Updated: 4:18 p.m.
Brian Elliott’s road to recovery will head up the Northeast Extension to Lehigh Valley.
The Flyers' goaltender will join the Phantoms for a conditioning stint. Elliott is not expected to spend much time with the Phantoms, who play three games over the weekend — including a home-and-home with the Hershey Bears. Later in the afternoon, the Flyers recalled goaltender Mike McKenna from his conditioning loan with Lehigh Valley, giving the big club three goalies.
Under CBA rules, NHL teams can send players recovering from injury to the AHL for a maximum of two weeks, or they can utilize a shorter “long-term injury” conditioning designation, as Elliott feels he may need just a warmup game or two.
“I’m confident enough that I could step in,” Elliott said this past Friday. “With how the team is rolling, it would be nice to get a feel for games. I definitely want to be sure to take the necessary precautions to be ready and eventually help the team win some games down the stretch here.”
Elliott hasn’t seen game action since sustaining an injury against the Devils on Nov. 15. Former general manager Ron Hextall set out an original timetable of two weeks, but clearly Elliott’s injury was much more serious than first believed.
At some point, the Flyers are expected to place McKenna on waivers. McKenna had been with the Phantoms on a conditioning stint since Jan. 30, which meant the two-week window expired on Tuesday.
Defenseman Samuel Morin is also expected to be loaned to the Phantoms at some point very soon.
The bigger question moving forward is how the Flyers will handle the workload in net as they’re expected to carry three goaltenders on their roster for the remainder of the regular season. Carter Hart should continue to receive the majority of the starts.
Right now, Anthony Stolarz gets the nod for Tuesday’s game in Minnesota. Interim head coach Scott Gordon hasn’t made any decisions beyond that with the Flyers' next round of games coming this weekend with a home-and-home against the Red Wings.
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