Montreal Canadiens

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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Flyers 5, Canadiens 2: Riding high into the bye week

Flyers 5, Canadiens 2: Riding high into the bye week

BOX SCORE

The Flyers will feel pretty good about themselves over an eight-day stretch of no game action.

That's because they're playing arguably their best hockey of the season entering the bye week and All-Star break, thanks to a 5-2 win Saturday night over the Canadiens at Bell Centre.

The Flyers (19-23-6) have tied their season-best winning streak of three games, a span in which they've scored 16 goals. They've also won four of their last five. Before doing so, the Flyers lost eight straight games, scoring just 15 goals during the skid.

The Canadiens (27-18-5) had a three-game winning streak snapped, while the Flyers, for the time being, are no longer in last place of the Metropolitan Division.

• Think Nolan Patrick's confidence is building? When the 20-year-old is feeling good about himself, he's a different player and it's showing right now.

Patrick scored a pair of goals, the second off some pretty stick-handling to give the Flyers a healthy 4-1 lead in the third period.

After going 24 straight games without a goal and just two points, the 2017 second overall pick has four goals and six points in his last three contests.

The Flyers have desperately needed his depth down the middle and they're starting to get it. Whether it's too late for the Flyers' hopes this season is the question.

• We're starting to see more and more why James van Riemsdyk scored 30-plus goals twice during his time in Toronto. His big frame coupled with superb skill at redirecting shots makes him a terror around the net.

A minute and a half after the Flyers took a 1-0 lead in the middle stanza, van Riemsdyk added to the advantage by deflecting home a Robert Hagg shot. 

The goal was van Riemsdyk's sixth in his last five games. It's no coincidence the Flyers have won four of those five games.

• Travis Konecny broke the ice with three minutes left in the second period on a nasty shot while falling to his knees. However, the play to set up the rebound opportunity was a real positive for Shayne Gostisbehere.

The 25-year-old defenseman has not been himself after a career year in 2017-18, but he created a give-and-go with Sean Couturier to get a shot on net. The Flyers had little going for them and to see Gostisbehere make a play from the blue line should only help his confidence.

Konecny actually misfired on a few shots from in close, so he realistically could have had the Flyers' third hat trick in as many games.

• Because he's a tough, grind-around-the-net kind of player, Wayne Simmonds doesn't get enough credit for his smarts and skill. He completed an excellent 2-on-1 with Patrick to hand the Flyers a commanding 3-0 lead in the third period. 

Simmonds was patient with the puck and didn't rush his decision, baiting Jeff Petry before feeding Patrick for the tally.

The 30-year-old is heating up and you can bet contending teams will be willing to cough up a hefty sum for Simmonds. His stock is rising right now.

Simmonds nearly had his 16th goal, too, clanging a shot off the post from in deep during the opening two minutes, a chance he buries nine times out of 10. He knew it as he was seen hitting himself in the head shortly after the play.

• Carter Hart came in 3-2-1 with a 2.69 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and an NHL-most 196 saves since Jan. 5. 

He was the team's best player during the opening period in which the Flyers were outshot 12-1. Hart kept the game scoreless, giving his team a chance.

He made 33 saves and has solidified his roster spot here in Philadelphia.

Interim head coach Scott Gordon said there's a chance Hart plays for AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley next weekend before the Flyers get back in the swing of things. Hart will have plenty of rest after playing seven of the last eight games. It can't hurt to get him a tune-up before the Flyers resume their schedule.

• With their bye week followed by the All-Star break, the Flyers don't play again until Monday, Jan. 28, when they host the Central Division-leading Jets (7 p.m./NBCSP).

Ten of the Flyers' next 15 games come at the Wells Fargo Center.

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Flyers at Canadiens: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers at Canadiens: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Is the bye week coming at a bad time?

Maybe, considering the Flyers (18-23-6) have a chance to tie their season-best win streak of three games Saturday when they visit the Canadiens (27-17-5).

Let's look at the essentials:

When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Bell Centre
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Under interim head coach Scott Gordon, the Flyers have played noticeably better in close games. They own five wins in one-goal games through 16 contests with Gordon behind the bench. Prior to his arrival, the Flyers had three such wins in 31 games.

Their improved fortitude will be tested Saturday because the Canadiens play a lot of close games. Montreal is tied for second in the NHL with 13 wins in one-goal games, while it has 11 losses in such situations — six in regulation, five in overtime.

• After Saturday's game, the Flyers won't play again until Jan. 28 because of the bye week followed by the All-Star break.

The extended hiatus will give general manager Chuck Fletcher and the front office greater time to focus on big decisions ahead of the Feb. 25 trade deadline.

At the same time, the Flyers probably wouldn't have minded staying on the ice. They've scored 11 goals over the last two games and have won three of the last four, playing their best spurt of hockey since Oct. 30 to Nov. 10, when they won five of six.

To give you some context of how much 11 goals are for the Flyers in two games, they scored just 15 goals during their eight-game losing streak prior to this four-game stretch.

• The Flyers aren't expected to see Carey Price, but that might not be a huge break. Backup goalie Antti Niemi is 5-1-0 with a 1.40 goals-against average and .952 save percentage in six career games against the Flyers.

Niemi is also coming off a 52-save victory his last time out, while he's made 127 saves on 132 shots over his last three games, all victories.

The Flyers will be confident with their option in net. Carter Hart is facing too high a volume of shots, though, something the Flyers can help cut down.

• Saturday night will be a battle of the NHL's worst power-play units, with the Flyers and Canadiens ranked 30th and 31st, respectively.

However, the Flyers' five-forward man advantage has produced goals in back-to-back games. Before the unit was put together, the power play was 0 for its last 14.

Projected lineup

Forwards
James van Riemsdyk-Claude Giroux-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Nolan Patrick-Wayne Simmonds
Michael Raffl-Phil Varone-Jori Lehtera

Defensemen
Ivan Provorov-Travis Sanheim
Robert Hagg-Radko Gudas
Shayne Gostisbehere-Andrew MacDonald

Goalies
Carter Hart 
Mike McKenna

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