Kate Penna/Flickr. Used with permission.
Niko Hovinen will leave the organization. Are the Flyers looking to add a contract?
Niko Hovinen hasn't adjusted well to North America. The Flyers had high hopes for the big goaltender from Finland as he made the jump this year, perhaps even thinking he could be an AHL starter.
But his game just hasn't panned out, and through bad injury luck and what many believe to be plain old work ethic issues, he lost his starting gig with the ECHL's Trenton Titans to Scott Wedgewood, a Devils prospect. Wedgewood has played 28 games to Hovinen's 16, and the big Finn compiled a .889 save percentage and a goals against average over three in those games. Just brutal stuff.
So, the Flyers are letting him walk. Up against the 50 contract limit, Hovinen has been placed on unconditional waivers. The two sides will mutually terminate his contract, a move the Flyers last pulled off with Joonas Lehtivuori back during training camp in 2011. In that case, the Flyers were also up against the limit and wanted the flexibility to potentially add a player to the NHL roster following camp. So, let's ask the question: Are the Flyers looking to add somebody?
Scott Laughton doesn't count against the contract limit if he's sent back to juniors after five games, but with Scott Hartnell out indefinitely with a foot injury, it certainly looks like Laughton is staying around. Danny Briere and Zac Rinaldo will be back in due time, but they count against the limit regardless.
Could the Flyers be looking elsewhere for help, either at forward or on defense?