Nick Grossmann

Flyers’ Raffl expected to return Thursday


The Philadelphia Flyers expect to have forward Michael Raffl in the lineup on Thursday when they play host to the New York Islanders.

Raffl, who has missed the past three games due to an illness, has 12 goals and 15 points in 40 games this season.

As a result, the Flyers reassigned winger Petr Straka to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League.

Straka appeared in three games for the Flyers registering two assists while averaging 9:27 in ice time.

According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Nick Grossmann (shoulder) is also expected to play Thursday.

Rookie Scott Laughton (concussion) did not practice on Sunday.

Au revoir: Flyers send Morin back to junior


After a wild 24 hours, Samuel Morin is leaving Philadelphia.

Morin, the hulking defenseman taken 11th overall at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, has been sent back to his junior team in QMJHL Rimouski, the Flyers announced on Friday.

The news comes after an eventful Thursday evening, during which reports claimed the Flyers — enamored with the 19-year-old’s play this preseason — were trying to trade a defenseman to free up a spot for Morin on the NHL roster.

More, from TSN’s Insider Trading:

The Philadelphia Flyers are also trying to move a defenseman. They’ve got cap issues. Historically, Luke Schenn has always been available from that Philadelphia blueline.

But the play of Sam Morin, an underage junior from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, has also got some believing that Nick Grossmann, the veteran defenseman for the Philadelphia Flyers, could also be had to try and free up cap space and a roster spot for Morin who might be ready to step in, at least for a nine-game trial.

Flyers GM Ron Hextall was quick to shoot down the rumors.

“I’m not going to talk about trades,” Hextall said Thursday, per CSN Philly. “But I will give you one other piece of advice. Don’t believe everything you read.”

As for Morin, he’ll head back for a fourth season of junior, which could benefit a kid that won’t turn 20 until July. Morin will also have a tremendous shot to make Team Canada for the 2015 World Junior tournament.

Flyers consider inviting Gagne to camp


For 27 games, Philadelphia Flyers fans were able to watch Simon Gagne back in the team’s uniform once more.

One would think that the 33-year-old winger would be lost in the numbers game for the cap-challenged team, but that might not be true. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday that the team is “kicking around” the idea of inviting Gagne to training camp for a paid try-out.

“But I’m sure he’s getting calls from other teams, too,” Holmgren said. “I have no gut feeling as to what Gagne will do.”

While familiarity could help the Flyers’ cause, the team is currently about $2 million above the salary cap ceiling, so they couldn’t re-sign Gagne upon watching him try out even if they wanted to.

If Gagne gets antsy or simply gets an offer from another team, then this could all fall through. Of course, the Flyers could also pass on a talented but injury-marred forward.

Still, Flyers fans might delight at the idea of some more time with a fan favorite.

In other good Flyers news, Holmgren told the Inquirer that he believes banged-up defensemen Braydon Coburn, Nick Grossmann and Andrej Meszaros could enter next season in close to full health.

Flyers call up d-men Konan and Manning from AHL


Philadelphia’s defense got a couple of reinforcements today, as youngsters Matt Konan, 21, and Brandon Manning, 22, were recalled from AHL Adirondack and could play tonight when the Flyers host the Rangers. explains why:

Kent Huskins (concussion) is the latest Flyers casualty, after taking a head shot from Montreal’s Ryan White during Monday’s first period (see story). Huskins is out indefinitely.

Bruno Gervais reportedly is banged up, although the club has not released any information on him. Gervais did not play at Buffalo or Montreal.

Likely done for the season are Andrej Meszaros (left shoulder) and Braydon Coburn (left shoulder) and Nick Grossmann (concussion).

How thin has Philadelphia’s blue line become? Well, Luke Schenn played 33:25 last night against the Habs, if that gives you any indication. (And no, that game didn’t require extra time. The Flyers won it in regulation, 7-3.)

Update: “Bruno Gervais will undergo surgery on Thursday to repair a torn stomach muscle. He will be out indefinitely,” said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren today.

More Flyers defensive injury woes: Andreas Lilja out four months


The Flyers’ bad luck with injuries continues to roll along.

According a report from Swedish newspaper Helsinborgs Dagblad, defenseman Andreas Lilja will miss the next four months after having hip surgery. Matias Strozyk translates the story with these quotes via Twitter.

“I’ve had problems for a couple of years but usually the pain eased over summer,” Lilja said. “Not this year, so I needed surgery.”

“Now I have a new hip and the difference will be big when I return. Not least mentally, since I can now move without pain.”

Lilja tells the Swedish paper that the procedure he had done could extend his career by five years. Meanwhile, CSNPhilly’s Tim Panaccio could not reach Flyers GM Paul Holmgren for comment on the injury, but a source with the team confirmed to him Lilja’s status. With how labor talks are going, Lilja might not miss any games.

Lilja now joins Andrej Meszaros (Achilles’ tendon) and Chris Pronger (concussion) on the shelf with injuries.

The Flyers will now look to start the season with Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Nick Grossmann, Erik Gustafsson, Luke Schenn, Marc-Andre Bourdon, and Bruno Gervais on their back line. They’d better hope Ilya Bryzgalov has a big bounce-back season.