Laviolette: Flyers forwards will need to be prepared to switch positions at any time
If you’re a head coach in the NHL and you’re going to get creative with your players and have them try out new things, training camp is the place to do it. For Peter Laviolette and the Philadelphia Flyers, he’s got a host of guys that are naturally centers that have played on the wing the last few seasons.
This time around, he wants them all to be ready for anything be it up the middle or along the wings. Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly has the details from Coach Laviolette.
“I’ve had a conversation with all the centermen and all of them feel they are better suited for the middle,” Laviolette said. “That’s what they’ve done, that’s where they’re comfortable. All of them can play the wing. They’ve all proven that at some point in time.
“I don’t have a direct answer for you as to who we’re turning into a right winger or a left winger. ... We’re fortunate to be a position where we have four centermen to fill those top three spots and have three lines that can go out and hurt you.
“If that’s the case, I told those guys, you may find yourself on wing for a game or part of a game. Maybe you mix it up shift to shift. If Carter and Richards are on the ice together, I doesn’t it really matters who plays center. Cartsy (Carter) can play and Richie (Richards) can play.
“Same with Richie and Giroux. If we’re healthy all year and I have to battle that, then it’s a good thing.”
It’s a nice problem to have when these guys are all overly talented players and some of them have already had experience playing the wing. It’s not as if Laviolette is dealing with uncharted territory here with these guys, but where his job comes into play is finding the guys that best work at the pivot for the Flyers. Keeping everyone on virtual notice to be ready for anything is a good way to keep everyone sharp.