Training Camp Update: Forwards are set, Let the Defensemen battle begin

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If Flyers fans have been watching closely, over the past 3 days, Coach Dave Hakstol has divided the team into the Flyers and the prospects / Phantoms. The team was divided up originally in a random pairing to get some of the rookies a chance to showcase against the pros and see what they got, mainly gaining valuable experience they can take back to juniors and work on.  With that being said, Dave Hakstol has made it clear as day who is forward group will be and the last camp battles will be for the defensemen.

The forward group heading to San Jose for opening night is a very decent and above average group.  At the moment, the Flyers have 15 forwards on the roster. The lone ranger left to be cut is Phantoms Captain Colin McDonald. Once he is cut / waived, the Flyers will be at 14 forwards which is where I believe they will stay at for the year unless someone gets traded here in the final 2 weeks of camp.

Your 2017 – 2018 Philadelphia Flyers Forwards Are…

(C) Claude Giroux, (A) Wayne Simmonds, Travis Konecny, Michael Raffl, Sean Couturier, Jori Lehtera, Scott Laughton, Dale Weise, Matt Read, Jordan Weal, Valterri Filppula, Oskar Lindblom, Nolan Patrick, & Jake Voracek.

This year’s group is a lot different than last years because first there is 2 rookies joining the group in Patrick and Lindblom, second there is no 4th line weigh-down anymore with Vandevelde and Cousins, and third from the lines that have been rotating during training camp, not one line from last year will be the same. Lines so far have looked something like this…

Lindblom/Konecny/Couturier – Giroux – Voracek

Lindblom – Patrick – Konecny/Simmonds

Weal – Couturier/Filppula – Weise/Raffl/Konecny

Raffl/Read – Lehtera/Filppula/Laughton – Weise/Laughton

In the end, everybody has played on multiple line pairings except the fourth line. It looks like the fourth line will consist of the a mixture of Laughton, Lehtera, Weise, Read, & Raffl, essentially the last 5 games on the team. If I had to guess, these are your lines for opening night in San Jose…

Konecny – Giroux – Voracek

Lindblom – Patrick – Simmonds

Weal – Couturier – Filppula

Raffl – Lehtera – Weise

Now for the battle. The Flyers defensemen group is down to 8 guys and only one will be cut. After looking at them for the last day or two, I have found 4 ways this can go down.

Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, Samuel Morin, Shayne Gostisbehere, Radko Gudas, Robert Hagg, Brandon Manning, & Andrew MacDonald.

  1. Flyers cut / waive MacDonald, either Hagg or Manning 7th guy
  2. Flyers send Hagg to Phantoms, either MacDonald or Manning 7th guy
  3. Flyers send Sanheim to Phantoms, either MacDonald or Manning 7th guy
  4. Flyers trade young defensemen for a forward

Unfortunately, this marks the end to a great run by Brandon Manning, who looks like he will be used as the extra defenseman this year. It however tells us that we will have some great pairings this year and if anybody saw the pairings for the first preseason game, the future is bright.  In the end, I would love to see these pairings…

Provorov – Sanheim

Morin – Gostisbehere

Gudas – Hagg

So, are you ready Flyers fans? The countdown is on for opening night in San Jose on October 4th.  Let’s take a look at your final lineup.

Konecny – Giroux – Voracek

Lindblom – Patrick – Simmonds

Weal – Couturier – Filppula

Raffl – Lehtera – Weise

Provorov – Sanheim

Morin – Gostisbehere

Gudas – Hagg

Elliott

 

Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

 

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