The Philadelphia Flyers will do a little roster shuffling on Thursday with the announcement that center Sean Couturier is out of the lineup with a lower-body injury. The team has recalled Sam Gagner, who had been exiled to the AHL recently, to fill out the roster.
They did not need to move Couturier to injured reserve, because they’ve just been carrying 22 skaters. Couturier is tied for fourth on the team in points with 22 (9-13-22) in 38 games. His defensive skill set will be missed as the Flyers continue to make a push toward a wild card spot.
With 48 points, Philly is just three points back from the New Jersey Devils at 51. The Devils currently occupy the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers have three games in hand on New Jersey, but there are six teams sitting between 51 and 48 points in the East currently.
For his part, this is a chance for Gagner to prove he belongs in the NHL still, even when the team is fully healthy. Gagner was waived and then assigned to the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms on December 30. He was able to manage a little production down there, putting up a goal and six points through nine games with an average of 3.6 shots per game.
Additionally, Frank Seravalli reports that Jordan Weal will make his debut with the Flyers on Thursday. Weal came to the Flyers in a January 6 trade with the Los Angeles Kings that saw Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn leave Philadelphia.
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Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.