Flyers roster

With injured Michael Raffl out a month, Flyers call up Mikhail Vorobyev

With injured Michael Raffl out a month, Flyers call up Mikhail Vorobyev

Updated: 2:13 p.m.

VOORHEES, N.J. — Mikhail Vorobyev, and the Flyers, are hoping a third time is the charm.

The 2015 fourth-round pick has been recalled on three occasions this season, with the most recent call-up coming Wednesday. With Michael Raffl out approximately four weeks because of a broken right pinkie finger suffered Tuesday night, Vorobyev is back and could center the Flyers' fourth line.

Raffl was placed on long-term injured reserve.

Vorobyev, a 22-year-old center with skill and penalty kill ability, has played six games with the Flyers this season. Down in Lehigh Valley with the AHL affiliate Phantoms, Vorobyev had 14 points (five goals, nine assists) through 19 games.

The Flyers will want to see him show consistent effort in limited minutes. That will have to be evident if he's going to stick in Raffl's absence.

“Misha, originally when he got here, I thought I liked the way he was playing, his energy," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Nov. 6. "It slipped a little bit."

Vigneault said Wednesday after practice that the Flyers may play 11 forwards and seven defensemen Thursday when they host the Coyotes (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP), while 19-year-old rookie Joel Farabee will likely jump into the penalty kill rotation.

The Flyers have significantly improved their goal prevention and Raffl has always been a key piece to their defensive focus. His injury comes a week and a half after Scott Laughton, another important role forward, returned following a 13-game absence from a broken finger.

"It sucks, kind of a similar injury to mine with the finger, but just a sh---y scenario and a sh---y play," Laughton said of Raffl's injury. "It sucks, for sure, but guys are going to have to step up — that's what you have to do and that's what guys did when I was out.

"It definitely sucks to lose him on the ice, but off the ice, as well. He's huge for this group, for the young guys."

The Flyers are allowing 74 goals in 28 games after permitting 101 goals over 28 games last season. During their season-best five-game winning streak, the Flyers have surrendered 1.60 goals per game.

Raffl is one of the team's better puck possession forwards who helps control pace and has played the Flyers' third-most shorthanded minutes among forwards.

Vorobyev will get the first chance to fill the void.

 

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Scott Laughton returns to Flyers, Nolan Patrick placed on long-term injured reserve

Scott Laughton returns to Flyers, Nolan Patrick placed on long-term injured reserve

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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How Flyers' fourth-line carousel has continued with Andy Andreoff called up, Mikhail Vorobyev sent down

How Flyers' fourth-line carousel has continued with Andy Andreoff called up, Mikhail Vorobyev sent down

The Flyers have given their kids a chance.

Now they're ready to give Andy Andreoff a shot.

The Flyers called up the 28-year-old forward Friday and loaned Mikhail Vorobyev back to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley. Head coach Alain Vigneault and general manager Chuck Fletcher clearly didn't think Vorobyev showed enough to stay with the Flyers as he was sent back to the Phantoms after one game.

The Flyers want more consistent energy in limited minutes from Vorobyev, a 22-year-old center who has played six games with the club this season. The 2015 fourth-round pick played fourth-line center Thursday, a position the Flyers have opened up for the taking through 15 games.

"Our fourth line played seven, eight minutes, they're important minutes," Vigneault said after Thursday night's 3-2 OT win over the Canadiens. "I thought that line tried to get pucks deep and tried to spend some time in the other end."

The Flyers have played seven rookies so far this season. Vorobyev, Carsen Twarynski, Connor Bunnaman and German Rubtsov have seen auditions on the bottom unit.

Andreoff will offer the Flyers experience and positional versatility. He has played 242 career AHL games and 159 in the NHL.

"A key to my game is just being ready to play any position," Andreoff said during training camp. "Wherever they throw me out.

"They play tough, they play hard. ... That's my type of game."

His game has a blend of skill and physicality. If anything, he'll understand what the Flyers are looking for on their fourth line. The team also won't mind if he's its extra forward, rather than carrying a younger prospect and sitting him.

With the AHL's Syracuse Crunch last season, Andreoff scored 55 points (26 goals, 29 assists) and totaled 150 penalty minutes. Through 10 games with the Phantoms this season, he had seven points (three goals, four assists). Per Lehigh Valley radio broadcaster Bob Rotruck, Andreoff had been the Phantoms' most consistent forward.

"He's a physical, competitive, team-oriented kind of guy," Fletcher said during training camp. "There are some different elements he brings. ... We feel he's clearly a guy who can play."

Andreoff or Michael Raffl will center the Flyers' fourth line. Both can play center or winger. If Andreoff plays and shows well in a tough back-to-back set on the road this weekend against the Maple Leafs Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and Bruins Sunday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP), he could stick for longer than just a few games.

 

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