After a long stay in Adirondack purgatory, Eric Wellwood has been recalled by the Philadelphia Flyers. According to the team, he'll join them in New York and will be available to play in tonight's game against the New York Rangers.
Will Wellwood see the lineup? He becomes the 23rd player on the Flyers' 23-man roster, meaning a demotion of the suspended Harry Zolnierczyk won't be necessary. (Zolnierczyk, for the record, does count against the 23-man roster while suspended.)
But it also, perhaps, is an indication that the Flyers do not want to re-insert Mike Knuble back into the lineup. We've written about this very subject this year (convenient!) and well ... yeah, Wellwood deserves to play ahead of Knuble. Here's our own Eric T. from back on January 28:
At 39 years old last year, [Knuble's] net presence produced just six goals in 72 games -- whereas Wellwood's skating produced five goals in 24 games. Perhaps Knuble's shooting percentage should be expected to rebound a bit from last year's career low, but hoping for major steps forwards at 40 years old is probably foolish.
Knuble is fine as a low-risk depth player and insurance policy. But the team needs Wellwood's speed and puck possession more than it needs an aged net presence right now.
Wellwood has just six goals in 43 games so far this season with the Phantoms, but all indications are that he's been in Terry Murray's dog house all season long, limiting his ice time and his overall opportunity to showcase himself. Whether that stay in the dog house is warranted or not is up for debate, but Wellwood's been a positive player during his short time in the Flyers lineup this season and it would be great to see him and his speed back on the ice.