PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 01: Erik Gustafsson #27 of the Philadelphia Flyers steals the puck from Tyler Ennis #63 of the Buffalo Sabres on October 1 2010 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The Flyers defeated the Sabres 3-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The Flyers have decided to pump up their blue line depth a bit in the wake of the injury to Oskars Bartulis, and they've opted to give Erik Gustafsson the opportunity. The rookie Phantoms defenseman will meet the Flyers in Ottawa and will be with the team for their game tomorrow against the Senators.
It's unclear whether or not he'll be in the lineup, but there's nothing to suggest that it's more than just a move to replace the depth that's gone with Bartulis out. Chris Pronger took a puck off the hand/wrist last night vs. NYI but he's fine and should play Saturday. Sean O`Donnell played over his average ice time despite a knee injury scare earlier in the week.
It could mean that they want to give Pronger a game off, but we'll see. There's nothing to suggest that as of this writing.
With that said, I wouldn't mind seeing Gustafsson in a few games here. The Flyers play some pretty weak opponents coming up and it could be a nice chance to see what the kid, who's emerged as arguably the organization's best defensive prospect, can do at the NHL level.
Gustafsson was picked over Danny Syvret and Kevin Marshall. Last night when talking about potential call-ups, Paul Holmgren mentioned the names of those other two players but left out mention of Gustafsson. Apparently, that didn't mean anything since Gusty is the one making the trip.