The mystery behind the Flyers' final cut before Wednesday's season opener in San Jose has been revealed.
And it's a surprise.
Matt Read, a six-year veteran who has spent his entire NHL career with the Flyers, was placed on waivers Monday. If he clears, he could be assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley.
That would trim the Flyers' final roster from 24 players to the mandated 23 players.
According to NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Boruk, Read was not in attendance at a mandatory Flyers corporate event Monday morning. Sam Morin, Travis Sanheim, Robert Hagg, Nolan Patrick and Taylor Leier were.
Those five rookies will be making the trip to San Jose.
Considering general manager Ron Hextall's penchant for trusting veterans rather than rushing younger players to the NHL before they could be ready, this move was on the unexpected side.
The 31-year-old Read, who signed with the Flyers as a college free agent out of Bemidji State prior to the 2011-12 season, has scored 86 goals and added 100 assists for 186 points in 418 games in an orange and black sweater. He also has four goals and four assists in 24 career playoff games.
He burst onto the scene and was a key component of Flyers teams from 2011-14, when he scored 57 goals during that stretch. His best season was his rookie year when he posted career highs in goals (24), assists (23) and points (47), all while playing substantial roles on both the Flyers' power-play and penalty-kill units.
Things started to go downhill in 2014-15 for Read. Known at the time for his speed, he suffered a high-ankle sprain at the start of the season and never truly rediscovered his burst. In the last three seasons, starting with 2014-15, Read has scored just 29 goals and found himself as a healthy scratch on more than one occasion.
Long story short, Read became expendable.
The 30 other NHL teams now have a chance to claim Read and take on his cap hit of $3.625 million for the rest of this season. His contract ends after this year.
If he goes unclaimed, Read could be assigned to Lehigh Valley, where he would provide the Flyers $1.025 million in cap relief. If that's the case, he still would count for $2.6 million on the Flyers' cap. It would be similar to the situation with Andrew MacDonald two seasons ago. MacDonald was eventually called up later in the season, and Read certainly could be this season.
If Read were to be stashed with the Phantoms, the Flyers would have approximately $2.424 million in cap space at this very moment, according to CapFriendly.com.
As for who remains on the team right now, this move likely means the 23-year-old Leier and 23-year-old Scott Laughton will take over the roles Read fit into with the chance to advance up the lineup.