Flyers

Flyers call up Philippe Myers after trading Dale Weise, Christian Folin to Canadiens for David Schlemko, Byron Froese

Flyers call up Philippe Myers after trading Dale Weise, Christian Folin to Canadiens for David Schlemko, Byron Froese

Updated: 1:45 p.m.

General manager Chuck Fletcher pulled off another trade Saturday.

The Flyers dealt Dale Weise and Christian Folin to the Canadiens in exchange for David Schlemko and Byron Froese.

Weise and Folin were likely trade candidates for Fletcher, who continues to retool the Flyers. Weise, a 30-year-old role forward, went unclaimed on waivers last month and had been demoted to the AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley, while Folin, 28, had been the Flyers' seventh defenseman and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

"This is an opportunity to make sure we have enough depth and try to help both players find a better spot for their career and just try to keep this going," Fletcher said before Saturday's game.

Weise was in the third year of a four-year, $9.4 million contract and had a cap hit of $2,350,000. Next season, he's slated to make a base salary of $1,750,000.

The move of Folin, who was on a one-year deal, also opens up a spot for touted prospect Philippe Myers, who has been called up from the Phantoms, while the team has placed Corban Knight on waivers.

Myers, 22, is skilled and a strong skater for his 6-foot-5, 209-pound frame. The defenseman went from being undrafted to turning himself into a top-50 prospect by the NHL Network. In 48 games with Lehigh Valley this season, Myers had 29 points (nine goals, 20 assists) and a plus-5 rating. Now, his NHL debut will be coming soon.

"He's been our best defenseman all year and one of the better defensemen in the American Hockey League," Fletcher said. "He's earned this opportunity. He's still a young man and really, his key time will be next year at training camp and earning a full-time spot for a full season. But right now, if we can get him some experience, practice seems great, being around the team is great, if he can get some games, that'll only help him as he prepares for next year."

Fletcher had no problem calling up Myers with the team playing its best hockey and back in the playoff race. The GM believes in on-the-job training and you can bet Myers is here to play, not sit.

"That's how you have to learn. He's earned the right, he's better than anybody we have down there," Fletcher said. "He's a good hockey player. I believe he can help us up here, but we have six guys playing right now that have helped us a lot, too. I think our defense has played very well for a while now."

Schlemko is a 31-year-old defenseman who has played for seven teams over 11 years of NHL experience. He had played 18 games this year for the Canadiens, posting two points. Schlemko is under contract through 2019-20 on a minor-league deal.

"Adding David Schlemko, a player with a lot of experience in the league, a defenseman who can play left side, can play right side," Fletcher said. "Along with Phil Myers, we think Schlemko and Myers will give us pretty good depth up here in the NHL." 

Froese, a 27-year-old forward, was having a nice season as the captain of the AHL's Laval Rocket, putting up 14 goals and 16 assists in 46 games. He played 48 games last season for Montreal, scoring 11 points (three goals, eight assists). Froese is also on a minor-league deal and can become a UFA in the offseason.

"Byron Froese is a young man who has played over 100 games in the NHL, he's a captain of his team in Laval, he's a real top two-way player at that level," Fletcher said. "A guy that is showing he can provide depth."

Both Schlemko and Froese will report to the Phantoms for now.

This marks the third trade by Fletcher, who moved forwards Taylor Leier and Jordan Weal in January. The NHL trade deadline is Feb. 25.

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Sorry NHL trade buzz, sorry Flyers' playoff push — Oskar Lindblom's smile wins the day

Sorry NHL trade buzz, sorry Flyers' playoff push — Oskar Lindblom's smile wins the day

All the trade fodder and debate took a backseat.

Gaining ground in the playoff race and smelling first place felt inconsequential.

Quite frankly, nothing compares to Oskar Lindblom's smile.

Just ask the Flyers.

“Oh, it’s awesome. His smile, you know, he’s just a great guy to have around — he brightens your day," Justin Braun said. "The fact that he’s doing well and he’s able to come to the rink and see the boys is just fantastic.”

Lindblom, the Flyers’ 23-year-old forward who is battling Ewing’s sarcoma, surprised the team Saturday by greeting it after a 4-2 win over the Jets at the Wells Fargo Center.

Lindblom visited the entire team and staff in early-to-mid January, when he had begun his cancer treatment.

Once again Saturday, the Swedish native's vibrant smile uplifted everyone. It always does.

“Really good, really good to see him," Scott Laughton said, trying to put his emotions into words. "Just really good to see him.”

"It’s great to see him, I haven’t seen him in a couple weeks," Carter Hart added. "I'm sure he was happy to come to the rink and see the boys. All of us are happy to see him and he’s looking great."

The Flyers had a lot to be happy about Saturday. They strengthened their playoff chances, crept to within three points of the Penguins and Capitals in the Metropolitan Division race and general manager Chuck Fletcher watched his team further cement its status as a contender ahead of Monday's 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline (see observations).

But head coach Alain Vigneault's first postgame comments were about Lindblom.

“He was smiling," Vigneault said. "Great smile, looked beautiful.

“Makes everybody feel good. There’s no doubt that we’re all behind him, his teammates are obviously checking up on him on a regular basis and so is the whole staff.

"But to see him live, it’s just beautiful.”

For the the Flyers, it doesn't get better than that.

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Ahead of NHL trade deadline, Flyers give general manager Chuck Fletcher another win

Ahead of NHL trade deadline, Flyers give general manager Chuck Fletcher another win

BOX SCORE

The Flyers gave their general manager one more quality show before Monday's 3 p.m. ET NHL trade deadline.

Chuck Fletcher watched his club beat the Jets, 4-2, Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers (35-20-7), who won their third straight, came into the action with a 79.6 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to Hockey-Reference.com. They sit in third place of the Metropolitan Division and are only three points back of the Penguins and Capitals (see standings).

Game 62 is the quickest the Flyers have recorded 35 wins since 2010-11, when the club got there at Game 53. The Flyers finished with 47 wins, 106 points and a playoff series victory that season.

The Jets (32-26-5), who entered holding the Western Conference's first wild-card spot, had their three-game winning streak snapped.

• Saturday marked the Flyers' final outing ahead of the trading period.

Alain Vigneault's club is looking more and more like a contender. The Flyers are 13-5-1 with an NHL-high 68 goals since Jan. 8. Over that stretch, only two teams have more points than their 27 — the Lightning (31) and Bruins (29). Overall, they're a top-seven team in the league.

Does the Flyers' standing give Fletcher more incentive to add to his roster? Or do the Flyers have enough to make a run?

“I like my team," Vigneault said before the game. "And for me, this is no different as any other day during the regular season. I know that Chuck looks at any option that can improve our team, he’s been doing that since the first day that I was hired. Now we’re into the final stretch. If there’s something that he feels can improve our team, he’ll definitely look at it. But I’m very happy moving forward with the players that we have here.”

Does Vigneault have a voice in the matters?

“I’ve got a nice French voice," the head coach said with a laugh. "So I’ll throw my two cents in there, it’ll be fine.”

• The Flyers didn't play their best game, but good teams win when they're not at their best.

They did enough and a solid first period made up for a subpar second period in which the Flyers were outshot 15-4.

• For all the talk about the Flyers needing to add depth at forward, Scott Laughton has given the club plenty of it.

He scored a pair of goals to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead at first intermission. In 40 fewer games this season, Laughton has matched his career of 12 goals set in 2018-19.

If the Flyers get Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder) back or acquire a center at the deadline, Laughton would likely be pegged as the team's fourth-line center. Not bad at all.

Tyler Pitlick, another depth piece, scored a clutch third-period goal to extend the Flyers' lead to 4-2. Sean Couturier was the Flyers' other goal scorer. The team's role guys continued to play well.

• Flyers defensemen Ivan Provorov, Matt Niskanen, Justin Braun and Robert Hagg were very good against a big, skilled offensive team.

Braun finished with three assists.

• Carter Hart gave up a power play blast off the stick of Patrik Laine and a goal to Josh Morrissey.

Outside of that, he was stout again, improving to 16-2-2 with a 1.64 goals-against average at home.

He's a huge reason why the Flyers are 21-5-4 with a plus-45 goal differential in 30 home games.

• Shayne Gostisbehere (left knee) will wrap up his two-game conditioning stint tonight with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

Vigneault said pregame that he expects Gostisbehere to return to the big club Sunday. The Flyers will have decisions to make heading into Monday (see story).

• Stick tap to Flyers director of sports medicine Jim McCrossin.

• The team is off from practice Sunday as the Flyers Wives Carnival will be held at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers practice Monday at 11:30 a.m. in Voorhees, New Jersey, before hosting the Sharks Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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