Bill Meltzer: Flyers Preseason Game Day: Split Squad vs. Caps, vs. Leafs (London, Ont)



For the second straight year, the Philadelphia Flyers are conducting simultaneous split-squad preseason games. On Monday night, part of the roster is staying in Philadelphia to play the Washington Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center. The rest is playing a “home” game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Flyers’ annual preseason game at the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario.

Game time for both matches is 7:00 p.m. EDT. The game in Philadelphia will be broadcast locally on TCN.

After Sunday’s practice at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ, Flyers head coach Craig Berube — who initially did not want to say which players would be in which locales — relented to give a list of veteran players who would play in the game in Philadelphia. Subsequently, the Flyers official website expanded somewhat on the list.

The veteran position players available for the game against the Caps are Brayden Schenn, Jakub Voracek, Vincent Lecavalier, R.J. Umberger, Andrew MacDonald, Braydon Coburn and Mark Streit. Berube initially listed Michael Raffl among the players staying in Philadelphia but it was later said Raffl will be making the trip to Canada.

Rookies playing in the game against Washington include Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hägg and Travis Sanheim, per the Flyers official site (Berube did not say which prospects were going where).

Ray Emery is slated to start in goal for the Flyers against the Capitals. At some point around the midway mark of the second period, Rob Zepp will take over in goal.

Berube will coach the game in Philadelphia. He will depart afterwards to coach Tuesday’s rematch with the Maple Leafs in Toronto. None of the players staying behind in Philly will make the trip to Toronto. Berube indicated that he would like to have something fairly close to his regular lineup come Thursday’s game at the Wells Fargo Center against the New Jersey Devils.

Additionally, the team is taking enough players — both veterans and rookies — to Canada in order to work in some different players on Tuesday. Thus some players may play both Monday and Tuesday and some may play in just one game or the other.

The Flyers veterans going to London and Toronto include Sean Couturier, Matt Read, Wayne Simmonds, Raffl, Nick Schultz, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn and Zac Rinaldo. It appears that Nicklas Grossmann is among the players on the Canada trip (he was not named among those staying in Philadelphia) but that is not 100 percent certain as of this writing.

Steve Mason, who played his junior hockey for the OHL’s London Knights, will start in goal for the Flyers in the game in London. Rookie goaltender Anthony Stolarz, himself now a London Knights alum, will get work later in the game in relief of Mason.

Mason and Stolarz are two of the four Flyers players available for the game against Toronto who have previous ties to the Knights. Del Zotto finished his junior career in London in 2008-09 after two-plus seasons with Oshawa Generals. Rinaldo played parts of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons with London after being traded to the Knights from Mississauga (2008-09) and before being traded from London to the Barrie Colts the following year.

Flyers 2012 first-round pick Scott Laughton is among the young players available for the game in London. It also appears that 2013 first-round Samuel Morin is on the trip to Canada.

With Berube in Philadelphia, assistant coaches Ian Laperriere and Gord Murphy will run the bench for the game in London. Berube will coach Tuesday’s rematch in Toronto.

It sounds as if the position player roster to London for the Maple Leafs includes Nazem Kadri, David Booth, Matt Frattin, Frazer McLaren, Carter Ashton, Daniel Winnik, Troy Bodie, Josh Leivo, Petri Kontiola, Greg McKegg, Morgan Rielly, Henrik Tallinder, Brendan Mikkelson and Petter Granberg. The goaltenders for Toronto in the London game will likely be former Phantoms/Flyers netminder Cal Heeter with Christopher Gibson also playing in the game.

Among the Maple Leafs regulars who are NOT making the trip to London are Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk, Joffrey Lupul, Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner and goaltenders Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer.

Note: As of this writing, I have not seen a roster for the Washington Capitals players coming to Philadelphia. Rosters for both games and Flyers line combinations for the game against the Capitals will be updated after tomorrow’s morning skate at the Wells Fargo Center.

************ QUICK HITS: SEPTEMBER 22

* Today in Flyers History: On this day in 1991, the Flyers traded team captain Ron Sutter and defenseman Murray Baron to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for forwards Rod Brind’Amour and Dan Quinn. The deal turned out to be one of the best trades made during the Russ Farwell era.

* Today in Flyers History: On this day in 1994, the Flyers re-acquired goaltender Ron Hextall and a 1995 sixth-round pick (Dmitri Tertyshny) from the New York Islanders in exchange for goaltender Tommy Söderström. The trade by newly rehired general manager Bob Clarke was part of the large-scale makeover that the team had during the lockout-shortened season.

After the lockout, Hextall and an what by the end of the year was almost an entirely remade blueline corps from the previous season — Eric Desjardins, Kevin Haller, Petr Svoboda, NHL All-Rookie Team honoree Chris Therien and Karl Dykhuis all made their Flyers debuts in 1995 — formed the goaltending and defense portions of a team that went from missing the playoffs five straight years to winning the Atlantic Division and coming within two wins of reaching the Stanley Cup Final.

* Flyers Alumni Birthdays: Two of the more hyped but ultimately disappointing trade acquisitions in Flyers history celebrate birthdays today. Winger Pat Falloon turns 42. Defenseman Rick Foley is 69. Additionally, left winger Carl Mokosak, who suited up in one game for the team in 1985-86 and dropped the gloves with New York Rangers defenseman Tony Feltrin in a 3-1 Flyers loss at Madison Square Garden, turns 52 today. Mokosak played a total of 83 NHL games between 1981-82 and 1988-89 for the Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings, Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Boston Bruins.

This post originally appeared on and we thank them for permission to rebroadcast it here.

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