VOORHEES, N.J. — In the latest salary cap juggle, the Flyers activated Scott Laughton from long-term injured reserve Friday and placed Nolan Patrick on LTIR.
On Oct. 26, Laughton suffered a broken right index finger that required surgery. With Andy Andreoff loaned to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley, Laughton will return to the lineup Saturday when the Flyers play the Flames at the Wells Fargo Center (1 p.m. ET/NBCSP). The 25-year-old Laughton, an underrated depth piece with positional versatility, is one of the Flyers' top penalty kill forwards.
“Scotty, before that unfortunate injury, was playing good hockey for our team," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Friday after practice. "Him and Kevin Hayes seemed to have some good chemistry at the time, too, so I’m hoping that they take off exactly where they were prior to the injury. Scott is going to help us on the PK, also. He’s a good penalty killer. Looking forward to having him back in the lineup.”
Laughton underwent surgery Oct. 30 and was placed on LTIR the next day.
“I just wanted to be at a good grip strength where I could come back and not hinder the team with my play," Laughton said Friday. "That’s what I’m looking to do and I’m just excited.
“There’s some stuff in there that there’s going to be a long process no matter what. It’s a broken bone, so things have to heal and everything, but it’s good enough where I can shoot at full and battle … pretty much good to go.”
Patrick missed training camp/preseason and has not played in 2019-20 because of a migraine disorder. The purpose of putting Patrick on LTIR is for salary cap relief. The move is retroactive, which would allow Patrick to return when/if he's ready without the 21-year-old center having to miss 24 calendar days and 10 games.
Patrick has not practiced with the Flyers since toward the end of October, when he was starting to do so in a non-contact jersey.
"Nolan’s a player who will help us win a lot of hockey games when he gets back," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said Oct. 31. "We’re hopeful. It’s a tough situation. Again, I won’t speculate because I can’t. I can’t predict what will happen. ... It would be hard for any human being to predict when that will all come together for him."
Here's how the Flyers project to look Saturday afternoon at the forward position:
Claude Giroux-Morgan Frost-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
James van Riemsdyk-Michael Raffl-Tyler Pitlick
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