Ole-Kristian Tollefsen will make his Philadelphia Flyers debut tonight against the Penguins at the Wachovia Center. The four-year NHL veteran has struggled with injuries his entire career, and it was no different this preseason. Lingering knee and hip injuries were only compounded by a puck he caught with his skull, but he feels like he's ready for action tonight.
"I knew I would be held back a little but because of the knee and everything and that made it [hard] for my hip when I hurt it," Tollefsen told the media. "I knew it would take a little bit of time to get back into game shape. And I was ready for that. I’m feeling good right now."
Still, his hard-hitting style makes him extremely injury prone, so there's no guarantee he'll see the second period tonight. We took a look at his injury history back in July when the Flyers signed him, but let's take another look to remind us.
- December 2006, broken nose, missed 1 game
- Early February 2007, broken ribs, missed 1 game
- Late February 2007, elbow injury, missed 2 games
- April 2007, hip injury, missed final 3 games of season
- November 2007, hand injury, missed 4 games
- December 2007, neck injury, missed 11 games
- February 2008, concussion, missed 3 games
- March 2008, upper body injury, missed final 7 games of season
- December 2008, head injury, missed 16 games
- February 2008, knee injury, missed final 27 games including 4 playoff games
But is there more to OKT than meets in injured reserve? Well, his time in Columbus was not especially impressive, and he was let go by the Jackets after four years partly due to up-and-coming young talent in their system. Tollefsen didn't add much offense and was a liability with the puck, but he's a heart-and-soul type player that leaves it all on the ice.
The question, of course, is how many more of those type of players do the Flyers need? Here's to hoping Tollefsen can find some skill in his game. We begin to find out tonight.
PS -- In case you haven't figured it out by using your Flyers IQ, Danny Syvret will sit tonight so OKT can join the lineup.