play against.

“Just watch, he’s physical on our D all the time, he can skate, he’s fast. To me, he’s a really effective player.”

Porter, 31, has 173 games of NHL experience, all with the Blues. He’s spent most of his career shuttling between the bigs and the American League; his best NHL campaign came in 2011-12, when he appeared in a career-high 47 games, scoring four goals and seven points.

The waiver claim isn’t just about reuniting Parise with his BFF, of course. The Wild are dealing with injuries up front, specifically those to Justin Fontaine, Erik Haula and Jordan Schroeder.

Porter is on a one-year, two-way deal worth $575,000 at the NHL level.

Butler, Paajarvi, Hishon among notables on waivers

3 Comments

There was another flurry of players put on waivers Wednesday, as teams continue to trim down to their 23-man roster limits.

We already touched on the Flyers putting veteran forwards Chris Porter and Colin McDonald on waivers; now, it appears the Blues have followed suit by exposing two of their more experienced players — defenseman Chris Butler, and winger Magnus Paajarvi.

Butler, 28, is a veteran of nearly 400 NHL contests and had a pretty solid ’13-14 campaign in Calgary, scoring 16 points while appearing in all 82 games. He found it more difficult being a regular on a loaded St. Louis blueline, however, and made just 33 appearances last season.

Paajarvi, the 10th overall pick in 2009, has never really secured a consistent role under head coach Ken Hitchcock. This marks the second time he’s been waived in the last 10 months; in ’14-15 he played just 10 games for the Blues, spending the majority of his season in AHL Chicago.

Elsewhere, the Avs raised some eyebrows by waiving former first-round pick Joey Hishon.

Hishon, 23, was the 17th overall pick in 2010 but had the start of his pro career derailed by concussion issues. He eventually debuted with Colorado in the ’14 playoffs, then appeared in 13 games last year.

For the rest of today’s waivers, click here.

Flyers waive vets McDonald, Porter

1 Comment

Two of Philadelphia’s summer signings have hit the waiver wire.

Forwards Colin McDonald and Chris Porter were waived on Wednesday, per the club. McDonald, 31, signed a two-way deal with Philly in July after splitting last year between the Isles and their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport; Porter, also 31, joined the Flyers after spending the last eight years in the Blues organization.

Of the two, Porter was thought to have the better chance of sticking, as he spent four years at the University of North Dakota under Philly’s new head coach, Dave Hakstol.

The waiving of Porter and McDonald certainly looks to play into the favor of young forward Scott Laughton. Laughton, the 20th overall pick at the ’12 draft, appeared in 36 games for the Flyers over the last two seasons but has yet to establish himself as a full-time NHLer.

Philly has one more cut to make to get down to the 23-man limit. Per the Inquirer, it’s believed that last cut will either be Laughton or defenseman Brandon Manning.

Welcome Brayden Schenn to the trade rumor mill

12 Comments

Sure doesn’t sound like Brayden Schenn‘s in Philadelphia’s long-term plans.

From the Courier-Post:

“Brayden’s been OK,” [Flyers GM Ron] Hextall said. “It’s training camp. It’s early. … I think we all know where he is and what is and that he prefers to play the right side. We’ll see where it goes.”

With 17 forwards in camp — Colin McDonald and Nick Cousins are still around too — the Flyers may have to find new homes for some players. With a $2.5 million salary cap hit and in the last year of his contract, it would appear Schenn is a trade candidate.

Schenn has spent all of the preseason on a “fifth line” with AHLers Scott Laughton and Chris Porter, a trio the Courier-Post said “may not be a real consideration for the NHL roster.”

And when it comes to compiling an NHL roster, the Flyers have moved swiftly this preseason — and with purpose. Line combos were set early and the club has rapidly trimmed away; over the last few days, Philly went from 62 to 29 players.

(Technically that number currently sits at 35 but, per the Courier-Post, five players — Chris Conner, Tim Brent, Aaron Palushaj, Davis Drewiske and Jason LaBarbera — will be waived on Friday and a sixth, Swiss d-man signing Christian Marti, will open the year on the injured list.)

In short, Hextall and new head coach Dave Hakstol have wasted little time in getting the team sorted out.

All of which brings us back to Schenn.

Even though he’s only 24 and coming off a career-high 47 points, there seems to be some trepidation from the Flyers about locking him into their long-term plans. Most of that, it seems, has to do with the fact nobody can figure out where Schenn should play; he’s worked as a center, left and right winger at times, but nothing seems to have “clicked.”

In August, eyebrows were raised when Hextall said there were no plans to extend Schenn.

“I’ve spoken with Brayden’s agent a number of times over the summer about different things and the subject’s never come up,” Hextall said, per CSNPhilly.com. “It’s not something we’re in a hurry to do and I’m assuming they feel the same way.”

Hextall has been methodical in locking up several of the club’s talented forwards — Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek most recently — so the fact Schenn remains without an extension is telling.

Stay tuned.