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Ben Holmstrom returned to Phantoms; Danny Briere likely in tonight

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The Flyers didn't have a morning skate this morning, so we weren't graced with the presence of nine people tweeting this four hours ago, but the team just announced that Ben Holmstrom has been returned to the Adirondack Phantoms. 

That likely means that Danny Briere is ready to go for this evening's game against the New Jersey Devils at the WFC. Harry Zolnierczyk is still with the team in case Briere can't go, but it appears as though Harry Z will be the healthy scratch at forward tonight. Or maybe it'll be Jody Shelley. /pipe dream

Why send Holmstrom back instead of Zolnierczyk? Well, Holmstrom is the captain of the Phantoms. He's a little more valuable there than... well, just about anybody not named Michael Leighton. Plus, Zolnierczyk has looked quite good in limited action. 

So what's the deal now? The Flyers clear $750,000 in wiggle room under the cap with the move, but they have 13 healthy forwards on the active roster -- 14 total when you include the injured Matt Read. It does give them the opportunity to call up a seventh defenseman, though, if they needed to do so for Saturday in case of an injury tonight or something.

Outside of that, they'll probably be waiting. Frank Seravalli has a source on record today saying that Matt Walker will be back up in due time -- probably once Zolnierczyk goes down when Read returns to the lineup -- to give the Flyers seven defensemen again. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to understand the silliness of calling up a borderline effective re-entry waiver-eligible seventh defenseman who costs $1.7 million against the cap. 

But I guess we'll cross that rickety old bridge when we come to it.