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Philadelphia Flyers send Gostisbehere, Hagg, Cousins to Lehigh Valley

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The roster sits at 26 after the team sent some more of its top prospects back to the AHL.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Following last night's 5-2 preseason win over the Islanders, the team announced three more cuts from its training camp roster:

Cousins being demoted comes as little surprise given the logjam the Flyers have up front. The news of Hagg being demoted also is expected, though by all accounts he's looked good this preseason and could be closer than a lot of people may have thought.

The big news here, of course, is the fact that Shayne Gostisbehere will not make the team to start the season and will be sent to Lehigh Valley. For the second straight season, Gostisbehere had an outstanding preseason, scoring goals (he had one last night, on top of two on Tuesday) while showing off his blinding speed up and down the ice. And for the second straight season, the Flyers still made the difficult decision to send him down to Lehigh Valley to start the year.

While it's a bit disappointing that Gostisbehere won't be in the NHL when the season begins in two weeks, it makes some sense. Gostisbehere played in all of five AHL games and two NHL games last year before tearing his ACL. The team evidently didn't think he was NHL-ready last November, when the injury happened, and he hasn't played any meaningful hockey since then, so it's not surprising that Ron Hextall wants to see him get some time in the AHL.

Still, there was a lot to like from Gostisbehere in this preseason, and it's comforting for fans to know that the injury doesn't seem to have changed his trajectory as a prospect. He may already be one of the team's top call-up options on defense in a pinch, and it seems likely that if he keeps playing well in the AHL and shores up some areas of his game that need improvement, we could see him in the NHL -- for good -- later this year.

The roster now stands at 26 players (not including the five players placed on waivers yesterday or the one player injured-non roster), meaning that three or four (probably just three) more cuts are on their way within the next week or so.