A lot has been said about Shelly being a waste. Around only 4 minutes of ice time he can't enforce or deter players with that ice time, start Nodl. Many people have been saying this after pretty much every game now.
I think ice time is the whole issue here. It is not the Flyers refusing to put Jody Shelly on the ice, the guy simply can't play the game. Instead the issue is with all the talent on the team there isn't enough ice time to go around. The Flyers have 8 forwards that should get somewhere between 15-20 minutes of ice time. That is 3 lines for pretty much the entire game. The fourth line isn't going to get a lot of time. If Nodl is going to get signifcantly more ice time than Shelly, around 10 minutes per game who exactly are you going to take it from?
The idea is Nodl can take hard minutes away from Richards, Carter and Giroux on the PK leaving them with fresher legs at the end of the season.
That was a problem in 08'-09', when Richards and Carter were close to 22 minutes per game with about 15 minutes ES and another 7 minutes split pretty evenly between the PK and PP.
Currently this season Richards and Carter are around 20 minutes per game. RIchards getting less even strength time compared to 08', around 12-13 minute per game and still getting about 6-7 minutes of time split evenly between the PK and PP. Richards is one of hell of a specialty team player. 50% of his points scored for his career come while up or down a man. Carter is barely on the PK under 60 seconds per game and getting his 15+ minutes at even strength and another 3+ minutes on the PP.
So who would Nodl be taking ice time away from if he was to play more than Shelly?
The answer is.....
Guys like Giroux and Richards who is average over 3 minutes per game on the PK. Without that PK time Giroux will only be getting 13 minutes of ice time per game, Richards only 17-18 minutes. That is not what you want for guy like Giroux or Richards. I want those talent players on the ice whenever you can, ES, PP or PK as long as they aren't playing 22-25 minutes per game it doesn't matter just get them the minutes.
JVR is another guy they are having trouble getting minutes. Currently 17 minutes per game no SH and some PP spotted thrown in there. JVR has been taking Shelly's shifts with Betts and Powe every once in awhile. Mostly after a PP, where he got the assist on the Betts goal in the season opener.
There just isn't enough ice time to go around. So the Flyers need a guy like Shelly who can do his job and be contnet with 4-5 minutes of ice time. That is something he has done for his whole career. There is something to say for that. I hear former players like Keith Jones and Therien say that is not easy to sit on the bench only getting the odd shift here or there. Shelly fits that role whereas Nodl doesn't.
So basically my question is if Nodl is going to come in and get 10 minutes per game like Betts and Powe. 6 minutes of even strength and around 4-5 minutes on the PK is it worth it to take minutes from Richards, Giroux and JVR? I personally I don't think so. But here is the poll anyway.
Also factor in you other guys Zherdev, Hartnell, and Leino all around under 15 minutes per game in ice time. They probably need be out there more too. Leino average over 16 minutes per game in the playoffs along with Hartnell. Both are currently averaging around 14 minutes per game so far this season.
So to put it bluntly, Shelly is not a waste at 4 minutes per game. He is perfect in his role, a true heavyweight fighter with a nasty stare from the bench. A player who doesn't need or want ice time, a guy who is a generally good teammate and locker room presence. Nodl's role on the team as another PK specialist would require more minutes of ice time that just aren't there to go around.
Nodl on the other hand is the perfect 13th forward. A guy who skate with the skill players who is highly responsible defensively. A fine short term solution if someone in the top 9 goes down. He can also kill penalties extremely well if one of the main PK guys go down. Hockey is the ultimate team sport. To be successful everyone has to know their role and more importantly accept it. I think Nodl and Shelly both do. It is time for us fans to recognize that as well.