Going End to End today is NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Tom Dougherty and Jordan Hall.
The topic: What should the Flyers do when Wayne Simmonds returns?
This question really is, who comes out of the lineup when Simmonds comes back? Since the NHL roster limit is, well, no longer a limit, the Flyers can carry extra forwards.
That doesn’t mean Ron Hextall will not send a promising 21-year-old back to Lehigh Valley. Oskar Lindblom, because of a paper transaction, is eligible for the AHL playoffs.
Lindblom is the wild card here. Has he shown enough to stick with the Flyers? I think he has despite all of his positives (there are plenty) not showing up on the score sheet.
But, I thought the same thing after the preseason. The reality is, Lindblom hasn’t produced points. If the offense showed up more in the preseason, he probably would have stayed.
I’m afraid that is going to bite him again this time around. It shouldn’t, though.
When Simmonds returns, Lindblom should stick around. Think of it this way, Simmonds, or Lindblom, is the Flyers’ trade deadline acquisition. So someone draws out.
Thursday, Jordan Weal was in the press box. He hasn’t produced and has been given ample opportunity. Taylor Leier was back in. That spot is the one we’re looking at.
Sure, Dale Weise and Jori Lehtera could take turns going in and out too.
We should ask whether Lindblom is an upgrade over Weal, Leier, Lehtera and Weise.
Yes, he is. Which means Lindblom’s (probably) going back to the AHL.
With the way the Flyers had been playing, you almost forgot about Simmonds.
But of course, that would be silly. When Simmonds is doing what he does best, the Flyers are at another level. In fact, they're 16-1-1 when he scores a goal.
So who comes out when he comes back?
I'd like to see it be Weise. He's been scratched before and simply doesn't bring a whole lot to the table.
Simmonds returns to the second unit, while Lindblom slides to the third line but still plays a role. However, it would not surprise me if Lindblom heads back to the AHL for further development while the Flyers trust the guys that have been here.
Since Weal hasn't produced, he must now show he can understand the responsibilities of a bottom-six spot, specifically as a fourth-liner. If he can do that, he'll bring a nice scoring element alongside complementary players.
How's a third line of Lindblom, Scott Laughton and Michael Raffl sound? And a fourth line of Lehtera, Valtteri Filppula and Weal?
Ultimately, though, it very well could end up being Lindblom sent down and Weal or Leier as the scratch when Simmonds is back in action.