Brayden Schenn had a lot of fun in the American Hockey League. Four goals, four assists in just four games. The Phantoms won three of those games, too, and now their leading scorer is headed for Philadelphia.
Schenn was called up today as the Flyers returned Harry Zolnierczyk, just called up yesterday, to Glens Falls. Also heading north will be Zac Rinaldo, despite receiving constant praise from Peter Laviolette over the last few weeks. If you're curious about the timing of these moves, don't be: Jody Shelley is now off suspension, as of the game last night.
And if you're wondering why both Rinaldo and Harry Z had to go down in order to call Schenn up, you can safely assume that the salary cap, as always, is the reason for that. There's now very little cushion to work with when it comes to that cap -- something like $11,000 to $12,000 -- but with 13 forwards and seven defensemen, that'll probably work itself out. With an overpaid scrub at each position, in fact, the solution is really staring the Flyers right in the face.
So what will the lineup now look like with Rinaldo out and both Schenn and Shelley in? Well, it looks as though one of Andreas Nodl or Shelley will be that 13th forward. If there's absolutely zero tinkering with the lines, Schenn would find himself in Rinaldo's spot on the fourth line, but that's a complete waste of his talent.
The fact is that there's really nowhere for Schenn to go without displacing somebody else onto the fourth line. I suppose this is a good problem to have, but unless Scott Hartnell is the one that gets bumped down to the fourth unit, you're probably putting an extremely raw rookie there, thus hurting that whole player development thing. And if you have Hartnell on the fourth line... well, damn, that's an expensive fourth line.
It'll be interesting to see how Peter Laviolette makes this all work.