Flyers

2019 NHL free agency: Flyers sign 8 depth players

2019 NHL free agency: Flyers sign 8 depth players

Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher made his depth moves on Day 1 of NHL free agency Monday by signing Andy Andreoff, Andy Welinski, Kurtis Gabriel, Nate Prosser, Tyler Wotherspoon, Jean-Francois Berube, Chris Bigras and Kyle Criscuolo.

Andreoff's contract is a two-year, one-way deal with an average annual value of $750,000. Welinski's is also a one-way deal for just one year, $750,000. For Gabriel (one-year, $700,000 AAV), Prosser (two years, $700,000 AAV), Wotherspoon (two years, $700,000 AAV), Berube (one year, $700,000 AAV), Bigras (two years, $700,000 AAV) and Criscuolo (one year, $700,000 AAV), the deals are two-way contracts.

The Flyers were not expected to do much Monday given Fletcher's work ahead of free agency, acquring Kevin Hayes, Matt Niskanen, Justin Braun and Tyler Pitlick, while parting ways with Radko Gudas, Andrew MacDonald, Ryan Hartman and David Schlemko (see story).

Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov, Scott Laughton and Nicolas Aube-Kubel are the Flyers' remaining restricted free agents.

Let's look at each player they acquired Monday:

Andreoff

The 28-year-old forward has played 232 career AHL games and 159 in the NHL. With the AHL's Syracuse Crunch last season, Andreoff scored 55 points (26 goals, 29 assists) and totaled 150 penalty minutes.

His best NHL season came in 2015-16, when he played 60 games for the Kings and scored 10 points.

Welinski

The 26-year-old defenseman has played 146 career AHL games and will help a young Phantoms team that needed blueliners. Last season, the righty shot played a career-high 26 games for the Ducks.

He was a third-round draft pick by Anaheim in 2011.

Gabriel

Flyers fans probably remember Gabriel — and not too fondly.

While with the Devils last season, the right winger boarded Nolan Patrick and received a one-game suspension. He made for plenty of theatrics against the Flyers.

He was drafted by Fletcher and assistant general manager Brent Flahr back in 2013 while the two were with the Wild. The 26-year-old played a career-high 22 games last season for the Devils and totaled 59 penalty minutes.

Prosser

The 33-year-old defenseman played under Fletcher from 2009 to 2018. He has appeared in 354 career NHL games, 353 of which have come with the Wild.

Over his 10-year career, Prosser has 47 points (10 goals, 37 assists).

Wotherspoon

The 26-year-old defenseman owns a career plus-58 in 355 AHL games. The lefty shot was a second-round draft pick of the Flames in 2011.

He hasn't played in the NHL since 2016-17. In 2013-14, he played a career-high 14 games with the Flames.

Berube

With Berube, the Flyers added some goaltending depth. The 27-year-old is 9-10-4 with a 3.39 goals-against average and an .898 save percentage in 34 career NHL games.

In 2014-15, he won the Calder Cup with the Manchester Monarchs. During the regular season that year, he won 37 games and put up a 2.18 goals-against average.

Bigras

The 24-year-old defenseman was a second-round draft pick of the Avalanche in 2012. He had a career year in the AHL last season, scoring 22 points in 52 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack.

The lefty shot has played 46 career NHL games, all with the Avalanche.

Criscuolo

The 27-year-old forward is from South Jersey and played at Saint Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia. He had a great college career at Harvard. He also won the 2017 Calder Cup with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

There's a connection to Fletcher, who is a Harvard guy himself.

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Flyers at Avalanche: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers at Avalanche: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

As one of the NHL's best teams since Nov. 1 (12-3-4, 28 points), the Flyers now face a new challenge.

Alain Vigneault's undermanned group begins a three-game road trip Wednesday as the Flyers (17-8-5) visit the Avalanche (19-8-3).

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: Pepsi Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Network
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• The Flyers are without Travis Konecny (concussion, out indefinitely), Oskar Lindblom (upper body, out tonight), Philippe Myers (back spasms, day to day), Michael Raffl (broken right pinkie finger, out approximately four weeks) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder, out indefinitely).

"Injuries are a part of a season. You have to expect it," Vigneault said Monday. "Then you need somebody else to step up."

More than ever this season, the Flyers will be looking to Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes and James van Riemsdyk to produce among the forwards.

The Flyers are 10-2-1 when Hayes records a point and 9-1-0 when van Riemsdyk records a point.

• Not only are the Flyers severely shorthanded Wednesday night, but they're also facing the NHL's highest-scoring club. The Avalanche lead the league with 3.70 goals per game. Their top line of Nathan MacKinnon (47 points in 30 games), Mikko Rantanen (18 points in 14 games) and Gabriel Landeskog (nine points in 14 games) is scary.

"We know going into Colorado, we're going to have to be careful versus their top unit," Vigneault said Tuesday. "[Monday] night, they seemed to load up. That's one of the best lines in hockey."

• Carter Hart will face the Avalanche for the first time in his career.

The 21-year-old goalie is 8-2-2 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .928 save percentage over his last 12 starts.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Morgan Frost-Tyler Pitlick
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
David Kase-Mikhail Vorobyev-Chris Stewart

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Shayne Gostisbehere-Robert Hagg

Goalies

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

 

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With Oskar Lindblom injury, Flyers call up prospect David Kase from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms

With Oskar Lindblom injury, Flyers call up prospect David Kase from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Updated: 2:08 p.m.

This is not how the Flyers wanted to open their three-game road trip.

Playing against the NHL's highest-scoring team Wednesday night, the Flyers will be without their two leading goal-scorers Travis Konecny (concussion) and Oskar Lindblom (upper body).

The Flyers knew on Monday they would not have the services of Konecny. Lindblom was added to the list of injuries Wednesday afternoon.

Konecny and Lindblom have a team-high 11 goals apiece. The 22-year-old Konecny leads the Flyers with 28 points, while the 23-year-old Lindblom is projected to finish with 30 goals after a promising rookie season in which he scored 17. The Flyers are also without forwards Michael Raffl (broken right pinkie finger, out approximately four weeks) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder, out indefinitely).

Earlier in the morning, the Flyers called up David Kase from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley. He will now make his NHL debut tonight against the Avalanche (9:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN).

Kase, 22, is a smaller (5-10/168) but quick, hard-working winger who has six points (three goals, three assists) in 21 games with the Phantoms. The 2015 fifth-round pick is constantly active with his bursts of speed and quality skill.

Originally, it was unlikely he would play without any practice. However, the Flyers need him, hence why he was summoned to Denver this morning. After they play Colorado, the Flyers visit the Wild on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and the Jets on Sunday (5 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

The Flyers had the roster space and cap space for another forward. Lindblom missed Monday's skills practice for maintenance but practiced Tuesday. Joel Farabee also sat out Monday after getting his wisdom teeth taken out but practiced Tuesday and said he's good to go.

When Lindblom returns, Kase, Chris Stewart or Mikhail Vorobyev will serve as the Flyers' lone extra forward.

Kase becomes the ninth rookie to play for the Flyers this season. Alain Vigneault's team is 12-3-4 with 28 points since Nov. 1, tied for most in the NHL.

Here are the projected forward lines for tonight, according to Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Charlie O'Connor of The Athletic:

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Morgan Frost-Tyler Pitlick
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
David Kase-Mikhail Vorobyev-Chris Stewart

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